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Latest insights: Blog2

How we'd shape Whole Foods Market's new smaller format concept

Updated: Mar 8

Whole Foods Market Daily Shop is set to launch in New York later this year. From a size perspective, at 7,000-14,000 sq ft, it's a different ballpark to most of the Whole Foods Market estate. What would we do if we were developing this format?

  • Focus on the target customer and their core missions. There's not enough space to do everything here, so we'd suggest taking a clear focus on key shorter term shopping missions to enable clarity in ranging, layout and experience.

  • Lead with food-to-go that stays relevant into the evening. We'd be looking at meal solutions/ menu items suitable for food-for-now and food-for-later missions, and support this with messaging in-store.

  • Consider the different customer journeys in-store. Making it easy to complete those food-to-go missions will play a role here.

  • Integrate the collection for delivery operation around food-to-go into the core store layout. This is increasingly part of how food-to-go specialists think about core formats, so there's a definite relevance here as well.

  • Use the right tech for the customer mission, and map it right so it can be upgraded. Digital ordering, loyalty benefits and #justwalkout technology will all no doubt be part of the solution employed, it will be fascinating to see what level of digital shelf-edge labelling will be employed - there have been some strong advances here over recent years.

This is an exciting development, both for Whole Foods Market, a long-standing and continuing reference point for food retail development globally, and for the broader market. Who would we look to learn from and be inspired by if we were in Whole Foods Market's shoes? Here's a starting point:

- Dom's Kitchen & Market - a focus on foodservice-oriented retail across the store, and a goal on meeting customers' needs for the next 24 hours. A top destination for any Chicago visit.

- Choice Market - a convenience store operation based in Denver, but one underpinned by food-to-go and food-for-later solutions. They do some great things around customer engagement and loyalty as well, and a good balance of customer-focused technology supporting the proposition.

- Kavanagh's Belsize Park, London. One of London's best stores, catering to an upmarket, environmentally conscious, neighbourhood customer base. And with an in-store kitchen creating differentiated meal solutions for now and for later, alongside an open and welcoming store layout and design. Most of the Kavanagh's estate is in Ireland, which more broadly is a great source of inspiration in this space, and a best practice market for food-to-go in retail.

- Monoprix in Paris. Meals for later in particular here are a highlight, I'm a particular fan of the collaboration with Luna Food, but there's a lot more to take from this quality focused concept.

- Marks & Spencer. Some fantastic new formats in place, whether larger stores or more convenience led propositions, targeting a variety of customers and missions, but with a strong focus on creating a great environment and customer experience to support the quality focused food.

If you want to understand more about how we can get you up to speed with the latest food retail format developments, whether via a retail safari, bespoke report or presentation, get in touch.

Want to join our upcoming food-to-go workshop? Find out more about our 21 March session here.


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