Supermarkets from a sensory perspective

Do you enjoy being in supermarkets? Do you like interacting with the staff? What time of day/week is your favourite/least favourite time to be in a supermarket? Do you listen to music/podcasts or prefer to appreciate the general ambience? Any other thoughts/feelings?

Usually get delivery now, but If I have to go to big Tesco then it’s as early as possible on a Saturday, they open at 8.

Headphones in, with a podcast

Have to go alone, hate shopping as a couple


I enjoy being in the toilet paper aisle as makes me feel relaxed.


love supermarkets with really really high ceilings. where you feel you’re in an aircraft hanger of products.

I’m afraid all of my supermarket visits have been extra-sensory.

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Quite enjoy it when it’s really quiet. Taken to going on a Saturday around 8.30am and it’s a nice experience, I like wandering round at my own pace and being able to look at stuff. Also go after work sometimes and cause I finish relatively early it’s quiet too. As soon as it gets busy though I fucking hate it.


Yep. Used to work in that environment, so not bothered by it. Very much aware that others are though

Prefer not to apart from the rare occasion I have to go through a belted till

Favourite - Early morning between 6-8am/later evening 8-10pm. My local Tesco doesn’t open the scan and shop area until around 7.45am though, so I have to go through the tills. Actively avoid big shops on a Sunday or peak Friday/Saturday day time.


Go alone, or avec children. Can’t stand shopping with my wife


Used to wear headphones every time but now I prefer to hear what’s going on around me for some reason.

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Depends. Early in the morning, in an Aldi or Lidl where I can take my time and look at everything including the middle aisles and weekly specials: yes please. Also: in foreign countries even moreso. Your bog standard UK supermarket with narrowish aisles: nah. In and out as quickly as possible in those circumstances. However, if it’s an absolutely massive supermarket (I’m thinking Bell Green Sainsbos in Sydenham, or the incredibly large Tesco in Ryde), then yes I will love wandering round for a long time.

I mainly like to go as soon as they open but usually have no choice in this.

Never listen to music.

Prefer to use checkouts with people rather than self checkouts, but will normally go for whatever’s quietest.


I do enjoy it, thanks for asking. Would always go for visiting over delivery if I have the time. Favourite time is late in the day but any time it’s not too busy is fine. Prefer a big supermarket and to have a trolley, get too distracted by podcasts so sometimes music sometimes general ambience. I like people watching but don’t get much out of interacting with staff.

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Self service for top-up shops, but when it’s the big shop I like to interact with someone. Plus I will NEVER take a trolley through a self-service.


What about if there’s a separate trolley self service section?

Still a hard no. The thought of putting a full trolley shop through myself with a load of people in the queue waiting for me to do it gives me the fear tbh.


this hasnt found its way up north yet

When I was unemployed, going to the supermarket was genuinely a highlight of my week. Nice to get out of the house and to complete a task.

Still quite enjoy it when I’m not busy, wandering around the aisles looking at stuff, it’s a nice little escape. Usually have a podcast on, if I have music on I’m more likely to bump into people cos I haven’t heard them behind me.

Hate it when it’s busy but usually go on a weekday evening and it tends to be fine. Went on a Saturday night not too long ago and it was so quiet, lovely.

My local Sainos is in a shopping centre so daytime tends to be far too busy, my ideal time to go is about half 7 or 8pm on a weekday so I can have a quick wander around some other shops before they close first.

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Preferably not, only really need to if I’m buying alcohol and I need them to press the button to say I’m old

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Yes - any excuse to leave the house

Yes - and they seem to enjoy it too

Favourite: weekdays between 10 AM and 11 AM - nice and quiet, shelves have just been restocked
Least favourite: weekdays between 12:30 PM and 2 PM - too many people buying their lunch

No - would be rude when interacting with the staff




Really hate the lack of natural light.

There are many things I enjoy more, there are many things I enjoy less.

Absolutely not.

Whenever there are the fewest people there.


Not really, and it’s starting to bother me

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I love being in supermarkets, because I love food and other non-food items and seasonal goods and drinks, really into drinks during this and all stages of my life, but I’m scared of people, so dislike all interactions. During the lockdowns I found midweek afternoons quite manageable, on the whole I prefer not to go when kids are likely to be there, but most solo shoppers are less objectionable. Sunday afternoons are the worst, although I sympathize with those who need to shop then, especially if it’s for bargains. I used to always listen to music, but since the pandemic, when I wanted to be more on my toes to avoid people, I’ve found comfort in not being blasted with music. I quite like it when I’ve quelled my autism by getting a bit tipsy, and need to grab a few items on a Saturday late afternoon, and feel calmer about it. Oblivious people, though, maaaaaaan do they spoil what might other be a nice trip to the ol’ food and non-food and drinks store.