July 30, 2013
Major retailers might get the mainstream media’s attention as they march across America opening store after store, but independent retailers are expanding and remodeling at impressive rates. In fact, NFM’s 2013 Market Overview found:
30 percent renovated or remodeled in 2012 and 28 percent intend to in 2013.
9 percent added onto one or more facilities in 2012 and 8 percent plan to in 2013.
11 percent plan to add a new location this year, after 5 percent did in 2012.
What’s hot on today’s planograms? We talked to a couple of industry leaders to find out the latest must-haves in natural foods store updates. Here MaryJo Marks, UNFI’s retail training and education department manager, and Corinne Shindelar, CEO of the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association, share six store trends.
Back to bulk. Old-school bulk has returned, Marks says, including nut butter machines. But it’s new, too, including oils, herbs, spices and even cleaning products.
Redone refrigerators. Seeking to serve up more frozen foods, grab-and-go options and local meat, “everyone is looking for more freezer space as older stores were tight there,” Marks says.
Prepared foods. Marks and Shindelar agree, delis are hotter than ever as natural retailers offer up in-store convenience with juice, sushi and food bars, prepared meals and even catering.
Bigger bakeries. Baking’s getting big—more than 5,000-square-feet big, Marks says. Even adding small bakery cases for local and in–house treats sweetens this trend.
Adding fresh. New stores are getting stronger in peripheral departments all the time as they stock more fresh, Shindelar says.
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