SELL THE STORE AS A LIFESTYLE DESTINATION, ZAUCHA URGES

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Supermarket operators need to promote their stores as consumer-driven lifestyle destination centers, said Thomas K. Zaucha, president and chief executive officer of the National Grocers Association, Reston, Va. can enjoy -- and I emphasize the word enjoy -- a shopping experience in which they can easily satisfy the needs of a wide variety of lifestyles," he said.Zaucha made

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Supermarket operators need to promote their stores as consumer-driven lifestyle destination centers, said Thomas K. Zaucha, president and chief executive officer of the National Grocers Association, Reston, Va.

can enjoy -- and I emphasize the word enjoy -- a shopping experience in which they can easily satisfy the needs of a wide variety of lifestyles," he said.

Zaucha made his remarks at an NGA-sponsored education meeting here called Supermarket College, produced in coordination with Raphel Marketing.

He urged retailers "to go beyond the basics of moving product, creating sales themes and telling about your quality service and create something more compelling that will keep the Wal-Marts, the Kmarts, the category killers and all our other deep-pocket competitors from taking our customers away in the next millennium."

He acknowledged that what he is calling for "may seem a tall order," but he noted that many of the ingredients already exist in stores, including banks, dry cleaning, one-hour photo developing, money orders, travel agencies, pharmacies, floral-delivery services, child care centers, video departments, pet care centers, catering, gourmet food and sit-down restaurants.

"We have yet to really tie them together in the sort of super solution selling that is needed to create that lifestyle dimension," Zaucha said. "All we need to do is put it all together in one shopping cart."

To demonstrate his point, he cited health care, which is a concern to the over-50 Baby Boomers "as well as the health-conscious, exercise-conscious and diet-conscious Generation X. The challenge is to transfer today's pharmacy and HBA departments into wellness centers," Zaucha said.

"This concept envisions offering customers everything from diagnostic and prevention services to counseling and information on nutrition, safe diets, exercise, personal fulfillment and child development."