STORE SPACES

‘Store of the Future’ predictions involve pop-ups—and no checkouts

BY Marianne Wilson

Competition, convenience and checkout technology are shaping the grocery “store of the future.”

That’s according to a report by Phononic, which surveyed more than 200 executives across the United States that work in the grocery and food retail space, including traditional supermarkets, convenience stores and big box retailers that sell groceries. (The study mirrors many of the concepts examined in Phononic’s “Store of the Future” survey of shoppers conducted earlier this year.)

Looking ahead five years, 85% of retail executives said it is likely more physical stores will be offering ways to auto-replenish basics, and 81% said it is likely that there will be pop-up supermarkets in urban and rural areas to make it easier to shop. Almost two-thirds expect supermarkets to become more of a community social gathering place with bars and restaurants (65%). And 64% predict the majority of supermarkets will be checkout free.

In addition, over half of executives (53%) say that over the next five years it’s likely that frozen and refrigerated goods will be distributed throughout stores, rather than just at the back of the store; and 74% believe sales of frozen foods will continue to rise in popularity.

In other findings:

• When asked to identify the biggest grocery disruptors, over half of food retail executives (54%) pointed to Amazon, 41% identified Walmart, and 25% said online food delivery services, while smaller numbers believe it’s Kroger 10% and Target 8%.

• Three in five food retail executives (60%) say their organization invests enough in in-store technology, and 70% say that when it comes to implementing new technologies to improve customer experiences, their organization is proactive.

• However, 49% of food retail executives say grocery stores haven’t yet figured out how to use technology like other retailers have. Half of consumers (50%) agreed with this statement.

• Eighty-seven percent of executives say they have worked a great deal to create an optimized store layout; 72% believe the grocery store layout is changing to accommodate micro-visits.

• At the checkout counter, over half of food retail executives say offering more prepared grab and go meals would perform best.

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STORE SPACES

Innovative supermarket looks to nourish neighborhood from ‘inside out’

BY Marianne Wilson

North Market puts an innovative spin on supermarket retailing.

Built with the community, for the community, North Market combines a full-service, approximate 16,000-sq.-ft. grocery store with a community space as well as a clinic space for health and wellness services — all under one roof. The project was designed by Minneapolis-based Knock, in partnership with LSE Architects, which transformed a vacant building into a vibrant and colorful space.

North Market is owned and operated by Minneapolis-based non-profit organization Pillsbury United Communities as an independent, self-sustaining social enterprise. It is located in the Webber Park neighborhood of north Minneapolis, a low-income area that has been federally designated as a food desert. Prior to North Market’s opening, the community was served by 36 corner-style convenience store and only one supermarket.

North Market aims to serve the local community from the inside out. With an emphasis on nutrition and healthy eating, it is a hub for community health, offering regular wellness events and education.

Approximately half of the grocery stock in North Market is supplied by Supervalu, with the remaining coming from local produce, meat and dairy suppliers. Products made in North Minneapolis are given dedicated shelf space. North Memorial provides health services on nutrition and pharmaceutical management.

In designing North Market, Knock engaged the surrounding community to create a design that would most resonate with them and meet their needs. The color orange, for example, which is dominant throughout the space, was selected as Knock found it resonated deeper with the roots of African-American and Latinx cultures.

The project was funded by various philanthropic and corporate partners, with Cargill Foundation and Otto Bremer Trust two of the biggest funders. Others include General Mills, who has also provided in-kind support, and Target. The biggest donor to the project, however, was the State of Minnesota.

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STORE SPACES

Top construction technology trends

BY Marianne Wilson

New tech tools are playing an increasingly important role in construction — and drones are one of the biggest trends.

That’s one of the findings of Software Connect’s “Construction Technology Trends—2018” report, which surveyed 158 construction industry professionals from small to midsize (SMB) businesses in North America, including retail.

“Drones emerged as the leading trend,” stated David Budiac, a managing partner at Software Connect. “For instance, while a traditional surveyor would spend up to a month to survey a construction job site in detail, a construction company called Identified Technologies uses self-flying drones to complete the same work within minutes, greatly expediting project time-frames and reducing physical labor costs.”

Here are the key findings from the report:

• Expect drones to be commonplace. 26% of small-to mid-size business (SMB) construction professionals are already using or plan to use by 2020.

• Expect larger tech budgets. 81% of respondents plan to spend more on technology over the coming year compared to last.

• Project tracking, estimating, and job costing are the most commonly required software functions.

• Software ease-of-use is king. Cited as the most important factor when purchasing new software; even over software functionality and cost.

• Construction software buyers are more willing to review cloud-hosted software. 5% more than all other industries.

Interestingly, 3D printing had the lowest adoption rate in the survey. Only 4% of contractors use the technology today, and an additional 7% plan to adopt it by 2020.

To see the complete survey, click here.

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