Food Lion in Bloom: Food Lion's new concept uses store design and layout to make shopping easier for consumers.After years of trying to make supermarkets more operationally efficient, Food Lion--one of the world's largest operators of traditional supermarkets--has developed a format that puts shoppers' needs first.
Traditionally, operators designed supermarkets to work best for the retailer. Stores were laid out so the operator could make better use of space or utilities, and forced traffic flows took shoppers all the way through the store just to pick up one item.
Consumers have changed, and heavy competition from convenience-oriented stores and foodservice establishments catering to harried shoppers are forcing supermarkets to rethink the way stores are developed and merchandised. The old store layouts that forced shoppers to hunt for their items made grocery shopping a chore.
Bloom, the new Food Lion Food Lion LLC is an American grocery store company headquartered in Salisbury, North Carolina that operates approximately 1,300 supermarkets in 11 Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states under the Food Lion, Harveys, Bloom, Bottom Dollar, and Reid's nameplates. concept, opened its first prototype store in Charlotte, N.C., at the end of May. The 38,000-square-foot unit was developed over a two-year period by Food Lion's Concept Renewal Team, an interdisciplinary team interdisciplinary team,
n a group that consists of specialists from several fields combining skills and resources to present guidance and information. comprising members from marketing, finance, information technology, category merchandising, operations and design.
"We started with the discovery phase and did a lot of research traveling across a couple of continents looking at various retail concepts, both grocery and non-grocery, and at trends," says Robin Johnson Robin Johnson (born May 24, 1964), is an American actress.
Johnson grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York City. One day when she was 15, sneaking a KOOL on the steps of Brooklyn Technical High School, a man (who has never since been identified) came up to her, told her , concept creator, marketing, for Bloom. "We did a significant amount of consumer research. We conducted more than two dozen focus groups and a number of quantitative studies. We think the customer feedback is what is going to drive the uniqueness of this concept.
"Consumers told us that they wanted a shopping experience that was hassle-free and takes the chore out of shopping. It sounds simple, but it's hard if you think about the way the grocery industry traditionally operates with stores that are convenient for the operator but not necessarily for the customer. It really forced us to break down some old paradigms and rethink the way we operate and what we're delivering to the customer at the end of the day," Johnson adds.
In short, the Bloom concept team had to reinvent re·in·vent
tr.v. re·in·vent·ed, re·in·vent·ing, re·in·vents
1. To make over completely: "She reinvented Indian cooking to fit a Western kitchen and a Western larder" the supermarket without reinventing the store. Food Lion's management saw the format mainly as a model for retrofits of older Food Lion units as opposed to new construction. As such, the design team had to develop two different floor plans: one that fit the current 38,000-square-foot store and another for a 34,000-square-foot store, which are the two footprints typical of older Food Lion units.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Johnson, the store has four goals based on consumer input. First, Bloom seeks to significantly reduce customers' frustrations by helping them find products quickly, re-merchandising the store and using technology extensively. Second, Bloom aims to minimize the amount of time shoppers have to spend in the store, which counters the traditional supermarket operating philosophy. The store has made it much more convenient to find the most popular grocery items and offers a variety of speedy checkout options.
Helping shoppers answer the nagging "What's for dinner?" question is another mission, so the store has many meal options available. Finally, it aims to help shoppers accomplish many routine errands while they are in the supermarket by offering DVD DVD: see digital versatile disc.
in full digital video disc or digital versatile disc
Type of optical disc. The DVD represents the second generation of compact-disc (CD) technology. rentals, postage stamps, package services, financial services The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page. and a Coinstar machine.
"We started out by organizing [the store] in the way the shoppers would like it to be, so we changed the layout and the merchandising completely," says Tom Engelen, concept creator, store design. "We reorganized all the items that are related and placed them close to each other. It makes more sense to customers. For instance, on the right side of the store, all of the dry grocery food items are grouped in the aisle with related products. We created a breakfast aisle where shoppers can find all the things needed for breakfast such as cereal, syrup and pancake mix. We even pulled in certain breakfast-oriented dairy products dairy products dairy npl → produits laitier
dairy products dairy npl → Milchprodukte pl, Molkereiprodukte pl in a case at the end of the aisle, such as milk and orange juice and even some meat items such as bacon and sausages. That's something we tried to do throughout the store."
Similarly, Bloom placed baby food and pet care on the left side of the store, perpendicular to the rest of the aisles because customers complained that conventional layouts forced them to go through aisles they had no interest in.
As shoppers enter the store, the first thing they see is the Table Top Circle. This circular area combines a meal solutions section with a selection of convenience items so consumers can run in and grab popular products quickly or plan meals as soon as they enter the store. Table Top Circle contains several options for dinner, including hot ready-to-eat meals and ready-to-assemble meal ingredients all in one location. The store has a Boston Market Boston Market (known before 1995 as Boston Chicken), headquartered in Golden, Colorado, is a chain of American fast-food restaurants. Founded in December 1985 in Newton, Massachusetts, the chain grew rapidly in the early and mid-1990s, filed bankruptcy in the late 1990s, and operation in the deli department, but Boston Market meals are also packaged and displayed in the Table Top Circle as a meal solution. Products from all over the store, including meals, milk, soda, fresh bread, pastry items and some produce are displayed here.
Two cases in the Table Top Circle reflect the store's concern for quick meal solutions. The Salad of the Month case has everything the shopper needs to create the featured salad, while the Meal of the Week case cross-merchandises everything needed to create the featured meal, including a recipe card with directions.
"We felt that we needed to make [Table Top Circle] distinctive from the rest of the store for customers to see it as a convenient meal area," says Engelen.
Table Top Circle's layout is unique. Inside two half circles of cases facing inward are tables, racks and counters where merchandise is displayed. Although shoppers can walk directly into other store areas without going through the Table Top Circle, there is plenty of room to walk through the circle into the produce section that lies behind it. The goal was twofold: Shoppers could pick up popular items quickly and get an idea of what to have for dinner. Then, they could get sides or trimmings from the produce, bakery, frozen or deli sections nearby.
The Table Top Circle is dominated by a suspended dome-shaped light fixture emblazoned with its name and logo. Its shade features the Bloom pinwheel logo, which is used throughout the store. There is relatively little signage in the store and almost no vendor signage. The aim is to keep Bloom as the central message in the store and to prevent extraneous ex·tra·ne·ous
1. Not constituting a vital element or part.
2. Inessential or unrelated to the topic or matter at hand; irrelevant. See Synonyms at irrelevant.
3. clutter. The color pallet is soft and dominated by Bloom blue.
"One of the things we tried to accomplish with the design of the store and materials we used was to put more attention on the products and not the walls or fixtures," says Engelen. "We toned down the wall colors and graphics compared to what is traditionally in a Food Lion or most other retailers."
The store also features a unique two-tiered shopping cart so shoppers can keep food products and household chemicals separate. The cart is equipped with a clipboard on the handle where the consumer can clip a shopping list and pencil. A store directory is printed directly on the cart handle.
Bloom uses technology in a number of creative ways to ease shoppers' burdens. For example. Bloom gives the shopper many choices for checkout. Personal scanners are available for customers to scan items as they shop. At the end of the shopping trip, the personal scanner can be run through any of the checkout options available to all shoppers, including self-checkout lanes, conventional checkouts (with seated cashier areas) or a personal scanner pay station where there is no waiting. In addition, Bloom uses mobile registers in the Table Top Circle or whenever the front end is busy to speed the checkout process.
Informational kiosks play an important role in this store. To help customers find products, there are eight product locator kiosks around the store. Others provide recipes and assistance in how to prepare meat, seafood and produce items. The wine department features a kiosk that makes wine suggestions based on what the meal includes or indicates the attributes of a particular wine selection.
"It's not a technology store," says Engelen. "It's a store built around the customer and the customer's needs, and that's where the technology helps us."
The idea behind much of Bloom's features is to give customers control of their shopping experience.
"The customer feedback during the first week has been extremely positive in the store," says Johnson. "We've had folks constantly stopping by to thank us."
RELATED ARTICLE: PUTTING THE BLOOM ON THE ROSE
BLOOM'S TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS:
* AGILYSYS: SYMBOL PERSONAL SCANNER INTEGRATION SUPPORT
* CHOICEMASTER: WINE INFORMATION KIOSK
* CISCO: NETWORK DEVICES
* IBM (International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY, www.ibm.com) The world's largest computer company. IBM's product lines include the S/390 mainframes (zSeries), AS/400 midrange business systems (iSeries), RS/6000 workstations and servers (pSeries), Intel-based servers (xSeries) : SELF-CHECKOUT SYSTEMS AND POINT-OF-SALE SYSTEMS
* MACRO INTEGRATION SERVICES: INSTALLATION
* METTLER TOLEDO Mettler-Toledo is a manufacturer of scales and analytical instruments. It is the combination of two companies: Mettler, based in Switzerland, and Toledo Scale, based in Columbus, Ohio, USA. : SELF-SERVE PRODUCE SCALES
* MICROSOFT: OPERATING SYSTEM operating system (OS)
Software that controls the operation of a computer, directs the input and output of data, keeps track of files, and controls the processing of computer programs. INFRASTRUCTURE
* MOTOROLA: ASSOCIATE PHONES AND WALKIE-TALKIES
* MUZAK: IN-STORE AUDIO
* NCR/COPIENT: IN-LANE DISPLAY AND INFORMATIONAL KIOSKS, PRICE CHECKER APPLICATIONS
* PDX PDX Product Data Exchange (file name extension; XML technology)
PDX Paradox Files (file name extension)
PDX Product Definition Exchange
PDX Phone Data Exchange (Proxon) : PHARMACY SOFTWARE
* RONCO COMMUNICATIONS: PHONE SYSTEM
* SHOP TO COOK: MEAT RECIPE KIOSK
* STAY HEALTHY: HEALTH INFORMATION AND BLOOD PRESSURE KIOSK
* SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES: PERSONAL SCANNERS
* TREO TREO The Receiving End of Sirens (band) SYSTEMS: PRODUCT LOCATOR APPLICATION
* WALKABOUT: MANAGER'S TABLET PC
* XERXES COMPUTER CORP.: POP-UP CASH DRAWER A cash drawer is generally a compartment underneath a cash register in which the cash from transactions is kept. The drawer is usually divided into separate compartments for notes and coins for ease of use.
FIXTURE DESIGN FOR CHECK STANDS, PERSONAL SCANNER AND CUSTOMER INFORMATION STATIONS:
* CANNON EOUIPMENT
* QUADRA ALLIANCE