PriceRite's Fresh Take on Discount Food Retailing
The limited-assortment discount supermarket—and the expectations of its shoppers—have come a long way in the 23 years since Wakefern Food Corp. first rolled out its Price Rite store.
The 65-store discount chain is now in the process of a companywide brand refresh that reflects and showcases some of those changes, including higher expectations for assortment, particularly in fresh foods and indulgences; improved service; and a brighter and more welcoming shopping environment. The changes, which were unveiled in suburban Philadelphia’s Secane, Pa.-based Price Rite store late last year, accompanied a new logo and name to describe it: Price Rite Marketplace.
“We spent a lot of time looking at our stores and thinking about ways to create the best possible shopping experience for our customers,” says Jim Dorey, who was named Price Rite’s new president in October. “Visitors to redesigned Price Rite Marketplace stores will find a brighter, revitalized space featuring new in-store signage and additions like the Sweet Spot dessert case. The transition introduces a fresh updated logo, and a cleaner, more modern backdrop design of whitewashed wood throughout the store, coupled with a carefully curated selection of products.”
Fresh Takes Center Stage
The earliest versions of Price Rite didn’t carry produce at all; the newest have a produce offering that’s the “centerpiece” of the store, President Jim Dorey says.
Evolving the Meat Case
Price Rite has origins as a cost-effective way to expand Wakefern’s sales and reach beyond geographies where its independent cooperative members operate full-service supermarkets under the ShopRite banner. Until recently, all of its stores were corporately owned; in 2014, the company allowed its co-op members to use the concept with an eye on strategic deployment within their markets.
Meats in the revamped Marketplace stores include organic and natural items, grass-fed offerings, Grade A poultry, Perdue’s No Antibiotics Ever Chicken, USDA Choice cuts and Certified Angus Beef products.
Volume at Value
Bountiful produce offerings at sharp prices help drive repeat visits from core shoppers, who are often families on a budget.
Shoppers at Price Rite Marketplace can fulfill a desire for indulgences with a new Sweet Spot dessert display, featuring messaging that reinforces quality and taste as much as price.
A brighter and more exciting shopper environment, Dorey says, reflects shopper expectations that they needn’t sacrifice experience for a bargain. New signs highlight indulgent selections and rotating special buys on items such as TVs. Prices on these, according to Dorey, are cheaper than at warehouse clubs.
A brand with origins in the warehouse discount era has been brightened with designs such as whitewashed walls. Wakefern is tackling the redesigns while stores remain open. “So far, it’s been pretty seamless,” says Dorey.
More to Come
Wakefern officials expect the Marketplace concept to be rolled out to the majority of its Price Rite stores over its nine-state footprint this year. The new name and look has since been incorporated at a new Price Rite store in Paterson, N.J., and last month expanded to five existing units in Connecticut, with four more in that state expected to be completed soon.