Is there anything worse than when you’re walking round the shops – game face on – on a mission to get your shopping done quickly, but you’re surrounded by slow walkers?
Disclaimer: there isn’t. The ‘slow walkers’ seem to be completely oblivious to those of us who are walking at a normal pace and just don’t seem to have a care in the world they’re slowing the rest of us down.
But don’t worry, there could be a brilliant solution. Lakeside Centre in Essex has introduced a fast lane for those of us who treat shopping as a simple in-and-out job.
The 220-metre lane offers walkers a different route through the shopping centre, giving fast-paced walkers the opportunity to get their shopping done quickly.
In all honesty, it sounds like a win-win situation for us all. It allows fast walkers to get their shopping done without interruption, while giving slow walkers the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely stroll.
The concept is a collaboration between Intu and Mastercard and aims to both save time and significantly reduce incidents of ‘slow-rage’ – just in time for the busiest shopping time of the year.
Research carried out by Mastercard has found 84 per cent of shoppers find slow walking a massive annoyance, a number which doesn’t really surprise me.
The survey of 2,000 people also estimates the average walking speed is 2.85mph, but this drops by a massive 21 per cent over the Christmas period. Which, I think we can all agree, is terrible news.
People in the South East are said to be the fastest walkers with an average shopping speed of 2.92 mph, whereas Scottish shoppers were the slowest at 2.77mph.
The research also categorised us into four different types of shoppers, forcing us to face reality and get to grips with the way we shop. They are: Dodgers, Skaters, Tutters, and Bull-dozers.
The majority of the population (51 per cent) are ‘Dodgers’. These are the shoppers who constantly change path, darting between slow-walkers who get in their way. This is definitely me, by the way.
‘Skaters’ make up 31 per cent of shoppers and are able to ‘elegantly manoeuvre’ their way through a crowd, meaning they politely avoid others and therefore avoid conflict. Kudos to them.
Next are the ‘Tutters’, making up 15 per cent of us. As you might have guessed, these are the passive-aggressive types who grumble and complain loudly about others.
Last but not least are the 11 per cent of us who actively push their way through crowds like a bull-dozer, giving them the name – you’ve guessed it – ‘Bull-dozers’.
According to Mastercard News, Head of Masterpass, Elliott Goldenberg said:
Our spending data shows a real change in buying behaviour as people continue to blend both online shopping and visiting stores for gifts.
What technology gives them is speed and convenience, but they really want to see that experience reflected on the high street.
Intu Lakeside is a great example of how retailers are adapting to these needs, and catering to a much broader range of shopper preferences.
Whether you’re a fast walker or you prefer to take your time and truly immerse yourself in the shopping experience, I think it’s fair to say fast lanes would be the perfect addition to any shopping centre.
Happy shopping, everyone!
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).