Good question! While superior produce and expanded “food for now” (a.k.a. prepared food) sections are the main ways supermarkets set themselves apart from competition today, bottom line profits still depend heavily on packaged grocery products. Given this impact, it’s a little surprising that we haven’t seen more innovation in the merchandising of these items.
A different approach
I was intrigued by the way packaged groceries are sold at the new Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Market in Carol Stream, Ill., which opened recently in a former Dominick’s location. When shoppers enter this Caputo’s, virtually all they see is the fresh food and produce offerings. Only after shoppers have traveled more than halfway around the store does it become clear that most of the packaged products are displayed in well-defined “shops” located around the last part of the store’s perimeter.
This layout makes it easy to find the packaged goods and explore certain areas, while allowing the shopper to avoid going up and down every aisle when it isn’t necessary. Overall, the mini-shops seem easy for shoppers to navigate and comfortable to browse; ceilings are lower and so are the walls that separate them, which makes shopping feel less hectic. Of course, the sixty-four thousand dollar question is, does this layout sell enough groceries?
Next Gen Fresh Market
It turns out this isn’t Angelo Caputo’s first experience with the innovative layout they call “Next Generation Fresh Market.” They bought a Marsh store several years ago and gave it the same design, and the fact that they chose to repeat it in their new flagship store clearly shows that it works for them.
Do all retailers need to rethink how they merchandise packaged goods?