As supermarkets grow, they should add coin counting machines to their repertoire. These machines count and sort coins, converting them into cash for customers. When stores grow, they have a larger impact on the communities they serve. These machines help garner interest from customers and build brand loyalty. Additional services and offerings help them best the local competition, no matter the size. Creating incentives to visit outside of just needing to get groceries creates more opportunities for growth.
Grocery stores can still benefit from expansion, even as the industry pushes toward more specialized food services for specific clientele. They can incorporate specific types of products, gathering a larger audience while keeping costs low based on scale. But this approach will only work if enough customers are out there to meet the demand in some capacity. Part of the reason for the growth of either value-level or niche supermarkets is a connection to consumers that focuses on one aspect of grocery shopping rather than a cornucopia of needs and desires. Mid-level markets should answer this specialization by catering to both without alienating everyone in the process.
Ralphs will attempt this form of expansion as it runs a remodeled flagship supermarket in Southern California. The store, based in the posh Westwood Village neighborhood of Los Angeles, reopened Sept. 18, according to Supermarket News. It is now the largest supermarket in the region at 93,400 square feet, putting it in league with big-box retailers such as Walmart and Costco. With the additional space comes several new additions to the store. First are food stands designed for consumption on the go or while shopping. These include a juice bar, a sushi bar, a Mexican stand, a pizzeria and a wine and beer bar. The store expanded its cheese offerings with an outpost of the New York City-based Murray's Cheese Shop. Outside of food, the store now has a wellness center that includes vitamins and body care products as well as natural health goods. Finally, the produce section includes locally-sourced fruits and vegetables, and traditional Asian staples.
Such an expansion should also include a large number of services to go along with it. Self-service coin counters fit the bill by offering people looking to convert change a stop during their shopping trip. They can then spend that money on the food court, some fine cheese or natural shampoo.
December 1, 2015