Let there be light.
What I see emerging in the not too distant future is a marketing concept that is not so much new as it is an enhancement of an existing concept.
Today's superstore, due to the nature of its size and diverse product mix, is becoming more and more departmentalized to reduce the shopper's sense of being overwhelmed. Tomorrow's supermarket will take this concept to a higher dimension, adapting the look and feel of an indoor food mall. Indeed, I believe the term "supermarket" will ultimately be replaced with the name "foodworks," as the emphasis turns toward the preparation of fresh products in full view.
To succeed, the concept must be reinforced throughout the store, as well as on the outside. The uniformity seen in existing structures is due, in great part, to current energy constraints. As these are lifted, we will witness a dramatic change in this area, primarily with the use of more glass for an open air look.
The advent of electronic front ends, low-profile, high-efficiency cases, and computer warehousing is revolutionizing the technological nature of the food business. The next phase is a revolution in design and marketing.