X-shopping

by Jonah

Dan, our next competitor, in extreme grocery shopping, has pulled into the Costco parking lot, starting the clock. She’s flashing her membership card at the door and… 

Look at that, Tom, she isn’t grabbing a cart! It looks like she may be going for a two-store strategy here! 

The no-cart play will certainly limit her options, though should help increase her speed, Dan.

It looks like she’s heading toward the produce.  She’s picked up a 20 pound bag of potatoes!  That’s a good choice from Costco, as they have the best quality Russets, but a really bold choice to carry without a cart.

Now she’s slung the sack of potatoes over her left shoulder. That will make it easier to carry, though limit mobility with her left hand.

It looks like she just got distracted by the sweet onions, and… she’s picked up a bag with her right hand. The no-cart strategy will limit her two just two items at this point…

But no, she’s moved the bag of onions to her left hand while continuing to balance the potatoes on her shoulder! 

And now she’s picked up a carton of tomatoes with her right hand!  Surely this is all one shopper can carry by herself.

She’s bobbing and weaving through the other customers, who appear to be getting out of the way of an apparently crazy person…

And she’s stopped!  She has set down the tomatoes and is picking up a bottle of vanilla!  No wonder she had to come to Costco! But how is she going to carry four items?

She’s tucked the vanilla under her arm!  Now she’s making a beeline for the registers. There are several empty self-checkout stations…

And a Costco employee appears to be coming to help!  No, wait, the Costco employee is asking the shopper if she’d like a basket.  The shopper is shaking her head.  And the employee scans all the items for the shopper!  The employee asks again if the shopper wouldn’t like a basket.  But the shopper won’t have it!  She’s loading herself up again!  

She’s got the receipt tucked between the carton of tomatoes and the bottle of vanilla now in her right hand.  Will this even work to get out of the store?

And the shopper gets an assist from the receipt checker at the door who pulls out the receipt, marks it, and wedges it back!

Now it will be interesting to see where the shopper goes next, Dan.

She’s at a stoplight navigating to King Soopers, and Google Maps is telling her to stay off the interstate! She’s heading the back way.

Now she’s at King Soopers.  Surely, she’ll need a cart for the rest of the grocery trip.  

You’re right, Tom, and there she heads for the carts…

But those two are stuck together! She gives up and grabs another cart.

That setback shouldn’t hurt her too much for time, Tom.  She’s checking her coupons as she heads into produce.

Looks like she’s grabbed some celery and is circling back towards the arugula, but there’s a man standing in front of the cooler and he’s not moving.

She’s going for the side wipe action, reaching around from behind the man!  That’s a brave move!

She’s heading toward the mushrooms now, Dan, and, no, she’s heading back to the arugula!  The arugula she grabbed must be faulty!

OK, Tom, she seems happy with her new carton of arugula.  Now she’s heading toward deli.  She’s searching, searching.

An interesting quirk about this particular store, Dan, is that the prosciutto is with the cheese, not with the other processed meats. And it looks like this shopper doesn’t remember that.

I think you’re right, Tom, and… oh, she’s spotted it!  Now she’s heading toward dairy.

She has to backtrack now; she’s not finding the milk she wants.

She’s spotted it!  It’s on the top shelf and toward the back.  That must have been tricky to spot.

She’s reaching up and… it’s just out of reach!  This has got to be a major setback!

She’s abandoning her cart.  She’s heading back toward… kitchen gadgets?

This is a major development, Dan. There are no kitchen gadgets on her list.

She appears to be searching… searching… what could she be looking for?

I don’t know but… she’s grabbed a potato masher.  She’s heading back into dairy.

Is she going to settle for a different brand of milk, Tom?

No, she’s heading back to the same cooler door, and she’s poked the potato masher into the cooler!  She’s using it as a hook!  She pulls a quart of milk down to where she can reach it… and then another one!

This will help her accuracy, but it’s got to have hurt her time.  Yes, now she’s having to return to kitchen gadgets to return the potato masher.

But she got lucky at the register, Dan!  There’s an empty register with one of the fast cashiers!  He’s scanning her items even faster than she can pull them out of the cart onto the conveyor belt.

Oh, and she’s bagging, Tom!  This will help her time for sure.

And she’s paid, and she’s out!  What a remarkable grocery shopping trip with two stores, everything on the list, and under an hour!

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