There's a new type of supermarket designed by shoppers for shoppers. It's Blooms, a chain of 61 supermarkets that are part of Food Lion. Consumer Reports wanted to see if it really made grocery shopping easier.
"The folks behind it actually surveyed consumers in both the United States and Europe for two years to come up with the details, everything people wanted to see." says Consumer Reports Tod Marks
What did people want? Start with parking spots near the front of the store reserved for parents with small children. Or people doing a quick shop.
Compared to most grocery stores, the aisles are a foot wider and not as cluttered with a lot of displays that block traffic. And the shelves are lower to make it easier to reach what you want.
Also the store is logically arranged. The food aisles are on one side of the store. The non-foods, like detergent and pet food are on the other. Also the milk's up front near the checkout.
And there's a map on every cart. It clearly displays what products are in each aisle, making shopping that much easier.
And at most Blooms, you scan and bag the groceries as you shop, using a bar code reader and an easy-to-get guest-services card. When it's time to check out, you simply swipe your card, get an itemized list, and pay.
No long lines and the bagging's already done.
While Bloom relies heavily on people's honesty, it does reserve the right to check people's groceries. If you're curious to shop at Bloom's that's not going to be easy unless you're traveling to the Southeast anytime soon. These stores are currently located in Maryland, Virgina, north and South Carolina.