For retailers looking to increase their nonfood sales, a commitment to health and wellness is immensely important.
That’s according to The Global Market Development Center’s (GMDC) newly released report titled, “Center Store: Essential for Total Store Growth.”
“We believe health and wellness and fresh are driving trips within the grocery sector,” said Patrick Spear, president and CEO of GMDC, during a press conference call on Friday.
The sentiment backs up a statement he made in a release when the report was first published.
“The best stores run wellness sections that parallel today’s healthful lifestyle and self-care trends,” Spear said in the statement. “Their inline areas for housewares, home, baby, home office, pet and more infuse the latest technologies and design. And they collaborate with brands that know end-users well, while innovating to connect emotionally. It’s these type of strategies that upgrade store image and performance, and win the hearts and minds of today’s consumer.”
The report found that moving the general merchandising needle from three purchases per shopper each year to four would add $500 million in additional sales to the industry.
During the call, Spear also warned that retailers intimidated by the rise of digital shopping methods will not be able to ignore and ride out the shift in habits.
“The way consumers buy is shifting,” Spear said. He pointed to internet searches, access to product reviews, subscriptions and instant purchase avenues such as the Amazon Dash button as change-makers that couldn’t be avoided.
“Retailers have to think different and they have to work with urgency,” he said. “What’s not going to work for anyone is rubbing their hands, hunkering down and digging in.”
Spear suggested that retailers looking to combat digital shopping take the opportunity to “really focus on the shopper and be shopper-centric.”
“Play to your strengths and design around your weaknesses,” added Spear while stressing that stores will need to prioritize what works best for the customer and not necessarily for them.
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