58 EQUIPMEN T, DESIGN AND OPERATIONS HANDBOOK 2017 | DESIGN www.groceryheadquarters.com
EDO HANDBOOK 2017
demonstrate the changing nature of Aldi to focus on fresh
and away from their traditional merchandising. The same
thing is happening in some stores in Amsterdam. Fresh prod-
ucts are in the center of the store so it becomes an attractive
destination rather than something shoppers walk by when
they enter the store.”
Fresh food is where the center store products used to be
in EMTÉ Supermarkets. The operator of 130 stores in the
Netherlands as part of Sligro Food Group sets itself apart
from the competition by specializing in top-quality fresh
Wood says the successful grocers will be the ones that can
help meet the consumer’s expectations with a consistent, sim-
ple, rewarding shopping experience.
To that end, D|Fab has collaborated with grocers to transform thousands of sales floor square footage into experiential spaces for their customers, including beer and wine bars.
Grocers have also used technology to add elements of entertainment and promote interaction with their associates. The
philosophy is that giving customers personalized choices
about how they shop a store is a commitment more grocers
are getting on board with.
Which U.S. grocers are meeting shoppers’ desire for more
personalized store layout and design? Bajorek says Whole
Foods is leading the trend to more innovative store concepts,
while smaller grocers, such as the Standard Market in Chicago
and Kroger through their Marketplace formats continue to
create new experiences and give shoppers what they want.
“One retailer that comes to mind regarding this type of
design is Mariano’s in and around Chicago,” says Wood.
“They feature a solid center store that includes robust international and gluten-free sections, as well as an eating area with
a coffee shop, smoothie station, sushi and barbecue, among
other things. The store is designed to encourage flow from
the high-margin perimeter through the center store, and the
assortment appears to be designed based on the store location
and the surrounding population.”
Abdo lists Wegmans and Albertson’s as grocers focused
on improving the design and overall experience they are providing to shoppers in their stores. But he says no retailer has
been more focused on improving its in-store experience than
“Over the past few years, Kroger has continued to test
innovations and store formats that deliver on shoppers’ needs
and provide a unique, personalized experience for the Kroger
shopper,” he says. “They are not only committed to having the
right price on key items, but also providing faster checkouts
through technology that monitors overall traffic, letting managers know when they need to open additional registers.
“In addition, in the Marketplace formats Kroger is increasing its prepared food options, delivering more choice to shoppers, including olive bars, pizza stations and beer on tap,
allowing shoppers the choice to pour a growler of their favorite brew.”