Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/723369
38 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | September 2016 For more about our Store of the Month, Food City in Johnson City, Tenn., visit progressivegrocer.com/JohnsonCityFoodCity. and other parts of the region. "at's what we're focusing on," he affirms. Asked how the different growler sizes sell, Phil- lips replies: "64 [ounces] is kind of the most popular, and we offer it both in glass and in plastic. We kind of brought this little 32-ounce one, and for a lot of people, if they only want to have 1 or 2 pints, or want to try [a] beer, this is a more practical way." e vast frozen section boasts some of the widest aisles PG has ever seen in a supermarket. "One of the biggest responses to opening this store that I've heard is the wide, clutter-free aisles; it's easy to shop, easy to maneuver," notes Adkisson, adding that "you can open [the doors on] both sides of the aisle and there is still a clear, wide path for shoppers to maneuver." As for the store's being clutter-free, there are few free-standing displays in evidence. "We don't have a lot of stuff on the floor," affirms Glei. "at's a decision our shoppers asked us to make." With the exception of some HBC products located in nonfoods, the pharmacy is laid out in a store-within-a-store format, with its own aisles and signage, so as to provide "the drug store expe- rience," as Glei calls it. Next Stops Regarding the future of this store model — Food City's third incarnation of a flagship store since 2007 — Steven C. Smith, president/CEO of Food City parent company K-VA-T Food Stores Inc., says that the company has a few choice markets in mind for upcoming locations. "We just moved into Chattanooga, [Tenn.,] in the last year, and I think this would be a very popular store in the Chattanooga market, in the right loca- tion," he observes. "We've been in Knoxville, [Tenn.,] for 20-plus years, [but] we haven't had a chance to build a flagship store to this caliber in Knoxville yet; that would be a natural place [for such a store], with the university there, a larger metropolitan area." Further, as his interview with PG winds down, Smith adds that Food City's hometown of Abingdon, Va., is also slated to get a similar store. "Our goal is to break ground this fall," he says. All are sure to see similar success. PG Store of the Month Food City, Johnson City, Tenn. We don't have a lot of stuff on the floor. That's a decision our shoppers asked us to make." —Dan Glei, EVP of marketing and merchandising All Aboard at the Depot When Food City's corporate dietitian, Elizabeth Hall, came to the Johnson City, Tenn., Food City store to conduct nutrition classes in partnership with East Tennessee State University, those events were held upstairs, at the store's banquet facility, known as the Depot at Franklin Commons. "A little history on that: When Johnson City was first founded, it was known as Johnson's Depot," explains Store Manager Derek Adkis- son. "This town has a railroad history to it, and when we were brainstorming ideas for the name of this room, we came across the Depot. You'll see a railroad theme in here through the pictures displayed." The facility, which seats 100-plus people, offers full audiovisual capabilities and can be divided in half, is not only used internally for Hall's nutrition classes and for cooking demos, but has also hosted various civic organizations, in addition to private parties such as birthdays and anniversaries. "The sky's the limit in here," asserts Adkisson. "We can go as formal as somebody might like through a sit-down three-course meal, or we can do a buffet-style meal, we can do finger foods. We take care of the event; the customer shows up and enjoys the experience." The store's catering operation also does off-site events. "We have three of these" in total throughout the chain, says EVP of Merchandising and Marketing Dan Glei, noting that "this one has some features that the other ones don't have. You learn as you go, and this one is probably the best expression of our being able to show and tell as we go."