in queue merchandising    

Overcoming Lost Sales at the Self-Checkout Line


The concept of self-checkout is a good one in theory. It can benefit consumers who are wanting to get through the transaction process more quickly. And it can benefit retailers by providing more checkout stations with less labor costs. Unfortunately, the added convenience and labor savings come at a pretty hefty price tag.

A recent CPGmatters article, summarized by RetailWire, highlighted The Hersey Company’s reaction to the multi-billion dollar loss in impulse sales brought about by the growing popularity of self-checkout stations.  Frank Jimenez, senior director of insights driven performance at Hersey calls it “an operational solution and a merchandising challenge.”

It’s a challenge that merchandising has to solve.

The source of the problem.

When you look at the structure of a typical multi-server, multi-queue setup you see customers who are kept occupied and engaged with organized in-queue merchandising displays that continue the shopping experience while driving impulse sales.

Contrast this to the self-checkout environment. Here you will typically find an unsystematic waiting line, if not a somewhat chaotic one. And because most self-checkout experiences lack defined queues, they also lack the impulse sales-building opportunities that come with in-queue merchandising.

The situation is a lose-lose for customers and businesses.Continue Reading

7 Famous Eateries Where People Are Willing to Wait and Wait


People claim to hate waiting in line, but when it comes to queuing up for food that objection doesn’t always get in the way. People are willing to stand in queues, in lobbies, in lines, outside, and down the street, just to get the eats they’re craving. Or to say they’ve noshed on the latest food trend.

Though they may complain about the queue the whole way to the end, here are seven famous eating spots where people are willing to spend precious time waiting.

1. Magnolia Cupcake, New York City

Thank you, Carrie Bradshaw. Sex & the City’s resident “it” girl started the cupcake craze by taking a bite out of the sweet treats offered by Magnolia Bakery in the West Village in Manhattan. And plenty of people like to “mack on some cupcakes” (a la the Saturday Night Live skit“Lazy Sunday”) because the line for this little corner shop wraps around the block. Reviewers say, however, that it’s their banana pudding that’s worth waiting for, not so much the cupcakes.

2. Café du Monde, New Orleans

You haven’t been to New Orleans unless you’ve plopped yourself under the Café du Monde coffee shop’s green-and-white striped awning and taken a bite of heaven also known as a beignet, a deep-fried fritter served with powdered sugar on top. If you hit the café at just the right time – and you can, because this place is open 24 hours a day – you can avoid the line altogether.Continue Reading

The Loo Queue – Minimizing One of the Worst Waits for Ladies


Oh, the dreaded women’s restroom waiting line. As their male counterparts come and go quickly and rarely have to endure a wait, women are unfortunately all-too-familiar with the waiting lines they are subjected to at the mall, a sporting event, concerts, parks, just about everywhere.

The fact is, a woman’s needs require that they spend more time in the bathroom. Studies suggest women take twice as long, on average, in a public restroom.

To combat these lines there has been a movement toward potty parity for women in federal government buildings. And in Hong Kong, laws require more space dedicated to female than male toilets.

Perhaps breaking down walls and building more bathrooms is the ideal solution, but it’s not the most financially friendly. Some engineers are tinkering with virtual-queue-friendly methods that use a Raspberry Pi computer and LED lights to notify people when at least one bathroom stall is free (kind of like the little “occupied” light on planes).

Clearly, many solutions to “loo queuing” will require bathroom redesign or the installation of more stalls. Until bathroom equality truly come to pass (or men’s rooms are better equipped with diaper-changing tables), businesses should consider a contingency plan to minimize bathroom lines for their female customers.

Here are a few ideas:Continue Reading