PHOENIX — Wellness centers will play a central role in supermarkets of the future, and general merchandise items will be a part of the products and services offered, said a workshop speaker during the General Merchandise Marketing Conference of Global Market Development Center, Colorado Springs, better known as GMDC. “General merchandise in these challenging times when its space is being taken away, needs to discover more aggressively how it is going to play a role in wellness,” said Patrick Kiernan, managing partner, Day/Kiernan & Associates, Colorado Springs, a consultant and former supermarket executive. “If you are a grocery store and you think you are trusted now in your community for food, you are going to have to gain the authenticity to become a go-to source for wellness. You are going to have to demonstrate it in ways that the customer wants as opposed to ways that you want. I think it is going to take some re-branding,” he said. Besides products, these wellness centers will be staffed by dietitians, nurse practitioners and other health experts. Kiernan predicted that in the future, some supermarkets will take out their pharmacies and put in wellness centers. “Within less than 10years, anyone who opens a grocery store without a wellness center will not be a surviving player,” he said.
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