Store way finding systems

How I lost my wife in Walmart and it’s their fault

Before you judge, me, concerning my competence, hear me out. Somewhere in Jersey, on my way to pick up my daughter at summer camp in the Poconos, my wife, 11 year old son and myself took a pitstop at what is somewhat foreign to NYC where we live….Walmart. And it’s there, with time running out on us, to get back out on the road towards our destination in PA, did my leisurely browsing, by myself in wonderment in the TV section, lead me on my desperate search for my family.

Glancing at the time, I started calmly walking to locations in the store which seemed like plausible places they could be still shopping. Only quickly to find, the extreme similarity, homogenous generic product isles, and shear football field size of the store did it truly hit me…this is fast becoming high stress and frustration filled. Not only could I not tell the difference from one isle to the next, but I was lead through the store not by logical eye level store signage by subject, product type, or various categories of home needs, but in fact by — large price signage alone.

After circling the store with what seemed to be dozens of times, looking down the isles one by one…side note….having binoculars on hand to fully see all the way down these 1/4 mile isles would be a bonus…it hit me, this is just not happening. Becoming a joke, really, i mean is this really going to be that hard? Ridiculous.

Not only was trying to see exact product types on overstuffed packed shelves to determine just what section I was in, but there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to what was next to what. School supplies right next to the tvs? guess that is a somewhat frightening societal truth, most of us get our education from a rectangle piece of flat plastic. So hey yeah, put educational stuff next to the educator!

Driven by price alone irrespective of quality is really the reason most of what we buy is made in China or abroad, no so much walmarts doing (which is what the picketers against these giant store chains want you to believe ) but in fact Americas own purchasing habits, brought on by Costco BJs Best Buy and so consume more, buy bigger, and stockpile at home. If you make it cheap, people will buy.

Back to the point, one can only imagine how a proper floor or eye level categorical signage system properly and logically thought out would drastically increase their revenue and point of sale areas. This is where, somehow, Target does a much better job of.

Giving up, finally accepting the reality of my situation which goes against my male instinct of never wanting to ask for directions, did I break down humble myself and take out my phone.

Dialing… “hello? hey sweets, so…where are you exactly?”

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