STORE SPACES

Giant Food Stores to launch new store concept

BY Marianne Wilson

Giant Food Stores is going urban — and smaller.

The 95-year-old supermarket company will debut a new store concept and banner, “Giant Heirloom Market,” designed for urban neighborhoods. The first location will open later this year, in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Giant has had a presence in Philadelphia since 2011, but the Heirloom Market store will be its first in the downtown area. The location is the first of several stores planned for the city.

The new store will be about 9,500 sq. ft., with a modern environment and an assortment of high-quality, fresh, seasonal, and flavor-focused foods and everyday essentials. Special features will include a “produce chef” who will prepare veggies and fruit on demand, local artisanal breads, and a vast array of plant-based foods. Also on the menu: sampling and demonstration. In addition, if customers need something that is not carried in the store, associates will help guide them to in-store iPads to order online.

The Heirloom Market format will harken back to the original Giant Market concept in its mission to bring innovation and modernity through a store experience that meets the unique needs of the neighborhoods it serves, Giant said.

“From featuring products made locally to being staffed by people who call the neighborhood home, Giant Heirloom Market is a true reflection of the surrounding community, and we can’t wait to see our shared vision come to life in just a few short months,” said Nicholas Bertram, president, Giant Food Stores, which has more than 170 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

The new concept comes after more than a year of intense neighborhood group listening sessions, market research, and format exploration. In addition, Giant searched nationally and globally for solutions, even going to Amsterdam, a city known for its innovative, small grocery stores, to find a format that would satisfy the community. Back home, Giant said it scoured Philadelphia for local purveyors who could help them deliver on the promise of a “neighborhood grocery store built by its neighbors.”

“Philadelphia is a natural choice for us to debut our new Giant Heirloom Market format, as we’re able to draw upon our passion for food and our fondness for local purveyors, all while leveraging innovation to bring something special to our new Graduate Hospital neighbors,” said Bertram.

Giant Food Stores is based in Carlisle, Pa., and is owned by Ahold Delhaize.

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STORE SPACES

Look who is scrubbing the floors at Walmart

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart is using technology to free up its store associates from a time-consuming maintenance task.

The discount giant will roll out an automated floor cleaner (dubbed Auto-C) that works similar to a self-driving car. The machine, which resembles a mini-robot, uses assisted autonomy technology to clean and polish floors.

To date, Walmart has deployed the technology in 78 stores, and will be rolling it out to some 360 additional locations soon. The retailer noted that the technology will give Walmart associates more time to serve customers. Under the current system, a Walmart associate in each of its U.S. stores drives a floor scrubber for two hours daily.

“The Auto-C is still pretty young and needs adult supervision (an associate has to prep the area and map the machine’s route), but we’re excited about the role it will play … in Walmart’s technology ecosystem,” the company stated in a blog post.

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STORE SPACES

Check out Publix’s new GreenWise Market concept

BY Marianne Wilson

Convenience and healthy living are the focus of Publix Super Market’s new GreenWise Market format.

The 29,000-sq.-ft. store, which opened in Tallahassee, Florida, near Florida State University and Florida A&M University, offers a variety of prepared foods, including antibiotic-free meats, organic cheeses and vegan items, along with local and organic fruits and vegetables, body care, natural vitamins and supplements, bulk items, and seafood from sustainable fisheries. Other features include a beverage bar — serving kombucha, local craft beer, wine, smoothies and locally roasted coffee — and a large mezzanine where customers can eat and network.

GreenWise Market has a streamlined, modern look, with bold signage and industrial accents. The store is divided into sections: “Care,” “Finds,” “Eats,” “Cuts,” and “Pours.” A mixed media mural by Tallahassee artist Charity Myers marks the store’s entrance

“With our new-format GreenWise Market, we will offer today’s natural and specialty customer the new and interesting products they are looking for while setting the stage to provide a uniquely different shopping experience,” said Publix senior VP of retail operations Kevin Murphy. “The customers in this growing market are looking for a brand they trust, and we are confident GreenWise Market will be their specialty, natural and organic store of choice.”

In addition to Tallahassee, other previously announced GreenWise store locations include Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; Lakeland, Florida; Boca Raton, Florida; and Marietta, Georgia. And more are expected as Publix said it continues to look for additional GreenWise locations throughout its operating area.

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