Why bending down in Coles and Woolworths will save you money

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·News Reporter
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Want to save money on your next grocery run? Here’s a tip: Remember the importance of bending down in the aisles of your local Coles or Woolworths.

With cost of living in Australia soaring steadily and consumer prices up 5.1 percent, savvy shoppers looking to save big dollars on their weekly shop can try this simple trick based on a simple tip from consumer experts.

'Eye level is buy level'

In order to save money, shoppers are being urged to crouch down and spend a bit more time browsing the lower aisles at your local supermarket.

Coles and Woolworths will stock cheaper products down lower.
Simply bending down at Coles and Woolworths during your next shop may save you money. Source: Getty

Merchandising experts have long-known about this theory, which basically divides shelving in grocery stores into four zones: eye, stretch, touch and stoop level.

As a general rule, eye level equals 'buy level' in visual merchandising, thus it is generally used for high-profit margin items that help supermarkets earn more.

Products on these shelves gain 35 per cent more attention than others, which could explain as to why many consumers miss out on potentially more cost-saving items below their nose.

“Space is a valuable commodity. Shelves between three feet to five-and-a-half feet are highly sought-after space. Key brands pay a high slotting fee for it,” says Gary Mortimer, professor of marketing and consumer behaviour at Queensland University of Technology Business School.

Why it pays to bend down

In an interview with Yahoo News Australia, Mr Mortimer explained there is a three-tiered model of products consisting of 'good', 'better' and 'best'.

'Good' products are generally cheaper, generic, plain packaged items that are usually found at the bottom shelves located three feet and below, he said.

Shoppers looking to save some extra cash on groceries should check out the "stoop level" shelving, where many low-cost alternatives to popular brands are placed.

Shoppers looking to save money should spend a it more time in the aisles bending down and taking a closer look at products on the shelves. Credit: Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Shoppers looking to save money should spend a it more time in the aisles bending down and taking a closer look at products on the shelves. Credit: Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

“Supermarkets spend good money to improve the quality of these products,” he says, adding that for basic products such as toilet paper, laundry detergent or flour, majority of people don't really care about expensive brands.

For instance, a 1kg bag of White Wings plain flour would set a consumer back by $3.00 as opposed to an equivalent generic bag of flour that costs $1.25.

A 400g tin of Mutti Finely Chopped Tomatoes that would normally be at eye level shelving costs $1.90 at Woolworths, while a similar 400g tin of house brand diced tomatoes costs $1.00.

The principle is the same when you compare a 370g jar of Bonne Maman Strawberry Jam that costs $5.75 at Coles, while a similar 345g jar of Premium Strawberry Jam found on a lower shelf costs significantly less at only $2.35.

“It tends to be a great alternative. There is some economic benefit to it,” Mr Mortimer said.

While it is true that you get what you pay for, it may not hurt to swap certain products for lower-cost items on the bottom shelves. As prices continue to soar, it may well be worth bending down to check out these 'stoop shelves' in order to save some cash.

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