Fairway Market’s new store in Lake Grove, N.Y., will debut a new store layout designed to improve labor productivity along with new signage to help introduce the urban specialty store to what would be its most suburban audience.
The Lake Grove store — Fairway’s first in Suffolk County on Long Island — is expected to open in July, Kevin McDonnell, co-president and COO of the New York-based retailer, told analysts in a conference call reviewing quarterly earnings late Thursday.
“While posting strong demographics, we do realize that Lake Grove is our most distant suburban location, and we will be taking appropriate measures to drive traffic and cultivate the customer base. Our renewed focus on enhancing in-store communications will allow us to more effectively highlight our differentiated offering and value proposition, which becomes increasingly important as Fairway extends further out from the city.”
Officials said Lake Grove would be a pilot store for the new signage, with plans to integrate the new design into existing stores. The Lake Grove store has also been designed so as to reduce labor costs by integrating service departments and increasing the efficiency of product loading and unloading.
The store is also using less heavy equipment than typical Fairway locations do, an initiative supported in part by the rollout of a new production facility. That facility is expected to begin operations shortly, starting with produce cross-docking and adding bakery and full food preparation capabilities by the end of the calendar year. This facility will improve costs and product quality, while supporting increased varieties of prepared foods, McDonnell said.
Much of the new selections in prepared foods appeal to diverse international tastes, McDonnell said, citing a new line of empanadas and tamales; a Mediterranean line with Moroccan-style chicken; and Asian- and Indian- inspired noodle bowls. “The early success of these lines has prompted us to begin working on additional SKUs for added variety,” he said.
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