One -way aisles in stores may or may not be here to stay, but, they are here for now.

While there are pros and cons to one-way aisles, it's one of the things from this pandemic than could possibly become the new normal. We can't predict the future and all we know is how things are right now, and one-way aisles are the current reality.

I experienced one-way shopping for the first time last week and I found the experience to be quite pleasant. I mean, not as pleasant as lying on a Florida beach with ocean waves crashing in, but, nevertheless, the experience could be described as pleasant. The one disruption to the pleasantness was the people that insisted on going the wrong way down a one-way aisle.

At first, I felt irritated and annoyed by the sight of people disregarding the highly visible signs located at either end of every aisle. But, after leaving the store, the realization donned on me that there are a variety of reasons why people were going the wrong way. These thoughts helped me deal with the irritation and to view these people with much less disdain. Maybe it can help you as well.

Here are 5 reasons why Grand Junction is struggling with one-way aisles.

#1  OLD HABITS DIE HARD
When you have been shopping for an entire lifetime without any aisle direction restrictions and then things suddenly change, it's going to take some getting used to. It happened to me when I first arrived at the store. I was so intent on finding the toaster pastries, I totally missed the one-way sign and didn't realize I was going the wrong way until I reached the end of the aisle. I felt like a complete dork and was greatly embarrassed. But, I realized it may take folks a while to get used to this change in the way they shop, and so I officially offer a handful of free passes to these individuals who need some time to adust to one-way shopping.

# 2 THEY CAN'T READ
We assume that everyone in America can read, but we probably shouldn't. Sure, a majority of Americans can read, but you just can't automatically make that assumption. Maybe there are people at the store who fall into this category. They see the signs but have no idea what they say. Everyone who falls into this category gets a free pass when it comes to wrong-way shopping.

#3 THERE'S NO COMPREHENSION
Most of us can read, but not all of us have understanding. The fact is, I've personally struggled with reading comprehension my entire life. Yet, when I see a green sign that says "One Way Aisle " with arrows pointing the direction I should go, my limited comprehension skills are at least good enough to help me understand what the sign says. However, once again, we can't assume that every single person in the store has adequate comprehension skills and the subsequent understanding that comes with it.  This group of individuals also gets a free pass.

#4 THEY CAN NOT SEE
Can we assume that every shopper in the store has perfect 20/20 vision? Of course, not. Very few people have great vision, but, for most of us, our eyes are good enough to get us through our daily lives. Perhaps there are individuals with a severe eyesight disability? Maybe everything they see at a distance is just a blur. A lot of folks are truly color blind. It's possible there are people who can't distinguish the difference between the red and green signs like most of us can. Perhaps we could implement motion-triggered audio clues to help those who have trouble seeing clearly. A free pass goes to everyone who struggles with their eyesight.

# 5 THEY DON'T CARE
My best guess is this is the group comprising the largest percentage of wrong-way shoppers in Grand Junction. They read the signs, they understand what they mean, but purposely choose to disregard them. Perhaps they think the rules are silly, or that the whole thing is a gigantic overreaction. In their minds, the only good rules are their own rules. Maybe these are the smartest people in the world and have access to information and knowledge that the average Grand Junction resident doesn't. They probably know way more than you and me, and probably ought to be the ones running the country. I guess since they are so smart, they get a free pass, too.

One-way shopping is still brand new to the Grand Valley. Let's give everyone some time to adapt and adjust to the new rules and with any luck, we will see an increase in customers going the same direction, and a decrease in wrong-way shoppers.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app