Supermarkets Downsize to Speed Up Shopping

'Express' outlets cut back on miles of aisles for rushed shoppers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2008 4:19 AM CDT
A customer assistant examines a salad at the first of six Southern California branches of Fresh & Easy neighborhood markets in Los Angeles' Eagle Rock neighborhood.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
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(Newser) – American supermarkets are starting to shrink after decades of getting bigger and bigger, the New York Times reports. The average supermarket is still larger than a football field, but retailers have begun opening smaller outlets to appeal to rushed consumers who want to pick up groceries without having to wander through dozens of cavernous aisles.

Supermarket chains have been rushing to open "express outlets" since British giant Tesco began to grab a slice of market share with its Fresh & Easy stores. Experts say the trend signals that convenience is beginning to outweigh choice for many shoppers. "If you’ve got 50 feet of ketchup and what you want is Hunt’s 64-ounce and you can’t find it, people get overwhelmed," an analyst noted.