When we were children, we loved it when our mum took us grocery shopping at the neighborhood supermarket. The markets weren’t so big back in those days. Consisting of about 10 to 12 aisles, relatively short, the store offered the basics that mum needed to gather in order to go home and feed us breakfast or lunch or to create a dynamite dinner that we’d all enjoy.
Though Mum was delayed by the antics of her little ones, pulling things off the shelves, the trip took a relatively short amount of time and we were back in the car and home before we knew it.
Well, that’s certainly not the case these days. Everything about grocery shopping has changed, especially in our larger, more populated areas where busy young adults, executive moms and dads, and well-to-do pensioners are looking for a true shopping experience, not just a trip to the supermarket.
In the U.K. and in America, stores like Whole Foods have been the leaders in changing the face of supermarkets and of supermarket shopping in general.
Whole Foods has not only everything you’d look for in a grocery store but also perks like sushi bars, coffee kiosks, hot bars, cold bars, wine bars…there’s even one in Chicago with a sports bar located mid-store, where patrons can watch the local teams battle it out with the visitors while dining on top-quality, often organic, meals prepared by the resident Whole Food chef.
Research Offers Insight
Is that what the public seeks? Research indicates “yes”, shoppers everywhere seek this all-inclusive experience when they head to the supermarket. Countries where there is no Whole Foods have begged the industry giant to come their way, and other grocery retailers are trying to imitate the things that have made Whole Foods so successful.
If you’re a supermarket owner, you’ve probably already recognized that the same old-same old just isn’t going to work in this day and age. Gone is the “cookie cutter” store – where one store is just like the other a few kilometers away.
It’s time to break the mold and add to your store the things that will keep your customers coming back again and again.
If you’ve got ample space and a good shop fitter, it won’t be difficult to create a Whole Foods-type environment for your shoppers. Start with a little market research. Find out what shoppers in your area seek in regards to their grocery shopping experience and ask your fit out design team to provide suggestions for incorporate some of those suggestions.
“Localize” your store so that it fits the needs of your community. For example, if you’re located near several busy business complexes, offer a quick-service restaurant, a large prepared food area, a coffee stand, a salad bar, and other things that people on-the-go will be seeking.
If you’re in a family neighborhood, you might proceed in a slightly different direction. A good shop fitter can help you with the research you need to determine what’s right for your location.
Most of all, however, keep the experience interesting. Many adults dread grocery shopping, especially the old-fashioned way. Make it new and interesting and you’ll have customers for life.