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.