Grocery stores are changing dramatically.
While much has been discussed about how tablets and other technology will be implemented in stores, the core merchandising strategy is also shifting.
As consumers distance themselves from the supercenter model, stores are becoming more intimate, with emphasis on prepared foods and local merchandise.
Traditional grocery stores will begin to disappear in the future, Christopher Studach, creative director at King Retail Solutions, told Business Insider.
“There will be the cost-focused stores and the lifestyle-focused stores,” Studach told us. “What this means is very few conventional (or ‘middle of the road’) grocery operators left.”
King Retail Solutions recently designed a cutting edge example of a lifestyle store, Fresh St. Farms in Canada.
The store is on the forefront of modern merchandising.
Here's the exterior of the store. Note it is much smaller than the average Supercenter. Consumers are seeking more personal, intimate experiences, according to King.
The grocery store has a high-end coffee shop that uses local and sustainable products. Offering a personal experience is key because grocery stores are competing with online retailers like Amazon.
The store has a grill with freshly-prepared foods. More grocers are offering high-quality prepared foods to make their store a destination in the digital age.
Far from the days of rotisserie chickens being staples in the prepared foods section, Fresh St. Farms has hand-rolled sushi and premium sandwiches.
The dairy section features local and organic cheese options. It's increasingly important for grocery stores to differentiate merchandise.
This kiosk is stuffed with even more prepared foods. The end displays are an eclectic mix of national brands, like Cheerios, and local brands.
You can even buy pizzas freshly made in the store that day. Local merchandise adds a farmer's market feel.
Produce is limited to what can be served fresh and in-season, with a large organic selection. The store also has more emphasis on plants than a traditional grocery store. Shoppers are more likely to buy plants in-person than online.
It's important for the modern grocery store to become a destination and give shoppers plenty of options. It's easy to buy pizza by-the-slice, sandwiches, and more.
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