08 June 2020


Supermarket wine aisles to shrink, says Bibendum buyer - Decanter
picture from decanter.com

With Covid-19 still wreaking havoc where it can, our supermarkets are getting into the fine art of making customers social-distance. Well, most of them are - there are still reports that a few have not completely mastered it. As I am classed as "vulnerable", I am getting online supermarket deliveries to avoid any social contact, so I have no personal experience of the new systems,  but I read on a local social media site, that our local supermarket has a system where, when it comes to the checkout, customers are being made to form a single queue down one aisle and only proceed to the cashier(s) when they are at the head of that queue. That allows customers to keep to the advised distance from one another in the queue, not clog up all the aisles with queues and to approach the cashiers, when directed to do so, so there is only one customer alone with a cashier at any one time. That all makes good sense and, maybe, that is what is being adopted generally. However, it seems our local supermarket has picked the alcohol aisle for the queue to wait. 

The person who reported this on social media wrote of a woman in front of them getting very twitchy and on her mobile phone to someone. As the queue slowly moved forward, the woman got more and more panicky and was heard to say they could not cope with being in the alcohol aisle any longer, as the temptation was too much. In the end, they abandoned their trolley and rushed out of the supermarket. The supposition was that the person was a recovering alcoholic and being too close to that temptation in a very slow-moving queue was too much for them. I suppose any aisle chosen for the queue is going to be a problem either in terms of whether it has popular items which would attract a large volume of customers trying to get past those queueing, or where there are temptations for others (my personal nightmare would be queuing in the chocolate aisle), but it seems the alcohol aisle could be the undoing of many a hard recovering addict. Supermarket managers please note.