There is a school of thought in marketing products and store layouts that says if they move the merchandise to a different location on a regular basis, they will sell more things. The theory is that you will head to where they kept something the last time you bought it because you need more, and when you don’t find it there you’ll buy something you weren’t planning on purchasing purely because it is currently located where the thing you really wanted used to be.

You know what that does to me? Annoys the crap out of me. Makes me want to scream and throw things. And quite possibly send my grocery cart sailing down the aisle toward the nearest display of something breakable. Because I hate shopping. I love cooking, but I hate shopping with a mad passion. I would rather participate in the running of the bulls than try to navigate a checkout lane. I go in with a list, written according to the store layout, and I spend as little time as possible there. When they move stuff around, it not only adds to my shopping time, but it often causes me to miss something on my list…which means I have to go shopping again. No bueno.

Phillips knows that people hate trying to find something in a grocery store, and they’re coming to the rescue. What they’ve done is combine in-store LED lights with a smartphone app, which will lead you directly to the items on your list. Not only will it direct you to the item you seek, but it can also send you special offers and other information based on your location in the store. There’s a benefit for the store here as well: these new lights provide better illumination at a reduced energy cost. Plus, they don’t have to replace their existing lighting infrastructure.

This new system was just shown at Euroshop in Dsseldorf earlier this month, and I’m really, really hoping it makes it across the pond and into my local stores sooner rather than later. Have I mentioned how much I hate shopping?


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