I went to our local Costco today. Over the years, I've figured out the best times to shop at Costco*. 11am on a Thursday is not one of them. Too close to the weekend and lunch time, but since I was already in the area and needed to buy items for our Flea Market this weekend, I was there.
Costco has always been one of those places that is the same and yet different every time you go. Take today, for example. It's been a couple of weeks since I wandered the aisles and this time I found that things had changed. The specialty cold foods section was completely redone. Where low refrigerators once stood, there are now large open refrigerators holding all the specialty cheeses, hummus, pasta and the 100 different types of hot dogs/sausages. The sodas and bottled water had moved to the right side of the store in the back. I didn't even check to see what was in their usual place. The clothes were moved from the front-middle, to the middle- middle and there were couches and chairs where the summer items used to be. My brain was a little befuddled at one moment and I found myself thinking "they better not have moved the books!" like that was the most important thing ever!!!
I am a creature of habit and planning. These little changes may not seem like much, but they shake up my world and cause me to be a little out of balance. I've been known to make lists for Costco according to where the items can be found in the store, don't they know that changing the layout messes up my lists?!
It's not just the layout of the store that can cause panic, it's when all of a sudden, an item that we have been getting forever at Costco is suddenly not there. Bagel Bites have disappeared from their shelves...don't they know that the youth group survives on Bagel Bites? And why did they do away with the apricot filling in their cakes? Vanilla and Chocolate are great, but what about a little variety? (I do, however, love the change to the muffin packs. The youth would always eat the blueberry or chocolate muffins and never touch the banana nut that the bakery insisted in putting in the variety pack.)
I know that I am not the only one who is shaken by the changes. I hear it in the panic in the voices of people in the aisles. "They don't have the gigantic jar of pickles anymore? But where am I going to get pickles?" "Wait, what happened to the towels? They have been on this same aisle for 3 years!" "Where are the samples? We came here for a snack and there isn't one sample cart in the whole store!"
We human beings do not like change...what does Costco not get about that?
*If you must know, Tuesday evenings are the least busy times to shop in my experience.