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April 6th, 2006

Annoying Grocery Shopping

Our grocery shopping schedule doesn’t really revolve around the big local chains – Jewel and Dominick’s – anymore. But occasionally we need to get something at Jewel that just can’t be had anywhere else (usually, cheap soda.) It’s those instances that remind me of how frustrating a shopping experience can be.

The reason? Simple: TVs. All of our local Jewels installed TVs in the checkout lanes a while ago. They broadcast a series of Food Network clips, news, CNN-style news tickers, weather, stuff like that, along with commercials. But they’re always on, always a few decibels above normal speaking level, and impossible to ignore. I really just want to turn them off.

To add insult to injury, Jewel installed huge flat panels in their produce section. These run the same content-and-mostly-ads that are in the checkout lanes. It’s a really strange thing, as these TVs are loud.

And it freaked me out when I was at a Meijer once and saw Teri Hatcher promoting the ABC “In-Store Network” above the meat section.

I guess that’s one reason we avoid these places. They’re an assault on the senses, and coupled with higher prices (shouldn’t these things bring prices down?) they make shopping a real annoyance.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday April 6, 2006 -- 9:23:29 am
People have enough trouble focusing on their shopping list while maneuvering the cart, the last thing we need is another distraction. The TVs sound really obnoxious.

FROM: Aanen
DATE: Thursday April 6, 2006 -- 10:16:16 am
We had a nice flat panel tv by our deli section. The store closed last month, it was the last Weis Market store in VA. We used to joke about who had dibs on the tv when the store closed.

FROM: Cat [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday April 6, 2006 -- 10:46:55 am
Good lord, I hope this doesn't catch on here. Not that it matters much, since I do my grocery shopping online. It's annoying enough that a couple of cafes I like have televisions.

Guess it's time to get one of these.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Thursday April 6, 2006 -- 11:24:41 am
Here's an article on some of the hijinks. CBS is doing an in-store network and, surprise surprise, Jewel is on board:

Programming will begin June 1 on SignStorey's 42" digital screens in perimeter departments, including produce and deli, at Albertsons, Jewel Stores, Shaws, Star Markets, Acme, Price Chopper and Pathmark. CBS will provide original-content segments from CBS Entertainment, CBS News, CBS Sports and sisters CBS Paramount Television and King World.

"This completes the circle of reach and recall from network television to retail response and sales at the store level," said CBS Marketing Group President George Schweitzer in a statement. "By bringing CBS content to this environment, we have created a new level of entertainment and an exciting advertising platform that connects with our viewers and the stores' customers."

Marketingese! Can't! Take! Any! More! Brand! Synergy! ARGH!

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday April 6, 2006 -- 11:47:40 am
I do a large portion of my shopping at the local PA chain, Colonial Village. Their meats/deli are much better quality, usually get pretty good deals, and it's small enough where everyone gets to know you, yet still have a decent selection of stuff. (Oh yeah, no TVs!)

It's worth the trip, kinda like supermarkets were about 20 years ago.

FROM: COD [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday April 6, 2006 -- 5:36:24 pm
SF Author Frederick Pohl predicted a culture run by the ad execs way back in 1953.

FROM: Merle [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday April 6, 2006 -- 7:27:36 pm
Gods, Albertson's, too? I need to go there to buy yeast and pasghetti. Grr! I'll take my construction-grade noise-drowning headphones. Headset. Thing that covers the ears completely and muffles noise, cutting most of it by 30dB.

FROM: John
DATE: Thursday April 6, 2006 -- 9:55:34 pm
That would be enough to make me change grocery stores, but soon enough all stores will do that.

FROM: jk
DATE: Thursday April 6, 2006 -- 11:45:43 pm
My goal is to get in and out as quickly as possible. I would be beyond annoyed if there were a TV barking at me as I scan my groceries.

Non-annoying grocery shopping: tonight I was told that I had enough points for a free turkey, ham or lasagna. I would never make any of that, so I donated it. They take care of all the leg-work for you! Hooray Giant, land with no TVs but free samples at the bakery.

FROM: help
DATE: Friday April 7, 2006 -- 6:39:48 pm
i need a senior pranks idea anyone got one

mary January 17, 2008, 12:14 pm

obnoxious tvs, while grocery shopping, would make me find another store. quickly. i have in the past, actually walked in and right out of establishments that i found were blasting tvs(laundromats, restaraunts ect..)

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