What have they got against pedestrians? I don't care what they say, how they prate about 'carbon emissions' and doing their bit - what about boring, basic stuff? I have yet to come across a supermarket that has trolley bays right next to pedestrian exits; they're placed solely for the convenience of the driver and to hell for the rest of us.
Since we don't have our own transport I've pondered this problem for a while and have decided it's all down to money; there is a limit to how much a pedestrian can carry/pull even if they're going by bus. In the store you're limited by the knowledge that if you impulse buy then you will most assuredly regret it - sometimes even before you've left the shop. It's amazing how that extra bag of onions or those yoghurts found nestling at the back of the reduced to clear section can take up space (and multiply their weight an infinite number of times). That being the case we aren't so desirable as customers. So we are abandoned meters away from the way out. I have no doubt whatsoever that the planners (all of whom are drivers) would argue that the trolley bays are close to the exit. All I can say in answer to that is that they've never had to lug shopping. Sometimes every centimetre counts!
Mind you, I also find it highly frustrating that, after hauling your shopping out of the trolley (the sides of which have, miraculously, grown in height) you then find the contraption on the handle does not fit that on the chain (or there was the wonderful time Tesco had two different types of theft deterrent and, of course, they were incompatible). So you can either abandon your trolley (with token or £1.00) or put your shopping back into it and start pretty much all over again whilst using language that would make a Russian sailor deeply envious and probably propose marriage. Then one can indulge in the, 'find the lock that fits,' game (all the while casting desperate looks towards the road because you know full well this will be the one and only time your bus is actually early, you also know the driver will not only not wait for the timetabled departure time but will take what appears to be highly perverse satisfaction from ignoring the desperate knocks, pleas and supplications you perform outside the door).
In an ideal world the trolley bays would be placed in areas most convenient for the shopper (mind you, in an ideal world the trolleys would have sides that folded down or, better still, converted into a ramp to try to protect your arm/shoulder muscles from developing like Arnie's) but then when do supermarkets ever consider the consumer? They claim to, I know but we, the customer, know that it's a load of hooey. Like changing the packaging or moving displays from one end of the shop to another they just like messing with us. I am still trying to understand why cottage cheese in Asda is placed with the sandwich fillings, on the opposite side of the aisle to all the rest of the cheeses. It's a mind game, some highly evolved form of intellectual warfare and they're winning.
When Flavia rules the world (I'm too old, tired and lazy to go in for the whole world domination thing...I'll let her do it and just reap the rewards for myself) I think I'll create the biggest supermarket of all time, make things as awkward as possible regarding displays, goods and (of course) access - and egress - and then put all the supermarket bigwigs in there. Not only would it give them some hint of what it is like for mere mortals such as myself the satisfaction would be immense. Hell, I might not even charge to watch!