Spring Cleaning for Supermarkets

March 29, 2016

Make room for the best your stores can be. Emphasize what people like most, and bring them front and center for a sharper presentation.

Few enjoy spring cleaning at home, but many find it is ultimately gratifying. Spring cleaning at retail can help shoppers discover a new luster in the store.

Supermarkets that take the springtime opportunity to toss out their dust collectors—items that don’t appeal, processes that waste time, marketing messages that miss their mark, and apathetic staffers—can generate shopper enthusiasm for a new, uplifted in-store experience.

The Lempert Report has put together this checklist to get food stores started on their seasonal refresh. Feel free to expand this list with ideas that suit individual markets and shopper groups:

•    Walk around the store as if you are a customer with attitude. Do you give people reasons to dismiss the store as a destination? Are there enough reasons to covet it? Is parking easy or tough? Is the layout logical, convenient and easy to navigate? Are pricing and promotions as clear as they could be? Do the deli and checkout lines move? Is your staff welcoming or indifferent to shoppers? Fix whatever comes up short in this spring-cleaning ritual.
•    Assort in sync with popular trends. We all know them by now—local, organic and ethnic foods in particular. Make them easy to find and highlight them as parts of meal solutions, not just individual items. 
•    Sign to encourage multiple purchases and emphasize value. Shoppers will respond to the convenient suggestions (they’ll save time), and feel that the store is on their side trying to keep prices fair.
•    Fire up displays for the grilling season. A warm winter has America in an early grilling mood, and the backyard will be a center of attraction. Make home entertainment simple and impressive with inventive varieties of foods including vegetarian options.
•    Keep the dialogue going with customers all week long. Convey special deals and food insights on social media and the store’s website to help chief household shoppers keep mealtime interesting and sometimes surprising. Showcase your spring cleaning look on Instagram. Address customer concerns promptly on Twitter and similar media to show responsiveness and caring, and offer fun ways (games, contests, stories) to engage people in local markets.