Self-service coin counters have a place in every supermarket. Recently, the disruptive nature of millennials and other market factors caused a divergence in the tastes of the average American consumer. The standard supermarket that offers every single type of mass-produced foodstuffs is no longer appealing, especially to younger Americans. With this in mind, many Americans are looking to more specialized markets that offer high-quality fare of a certain type. These stores, starting with Whole Foods in the mid-2000s, captivate shoppers with special types of service and products that they can't get anywhere else. Still, these places benefit from self-service coin counters, both as way for people to get extra cash for special purchases or to collect their savings in a way that makes these stores their primary go-to for most of their lifestyle needs.
One unique format taking shape is the fresh-focused supermarket. The Food Marketing Institute defines these grocery stores as a type of premium market, similar in ways to Whole Foods, as stores that emphasize not only on natural foods with less processed ingredients, but also locally-sourced fresh ingredients and produce. These stores tend to favor high-education, high-income consumers, in part due to the high prices for goods. These stores have the most growth over mid-market supermarkets that tend to offer everything, with other competitors being value-focused markets that favor opposite demographics.
The impact is significant enough that many larger chains are pushing to open fresh-focused supermarkets on their own. Ahold, which has a major presence in the northeastern United States, announced the opening of its first "bfresh" store in Boston recently. The company took an extraordinary step in committing to the fresh-focused segment by operating the store in a separate division called Fresh Formats that is distinct from the Stop & Shop and Giant brands it currently runs. The result is a store concept that is unique from the standard format Stop & Shop that currently functions in the New England area. The hope is that the store will create a new kind of supermarket that emphasizes fresh food. One of the features of this store is a food preparation area where customers can watch employees prepare fresh meals for them, with the menu changing daily.
Despite this change in style, these types of stores could still benefit from self-service coin counters. The clientele of places like bfresh still save change and can benefit from a service that enables them to convert that change into a little extra cash for special purchases.
November 9, 2015