To meet the needs of urban shoppers with minimal pantry space and a penchant for prepared foods, conventional grocers are shifting away from 100,000-square-foot megastores to 30,000- to 50,000-square-foot operations, according to an article published in The Globe and Mail. Advances in supply-chain management means these stores can devote less space to storage and more to amenities like in-store pizza ovens and cafes.
Conventional retailers will likely continue to make inroads into the personalized, high-end and boutique grocery experience—which could spell trouble for natural retailers, said Rafael Mael, marketing strategist at Baltimore-based Brand Launcher. “Independent, natural retailers are starting to realize they have to compete with businesses with much bigger budgets and deeper product lines,” he warns.
Natural retailers won’t win by trying to undercut their new competition, Mael said. Instead, he suggests, “because you know your clientele, you have the ability to reach out and do things that are going to connect with them as well as build your brand.” Go the extra mile, he says, such as offering loyal customers free samples of new products as well as special birthday treats.