For many of us, supermarket shopping is part of our regular routine. Certainly, the opening hour, free parking and wide range of products can be very useful. But there are also a lot of annoying things about supermarkets that can make shopping there quite a frustrating experience at times. It could be difficult to keep this limited to seven points …
1. Multipacks and Bulk Buys
One of the most annoying things about supermarkets is the emphasis on multipacks and discounts for buying larger quantities. Buying in bulk is fine when you have a family. But what if you live alone? You’re not going to consume so much fresh food. Plus in my small flat, I simply don’t have enough storage space to keep 500 toilet rolls.
2. So Many Checkouts, so Little Staff …
Have you ever stood in a long queue and wondered where all the staff are? Or why some of the staff engaged in stacking shelves can’t be temporarily redeployed to the checkouts? Sure, they can’t offer an individual checkout for every customer, but standing in queues does seem so much longer than the actual minutes, and opening more tills would keep the customers happy.
This is a real bugbear of mine. Why do products have to come with so much packaging? Of course, the manufacturers do it as well, but I often buy supermarket own brands, and so notice where they could reduce the packaging. This would be environmentally friendly, reduce costs, and leave us with less to dispose of.
4. Loyalty Cards
Aagh, the dreaded loyalty cards. Why are staff made to ask every customer if they have a loyalty card? Presumably so that you can be encouraged to get one if you don’t. Though if I had one, I would hand it over, and since I shop in various different supermarkets, I don’t want a wallet full of the damn things.
5. Self-Service Checkouts
I’m assuming that these irritating timewasters have infiltrated US supermarkets as well. Never mind offering a prize to whoever can prove that God exists, they should offer a prize to anyone who can demonstrate conclusively that one, just one person has saved time by using a self-service checkout. It’ll never happen.
6. Empty Shelves
This has to be in the top three of annoying things about supermarkets, and is especially common when the item that you want is on special offer. If they’re going to do a special offer, isn’t it because they want to sell more? So why don’t they stock more? Empty shelves can happen at any time though, and you just know that they’re staying that way, even if you pop back in tomorrow. It’s always the one thing that I really need, too.
Supermarkets, please hear me on this one. I don’t want to hear your taste in music. It does not in any way enhance my shopping experience, especially at Christmas (and the two months leading up to it). There is this amazing little invention called the iPod, and if I feel the need to listen to music while I shop, I will carry mine and choose my own music.
I suspect that I’ve barely scratched the surface on this topic. What annoying things about supermarkets drive you mad? Do be kind to the staff though, it’s generally not their fault …
Top Photo Credit: The iconoclastic yet iconic ionic icon