Smartphones are being blamed for a drop in sales at the supermarket checkout line. Instead of flipping through a magazine or picking up some candy and lip balm while waiting for that person checking out 45 items in the 10 items or less lane, people are checking their Facebook, replying to texts or getting in a Words With Friends move.
Scientists are calling the phenomenon “mobile blinders.” Customers are looking at their phone and not the tantalizing display of gossip magazines and candy bars surrounding them.
Magazine sales are particularly hard-hit. Magazine circulation in the U.S. dropped almost 10% last year, with a big chunk of that loss coming at the checkout line.