As far back as I can recall, we in the supermarket business seem to have a fixation with what our stores will look like in the future. Like all things that require only an opinion, there are many visions and views about this topic.
Adding to the fray, here’s my quick summation of the elements of a prototypical successful store perhaps as soon as 5 years from now.
1. Smaller not larger (25,000 square feet of selling)
2. Far fewer sku’s in center store, but with access to an on-line store where coveted commodity items can be ordered and waiting for the shopper at a delivery door.
3. Fewer cashiers and more scan as you go, or shelf-checkouts.
4. Fewer “racetrack” layouts in favor of distinct stores within a store.
5. And finally, much more interaction with the in-store pharmacy, which will also become a nutritional resource center.
Nothing here that is terribly controversial, but yet for many retailers, much work to do and significant investments to be made to move from the operational-oriented store they have today to a more consumer-centric offering!