Supermarkets Shrink Footprint

More grocers are dabbling in smaller format stores to great success.

March 28, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas – From Whole Foods to Kroger, more supermarket retailers are experimenting with smaller, convenient formats, Bloomberg reports. While recent failures of the small format include Delhaize’s Bottom Dollar and Tesco’s Fresh and Easy, other chains see a viable future in less space.

Some examples include Ahold’s Bfresh concept, Kroger’s Main & Vine and Whole Foods’ 365. Ahold’s Bfresh test stores have a focus on natural and organic foods, plus prepared foods and meals. Target has also begun dabbling in smaller format stores.

Meanwhile, Kroger’s Main & Vine has a much different layout than a traditional supermarket, with prepared foods, produce, fresh meat, cheese and baked goods taking up the lion’s share of the space and center-of-the-store products shuffled off in a corner. Right now, Kroger has only one Main & Vine in Gig Harbor, Washington, as a pilot location.

With Apollo Global Management acquiring Fresh Market, the chain might be poised to enter the small format arena with an upscale concept. Fresh Market hasn’t had much luck on its own in establishing a connection with customers, but attention to products, promotions and pricing might help the stores shine.