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.