Some of you already know about this because its been out there for a few months. Whole Foods is opening bars inside their grocery stores that serve wine and craft beer. It is a pilot project now with bars in about 12 Whole Foods stores, and plans are to put them in Throughout the country. I see up sides and down sides to this. First, the up side is the beer, DUH. It would be nice to have a brew while shopping, or better yet while my wife shopped!
The down sides here I think are many, and they are all down sides for the consumer, but you’ll never know it…
See, the reason the grocery store installs a bar is because it keeps you in the store longer. The longer you are in the store, the more likely you are to spend money on things you see, and perhaps didn’t come for. It is part of the psychology of shopping, and it is very technical and very lucrative for the stores. In this USA today article the Whole Foods representative says that it is for the “community”, to make their stores a part of the fabric of the area. Don’t be fooled. If this wasn’t a huge money maker they wouldn’t be doing it. And it doesn’t have to be a moneymaker in the bar alone. If they begin to see overall sales inching up, they know why.
So on the one hand it would be nice to have a beer and make a shopping trip a little more enjoyable, but on the other hand they really aren’t targeting a person like me who shops once every two weeks and wants to get in and out quickly. No, they want the people who like to linger. The ones that will get hungry while sitting at the bar, then go shopping. It is a dubious and ingenious idea that they are implementing, and one that is sure to cost you more than you think when you partake.
What do you think? Nice convenience while shopping, or another way to pick your pocket at the register? Let us know in the comments.