Giving the Customers What They Are Looking For

Over two years ago I post­ed an entry about Mei­jer com­ing to town and the strange store lay­out they had and how Wal­mart respond­ed. Since that time, I have con­tin­ued to receive a lot of vis­its from peo­ple that had Googled “Wal­mart store lay­out” or some­thing similar.

This entry prob­a­bly does not real­ly help those seek­ers out, but maybe.

Wal­mart built a new store in Con­nersville, Indi­ana and opened it up this past sum­mer. Here is a pic of the new store lay­out (click­ing on it should give you a larg­er version):

Meijer comes to town

Mei­jer opened a loca­tion in Mar­i­on a cou­ple of months ago. With the great coupon we received in the mail, I was there shop­ping the first week. Upon enter­ing the store, there was the pan­el that held the map of the store lay­out. I could imme­di­ate­ly see that this store had a dra­mat­i­cal­ly dif­fer­ent lay­out than any such store I’d been in before.

As I shopped, it became clear that the lay­out was indeed dif­fer­ent and I had a very dif­fi­cult time find­ing the frozen foods/​dairy sec­tion (sur­round­ed on all sides by non-food mer­chan­dise. The few peo­ple I know who have been to the store have the same reac­tion to the lay­out: what the @#%@! (not in so many words).

On the way home today, I stopped at Mei­jer to take a pic­ture of the store map for the pur­pos­es of this post. I walked through the store and could not find it.

I spent a few min­utes look­ing for a map online, but I am not that per­sis­tent when search­ing the net and I did­n’t find one. I did find a cou­ple of pages that extol the new Mei­jer store lay­out: “Prod­ucts are locat­ed in a much more ergonom­ic fash­ion, designed to make the shop­ping expe­ri­ence more effi­cient and enjoy­able for our cus­tomers.” That’s talk­ing about the Gay­lord, Michi­gan store, but what descrip­tion it gives of the lay­out also applies to the Mar­i­on store.

Also, “the store will be much more user friend­ly in its lay­out”, which is dis­cussing the Mar­i­on store.

On the way home today, I first stopped at Wal­mart to buy a few gro­ceries (yes, I know, shop­ping at Wal­mart is an issue unto itself). Wal­mart being a large cor­po­ra­tion, is not like­ly to just ignore the open­ing of Mei­jer just down the street. Sure enough, there is a reac­tion. Wal­mart is reor­ga­niz­ing the lay­out of the gro­cery sec­tion (at least). Now, I’m not say­ing the pre­vi­ous lay­out was the final answer for super­mar­ket lay­out, but it was­n’t bad. The ear­ly out­look for the new lay­out isn’t promising.

So, some­one at Mei­jer was paid mon­ey to devise a store lay­out that forces some­one look­ing for a frozen piz­za and a gal­lon of milk to walk though the cloth­ing area.

And some­one at Wal­mart was paid mon­ey to decide that in response to this com­peti­tor with the absurd lay­out, Wal­mart should screw with their own lay­out. How does this make sense?

And this is the vaunt­ed pri­vate sector.