Supermarkets and the Clueless Man



Today I came to the conclusion that large supermarkets are missing out on a small but lucrative market: the Clueless Man, the demographic in which I place myself.  I wasn’t always completely Clueless about supermarkets, but after more than 25 years of marriage, my transition to Cluelessness is pretty much complete.

With my wife away for nearly a week, I found the house starting to run out of food that is fresh and convenient to prepare (two ingredients max please!) so it was time for a trip to the grocery store. I picked Superstore because it’s really big and since I didn’t really know what I was going for, a big store should have lots of selection right? Well, that’s my logic.

Upon entering this huge store though, I immediately sensed I was going to be in there a long time just to pick up 10 things or so. The place is huge, and being Clueless, I had no idea how I was going find the things I hadn’t yet fully decided to get. Doing a full walk-through seemed like it might take hours so I made a mental list and started the trek.



Looking down the seemingly 1/2km long aisles for the items, trying to associate affiliated types of products to the ones I was seeking before I committed to the long aisle……and found myself on a long journey complete with switchbacks and circles. As I began to find things one by one, there was always the item that I walked by and had to go back a long way to pick it up.  The good news is, a 2 Km walk is good for your health!

What these stores need is staff members trained to spot the Clueless Men. They are the ones wandering aimlessly, bewildered, mouths open, looking up at the aisle signs that list about 4 items for the 1/2km aisle, and squinting down the aisle in the hopes that they can spot the item…….. trying to keep happy by remembering  wonderful childhood days of Easter egg hunting. I think I spotted several of my Clueless brothers today so it shouldn’t be too hard to train staff to be on the look-out for us and offer help. After all, we won’t ask. We never ask directions for anything unless it’s life or death.

Here’s the deal for the store. If they can help us get the stuff we need quickly enough, then we will have time to overspend on the stuff we don’t need! Stores that big are loaded with stuff we have never seen before and wouldn’t mind giving it a try but we are too focused on our little Easter egg hunt!  After all, I did see a package of Gluten-free Honey Chili with saffron pepperoni sticks… how cool is that?

Better yet, there should be an app for this. Let me punch in “big cheap bag of lightly salted pistachio nuts” and I will be looking at other stuff to buy as my GPS guides me to the perfect bag of pistachio nuts. Like Amazon, the app could make suggestions of other products or suggest: “here is what other Clueless Men are buying after they bought the pistachio nuts”. Why not? There’s an app for everything else so these big stores should get with it and make us customers. For now, I’ll go back to the smaller stores where the trek is more like our local Fisher Peak than Mount Everest.


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