Windows Could Romance the Supermarket Role

Articles
June 16, 2010

Windows Could Romance the Supermarket Role

If supermarket windows better reflected their centerpiece role in feeding America’s households, they’d differentiate from other channels, engage shoppers before they even entered the store, inspire food cooking and serving ideas, and potentially deliver revenue by charging CPG allowances to showcase particular brands.

If supermarket windows better reflected their centerpiece role in feeding America’s households, they’d differentiate from other channels, engage shoppers before they even entered the store, inspire food cooking and serving ideas, and potentially deliver revenue by charging CPG allowances to showcase particular brands.

All of this would be possible if stores took a more open approach to conveying the meal solutions inside that suit everyday and holiday eating and drinking occasions. What a lift entertaining windows could provide on many levels, we believe at The Lempert Report. We’d like more ‘seeing is believing’ practiced – rather than experience again and again the vast, flat item/price signs that coat the glass in most places.

Supermarkets could visually and impactfully recall the days of butchers and bakers, or illustrate Rockwellian scenes of families with food, to help stir the emotional side of shoppers and have them think outside of their shopping lists and budgets. They’d also build buzz for stores, as neighborhoods come to appreciate the efforts and visit to see what’s next. 

Food stores have enormous frontage they could manage – if they choose to. It’s time to call in architects to frame the concept, then outsource the ongoing execution and gain community goodwill in the process. Local artists or college talent could get involved in the showcasing, done to high standards. The windows don’t have to look like New York’s Fifth Avenue at Christmastime, but they could ‘put a best face’ on food stores as sources of sustenance, growth, health, fun and family relationships.

We wonder about the grim utility of supermarket windows today: Are circulars and shelf signs not enough to call attention to the week’s deals? Are these vast paper signs so influential in purchase decisions? Do they provide some sense of security that cashier operations are less visible from outside? Are they helping to control light and heat levels within the store, and keeping glare off of the register screens? If every cubic inch of the store needs to be productive, why not pitch CPG about supporting window displays?

The Lempert Report thinks think any questions about the store-level execution of these windows could be addressed—that romancing the channel is essential today with so many clubs, discounters, dollar and drug stores and others picking off trips with item/price opportunities. Windows would do a lot to reinforce the authority of supermarkets as the nation’s leading food purveyors.