Consumer Change Means Innovations for the Supermarket

The Lempert Report
January 29, 2015

Find out what innovative changes supermarkets made 30 years ago and how they're looking today!

All week we've been highlighting stories we reported on 30 years ago in our first ever Lempert Report newsletter.  One story was about how supermarkets  were adapting to consumer change. For example, then FMI vice-chairman Allen Bildner was quoted as saying "For more shoppers, saving money is out, saving time  is in." In 1984 surveyed shoppers showed that the popularity of cents-off coupons as a cost saving tool used on nearly every shopping trip declined to 30%, down nine percent.  This slight decline in budgeting may have been a direct outcome of the rise in the number of two incomes families, which is turn meant that a trend was growing towards time-saving at the supermarket.  Seven out of nine time saving techniques showed increased popularity with shoppers, such as faster checkouts, so supermarkets responded with some innovative ways to help save time. 

Back then we reported that to help time poor customers, 75% of supermarkets added a deli department, in store pharmacies were being added and becoming more popular with FMI vice-chairman Allen Bildner saying they are "definitely here to stay", and that newest supermarket addition 30 years ago? Automated Teller Machines which by then were appearing in 15% of stores.

30 years later, supermarkets are continuing to adjust and make innovative changes based on consumer trends, which still includes a need for convenience and time saving options.  Most supermarkets have now adopted some form of online integration, whether it's the convenience of finding coupons, deals, tips or delivery - supermarkets have had to adopt an online presence to appeal to the time-pressed, mobile shopper. And if there was an interest in faster check outs 30 years ago, that has stayed a priority! From self check outs to mobile payment options, like Apple Pay, supermarkets today are still adding new and savvy ways to keep those checkout lines short. As we were beginning to see 30 years ago with the addition of pharmacies and delis etc, supermarkets are very much becoming the one stop shop. From prescriptions, to prepared foods supermarkets are having to appeal to the consumers need for convenience.