Supermarkets may change, but the value of self-service coin counters remains the same. They present a service to customers in the community by making it easier to turn the hundreds and thousands of coins they save over months and years into more portable dollar bills. It's a great way for people to learn about the value of money or teach their kids the same thing. For grocery stores, these machines present a unique opportunity to encourage consumers to spend more money in store through branding initiatives, sales promotions and product marketing. All of these ideas can help forge a greater bond with stores and their audience.
Habits change in shopping over time, and this especially applies to groceries. Additional sections appear regularly in an effort to cater to a greater audience. It shows that supermarkets listen. A new trend in supermarket shopping is taking a route that's opposite of everything before it by shrinking store size. This idea comes not from product selection but shopping patterns. More people look to make small purchases on a daily basis than one big weekly visit that covers all their important needs. This change in habit may mean that people are more inclined to visit stores that cater to immediate needs than an all-encompassing market. In other words, consumers are more impulsive and less planned, as suggested by Stewart Samuel in a column for Supermarket News.
There are two examples in the New England region that emphasize the smaller format that could do well. The first is bfresh, a concept by supermarket giant Ahold, which opened its first store in the Allston neighborhood of Boston recently. At 10,000 square feet, the emphasis is on food-to-go offerings along with fresh produce. Given that the store opened in an area filled with college students and faculty, they are more receptive to the approach. Meanwhile, outside of Portland, Maine, Hannaford's new 20,000 square-foot store has a layout centered on creating meals in one go, with the wine section next to deli and the deserts near the checkout, among other things. By emphasizing a nightly plan instead of a week-long strategy, customers at this store will benefit from the development.
While habits may change, there are still services that grocery customers need. Self-service coin counters can still be useful, for people may use their daily trip to convert smaller amounts of change to get a few extra dollars. This can turn into a quick extra item for purchase, ensuring money returns to the store itself.
December 29, 2015