The Bread Aisle

While doing the week’s grocery shopping, I started pondering the placement of aisles in the grocery store, and how accessible things in those aisles are.

What’s the one thing that almost everyone who frequents a grocery store needs to purchase on a regular basis?

Bread, in one form or another.

Whether sandwich bread, hamburger or hot dog buns, speciality bread, bagels, English muffins, or even, gasp!, Hostess snack cakes, most people need or want something from this aisle, even more so than the actual bakery. And the choices! Do you want 7-grain, 9-grain, or 12-grain bread? White wheat, honey wheat, or whole wheat? Hearty rye, soft rye, or pumpernickel? Kaiser rolls, sesame rolls, or just plain old buns? Egg, New York, or everything bagels? And the list goes on…

Obviously, the bread aisle is a very busy place. People surveying their choices, searching for their favorite product, debating over whether they should put that box of Twinkies in their cart, and then guiltily doing so.

So why is it, then, that Wal Mart, a store that’s busy on a slow day, and completely frantic on a busy one, has chosen to make the bread aisle the narrowest aisle in the store? Pillars block a good deal of the aisle, making an already small aisle smaller. It’s nearly impossible for two carts to pass each other in many places, so you can imagine the back-up that ensues, and yet, it’s not like most people can just turn around and skip that aisle–no one in their right mind would even venture into that mess if they didn’t need something, and let’s face it, everyone needs bread!

I don’t understand why, in this carb-centered culture, (have you looked at the base of the Food Pyramid lately?!? It’s all carbs!), grocery stores haven’t caught on that this is an area of the store that needs to be accessible. Perhaps they should make the candy aisle difficult to navigate, instead…as much as people love sweets, I never see the masses shopping there like I do in bread!

2 thoughts on “The Bread Aisle

  1. Geremy says:

    I have also noticed that at grocery stores not named Walmart, the bread aisle tends to be one of the first aisles. When loading your cart, where do you want your bread–on the bottom, with everything else stacked on top of it, or on the top? Wouldn’t placement at the last row make more sense?

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