The “Costco Fan”

From Mashy Niblicks:

As you know, Costco uses a complex algorithm to close enough check stands in order to maintain what I call the “Costco Fan.” (Hence, the title of this diddy.) That is, the checkout lines fan out from the check stands bending to the north toward electronics and to the south toward the pharmacy.

The idea is to have the lines just long enough so as to avoid hindering sales in electronics and prescriptions, and just short enough so that the customers don’t machine gun each other in line.

This is a delicate balance and can only be validated by watching and listening to the end-of-line customers. One will invariably turn to another and say, “Are you in this line or that one?” The response is usually a quivering lip and a simple look of utter despair. When this occurs, the algorithm is running like a top.

There’s more. Read it all.


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