Retail Floors, It's the Customer's Space
I was traveling with retail Yoda Dave Henry (@d_f_Henry) this week to Save Mart, a regional grocer based in Modesto, CA. We arrived in town early to do a store walk and take a look at the merchandising and operations of a Save Mart store. I enjoy walking stores with Dave because he is instantly able to distill some of the finer points of retailing for me and give me some great insights into the overall strategic thinking of the merchants and marketers behind the sets.
We visited the store location on Whitmore Avenue in Modesto. Upon entering, we grabbed a circular to see what was going on. The first merchandise point of view we encountered was an Apple display reinforcing Save Mart’s focus on fresh foods. It was perfectly placed in the decompression zone and really sets the tone for the shopper’s trip.
The in-store merchandising was aligned with the things we found in the weekly ad. Game day offerings dominated the floorspace with creative and thoughtful displays combining all sorts of tailgate fare. There were some great home-gating options with all the ingredients for guacamole, chips and salsa, beer, etc.
The best placement, however, was a mixed end-cap with a bunker cooler of fresh meat and cheeses surrounded by dry-grocery items, including produce and beer. Dave and I stood and admired the display and began to discuss what a great meal solution option this was for consumers. Dave remarked that in most grocery retailers in his day, this space wouldn’t have been possible since it involved different departments and ownership of floor space. Dave then said the smartest retail statement I’ve ever heard, “This is the customer’s space.” Not exactly a ground-breaking insight, but one that definitely bears remembering for anyone involved in making retail environments better for shoppers.
The beauty of the display was not only that it was easy to shop, but it was inspirational as well. With 75% of grocery shoppers wondering “what’s for dinner?” at 4pm every day, what mom probably appreciates the most is a couple great ideas about how to get her family around the dinner table tonight.