Again harping back to the 1960’s when supermarkets first started appearing in the UK. The whole notion of filling a huge shopping trolley with items was completely alien. In the 1950’s people were served by the shopkeeper from behind a counter, if they were lucky that is, because of the shortages of rationing after the war years. In these new supermarkets women, it was always women who did the shopping, would cruise the aisles, VERY SLOWLY, with their husbands, uslessly, in tow, getting in everyones way. Kind of negated one of the reasons for supermarkets: i.e. everything you need in one place therefore you can whizz in and out quickly. People still cruise the aisles of course; One time I overheard a husband, who I was waiting to get by, in my hurried lunch-time shop, say to his wife in Aldi: “We haven’t been down that way yet”. They were obviously not going to be content until they had dragged themselves thoroughly around the entire store.

Every now and then supermarkets decide to move everything around just to keep you on your toes. I guess the idea is that folk like me who generally know what they want and where to find it then have to do a bit of cruising around themselves in order to find the moved stuff and thereby will be tempted by the other stuff that we pass by. So where the “two-minute noodles” were there is now “mens grooming products”, like that’s going to happen!

Recently there has been a trend for in-store bakeries with fresh buns and bread rolls etc with a sign up saying “in the interest of hygene please use the tongs provided“. One store just started doing this in the last couple of years. It took them around a month before they realised (or some kind soul pointed out to them) that they actually have to clean the tongs from time to time. Yep, month-old thick wadges of congealed jam from doughnuts, cheese from pizzas and intermingled flaky pastry on these “hygenic” tongs.

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