When shoppers find themselves in stores with narrow aisles, they react in a surprising way: they seek variety. Confined spaces might help people diversify their choices.
So called "psychological reactance" explains it: people attempt to regain their freedom in situations where they perceive it to be threatened.
Research participants in the narrow aisle chose a greater variety of candy bars and were more likely to choose unfamiliar and unique brands. In a real-world study, increased shopper density led to more varied choices among supermarket customers.
In larger, less crowded stores, focus on stocking multiple facings of a few better-known or dominant product offerings. Deliver a greater variety to more crowded and smaller stores.