Blog: Vertical challenges

Catherine Sleep | 7 March 2006

Retail space is a precious commodity and must be used prudently. This means many grocers stack shelves rather too high for their more petite customers. They then fail to provide step stools on health and safety grounds – as if there were anything healthy or safe about customers prancing around, arms flailing, trying to knock top-shelf products to within their reach.

In attempting to maximise the product range available in any aisle, grocers have effectively made some products unavailable to all but the tallest shoppers. This is self-defeating, particularly in a world were consumers are undeniably getting wider, but not taller. Sometimes one is fortunate and spies a tall and kindly-looking person who obligingly reaches top-shelf items down for one, but often the only fellow shoppers in sight are clearly busy, unapproachable or uselessly short.

People, we need a solution. Product presentation and availability are important, but so is accessibility. The little people matter too, you know.

Readers of Caroline Mayer’s consumer blog on are seething


Sainsbury's pulls the price lever

Sainsbury's, the UK's second-largest grocer, has set out plans for lower prices on a range of products, a move announced amid signs of pressure on its market share....


Intermarche broke rules with Nutella promo, French watchdog says

The pandemonium in stores of Intermarché as shoppers scrambled to grab jars of cut-price Nutella went viral - but the country's competition watchdog has announced the French retailer broke rules on se...


Big Food in investor spotlight this week at CAGNY

The senior management of a number of the major food manufacturers operating in the US will be in Florida this week for a key date on investor calendars....

Forgot your password?