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Aldi, And Immediate Gratification


Aldi is a chain supermarket, renowned for its accessible healthy fresh produce, cheap alcohol and, the legendary middle aisle. The middle aisle of Aldi is not a space many enter willingly; it tugs at your eyes and purse-strings like a magnet. The gravitas of the variety of items crammed into the centre aisle is immense; from inflatable swimming pools, to gardening gloves, from solar lights for your garden, to socks. Colouring books? Tools? Dog toys? Wellington boots? Home décor? It truly is the aisle of dreams.

And then, the kicker: the buy of the week, a limited item that is only available for a measly seven days: appealing, and displayed for the meandering shoppers to ogle at. It is not uncommon for these spotlight products to inspire the need for immediate gratification, particularly when the nation was in lockdown.

The wandering mind during the pandemic was one of our worst enemies; especially if you were on furlough. The lockdowns gave us copious amounts of free time which could have proven amazing for some, and immensely detrimental for others. Creating both positive new routines, or bad habits. But, the buys of the weeks, were certainly green lights to implement changes in your life.

When supermarkets were the only places you could go, there was only so much you could do. Perhaps, that is what made the pull of the middle aisle even greater. Anything for entertainment, anything for escapism.

Who remembers the historical marshmallow test; where a sample of young children were placed in a room, with just a table and chair, and a singular marshmallow at the table, and were told that if they waited until the adult returned to eat the marshmallow, then they could have two. This experiment was a microcosm of greater habits that may influence a child, such as impulse spending as opposed to saving money. The middle aisle of Aldi is like the marshmallow test, the reward of not spending money on items you didn’t realise you needed, internal, knowing no money was wasted, and whether that reward is substantial enough to justify not splurging on things you didn’t know until you’re faced by it.

It’s clear that Aldi are aware of the influence of the middle aisle. This is demonstrated through the stock being brought in on Thursdays and Sundays, targeting the shoppers that seek to buy groceries in anticipation of a roast dinner, but also the mid-week browsers, looking to get a few bits and bobs to tide them over until the next weekly shop.

Aldi seem to utilise the need for immediate gratification, especially in a consumerist society. The pandemic intensifying the yearning for something, anything better. Under capitalism, the desire for new things, whether that be clothes, shoes, or niche luxury items like in Aldi’s middle aisle, is prevalent. Of course, it can be argued that this deflects workers from the bigger picture, but, can a scented candle really deflect our attention that greatly?

Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (www.TheAgileWorks.com), is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.

He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.

The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.

To book a consultation, or for any enquiries, you can contact Arvind via the following email address: arvind@theagileworks.com

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