Retail Line Queue Management: Disneyland Innovated in 1955!

Retail Line Queue Management: Disneyland Innovated in 1955!

Did you know there’s a person known as a waiting lines expert?”

Actually, it’s Richard Larson and he refers to the line management process as “queue calculus.”

Both shopping carts and baskets are welcome!

Waiting in line,” said Lewis in a recent article, “is a stressful game with mostly losing players and picking the wrong line can lead to queue rage.”

Queue rage and simple economics are the reasons you see a “single serpentine line” in many retail locations.  Queue psychology was born in 1955 when Disneyland opened and learned to keep guests happy by having them wait in a single, serpentine line.  That’s back when a 45-minute wait for a 2-minute ride was a novelty!

The single line satisfies the most number of people because it “guarantees first-come, first-served,” says Larson. And, the single line can drive additional sales of “grab and go” items — not just in grocery stores but other locations with easily understood and selectable items (as examples, think Best Buy, Marshalls and T.J. Maxx.).

Traditionally, grocery stores have been considered “hold outs” in this customer-service trend (emergency rooms are another hold out).

However, Whole Foods has proven to be an exception — especially in large, metro areas.  As Larson mentions, their typical consumer “doesn’t buy a week’s worth of groceries for families.” He continues, “You can fit those people into a serpentine line without wasting a lot of valuable sales space.”

CPS’ QuikLine queueing management system takes the process a step further — multiple lines feeding a changeable register bank and the ability to differentiate between “express” and “standard” registers. Shopping carts are welcome, in other words!

Meeting your customer’s needs, generating additional sales: queue management is an idea worth exploring!


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