Grocery stores of the future

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The 10 critical considerations for the survival of physical grocery stores are covered in a report from international grocery research organisation IGD for the Consumer Goods Forum.

The free-to-download report not only features the areas all grocery stores should be focusing on to ensure their future relevance, but also gives case studies of best practices, and covers the forces influencing store evolution. It also includes checklists for both retailers and manufacturers to make sure they get the most from the report.

According to the report, physical stores must rapidly evolve and innovate to remain relevant. As digital solutions create a world where channels become less relevant, retailers need to approach the challenge of evolving physical stores for the future in innovative ways.

The report says the top 10 considerations for the survival of physical grocery stores are:

  • Understand shoppers and their missions.
  • Better data will enable better service.
  • Be ready to enable flexible store design.
  • Invest in staff.
  • Reconsider store ranges.
  • Remove friction from the whole journey.
  • Build and support brands.
  • Involve the supply chain team earlier and more often.
  • New stores will require different ways to measure success.
  • Get buy-in from the top and from partners in the chain.

All 10 topics are covered in depth in the 24-page report.

“The digital world is advancing at lightning speed and the online shopping experience will just keep improving, which means it could be challenging for physical stores to remain relevant for shoppers in the future,” IGD CEO Joanne Denney-Finch said.

“However, we believe there will always be a place for bricks-and-mortar stores in grocery retailing, as physical stores will always be best placed to deliver instant gratification, impulse purchases and customer service.

“So, we expect the store of the future to merge the physical and digital worlds, to create a much more absorbing experience featuring fresh food, new products, unique events and more ways to taste, learn and discover.

“Retailers and manufacturers must therefore work collaboratively, to prepare for the very different future taking shape around us.”

IGD is a research and training charity with experts based in the UK, Singapore and North America.