Why grocery store display items for sale after the cashier area by the exit?


Like once I’m done paying for my stuff on my way out I can see something I would buy and go back in to pay for it? Sounds stupid. What I’m I missing about this marketing strategy?

In: 5163

Typically its for heavy stuff that noone in their right mind is gonna try and shoplift. Like… you’re never going to try and shove a 10kg bag of water softener salt down your pants like you would a Twix, ya know?

Most of that stuff the cashiers have little barcode cards and you just say “oh and add two bags of rock salt” and you sling it on your cart on the way out the door. Saves you from having to push 20kg of salt around the whole damn store.

And the 10kg bad is like $7 anyways. If some idiot does scarper with a bag they’re like “whose dumb enough to steal water softener salt?” laugh, shake their heads and add $7 to the LOSS list for the month. Guarantee they lose 10x more than that from people shoving steaks down their pants.



So that you’ll remember to grab some next visit, the last thing you see at a location is often what “sticks”. Subliminal product placement more than expecting you to buy it “right now”.

Primes you to return again which allows more chances for impulse buys. Triggers that “forgot something” system.

If it can be seen on the way out, it can probably be seen on the way in, too. The store I shop at is famous for great BOGO deals, and they have bins of the buy-one-get-one-free items near the entrance, but the same stuff is also on the regular shelves. If the variety of the peanut butter soup or pasta or whatever of the BOGO brand isn’t in the bin, chances are there are still items on the shelf.

Also, if you’re at the register and see something you need, you can ask the cashier for it. They’ll get it or send a bagger.

They often stock extra and large items in the unused space.

I wanted to add that when I visited Tokyo stores would just leave their merchandise outside after they closed. I guess shoplifting wasn’t an issue (it wasn’t particularly valuable stuff, but here in the US people will steal anything that isn’t bolted down)

When I worked in retail, this was a specific promotional unit called FoSDU (Front of Store Display Unit) and is designed to tempt you to buy heavier things that you might not need (such as washing powder on offer to “stock up”).

In other words, it’s to try and make you go back around the shop after you’ve paid, so you’ll spend more money.

It also helps stores get surplus goods out of the backroom. Stores get stuck with extra goods a lot. Why store goods in a much needed space when in can be set up somewhere that isn’t using the space.

It’s for heavy basics like ice, cases of water, firewood, etc. They’re inexpensive in case they are stolen and hard to steal anyway. People know they need to buy them and tell the cashier, who will either have a code or something to scan behind their register. “I’ll have 2 bags of ice please.” The cashier rings it up, and then either a courtesy clerk fetches it for them or the customer grabs it on the way out.

Since they’re usually heavy, they want the customer to have the option of asking the cashier or courtesy clerk to grab them, rather than expecting elderly customers or whatever to break their backs trying to pick them up in the aisles. And do you want people picking up bags of ice then having them meander through the store for an hour? It would melt, leaving a hazard and causing them to freak out and demand another bag.


Yeah it’s a glitch, you can just steal that but since there’s no checkout in front of you, you can just keep walking and there’s nothing that can be done


My local grocery has the newspapers AFTER the checkouts. I will never, ever purchase a newspaper there, ever. Not out of enmity. But, I gotta go around the line again? Fuck right off. I never remember before hand if I want a paper.

Edit : all the people telling me to ask the cashier are missing the point. I don’t realize that I’d like to read the newspaper until after I’ve checked out all my whole cart of groceries, and am walking past the newspapers on the way out the door.

I go to a market that has all ALL of the wine past the registers. Why?

From personal experience usually it’s just a matter of trying to get a display out of the backroom and not having space anywhere else. It’s known as really bad practice.

1. The store doesn’t make any money leaving that area unmerchandised

2. It’s extra holding power (often bulkier items stored there) to alleviate both their shelf and backroom.

In addition to the reasons people listed in some of the top comments, seeing something you want on the way out after you have paid could be a way to entice you to come back and shop again to get that thing you saw.

I’ve worked in the grocery business for over 30 years, both in the store and in the office. I’ve spent the last twenty of those years in marketing. Firat, every retailer is different. Second, each retailer has many formats, some of them very old. We have one store that is well over 100 years old and things change, so what made sense when you build a store might be obsolete. For example, all our stores used to have photo developing and VHS rentals. That space needs to be repurposed. To answer your question, Basically, it’s stores trying to maximize their sales area. The majority of those things in those secondary display areas are paid for by CPGs, so it’s revenue for the retailer if they can find more spots to put stuff. A shipper of stuffing can fit just about anywhere, but big, bulk pack products can only fit in large spaces.

I have worked on the corporate side of the grocery industry.
Multiple reason.

1) They have something called a loss leader. Basically they will discount something greately so that you get into the store and buy other things. They maybe selling discounted items at a loss. Eg- Beer during a game.

2) To get rid of inventory. When they have something that they need to get rid of for reasons like, new batch coming up or new release of the product coming up or they no longer want to keep that product to make space for some other product. Eg. Hand sanitizers, beauty products. Etc.

3) To move inventory in bulk. The only place in a grocery store that absolutely everyone notices is the cashier area. This makes everyone notice the product.

4) Psychological effect. When people see something on sale, they automatically think about buying it even though they may not need it. They would use it just because they bought it.

5) Convenience for bulky items. Stores would rather keep bulky items like fire wood where they dont take up a lot of space and the workers dont have to haul it inside the store.
You dont want fire hazards inside the store.
People get carts from outside the store and on their way they see carton of water or firewood, now they can put it in the cart and enter the store.

It’s called a display. they do it for a couple of reasons one to showcase the item that is on sale. It also serves as space to store sale items because back rooms are limited on size. Another is every square foot of space needs to be merchandised. That’s how the make money, empty space = opportunity lost. Also as an attention getter ie you might see a lot of 12pk sodas stacked into a crazy design or beer set up to look like ship.