Why we like supermarkets supporting our long-term needs (and therefore a ban of sweets from the checkout rises revenues)

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People continuously have to evaluate between short-term and long-term benefit. Do I go shopping or save my money buying a new car next year? Shall I smoke another cigarette or do I want to live longer?

Often the satisfaction of short-term needs gets the upper hand (it is in our nature).

The same is with hunger. Provided an opportunity, we tend to satisfy our appetite. In a world where this opportunity is the rule not the exception, trying to live healthy can get very exhausting.

Lidl_logoTo make life a little bit easier, Lidl – the biggest discount supermarket chain in Germany – is testing to ban sweets and chocolate bars from the checkout.

Trendsetter is the UK where Lidl already replaced racks of sweets with dried and fresh fruit, oatcakes and juices at all 600 of its stores.

I am pretty sure that this will happen in Germany as well.

Because the “ban” is a market reaction of the changing needs of consumers. While the awareness of a healthier lifestyle grows, people want to go shopping where this lifestyle isn’t torpedoed. And sweets and chocolate bars at the checkout are on obvious attack to live healthy.

And like consumers, providers also have a long-term interest. A satisfied customer remains customer wich leads to increasing turnover in the long run.

So the ban of sweets and chocolate bars from the checkout can rises revenues – surprisingly even in the short term: As Lidl says revenues of the tested cash point areas (where they offer nuts and fruits) rose.

Go deeper in Economics: The Short Run Versus The Long Run

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Published by Johannes Eber

Berlin-based economist, senior consultant at Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft (INSM) and co-founder of the media agency Solokarpfen.

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