Supermarkets spend a great deal of time, effort and money taking things out of boxes or stacking boxes. It makes me wonder if all that work with boxes makes it harder for supermarket management to think “outside of the box!”
When you look at the food business in its entirety, end users (customers) are willing to spend a premium for convenience and for prepared foods—whether it is food for fine or casual dining, “on the go” fast food or pre-made / prepared foods. Most stores have salad bars, rotisserie chickens and some ready-made foods, but what opportunities are still out there for supermarkets to make it easier for their customers to enjoy even greater convenience… and spend more of their food dollars at the supermarket?
Many restaurants reserve a few prime parking places for “take-out” food. What can grocery stores do to offer that same convenience? Does the store’s layout allow/encourage quick trips for take-out or ready-made foods? Is the variety of ready-made foods consistent with what the customer is looking for? Can the customer pre-order the ready-made foods, pre-pay with a credit card and call the store when they arrive so that it can be delivered to the car, like many restaurants do?
My grandfather lived in Massachusetts; I can remember visiting him and also remember at least a couple of local grocery stores encouraged their customers to “call-in” their orders. Someone at the store would write-down the items you wanted, then select and bag the items, charge the order to your “account,” and then have the entire order ready for a quick pick-up at the store!
Sounds very nice and very convenient, doesn’t it?
One might think that with today’s technology this type of “nice and convenient” service would be a lot easier to provide than it was back then… do you think maybe the stores put more focus on customer service back then?