Shoppers Shop At Stop & Shop

It’s not often Westport’s Stop & Shop makes ABC’s national news.

Then again, it’s not often our shoppers get tracked like anthropologists.

Today’s ABC News website had this story:

While Rachel Ferucci, a grandmother from Westport, Conn., wheels her shopping cart through her local Stop & Shop, Fern Grant tracks her every move.

Grant is “just trying to watch.” She’s studying grocery shoppers the way anthropologists observe their subjects in their natural habitats. The vice president of Strategic Planning for MARS Advertising, Grant is responsible for developing marketing strategies for clients who want to know what shoppers think about when they move products off the shelves and into their carts.

She tracks everyday grocery shoppers as they loop up and down the aisles, carefully grabbing essentials on their lists and making unplanned impulse purchases.

Sounds like standard market research, but — hey, it was a slow news day — ABC News made a story of it.

“I think we are wired to impulse buy,” Grant’s colleague Liz Crawford said.

“We are ready to take advantage of our environment probably like we did thousands of years ago.”

Thousands of years ago, though, our ancestors did not shop like Ferucci.

As Grant and Crawford — and the ABC News crew — cornered her, Ferucci said she would spend between $100 and $150 for the items on her list.

When she rolled up to the checkout line, ingredients for a chocolate cream pie, Oreo cookies and a box of pasta made it out of the cart and onto the conveyor belt.

Even with the Oreos and other impulse buys, Ferucci spent less than what she planned. “I’m surprised,” she said.

I’m surprised too.  At what makes the national news these days.

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