Math Proves It: Grocery Store Express Lane Not So Express – The Consumerist

You attract more people holding fewer total items, but as the data shows above, when you add one person to the line, you’re adding 48 extra seconds to the line length (that’s “tender time” added to “other time”) without even considering the items in her cart. Meanwhile, an extra item only costs you an extra 2.8 seconds. Therefore, you’d rather add 17 more items to the line than one extra person!

via Math Proves It: Grocery Store Express Lane Not So Express – The Consumerist.

Most of the time in the grocery line, unless you’re behind someone with a LOT of items, what you’re waiting for is the turnaround at the end of the ring-up … the person getting out their form of payment and getting the payment done.

It may be much faster to slip into a regular line behind one person with more items, than to wait at the express line behind several people with just a few items each.

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