Oh, not marketing for books, though that’s something we writers are always looking to do. No, I’m talking about what we see when we go into stores.
Those of you who follow me here, know that I like to walk in Walmart to help me get my 10,000 steps every day. My “regular” life just doesn’t get in that number of steps, so I “shop” a lot, walking at Walmart, Kohls, Tuesday Morning, At Home, Lowe’s, and Home Depot. Setting up for school supplies in July.
Now, I’ve noticed a curious thing; you may have noticed this too. As the seasons change, the items on the shelves change. And it is interesting to see how that happens. Perhaps Walmart is the best example. Shelves get emptied out either by sales or the staff clearing them off. Then there’s a wait period, and those empty shelves get replaced by storage containers. Lots and lots of tubs. Now these tubs are out a lot at the beginning of the school year, helping students get ready to move to college and get set up. But now we see row after row of these large tubs.
Then we begin to see Fall decorations followed by Halloween stuff appear.
And now we have full on Christmas filling in the space. At the Walmart I generally walk in, Christmas stuff hasn’t filled in all the shelves yet, but you can see it creeping in.
One of the fascinating things about this to me is the organization required to pull this off. Underneath the big tubs are what look like handwritten signs with numbers on it indicating exactly what’s going in that spot. We’re talking lots and lots and lots of different items. Do they have a giant spread sheet? And how big a spread sheet would this have to be? I mean, it’s a kajillion different items! How did they manage this before computers?
So next time you’re out walking, check out the displays. Has Christmas displaced the Fall and Halloween stuff? (You know I’m not a fan of Christmas coming in August, which is when I first saw stuff getting set out in the At Home store (formerly Garden Ridge.)
This last picture above is of the “misplaced” Enter and Exit signs. Makes me nuts but couldn’t decide if I should write a whole post about this. Don’t you think the entrance and exit signs are on the wrong side? I mean, in the US, we walk and drive on the right-hand side of the road or hallway. I’ve got two rules in contradiction of each other; what’s a rule follower? Are your Walmart signs like this?
As you are reading this, we are winging our way to Maine for a lovely week’s vacation leaf peeping. I’m a happy camper. I’ll check out this post this evening to respond. Am I just weird to be fascinated by this whole marketing thing? Have you noticed the changes before? Love to hear from you.
Marsha, I’m fascinated by how supermarkets work, too. The lady on the till at my local supermarket (part of Walmart) told me the piped-in music they were listening to was the same in every supermarket in the chain across the whole country. Everyone’s listening to the same thing at the same time!! It’s like being in a sci fi novel! I foresee a backlash against all of this. There already has been a change in our biggest bookshop chain, Waterstones. Now each shop is allowed to be individual. It’s made a big difference to the chain and it’s a pleasure to visit their shops, because they’re like independent bookshops. I hope supermarkets follow suit.
Hope you’re having a fabulous time in Maine!
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Hey, Helena. One of the things I love about visiting Maine is most of the small towns only have local stores. Duncan Donuts (now just known as Duncan) might be in most towns, but there’s not a Walmart on every corner like here. Not a McDonald’s every time you turn around. I like that. Interesting about the music. You’re right. It is a bit ScFi-ish. They could be piping us instructions to do or buy something, and we’d never know. The trip was fantastic. Unfortunately, I wan’t able to respond on my Surface Pro. I could open and read, but needed to do something else with passwords and I was afraid to mess with them while I was away. Which reminds me I need to fix that before I go on another trip. Having the lighter pad type thing was much nicer to travel with than my large laptop. Thanks so much for stopping by. The pictures I’ll share are terrific. 🙂
I don’t recall seeing tubs at our Walmart. I wonder if this is merchandise they had left over from last year’s sales? I’ll have to look more closely now at our Walmart. Here’s a theory I once heard about how Walmart stores are laid out pretty similar in all parts of the country. That makes it easier for shoppers to find items, but also, if you get homesick, you can go to the Walmart and feel at home. Works for me!! Perhaps the entrance and exits are set up due to the flow of cash register traffic. It’s easier for people to check out and not have to cross over into customers coming in. AND we got our Christmas items shipped in for the flower shop in August because people are, believe it or not, Christmas shopping in the summer! And if they want to buy, we had to be ready for them. Have a FAB time enjoying the colors. Our trees are starting to get pretty now too.
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Hey, JQ. The tubs are all empty. They’re just filling a space so the shelves aren’t empty. You are correct about the layout of Walmart stores. And yes, I do find it comforting to be able to walk in one and know pretty much were everything is. I get what you’re saying about the check out line. I just think they laid it out wrong. LOL Wow, I can’t believe you had to order stuff in August for your flower shop. I guess this all goes to show how much most everyone loves Christmas and likes to spend time and money getting ready to celebrate. I’ve got great pics to share. Maine was awesome. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂