Do Supermarkets manipulate us?

Freya Höynck

Learning about the tricks that are used by supermarkets to attract more customers in class is fun, but actually examining and taking a clearer sight of all the manipulation used in supermarkets is an amazing experience.

While visiting Rewe (in the Wilhelm Galerie) lots of things seemed all usual, maybe because I wasn’t used to taking a peek into the world of manipulation in supermarkets. While walking through the entrance, where huge shopping carts and medium sized baskets are located, I saw that the majority of shopping carts were gone and used for shopping right now. Supermarkets provide lots of large shopping carts to make you believe that you have to fill the huge cart even though you don’t need/want to. The access was on the right of the store, probably because right-handed people are more comfortable walking into the store on the right-hand side. The overwhelming smell of fresh bread and the colorful beauty of fresh fruits and vegetables were the first things that I noticed. The several colored goods are “the highlight” of the supermarket entrance. When looking at the fruits, I stopped and listened to find out if there is quiet music playing in the background which should calm customers down and let them slow down. But I didn’t hear any music. Next, I looked at the shelves where the cooled vegetables laid and saw that there was a small shimmer on all of these vegetables. I guess the shimmer came from some kind of small light that is installed to let the fruits and vegetables look attractive. While walking to the back of the supermarket, I remarked that the essentials (milk, eggs, cheese, meat) were all placed on the shelf that was the farthest away from the entrance. While heading off to see the last part of the supermarket I noticed, that all the expensive products are placed at eye level so they are directly in front of our face. Last, I went to see if the cashier has small packages of sweets (bubblegum, small packs of gummi-bears, chocolate bars), and they did. The manager of the supermarket did this in a smart way because he placed the sweets towards the eye level of small children which the supermarket wants to convince to beg their parents for those sweets.

This was an amazing and shocking experience for me and really helped me to understand the logic of supermarkets and their managers.

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