Get Stores ‘Fit’ to Build Trips

Articles
January 29, 2010

Get Stores ‘Fit’ to Build Trips

Here’s a novel opportunity for food stores to reinforce their positions as health and wellness destinations, and make themselves part of pop culture.

Here’s a novel opportunity for food stores to reinforce their positions as health and wellness destinations, and make themselves part of pop culture. So many retailers drone on about the first goal as health and wellness sellers – signage, educational materials, dietitians, a good mix of healthful products. Necessary elements, for sure, but they all sound so much the same.

It’s the pop culture part of the achievement that will make a retailer more memorable and entertaining, and more believable as an expert in the broader notion of wellness that includes motion, exercise, fun, laughing, companionship, weight loss and more. How could stores achieve this, when they already have enough challenges executing conventional product sales?

Think Nintendo Wii Fit Plus, the latest version of the exercise game system that has captured many of America’s living rooms – and senior citizens centers – for the impressive amount of sociable exercise it provides people of all ages. Consider its innate tie-in to weight loss, and it naturally supports a store’s health and wellness premise – when used with verve at a supermarket.

Our thinking goes beyond pure product sales here, and beyond exercise kiosks that Target set up recently near store entrances and in parking lots in nine selected stores in California, Texas, Florida and Georgia, which Brandweek reported. At these promotional sampling events in January, Target gave out $15 gift cards (while supplies lasted) to induce people to exercise in public. Also, Target gave away free Archer Farm (private label) snacks.

We have other tie-ins in mind for supermarkets. How about reusable water containers that sport the retailer’s logo? Hydration products? Fit food recipes? Private label energy snacks? Tips for how to eat and drink smartly before and after exercise?    And why not step up the use of the Wii Fit into a regularly scheduled midday bowling league for seniors (they’ll pick up some necessities)? Or early-morning golf for guys (with breakfast on the run available for sale nearby)? Competitions can build trip continuity.

To us, it’s also about making the store visit a communal experience, reinforcing health and wellness, and generating sales volume at slower times.  Wii Fit is one of those rare items that appeal to every generation. It could be a start for a food store to be seen as contemporary, hip and fun.