The Issue of Egress at the Store

By Thomas

People have had it with the frustration caused by oblivious people when shopping. Retail companies all over the world have recently begun to make conversions to the layout of their stores. These changes seek to eliminate traffic jams in stores and enable people to actually move around and go where they want to within the store. 

The most prevalent changes within the layout system include marking the floor with arrows and lines so that people follow a one way route, sort of like Ikea. This tactic does not work very well in places like New York where people push shopping carts the same way they drive their car, and place their own judgement above the rules of traffic law. Many retail locations in New York place walls around the store so that the egress system can not be ignored. 

Unfortunately, store aisles are only so wide. So if people stop, then they force everyone behind them to stop too. Because of this, some stores are also adopting strict “No Stopping” policies. This has been a long time coming since customers commonly get inconvenienced by people stopping in the middle of the aisle who make sure to place themselves at the perfect spot where no one can go around them. 

In response to this, stores are now hiring “Movement Helpers” to assist with the flow of traffic. I spoke with one of these workers at my local grocer, and he said “It’s a serious job, if people can’t walk around the store without others following the rules of traffic, then they’ll get fed up and stop shopping here.” He added “Whenever someone violates the no stopping policy, regulation says that I have to blow my air horn at them. I’ve also had to use my billy club on multiple occasions.” 

A less intense approach to the egress issue of retail stores, is to mandate customers to pass a “Cart Test” and obtain a “Cart License” in order to be allowed to push a cart in the store. Because between people stopping where they shouldn’t, not watching where they’re going, moving too fast or too slow, and having absolutely zero idea of what’s going on in their surroundings, most people are not qualified to operate a shopping cart.   

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