This is the entrance to Wooly's at the mall near my house. Just a little turnstyle like entrance.
The portion sizes are smaller as well. Australia is increasingly being recognized as an obese nation, yet they don't have the "super-size" options that I remember back in the states. For example, the cereal I eat comes only in a 480g(17oz) box. Back home, I could get a box maybe three times as big as that. There are a couple of flavors that do have a bigger box like Corn Flakes, but not many of them come in that size.
Those boxes (above) are a popular snack cracker called Shapes. I could eat one box in five minutes easy. My ideal size snack cracker box is a family size box of CHEEZ-ITS!Shopping carts, or trolleys as they are called here, kind of baffle me. Back home, our shopping carts obviously have four wheels, but only the front two swivel. This makes it very easy to steer the cart left or right. It does make it a bit difficult to move directly left or right. That's where you normally hear that loud noise produced by the cart scraping the store floor as the shopper drags it to the side. Well here in Australia, all four wheels swivel. This is great for moving the cart in all directions, but I find that the cart is always rolling away from me! If I'm going around a corner, it kind of takes off. I prefer the cart sticking around. I will say that the wheels are never noisy like back home. One last note about the shopping carts. People wheel them home! I see usually four or five carts on the side of the road enroute to Coles. I think it is illegal, but I've also heard that it is someone's job to go pick them up around the neighborhood at the end of each day.
I found this trolley up the street from Coles in an alley
The next difference is the store layout. In the past five years, I've noticed that American grocery stores are making dynamic changes to the floor plan. It used to be that all aisles go in the same directon, but now depending on which section of the store you're in, the aisle could be going vertically, horizontally or diagonally to the entrance. For example I know in some stores in my hometown, the organic rows make you feel like you're in a completely different store, with different flooring and colors.
In Australia I feel that they haven't grasped this concept yet. There really are no different layouts except that of the produce section, which is a little more open similar to the US. Otherwise all the aisles go in the same direction.
And going back to the size differences, what skinny aisles they are! I mentioned that everything is bigger in the USA (Texas too!). It would be difficult to get three shopping carts side by side down the aisle here. I don't think it can be done.
A shopping aisle at Coles, Australia
Another aisle at Woolworth's
A Price Chopper Aisle, USA....BIG!
It may sound like I'm saying I don't like the Australian grocery store. That isn't true. I'm just still used to the way things are at home. For example, the location of the milk! In the states, the milk is put usually somewhere near the back of the store. I've read that because nearly everyone purchaes milk, the store wants customers to pass by all the other products before getting to the milk. It is a marketing scheme. At Coles, where I shop, the milk is in the second aisle to the left! Everyone here goes left to right through the store, so I disagree with the milk placement because (A) it gets warm if I am taking a long time shopping, and (B) it isn't a great marketable location. In Woolworth's defense, I did notice that they do put the milk in the way back of their store. It is Coles that isn't up with the times. I didn't notice Franklin's milk...moving on.
Try sometime Google searching "Grocery store marketing tactics" or something similar and you can find all sorts of ways that supermarkets get you to buy more. From fancy end of aisle displays to slow music. It all has a purpose of getting the customer to throw a little more in their carts.
In New Hampshire and Vermont we have an impressive beer aisle. I always liked the beer aisle because that's where I spent a good amount of time working this past decade for Clarke Companies. In Australia there is no beer aisle. There is just the liquor store outside the supermarket. Much like Massachussets.
That's all for now. Happy shopping. Next time I'll compare USA's Home Depot to Australia's Bunnings Warehouse...nah.