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Baby, It's Cold Inside


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We’re having a heat wave! At least according to the local weather forecasters who, citing a National Weather Service definition, say three days of 90-degrees or higher constitutes a heat wave. Here in the Northeast, it seems we have been having one every week, usually during the Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday time frame.

One night last week I decided to give my home air conditioner a break for an hour or so and went grocery shopping at my local ShopRite. Just walking from the car across the parking lot I began to sweat. But the second I walked through the doors, I was hit with a nice blast of refreshing cold air.

This particular ShopRite places freezer coffin cases just inside the entrance filled with the week’s hot specials, so shoppers get an extra blast of cold air upon entering the premises. While personally I thought it would be a better idea to put them in the center of the big aisle by the registers so shoppers could stock up on frozen foods while online at the checkout, it still put me in a chilled-out state of mind.

Because I found because the temperature in the store was pleasant—much colder than in my house—I lingered and took my time shopping. I even went up and down each aisle, including those I normally eschew, like cosmetics and baby care. And I really lingered in the dairy aisle and near the open coffin cases at the rear of the frozen foods department. Because I took my time in the store, I also bought several impulse items that were not on my list.

I was thinking supermarkets would be wise to play up the fact that they are air conditioned and, because of the perishable nature of their product, usually more pleasant and comfortable to shop in compared to other classes of retailers. Perhaps they could sponsor the local weather forecast. When the weatherman or anchorwoman reminds viewers that during the excessive temperatures it is wise to take a break, go into an air-conditioned environment and “be sure to check up on the elderly, pets and those living alone,” wouldn’t that be a great time to have a ShopRite logo pop up at the bottom of the screen? Maybe a blurb could even appear touting a sale on Breyers ice cream.

Here in the New York area, one local network station already has the “Verizon Sports Report” with the Verizon logo appearing on the screen throughout the sports segment. Supermarkets should approach their local stations about sponsoring the weather report in a similar fashion. Imagine the bump in business that could generate not only during heat waves, but also during other climatic weather events, like the imminent arrival of hurricanes, Nor’easters and blizzards.       

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