Progressive Grocer

DEC 2016

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Page 25 of 135

2016 Store Design Review Feature E very year, the Progressive Grocer team visits a lot of supermarkets all around the country, and few fail to impress us. It's really a shame that we have room to share only a few visits with you, through our signature Store of the Month features. We see stores in urban, suburban and rural areas, big and small, serving many demograph- ics, with products and services targeting consumers specific to those locations. e common thread running through all of them: a laser focus on delivering the greatest possible shopping experience, from warm, well-lit surroundings to cozy niches in which to enjoy fresh prepared foods. "Today's most successful concepts drive customer experi- ence into every aspect of the store and provide associate- consumer interaction touchpoints," says Tom Henken, VP and director of design for Tampa, Fla.-based retail design firm API(+). "When planning, the most successful operators allow for impactful changes in merchandising and position strategically throughout the store." Additionally, the best store designs "communicate strong points of difference from the competition, and own them," Henken notes. "Another key is to balance the quality and value equation, and communicate well to the consumer." Of course, grocers are looking to increase frequency of visits and maximize higher-margin sales per visit, driven by creating a want-versus-need connection with customers. "Successful grocery companies place high importance on high-impact, cost-effective, brand-driven environments that take advantage of labor and mainte- nance efficiencies," Henken says. Another common goal among new stores, he adds, is to provide a compelling and sustainable prepared food pro- gram, minimizing shrink and wasteful labor while meeting D E signing Exp E ri E nc E n ew stores need to engage and connect with shoppers. By Jim Dudlicek 26 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | December 2016

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