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It has, over the course of my life, become clear to me that the hopeless disorganisation of supermarkets has become a major limiting factor in technological development.

Having moved around a bit recently, I have had to adjust to a few new home supermarkets. We all know and love our home supermarkets, the one place where we can get anything we desire in an instant. It's really just an extension of our own cupboards, drawers and garages.

Trying to find the simplest of things - flour, milk, and bread, can be a major challenge in a foreign supermarket. As you walk around, you ask yourself "who the hell stocks muesli bars above the ice cream freezer". In a supermarket just a few suburbs away, you may as well be trying to find something in another country.

We go to ridiculous lenghts to patronise familiar supermarkets. We will travel great distances to go back to our home supermarkets. Location and price count for nothing if you can't find the fucking toilet paper.

Obviously, what the world needs is standardisation. The ISO Standard Supermarket. Where the milk is always in the back right hand corner, and the bread always halfway between the front and back of the shop on the left hand side.

It seems to me that this is something like the little-endian vs big-endian crap, driving on the left hand side of the road or the right, etc, in that it doesn't matter how you do it, so long as it is always the same!.

ISO standardisation could work. Obviously, you just have a standard for the relative position of products in the shop, relative to the door. Like the Dewey decimal system for supermarkets.

It would allow people the world over to quickly get their hands on stuff anywhere, instead of being anchored to the home supermarket that they've spent many years painfully familiarising themselves with.

Coles Supermarkets in Australia is trying to do this in their Queensland division.

It's not an ISO Standard, but it's an internal standard, and they are retro-fitting their older stores to match.

The store I work in, Garden City, was built 6 months ago, and is the flagship store. We are across the road from Garden Square commercial tower, which is where our state office is, so they're always trying to improve things (which usually leads to them being Fucked Up). Our store looks the same as the store in Lutwyche, and is laid out in the same fashion, with an entrance on the right, facing the Bain Marie of the Island Deli / Bakery. To the right is the Market Bin Style Fresh Produce department. All the rest of the store is laid out in the same fashion.

There are 4 other stores in Queensland which are laid out the same. All the fittings and fixtures are in the same location, along with all the stock. The only exception is Capalaba, which is reversed, as the Shopping Centre it is housed in, only has provisions for Left Handed entry.

They will eventually Homogenize all stores, and customer confusion will be no more. Along with the new decor designed to make the store feel friendly and the customer feel welcome, in addition to using Lisa McCune as their mascot, they hope to encourage more mothers into the store (Because the crappy old sterile environment and higher prices was making them all go to Woolworths).

And remember: The Eggs are ALWAYS in Isle 3.

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