ORLANDO, Fla. -- Candy is being replaced with items like fruit, general merchandise and health and beauty care impulse items at some supermarket checkouts.
Gooding's Supermarkets, Apopka, Fla., is one chain that features a "candyless" checkout. Because parents complained of their children's persistent requests for candy at the checkout, the retailer's flagship store here, located at 7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd., removed all candy from one register, according to a store employee. A sign above the aisle reads, "Gooding's candyless checkout features only health food, no candy."
The candyless aisle, which opened in November of last year, now offers fruit, including bananas, apples and oranges.
The purpose of the aisle is to meet the needs of parents. "The kids don't ask for candy because they don't see it," said the store-level source, who did not want to be identified.
When asked if the store was losing impulse candy sales, Gooding's president, Mike Cianciarulo, said he was surprised at how well the fruit has been selling, "even after the shopper has already been through the produce department."
The store associate said his store was the only one with the program. He didn't know whether it might be rolled out into other stores.
Other chains also have candyless checkouts. Hannaford Bros., Scarborough, Maine, has installed the program in its Shop & Save stores in Albany, N.Y.
Scott Domer, night manager at the 900 Central Ave. unit, said he doesn't know when the chain opened its candyless checkout lanes, but they have been in place for at least eight years.
Two of the store's register areas merchandise impulse items other than candy. A sign hanging from the ceiling alerts shoppers to the candyless checkouts.
"It helps us because it opens up other merchandise areas for impulse sales," Domer added. Film, health and beauty care items and aspirins have replaced chocolates, gums and other confectionery products.