Holiday Merchandising for Grocers

Winter holiday season is finally here! These coming weeks are retailers’ most exciting and profitable time of the year. From now until January, grocers can leverage their unique position to make their costumers’ holidays a magical time and, thus, solidify their relationship. Grocers with a good holiday strategy can capture the biggest slice of the holiday spending pie.
A holiday strategy should encompass all aspects of the operation of a grocery store. To best serve costumers during the holiday season, grocers must curate stock relevant to their costumers’ needs and create a retail floor where these can be best met. Breaking from routine, consumers are more rushed and adventurous than ever. A streamlined store caters to their urgency and invites exceptional (impulse) purchases. Correctly stocking the store is crucial; holiday merchandising holds the key.
Seasonal dishes, like turkey and ham, will be definite anchors to the store (don’t forget about seasonal ethnic dishes like cod and tamales). Leverage your retail floor to provide solutions for special meals, as opposed to scattered items. Some examples:

  • Holiday salad isle with fig vinegar, hazelnuts and other seasonal salad items.
  • A station brewing, serving and selling cider and punch (your store should smell like the holidays!)
  • A turkey-dinner display with everything needed to prepare the turkey (brining containers, a turkey baster, a thermometer and carving knives) and the accompanying items (stuffing, etc).
  • A pumpkin-themed desert section, with pie, cookies, ice-cream and chai.
  • A one-stop shop for parties: cups, decoration, hats, balloons, etc.

Consider displaying holiday cooking guides to help with food preparation; magazines that review items and give shopping guides will also be appreciated. Keep in mind that costumers strapped for time are more likely to purchase prepared foods; plan accordingly. By providing integrated solutions to their costumer’s needs, a grocer can establish a bond of trust with the costumer.
Grocery stores traditionally have had a competitive advantage at providing most shopping categories. This study shows the planned holiday shopping, per shopper. (1)

By category, October 2014

By category, October 2014

But research shows that consumer dollars are going into gifts for family members. The following chart depicts planned holiday spending in dollars. (1)

 

By category, in October 2014.

By category, in October 2014.

This means that grocers are receiving the most visits by costumers that are looking to spend in items not traditionally stocked by grocers. Grocers looking to have the most successful holiday season must be proactive and go beyond just groceries.
By partaking on your costumers’ holidays beyond the dining table, you can solidify your relationship with them and increase your sales. Ninety-two percent of those looking to shop for gifts will be doing so in grocery stores; they are mainly looking for value and variety (2). Health and Beauty items are popular stocking-stuffers. Small toys (like dominoes, playing cards, tops and yo-yos) and batteries for toys are particularly effective in point-of-purchase displays. Don’t forget to stock and display gift-wrapping supplies and holiday cards!
Use proper signage and promotion to maximise the impact of your inventory and increase sales. Help streamline the flow of costumers and call attention to relevant items with seasonal signage. Completely revamping your store will make the process clumsy, but experimentation, with proper signage, will make your store more exciting. Costumers visit stores more frequently during the holidays; make sure your store is fresh by changing special displays and end-caps. The holidays are, above all, a time to experiment and exercise your creativity.
A grocery store can be a haven from the rush and an ally in the times leading up to the holidays. A good holiday strategy will not only provide costumers with what they want, but help them discover what they need to make this their best holidays yet. Be part of your costumer’s holiday story, they’ll always remember.
Sutti Team

PS: Check out Pinterest for some cool ideas for these holidays.

 

(1) http://research.nrffoundation.com/Default.aspx?pg=9003#.VJC8A1o7Mow

(2) www.imperialdist.com/2009/10/holiday-merchandising/

Whole Foods opens new store in San Jose

A new (and different) Whole Foods in Town

Sutti is proud to to congratulate Whole Foods on opening their new store in 777 The Alameda, San Jose CA. This 35,000 square-foot store is the second in San Jose and 42nd in California. But, in many ways, this store is a trailblazing first.

The brewery's deck oversees the breezeway and the stadium.

The brewery’s deck oversees the breezeway and the stadium.

At 777 The Alameda, up to 200 guests will enjoy outdoor seating in The Breezeway, nestled in between the store and the 3,500 square-foot building which houses a brewery, a café and a fresh juice bar. “This new San Jose store is truly designed as a community gathering space” says Jeff Giardinelli, Store Team Leader(1). Foot traffic from the Diridon Station, the SAP Center (“The Tank” for those hockey fans out there) and downtown San Jose will be served with grab-and-go options and a full menu restaurant. The Mission Creek Brewing Company, Whole Foods’s first in-store brewery and taproom in California, will crown the building, offering stunning views and what may turn out to be the hottest pre- and post-game spot for the San José Sharks (and rock shows, of course!)(2).

Guests can enjoy beers on tap.

Guests can enjoy beers on tap.

The store is one of Whole Foods’ most environmentally efficient yet and is pursuing a LEED certification. Some of green features are: building materials selected from local and sustainable sources, landscaping and and irrigation chosen and integrated to help local biodiversity and decrease water use, an on-site heat and electricity generator which will produce about 90% of the store’s requirements, and a state-of-the-art CO2 refrigeration system that uses almost 100% natural refrigerants(1).

Costumers will find quality and variety.

Costumers will find quality and variety.

Sutti & Associates worked with Whole Foods for over two years, building the foundation, shell and tenant improvement phases. We congratulate the Whole Foods Team and invite you all to 777 The Alameda. The Sutti Team

The Sutti team at the brewery: Congratulations Whole Foods!

The Sutti team at the brewery: Congratulations Whole Foods!

You can follow the 777 The Alameda Store on Facebook in the following link: Whole Foods San Jose

PS: The first batch of beer comes out this Friday, if you’re wondering.

SOURCES

(1)http://media.wholefoodsmarket.com/news/alameda-12-9#sthash.ECPTX9NU.dpuf

(2) http://www.mercurynews.com/san-jose-neighborhoods/ci_27053726/community-readies-whole-foods-opening-store-tours

[EDIT: The Sillicon Valley Business Journal has some great pictures of the opening]