Feb 07 2008

Supermarkets to turn away customers who don’t have shopping lists


By Kacie for The Tightwad Times-Journal

PITTSBURGH–Not on the list? Then you don’t get in.

Area supermarkets are taking on an exclusive club mentality when it comes to their shoppers.

Large Peacock, a grocery chain with 42 locations throughout the area, is mandating that all shoppers must enter their stores with a shopping list in hand. If they don’t have a detailed list, they will be turned away.

"We’re trying to prevent sloppy shopping," Large Peacock regional manager Kent Clarkbar said. "It’s gotten out of control."

Clarkbar shared several stories of shoppers spending up to two hours in their stores, and piling their carts full of things such as Hamburger Helper, Fritos, pirogies and cases of Heinz ketchup; but forgetting things such as toilet paper, milk and fruit.

"I just don’t see why there is so much disorganization among our loyal shoppers," he said. "It’s embarrassing."

This move has made some shoppers confused and frustrated.

"I had every intention of pushing my cart up and down every aisle, tossing items in as I pleased," said Larry Smurt, 34, of Cranberry. "I take a haphazard approach. I like to buy my groceries on a whim. I live on the edge."

Now, Smurt will have to preplan his trip, paying attention to items he’ll need for the week and using up things he already has in his pantry.

For other shoppers, the new store policy won’t change anything for them.

Nancy Headband, 28, of Shaler, said she’s always made a shopping list–and she’s stuck to it, too.

"Sure, it takes a little bit of thought before I come to the store," Headband said, while shuffling through coupons in aisle 10. "But if I don’t stick to my list, I end up paying a lot more than I should. And I buy things I don’t need."


OK–we all know that Large Peacock doesn’t exist. But Giant Eagle does. No store in their right mind would EVER implement a policy like this. Stores hope you come in without a good list–they know you’ll spend tons and tons more than you would otherwise.

A shopper that takes a little bit of time to plan a trip will save so much more money and have a more efficient shopping trip than the shopper that wanders aimlessly through the store.

Don’t throw your money at a grocery store.

Posted under Uncategorized | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “Supermarkets to turn away customers who don’t have shopping lists”

  1. Actually, the opposite is true! I know a couple of people that were harrassed at a WalMart in the Southwest because they were writing down prices for their price book. The manager told them he has problems with competing grocery stores coming and finding out their prices (like it’s a big secret?) A SuperWalMart in Las Cruces, NM even had signs posted against it!

  2. That’s insane!

    Yet another reason to avoid Walmart, I suppose.

    If a store manager harasses me for writing something on my shopping list, you can bet I’m going to make a big stink about it!

  3. my mom has never carried a shopping list with her and she seemed to do fine without it. i would have never thought having a list would be so important that shopping stores need to implement such a rule. the policy would make a sense if they’re campaigning for careful shopping, but then again, who cares about what people buy in bulks and how much time they take to get it? as long as they’re not shop-lifting the items, I don’t see a problem.


  4. haha… wow, I totally didn’t get it until like the last paragraph. Nice post! :-)

    I find that I have to make a list, otherwise I forgot tons of things that I need and have to drive all the way back to the store the next day.

  5. I used to work for Target, and yes, I will tell you that it is against Wal-mart’s policy to write down their prices — even on a shopping list.
    Target didn’t care, so long as you didn’t take photos without permission.
    When I first started reading this post, I thought it was true – and I thought “are they insane?” then I thought, “are they going to remove their impulse counters at the checklanes?”

    Interesting post.
    Here via Entrecard.

  6. Great story, Kacie…very thought-provoking. It makes me think of some of the great works of satire–like some stuff Mark Twain did.

  7. Great post! I wish I could write like you. =)
    Seems like some that commented thought what you wrote is true.

    I always use a list, but do go off of it a little sometimes.

  8. Glad you liked it! I like to write fake news stories sometimes to make me laugh.

    I thought the ridiculousness of the “story” would give it away, or perhaps the names I chose.

  9. This was very funny! Wouldn’t it be something if it were true?

  10. You’re hilarious! It was such a nice treat to get this post in my reader this evening.
    I try to make a list, but sometimes it’s just a mental one, which of course is more easily strayed from. I can count on one hand the times I’ve completely stuck to my list. That’s bad.

  11. Hi,

    A shopping list is no doubt helpful but it vareis from consumer to consumer as to whether one would prefer to shop with a list or not. At times, you don’t know you may come across somethign which you ahven’t even thought of while going out for shopping. And then you feel like buying.

    I generally do a short listing but every time i shop especially for the food items, there are a lots of things which i buy only when i come across them. It reminds me that i need these for the week.

  12. Good post. I was surprised a store would do that, then read to the end. I go halfway on list making. I know what I actually need and have those listed so I don’t forget. But I do all my window shopping/ impulse buying at the grocery store too. I don’t have an interest in clothes and make up so I don’t think it’s too wicked to have a little grocery store retail therapy. I just avoid the bookstores where I do over spend if I let myself. :)

  13. hahaha. I actually thought it was real until I read “Clark Kentbar” and that made me think of You’ve Got Mail. This is why I love this site. You and Punny Money make me laugh.

  14. Great story, you “had” me as well! I agree making a list before you go shopping will save time and money.

    My system is to plan our menu for the next month, then I check the pantry and freezer for supplies while I make my list. This way we can restock on items we are getting low on as well as any extras for the menu. I usually do this once a month and then I just need to pick up milk and fresh produce once a week.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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