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All change

'Why is it that supermarkets change their layout so often? Just when I have speeded up my shopping by knowing where everything is, they move the section!'

This is another way of trying to make you buy things you thought you didn't need. Supermarkets make most of their money out of fresh foods and 'luxury' snacks and far less on essentials like milk, sugar and bread. So everyday items are scattered around the store because in order to get them, you have to pass the 'high earners' and, hopefully, suddenly decide to buy some.

The eye-catching display on the unit at the end of a row docs not necessarily mean that the goods are the bargain of the week, as you may think. Manufacturers sometimes pay the supermarket to put their brands in the best positions. Among the best are the places across the ends of units where customer traffic is very high.

Quick march!

'Why does my supermarket have to play music all the time? It drives me mad and I can't avoid itsince it's the only store I can reach conveniently.'

This may be an attempt to please customers - so they will enjoy shopping

more - or a way of projecting an image. One supermarket plays 1960s music to go with its decor. Another sets out simply to please - playing 1950s and 1960s music in the morning when older customers do most of their shopping, pop music in the evenings and on Saturdays for a younger audience, and music that appeals to the whole family on a Sunday. Some stores use music to increase their profits by playing slow waltzes or light classics on quiet days, like Mondays, to keep customers browsing and buying. At busier times, like Saturdays, they'll increase the tempo to encourage customers to move quickly through the store.

Last straw

A recent supermarket study reported a 38% increase in sales when the store played slow music compared to fast. However, you can shop in silence at some supermarkets, which never play music - their customers say it puts them off.

'Why do I always choose the queue that moves the slowest?'

Perhaps you're too considerate! For example, don't think the wider checkouts marked 'disabled' are exclusively for wheelchairs. If there are no wheelchair customers waiting, anyone is welcome to use them. And if you're in a real hurry, avoid the checkout assistant wearing a 'trainee' badge - a sign of possible delay.

Checkouts could become a thing of the past anyway. One supermarket is testing a hand-held unit which customers use themselves as they shop. It reads and records the prices of groceries and then totals the bill... but you still have to pay before you leave.

Exercise 2. Find synonyms to the following words and expressions:

1. everyday items

2. a wheelchair customer

3. to uncover

4. a shop

5. full of people

6. to put something somewhere

7. to finish

8. appealing, attractive, captivating, charming, delicious, delightful, fascinating, etc

9. to sum up

10. a plan, scheme

11. to make some process quicker

12. producers of goods


Exercise 3. Find antonyms to the following words and expressions:

1. to decrease

2. exit

3. stale bread

4. to do something in a hurry

5. productive

6. to gather, unite

7. slow

8. inattentive , negligent, tactless


Exercise 4. Look up in the dictionary and explain the meaning of the following set expressions with the word ‘bargain’:

1. into the bargain

2. to make the best of a bad bargain

3. that's a bargain!

4. a bargain is a bargain

5. wet bargain (or Dutch bargain)

Exercise 5. Explain the meaning:

a hidden trick; to make a profit on something; to do something at leisure; retail food industry; a ‘feel good’ impression; to count on someone or something; counterproductive; essentials; eye-catching; the bargain of the week; a wheelchair customer


Exercise 6. To answer questions 1-14 choose from the sections (A-E) of the text . Some of the sections may be chosen more than once. When more than one answer is required, these may be given in any order. There is an example at the beginning (0). Which section refers to:


an arrangement between producers and supermarkets?

the order in which customers buy goods?

customers consuming goods they have bought?

a method that may have an opposite effect to the one intended?

customers having the wrong idea about something?

goods getting damaged?

supermarkets being reorganized?

matching something to particular types of customer?

not putting certain types of goods together?

supermarkets paying attention to customers’ comments?

a system that may die out?

Exercise 7. Translate the questions into English and answer them:

1. Вы когда-нибудь задавали себе вопрос, почему в некоторых магазинах пахнет свежевыпеченным хлебом или кофе? На что рассчитывают эти магазины?

2. Может ли соблазнительный запах заставить вас купить что-то, что, как вы считали, вам не нужно?

3. Почему свежие фрукты и овощи обычно располагаются у входа в магазин?

4. Почему супермаркеты часто меняют места расположения товаров?

5. Вы покупатель, который предпочитает покупать или рассматривать товары?

6. Как вы относитесь к музыке в супермаркетах? Вы считаете, она может повлиять на ваш выбор?

7. Если бы вы были торговым менеджером, прибегали бы вы к хитростям c целью увеличения прибыли?

8. Следует ли, на ваш взгляд, раскрывать секреты покупателям?

9. Знаете ли вы еще какие-либо хитрости, имеющие своей целью заставить покупателя делать больше покупок?

9. Какие изменения, по вашему мнению, должны произойти в торговом обслуживании в ближайшем будущем?

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