Progressive Grocer Independent

OCT 2016

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October 2016 | Defining the Independent Market | 11 all of a household's needs; while one member may observe a specialized diet, for instance, not all of them might. "We want to eliminate multi- ple stops to finish your grocery shop- ping," Ergen adds. So, while Harvest Natural Market competes with natural food stores and conventional supermarkets, he says it's unique in its product mix, which allows shoppers to buy everything from organic pro- duce to conventional spaghetti sauce to fresh meals prepared in-house, all in a dynamic, market-like setting. e store is merchandised accord- ing to specialty diets. Gluten-free, Paleo or raw, and sugar-free each THE CORNER DELI Customers can get the makings for a high-quality sandwich to prepare at home, or choose a freshly prepared grab-and-go option on bakery fresh bread. are showcased in their own sections to make shopping easy for custom- ers following those diets. However, natural and organic products are mer- chandised alongside their conven- tional counterparts. "We didn't want to separate organic and conventional," Ergen says. e products are next to each other to make it easier for custom- ers to see their options and make price comparisons. e only exception is in the produce department, where conventional and organic are separated. Customer Requests e store's small size makes product procurement slightly tricky, but since the stores are so new, customers have a lot of say in what's stocked. "We want our customers to talk to us," Akpinar says. "We want to learn from them; that's why you see our lists." If customers can't find the product they want, the store provides a re- quest form at the end of almost every aisle for customers to write down what product they couldn't find. If they provide contact information, then the store will let them know when the product is in stock. And if the customer lives close enough, the store will even deliver it to them, Ergen notes. "We do more customer service [than a typical supermarket]", he adds. "We want to make the ex- perience of shopping more convenient for customers." Time Sensitive e store was specifically designed for customers to be able to complete their shopping in about 30 min- utes. "People don't have time," Ergen says. "I want them to spend two to three hours in our store, but you have to be realistic. We love you, but we respect your time as well." For time-strapped customers, Har- vest Natural Market makes it easy. If customers know what they want and where it is, they can be in and out in five minutes, he notes, but if custom- ers have more time, the staff tries to ensure that they enjoy all of the time "We have natural, we have organic. We support our local farmers with local honeys. We're conventional, but yet international." —Deenita Chapman

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