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5 Ways for Retail Food Stores to be Connected

Take it for granted that the big supermarkets have a large foothold, but it’s no secret that a growing number of customers want more connection with their food and with those who produce and market it.
Retail food store owners in the small to medium sector can create this opportunity.

Here’s 5 ways:

  1. Offer a convenient location:
    Being on a major traffic route, an arterial road or within a busy shopping hub is a great start - as long as there’s easy parking and ease of access.
    It’s service and convenience we’re talking about, so parking and public transport facilities are of highest priority.
  2. Enhance the fitout to make the store a social hub:
    The store fitout must be appealing enough to attract a loyal customer base.
    Making flexible areas, allocating space for relaxed gatherings/ presentations, creating wide walkways are all useful fitout design elements.
    Using large graphics, natural materials, a green wall, creative tiling, feature ceilings are just a few options of upscaling a store fitout.
    Depending on the type of retail store and the “theme” behind it, options like this should be considered.
  3. Connect with the food we eat:
    Urban dwellers can feel disconnected from their food supply especially when they shop at the big chains, so allow customers to get to know the personalities and the locations behind the produce you sell.
    For instance, be able to tell them who the egg farmer is, who the bread artisans are, where the apple orchards are located and so on.
    A story behind the grower/producer’s personalities and their location is a big connection point.
  4. Personalise the produce to your customers’ wants:
    Some stores nowadays prepare produce like meat, fish and vegetable dishes in a way their customers ask for.
    Some even pre-wash and chop up vegetables as “take homes” for the evening cooking.
    So, for many customers, it’s not all about a lowest price point:
    it can certainly be about choosing quality and service.
    Doing research on the needs of your customer base can reap some very significant rewards in terms of the service you can offer.
  5. Use the “Store within a store” concept to increase the convenience factor:
    Offering for instance, a separate juice or coffee bar, a “healthy ready to eat” section, a gift and florist “store”  can be a true advantage.
    It’s an opportunity to value add.
    Keeping it exciting for customers will keep them loyal.

It’s a definite point of difference smaller retail store owners can offer against the big superchains.
Humanising the food shopping experience to a personal level is well worth the effort.

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