Tired of seemingly never-ending supermarket queues? Kids running up and down the aisles? You’re not the only one, according to a newly released study into our most common grocery shopping gripes.
A poll of almost 3000 shoppers by research company Canstar Blue found that men are the biggest moaners and Woolworths is the most complained about supermarket chain.
The survey did not include supermarket prices, “because we’d all like to pay less for our groceries”.
When it comes to what ticks us off, 24 per cent of respondents complained of long checkout queues, edging out items being sold out on 22 per cent.
We’re not too keen on sharing our supermarkets either, with people blocking aisles and misbehaving children the third-biggest gripe at 13 per cent of respondents, followed by those persistent self-service machine errors.
We’ve also had enough of looking for parking spaces (9 per cent), hard to navigate store layouts (7 per cent), being unable to find a staff member to assist us (6 per cent) and store opening and closing times (2 per cent).
Another 6 per cent of shoppers complained about coin-operated trolleys, the height of shelves, and promotional offers taking up aisle space.
“Ultimately we’d all love to have a supermarket all to ourselves, but it’s never going to happen,” Canstar Blue boss Megan Doyle said in a statement. “The best thing you can do to try and avoid the stress is to pick a quiet time to shop. But again, life is not that simple. That’s why we all seem to end up there at the same time.”
When it comes to who is doing all this complaining, men (27 per cent) are more likely to gripe about checkout queues than women (23 per cent).
Women (24 per cent) are more likely than men (19 per cent) to get stressed by sold-out items, and men (7 per cent) get more upset than women (5 per cent) when they can’t find a shop assistant.
As for other shoppers hogging the aisles, women (14 per cent) dislike it more than men (12 per cent).
Few will be surprised that we get more frustrated with long queues as we get older, with 28 per cent of shoppers aged 60 and over complaining.
“I’m sure most shoppers can tolerate the occasional problem with items being sold out, or having to queue at the checkouts, but it’s when these issues become the norm rather than the exception that people will really get fed-up,” Ms Doyle said.
“It seems we’ve been complaining about having to queue up at the checkouts forever, yet it’s an issue the supermarkets have never managed to address to everyone’s satisfaction,” she added.
Ms Doyle said the introduction of self-service checkouts has clearly helped get customers in and out faster, but they are not immune to long queues and frustrations.
“In fact, queuing to use a self-service checkout is arguably more annoying than queuing at a normal checkout because you expect the process to be quicker,” she said.
“Most shoppers can probably understand a slight delay at the checkout if they see all the stations are being manned, or in the case of self-service machines, are working properly. But if it looks like the supermarket isn’t helping the situation by not making all checkouts available, people have every right to feel aggrieved.”