Coin counting machines can quickly turn lots of coins into a significant amount of cash, a major selling point supermarkets can promote to customers. The machines have several other convenience factors, such as no longer needing to sort coins out after collecting them for a long time. However, the cash is a big factor, since customers can then use the money they receive toward a purchase in store. This situation presents grocery stores with options that enable money picked up from these machines to go back into the business.
Supermarkets face remarkable changes due to change in American appetites. The most unlikely source of development comes not from a certain food item but the way people are getting their food. In an article for Supermarket News, food industry expert Neil Stern cited U.S. census data that indicates this year would be the first on record where people are spending more money on food from restaurants, bars and other dining establishments than they are from grocery stores. A combination of changing tastes, eating patterns and the reduced amount of time people can dedicate to cooking a meal are all factors to this situation.
One way supermarkets can adapt is to expand their functionality to include prepared meals customers can eat in store. Stern cites the example of Eataly, an Italian food marketplace with two locations in the U.S. They function both as a place to get specialized Italian food and to purchase actual prepared Italian meals. Another instance is Mariano's, an upscale grocer located in the Chicagoland area. Many of its locations offer wine bars, barbecue restaurants and veggie grills. Still others, like Whole Foods and Safeway, perform some variations of food service, such as preparing sandwiches, serving pizza slices and more. By combining food service with groceries, many of these supermarkets provide an evolved state of customer experience that caters to any and all needs.
With these considerations in mind, grocery stores should put food service into good use. Self-service coin counters can help boost sales by giving customers a reason to go there. With the cash they receive from these machines, they can use the money to spend time at a wine bar imbibing a new blend or varietal that the store offers, or enjoy a nice meal while taking a break from shopping.
December 9, 2015