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13 Successful Ideas to Help Supermarkets be More Efficient and Attract New and More Customers

Updated on July 11, 2017
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.

Happy supermarket cashiers are successful cashiers.
Happy supermarket cashiers are successful cashiers. | Source

Do You Remember

that special moment when you, your siblings, and your parents, first sat foot inside the first supermarket that you and your family had ever seen? In a word, wild, might suffice. The feeling is relative. And to the generations who had grown used to doing their grocery shopping inside a modest size store with a good-but-limited supply of food staples ranging from fresh meats to garden-fresh produce.

Records say that it was determined that the first true supermarket in the United States was opened by a former Kroger employee, Michael J. Cullen, on Aug. 4, 1930, inside a 6,000-square-foot former garage in Jamaica, Queens in New York City. The store, King Kullen, operated under the slogan "Pile it high. Sell it low." What a moment that must have been.

This writer recalls a clear memory of going with his parents when they would only shop with the rural grocery stores due to the big supermarkets (now opening in the land), not allowing their customers credit for grocery purchases. And in a comparable sense to the first big corner markets in the bigger cities such as Birmingham, Ala., a true supermarket were mind-boggling to say the least.

 Modern-day supermarket.
Modern-day supermarket. | Source
Handy Grocery Store Tip: Always keep your grocery carts spotless for these things are what grocery customers see the most. Got that?
Handy Grocery Store Tip: Always keep your grocery carts spotless for these things are what grocery customers see the most. Got that? | Source

But as With Everything Else

in life, when something really catches on, growth is measured by speed and size. With America's supermarket wave of prosperity, the Southland boasted grocery store names such as: Bruno's; Food Giant; Winn-Dixie and Food World and this was just a sample of the names that helped to forge the grocery store industry in the early to late South.

With these huge grocery stores now called supermarkets, when hordes of customers would shop with these stores, a few of the early problems were said to be: long lines of people waiting to be checked out; items that customers liked were sometimes not in stock and even customers with short tempers would lose it during a long wait in one of the many check-out lines and the manager had to defuse the problem or send the customer(s) home.

The few problems mentioned in the above paragraph could have been avoided along with the other areas of concern that accompany shopping with huge crowds in a supermarket of 2017. But these future problems can be helped with a little common sense and very little fear of failure to these ideas which are: 13 Successful Ideas to Help Supermarkets be More Efficient and Attract New and More Customers.

Bates Grocery was one of many rural grocery stores in our nation, but now are precious historical landmarks.
Bates Grocery was one of many rural grocery stores in our nation, but now are precious historical landmarks. | Source

Now for Those 13 Tips to Help Supermarkets be More Efficient and Get More Customers:

Mobile Check-out Mobile -- is one of the most ingenious ideas ever to be given to the huge supermarkets. This device works like this: the Mobile Check-out Mobile is built on the chassis of a golf cart, but with the body big enough for a cashier and cash register to roll through aisles of any supermarket and when a customer is ready to check-out their groceries, they push one of those big red buttons that are very visible on stands on the floor--sending a mobile check-out mobile (with it's electric battery) will move quietly to the customer making check-out's faster and with no waiting in the long lines in the front of the store. Depending on the floor space of the supermarket, more than one Mobile Check-out Mobile will be on the floor at all times. The cashier aboard will be trained to have the utmost experience in public relations as well as being a good diplomat. This genius-of-an-idea will be Ozone-friendly with no pollution and customers will be more relaxed and do more shopping with devices such as this one.

Supermarket Banking -- will now be a reality with this device that will help customers who have forgotten their bank credit and debit cards as well as draw-out money from their account if they need more money to pay for their purchases. This is no ATM, but a portable cubicle that is perfect for one banking employee to sit in the cubicle and wait on customers. But the cubicle does not have to stay in one place. The banking employee and cubicle can (with the touch of a button) slowly move down and out of the way of customers to another convenient area to park and help customers.

Robotic Customer Info-Horses --now with this idea, just read and enjoy the efficient way that a confused customer can get help almost instantly. Plus the Robotic Customer Info-Horse can be entertaining for the youngsters thus avoiding any crying or whining from children. This fun machine is built much like a horse with an attractive color and a recorded horse voice saying, "Naayyyy, I'm Mr. Info-Horse! I'm here to help!" as it gives the illusion as it is bucking (like in a rodeo) along the store aisle. But of course a highly-trained store employee is inside the "horse" driving it to answer questions from customers, help with finding grocery items and just about anything a grocery shopper needs.

Live Market Bands -- will replace those in-store music systems that can be so annoying. Inside an out-of-the-way location inside the supermarket will be a very talented group of musicians and singer(s) who will pump out soft, relaxing music plus all of the musicians will be wearing smiles--all designed to make the atmosphere of today's supermarket a more enjoyable experience. The group will have cute names such as: "Meat City," or "Big Cucumber and Co." Plus this group also plays requests and every supermarket will have a similar group of musicians and singers in their business to help boost business.

"Mr. Truth" -- looks like a robot. Walks like a robot, but is not a robot. "Mr. Truth," is a human being inside "Mr. Truth," to actually operate in every area of the supermarket to tell the truth about certain recipes that will go great with a certain canned item or a special announcement about a big sale on the upcoming weekend. This new device will pay for itself in no time.

Anti-Shoplifting Team -- will be on duty every hour that the store is open, but shoppers will not know how to identify this special team that is trained to spot shoplifting before it happens and if that should happen (which is a big "if), this highly-trained anti-shoplifting team will nab the thief the very instant that that he/she steps on the parking lot--all without making an ugly scene and this team will have a silent signal for local police to come arrest the shoplifter(s).

"Carl, The Candy Clown" -- what America's huge supermarkets are lacking today are clowns that entertain children thus keeping their parents happy and relaxed while shopping. But "Carl," is not your garden variety clown. He/she will be designed to be wearing a comfortable costume that will not harm any eyeballs and he will be laughing and dancing around the store handing out healthy treats such as dried figs; dehydrated banana chips, tomato chips, and on some occasions, five-dollar bills. And the best thing: no more candy that will hurt the children's teeth or body sytem. "Carl," will easily be a children's favorite in any supermarket.

Handy Dandy Grocery Check-out Train -- whoo! Whoo! This idea is so novel that it is a wonder that it has not been invented before now. All this is is a miniature engine operated by "Eddy, The Engineer," and his boxcars will be holding the customers' bags of food plus letting the shoppers and children rest while "Eddy" carries their purchases to their cars. "Eddy," will also be there to assist the senior shoppers in taking the bags of groceries from his train to put them in the shopper's cars. Shoppers should not worry. "Eddy," will not accept tips.

Supermarket Cinema -- will be the craze that sweeps America. This invention will benefit people of all ages, but especially the children whose parents are going to be taking their time shopping for the best grocery buys. This area of the store will not conflict customers or employees. The kids or parents simply walk into a good sized, air conditioned/heated cubicle and sit in soft seats and watch FREE current movies. Plus, children and grandparents helping babysit the children (while the kids' parents shop) will enjoy FREE snacks, but not junk food. Delicious apple, orange, and pineapple slices and a tasty healthy blueberry smoothie to wash down that healthy snack. Will this cause the shoppers' food purchases to be higher? No. The cinema will be managed by a supermarket employee and hardly any big investment will be required.

Customer-Direct -- is one of the most amazing grocery store-related devices ever to come to life. Let's assume that a supermarket today is really serious about making customers happy at any cost. This store provides 22 fully-computerized, customer-friendly check-out registers, but with a plus. These specially-designed registers have an app that allows high end customers with type "A" personalities and over-achievers who do not want to wait to have their grocery items checked out for payment. A customer simply taps a "Register On" red button on a handy device designed to look like a video game remote. All that the customer does is point to the peanut butter and taps the red button and he/she does this throughout the grocery shopping and when the customer reaches the cash register, the groceries are now ready to be paid for without being checked out. All that is left is for not one, but three supermarket employees ready to bag those groceries at the speed of light.

Grocery Emergency -- is a pure time-saver. Let's say that you are doing your grocery shopping, but you have only bought half of your list. Suddenly, you get a phone call from your best friend who is going via ambulance to be taken to the emergency room for a EKG due to heart spasms caused from the best friend whose blood pressure really spiked when his blind date looks almost exactly like Emma Watson. You simply take what groceries you have already got in your cart and a supermarket employee will secure your groceries for up to 48 hours meats and dairy included. This device not only saves time, but possibly a life.

Happy Pet Grocery House -- is just the cutest addition that any supermarket could have. Imagine that this supermarket has a law in the town where this store was built that say no pets allowed. All a customer does is let "Punkin,'" your tabby cat who is like your only child and leave him/her in this cushy pet hotel complete with the top brand of pet foods, a warm pool, and a soft bed to sleep on while you shop. Hey, "Punkin,'" and other pets will be so happy about grocery shopping with this invention.

Community Grocery Theater -- is a version to the Live Market Band (above top), but this group of highly-trained theatrical thespians give customers FREE skits that are relevant to the grocery shopper. One skit might have a name like: "A Few High Prices," with a funny script in the same vein as "A Few Good Men." The skit will give customers laughs about how to shop wisely and have a good laugh or two while in the store.

Now I ask you. Will these new, customer-friendly inventions help you to have a more-efficient, happy time of grocery shopping?

Washington, D.C., cashier checking out groceries at Giant Food supermarket  in 1944.
Washington, D.C., cashier checking out groceries at Giant Food supermarket in 1944. | Source

© 2017 Kenneth Avery

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    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 7 days ago

      Oh, no your don't! Supermarkets are too big and it's too time consuming to go through them now, without all these extra whistles and bells. I will concede that the emergency grocery thing is a good idea. More than once I've had to have the store hold my groceries because I forgot I was out of checks and had to retrieve another from home.

      BTW the first word I ever learned to read was "Safeway". Our little town of 4,000 had a Safeway and a Piggly Wiggly. Mama taught me the word from the store sign, and when we got home she got the newspaper and had me read the word from their ad. No "see Spot run" for me. And people wonder why I love shopping so much.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 6 days ago from Georgia

      These are some interesting ideas here and I appreciate the work you put into it. Love the pictures. They really add a lot to the content.

    • Debangee Mandal profile image

      DEBANGEE MANDAL 5 days ago from India

      The ideas are really impressive and interesting. I enjoyed reading the article.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 5 days ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear MizBejabbers,

      Hey, thanks so much for the great memory. Safeway and Piggly Wiggly are both American icon's, but when I was a kid, we had a Yellow Front that sold everything from groceries to material for making dresses and shirts.

      And you may think that this is ironic, maybe even scary, but it was my mom who gave me our paper and showed me those big, colorful YF ads and taught me what the CENT mark meant and so on.

      It was these teaching moments that eventually led me to the newspaper Sept. of 1975, second Monday, 10:15 a.m.

      23 years later, each grocery ad that we composed, my mother's sweet memory always surfaced.

      Thanks so much.

      Write soon.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 5 days ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Karen,

      No. Thank you for the sweet comment. I really

      enjoyed writing this one. Oh, it made me hungry

      but I powered through it.

      Thanks again for the sweet words and write me soon.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 5 days ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear DEBANGEE . . .

      "A sincere thank you for your nice comment. I am very glad that you took an interest to my ideas for upgrading today's grocery stores to make them run more smoothly and thus, make customers shop more frequently.

      Write me anytime.

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