Progressive Grocer Independent

AUG 2016

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24 | Progressive Grocer Independent | August 2016 Store of the Future Feature e perishables departments are on the right track, with many retail- ers setting up those departments like piazzas that allow customers to me- ander through the products. "Mer- chandising is about seduction," Kelley says. "You have to cross-merchandise, not just stock product." Retailers need to start asking how they can solve customers' prob- lems and make their lives better or easier. Stores need to become more solution-based for the customer, not inventory-based. Kelley suggests that grocery retailers take note of what other retailers, like Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel, are accomplishing in their store sets. Retailers need to create what Kelley calls "percep- tual rooms," which isn't as scary as it sounds. e HBW aisle in the supermarket already does a good job with this concept by offering a whole solution zone for mind, health and body, Kelley notes. By focusing less on the aisles, retailers can create a series of scenes that encourage shoppers to mill and engage with the product, breaking their habit of shopping by rote. is type of store is categorized by solu- tions and what problems the products solve for consumers, Kelley says. For example, Tahlequah, Okla.-based Reasor's, which is undergoing a rebranding and store reset, has about 40 tablescapes in the vein of Pot- tery Barn in eight distinct zones to encourage that emotional- ity in consumers and show them how the store solves their problems. All of this can be done within current store footprints, Kelley notes: "ere's a lot of space in the store for circulation that isn't really used right, so we reuse that." E-commerce Effect e rise of e-commerce is forcing grocery retailers to rethink their businesses, not only in terms of offering the service, but also how the ability to shop for groceries online may alter the consumer mindset. During a presentation at IGA's Next 90 conference earlier this year, Marc de Speville, founder of London-based Strategic Food Retail, discussed how brick-and-mortar stores and e-com- merce may coalesce in the future. He shared a vision of a store that offered the best of what brick and mortar does and combines it with the convenience of e-commerce. His rendering featured large fresh departments where customers could wander to select produce or bakery or fresh prepared meals. Center store items, the products in boxes and cans that don't require a tac- tile element to purchase, would be relegated to back rooms or outside the main selling floor. Selections of these products could either be made by the consumer at home via a website, via mobile app while either in the store or not, or through a touchscreen in the store. en the two parts of the customer's order — the nonperishables ordered separately and the fresh items selected in store — would marry at checkout. Additionally, de Speville envisions that the check- out process will be vastly different in the store of the future: Retailers most likely will eliminate front end checkstands altogether, and either have employees walking around with mobile scanners to check out customers, or shoppers will do it themselves. He doesn't foresee an employee-less store, but rather one where the interaction between staff and customers can become a more high-value proposition, one where employees can be experts and impart knowledge about the food a customer is purchasing. Alternatively, they can suggest other items that go well with what shoppers have already selected, or they can even demonstrate how to prepare a product that a customer may be unfamiliar with. No-staff Stores e staff-less store isn't as far-fetched as it sounds, however. Robert Ilijason opened Näraffär (roughly translated as "e Shop Nearby"), the first no-staff supermarket, in Viken, Sweden, earlier this year. Customers download an app that's linked to their bank account and must be approved before the app will work. e app can unlock the doors of the store, and customers use it to scan the products they wish to purchase. Customers are billed monthly. All movements are tracked by cameras in the store, and if Ilijason notices a discrepancy when stocking the store, he can quickly review the footage to see what happened. "Stores are not going away. People still want to go to the store. But that in-store experience is going to change." —Mayer Gniwisch, chairman of SelfPoint

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