Stop & Shop is updating its brand to make grocery shopping easier.
The grocer unveiled a fresh, new look at 21 remodeled stores in the Hartford, Conn. area. The update, a $70 million capital investment, is designed to improve the in-store experience with a focus on more fresh and healthy options and improved digital solutions.
The Hartford market will serve as a test market for Stop & Shop to pilot such features as an in-store smoker, poke bowl and taqueria stations, and frictionless checkout, which will be used to inform updates across the company’s 400-plus stores during the next several years. Stop & Shop said it is also investing heavily to lower prices on thousands of high-purchase items and extending its assortment of items from store brands.
The company currently employs over 3,000 people in the Hartford region. The remodeled stores are expected to increase headcount by 7%.
“We recognize that our customer is changing, and we’re evolving our entire shopping experience to better serve them,” said Stop & Shop president Mark McGowan, president, Stop & Shop, which is owned by Ahold Delhaize. “They’re focused on getting back to their lives, juggling many responsibilities and we want to make grocery shopping even easier and faster for them. Hartford is the first step in our journey towards repositioning our brand for future success and in helping our communities enjoy better food and better lives.”
Stop & Shop’s update includes a new logo and modernized store format that reflects a customer-centric approach and commitment to reshape its shopping experience around the customer and their evolving needs. While updates vary by store location, highlights of the refreshed stores include the following:
New in-store experiences - Customers can create their own olive oil and vinegar blends like fig-infused balsamic at DIY machines. They can also fill up growlers at a kombucha fountain, or find out what food pairs best with a hoppy IPA at an informational craft beer kiosk;
Community Tables - In-store cafes will feature “community tables” made from reclaimed wood so neighbors can gather together with family-style seating. Digital community boards will also share local fundraisers and other events around town;
Curbside Pickup - Customers can pull up beneath solar-powered canopies to pick-up their online Peapod orders, which will soon be assembled by a miniature robotic warehouse thanks to a new partnership with Takeoff Technologies.
Frictionless checkout - Customers can save time when shopping in-store by using the SCAN IT! mobile app, which provides a frictionless checkout experience, with no waiting in line;
Focus on local, fresh, and quality - Stores will feature more space dedicated to fresh produce and more locally grown and produced items;
Smoker - Customers can choose from meats like brisket, pulled pork and baby back ribs slow cooked up to 14 hours over solid hickory wood; and
Poke bowl & taqueria stations - New stations will make it easy to grab fresh, healthy meals with global flavors to-go.