The Checkout Gauntlet

As a parent, shopping with kids, you absolutely dread the checkout gauntlet of My Little Pony packs, candy, Lego mini kits, Eos lip balm, iTunes gift cards, chips, chocolates and Pokemon cards.

The are all eye level and/or within reach of any child from the age of 2 to 10…the ages most likely to not listen to you. They are the ones who will touch, grab, and pull the forbidden items into the shopping cart, which are all less offensive than whining, begging and asking over and over again for these items.

From a retail professional perspective it’s an effort and a win-win when you can entice someone to upsell themselves with any “small” ticket purchase in their shopping cart.

It’s human nature to be interested and it is smart humans who make it even more appealing. Turning something that wasn’t on the list into a “why not?” followed by “and, we’ll get this, too.”

Today, with this in mind, I was able to slowly wind my way through an entirely different experience than any experienced with my toddlers – the checkout gauntlet at Sephora – an entirely new challenge. It was a zig zag path at least 21′ long. It was so much more eye catching and interesting than anything at the grocery store, convenience mart or mass retailer. Also, so much harder to resist and so much more expensive than penny candy. We made it through alive…and then she went back in for a second look, as if in a trance…meanwhile I’m saying out loud “did you see the…?” Kudos to you…you know who you are. 

~ Dawn aka Hat Girl

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