At supermarkets, I’m one of the people who will walk back and forth searching for the shortest line. Usually I find it and usually I can bypass about half of the people standing in line to check out. Often the shortest line is a regular checkout even if I have few enough items to qualify for the express checkout line. Instead of having twelve separate checkout lines, clogging up room at the front of the store and taking away valuable real estate, stores should follow the European market example: have one queue and multiple counters close together serving the one line. The primary benefit here is that customers will be helped in the order they entered the checkout line, ensuring that everyone waits roughly the same amount of time. This is an effective way to help prevent shoplifting, if everyone is leaving out of only one exit. Furthermore, you can put the counters closer together, opening up more of the floor for products. Go to a Tesco in Britain and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
This will never happen in the US, but it would be nice.