Grocery Stores

I love grocery stores – the colors, the flavors, the smells, the choices! I once wrote a college admissions essay about grocery stores, and how much I love them. Who knew that one day I’d be able to translate that love into museums exhibitions!

Grocery stores as exhibitions?! I was recently asked to visit a local store, walk around, and study it’s visual presentation. Layout, design, materials, and organizations were to be analyzed. This exercise was meant to help me learn how supermarkets (and museums) present themselves to users and engage them in non-verbal communication.

My grocery store of choice was the Kroger Foods in Denton, Texas

My grocery store of choice was the Kroger Foods in Denton, Texas

What can food displays teach us about museum exhibit design?

What can food displays teach us about museum exhibit design? Color, texture, height, smell, sound, layout – everything in a grocery store is planned to optimize purchase power.

Signage, my outside advertisers and the Kroger company, was prevalent throughout the grocery story. Often the verbiage was linked to the community being served. In this case, beer companies were marketing to college students.

Signage, my outside advertisers and the Kroger company, was prevalent throughout the grocery story. Often the verbiage was linked to the community being served. In this case, beer companies were marketing to college students.

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Everything on grocery shelves seems meticulously placed and planned by marketers who know who will shop, how long they will shop, and how to entice them to buy more.

What can we, as museum curators, learn from supermarkets? Everything from design and layout to signage and presentation in grocery stores has been analyzed, tested, and perfected. Large companies, like Kroger foods, study their audiences and know how many times you will visit a store in a week (2.2 times on average), what height products need to be at to catch your attention, and how children in your cart affect your purchases. Grocery stores have mastered the art of visitor studies, and museums need to step up! The best way to learn more about your audience is to ask them.  Surveys, interviews, and visitor observations are a few ways that some museums are responding to this need. What can your institution do to better connect with your visitors?

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About catebay

Informal educator working in the world of art. Interests in public programming and community advocacy. Loves learning about people, collecting blue mason jars, and consuming Swedish fish.
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One Response to Grocery Stores

  1. Pingback: L.L. Bean | Fresh in the Field

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