Per Bakadesuyo:

A total of 68 15-min. observations of customers’ behavior at a food supermarket suggests that only about 7% of shoppers observe the item limit of the express lane. The averages tended to be about four pieces.

I’d be curious to know the methodology on this. This doesn’t even make sense to me.

If they were measuring people that had more than 10 items, surely more than 7% went through the regular checkout lane by default. Express lanes are usually a minority.

If they were measuring people with 11-15 items, that might make more sense, but how many people have 10-15 and is it enough to really draw from? When I go to the market I usually only have a couple items or a ton.

I may have broken the rule yesterday, though. Our local express lane is actually 15 items and I had… roughly 15. I didn’t check. There was nobody in the express lane. The usual excuses for scofflaws, I suppose. Nobody said anything!

Megan McArdle tweeted yesterday about the dangers of going to the pharmacy on the 1st of the month. I didn’t think anything about it until I was told there was a 90-minute wait yesterday. That’s pretty unusually high, so I guess there is something to it.

Do other nations have pharmacies like we do? Where pharmacists get paid a lot of money to handle the drugs? I must confess some ignorance as to the necessity of all that. My sister-in-law is a PharmD (pharmacist with a doctorate). I should ask my wife. I haven’t seen her but for bits and pieces lately, though.

The image above is from the TBS TV show 10 Items Or Less. It’s funny in little bits, but there’s only so much entertainment to be had in watching a show focused around such… uhmmm… people that have not lead successful lives due at least in part to rather poor judgment on their part.


Category: Market

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7 Responses to 10 Items Or Less

  1. Abel says:

    If I have 15 items or less, I use self checkout.

  2. Samson J. says:

    Do other nations have pharmacies like we do? Where pharmacists get paid a lot of money to handle the drugs?

    I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking here, Will. I can tell you we do have pharmacies in Canada like you have.

    I must confess some ignorance as to the necessity of all that. My sister-in-law is a PharmD (pharmacist with a doctorate).

    Pharmacists are LIFESAVERS.

    I, too, never used to understand the role of the pharmacist. “Don’t doctors already know everything they need to know about all the drugs?” NO, they don’t always. I mean, they should be familiar with what they are prescribing, but medicine is already complex enough and sometimes docs aren’t quite as vigilant about the drugs as the pharmacists are.

    This is most particularly true inside the hospital. You may not know that inpatient wards often employ a pharmacist as part of the clinical team. It is in this setting, more so than in the outpatient setting, that pharmacists prove their worth. The in-hospital pharmacist examines the incoming patient’s medication regimen, looks for any potential adverse reactions or interactions, corrects doses, suggests that some things maybe could be discontinued, etc. I don’t mean to suggest that pharmacists make actual prescribing decisions on their own – the doc knows the patient’s medical condition and signs the actual orders, but often the pharmacist does much of the grunt work in terms of *perfecting* or “optimizing” things.

    Really, I would say that pharmacists are at their peak performance in a hospital role. Pharmacists working at a pharmacy are not *as* helpful, but they still do catch things that docs unfortunately miss, and they are good at giving advice about over-the-counter options.

    If all that’s confusing, I can clarify. I’m in a hurry today.

  3. trumwill says:

    If I have 15 items or less, I use self checkout.

    Not available at the local marts. I’ll use them at Walmart (for even more than 15 items) when I’m not buying anything tricky. Some items always seem to require customer agent attention.

  4. trumwill says:

    I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking here, Will. I can tell you we do have pharmacies in Canada like you have.

    I was referring to pharmacies with a certified pharmacist making 6-figures (or near to it) on-site.

    As for the rest, I appreciate the rundown. It seems to me on both sides (the doc and the pharacists) there are some holes in the system (namely, people getting prescriptions signed off on by different doctors to different pharmacists) and having the two helps. And the hole is probably bigger on the doc’s side, since I think we mostly tend to go to the same pharmacists.

  5. Brandon Berg says:

    Abstract here . If I understand the methodology, the summary is incorrect. What they mean is that in 93% of the fifteen-minute intervals during which they observed an express checkout line, at least one customer had more than the maximum allowed number of items. This suggests a compliance level much higher than seven percent.

  6. Brandon Berg says:

    Also, the fifteen percent compliance rate cited from a previous paper was by the same author and used the same methodology, with the same misstatement in the summary.

  7. Peter says:

    Supermarket self-checkouts never work well. They’re generally much more trouble than they are worth.

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