Publication: Grocery Headquarter's

Retail reinvented

October 28, 2014

Grocers are designing stores to meet the needs of today’s omnichannel shopper.

For the longest time, the traditional grocery store has flourished as one of the pillars of both small towns and big cities across the country. It has been more than the source of provisions for families. The supermarket has anchored shopping centers and often served as a social gathering place and sponsor of community events.

While many of those functions endure, there is a growing consensus across the food industry that grocery stores must redesign and reinvent themselves to relate to today’s omnichannel consumers who want a seamless shopping experience through all available channels-from the traditional bricks-and-mortar store to smartphones, tablets and computers.

Most of all, grocery stores must blend the digital world with the physical store while incorporating more design elements that offer sights, sounds and touch as well as emotional experiences. This transformation extends beyond digital add-ons such as online grocery shopping.

Michael Harris, managing partner of Match Shop Lab, a shopper marketing agency with offices across North America, says stores need to be reconceived to be sensorial environments as opposed to just efficient distributors of products. He expects to see a massive reduction in nondescript […]

Continue Reading

Emotional shopping

October 28, 2014

Veteran designer Joseph Bona believes grocers need to reinvent their stores. As technology transforms multi-channel retail into hyper-channel “always-on” retailing, chains must emotionally connect with consumers like never before, he says.

He presented his views in a recent speech at EuroShop, the global trade fair in Dusseldorf, Germany, where he urged retailers to rethink the function of their brick-and-mortar stores.

“Emotion plus theatrics equals experience;’ says Bona, president, branded environments for CBX, a New York-based retail design consultancy and brand agency. “Story-telling ability, in particular, helps you create engaging experiences, and the memory of those experiences can inspire consumers by adding excitement and drama to routine transactions. Ultimately, this is what energizes brand culture and drives long-term customer loyalty, even in a world perpetually driven to digital distraction.’

Today’s “always-on” environment is not restricted to people buying whatever they want using their phones and tablets. It also means they can use GPSand cloud-enabled tools to find the very best retail experiences available wherever they happen to be, Bona says.

“Physical stores can no longer be what they used to be-namely, distributors of other people’s goods at reasonable prices in convenient locations;’ he adds. “They must offer sights, sounds, tastes, touch, […]

Continue Reading

Chester’s little gem

January 1, 2014


The nonprofit Fare & Square is a culinary diamond in a rough-and-tumble neighborhood, enriching residents with affordable fresh food and grocery staples.

In most of the country, that commodity is viewed as a produce department stalwart, though a dwindling one, losing sales and shelf space to more fashionable and higher-margin bagged salads. However, for residents of Chester, Pennsylvania, a gritty industrial city of 34,000 just south of Philadelphia, iceberg lettuce used to be an unattainable luxury. That was because Chester was in the midst of a food desert—one of 35 in the Delaware Valley.CBX_FareSquare_1869

At one time Chester was home to five supermarkets. Over the years they closed one by one as jobs and population fled and crime increased. The last supermarket in town, West End Food Center, permanently shut its doors in 2001.

Citizens in this hardscrabble, but proud town—the oldest city in Pennsylvania, settled in 1644, and the birthplace of the Mother’s Day Parade, Scott toilet tissue, jazz great Ethel Waters, rock-and-roll pioneer Bill Haley & His Comets and allegedly the hoagie—were relegated to buying groceries from dirty corner stores or having to trek out of town, even to Delaware, to find a supermarket.

That changed in […]

Continue Reading

Dazzling Décor

October 30, 2012

Grocery Headquarters’ annual design showcase takes a tour of some outstanding store designs and explores trends in materials, color schemes, layout and more.

Project: Pathmark, Weehawken, N.J.

Design team: CBX, New York

CBX was hired to design a “simpler” version of the original 2006 design and create an overall cohesive look for the entire store. Unlike the 2006 assignment, the goal this time around was to develop a much simpler color and materials retrofit program that still engaged the public with the Pathmark brand in a meaningful and memorable way. “We had done work for Pathmark before they were purchased by A&P, and this time they wanted to keep the design simple and colorful to communicate their position as a value brand,” says Joe Bona, retail division president of New York-based CBX.

Tailoring the offerings to the neighborhood also drove the design, say Pathmark officials.A new 36-foot meat service offers a wide variety of fresh poultry cuts that appeal to the Weehawken neighborhood, which has a high concentration of Cubans and Dominicans. “The service meat case is about three times what we have in a typical store,” says Bob Weidner, vice president of customer experience and space management for Montvale, […]

Continue Reading