The store-within-a-store format isn’t anything new in the grocery business. In-store Starbucks, Subways and other chain collaborations have been around for years, as have in-store bank branches.
What is changing, though, is the style and type of store-within-a-store concepts, including those that deliver foodservice-style products and solutions to customers. Take Starbucks, for example. The chain continues to expand its Signature Aisles kiosks at grocery stores, which lend an engaging Starbucks experience in a grocery setting, with design features like pendant lights, a tile backsplash and a counter that looks like one found in a Starbucks store.
Some mini stores signal a store’s commitment to specialty foods and authenticity. Earlier in 2017 and after several years of offering its products in an in-store cheese boutique, Kroger acquired Murray’s Cheese, a New York-based chain of specialty cheese and meat shops. The move allows Kroger to expand the Murray’s cheese profile in its stores.
Newer entries in the store-within-a-store concept reflect what today’s customers are seeking in foods and shopping experiences. In an era in which authenticity, flavor and convenience collide, St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets Inc. recently announced the addition of a prototype store-within-a-store at its Des Peres, Mo., location, which offers freshly sliced artisan cured meats by Volpi Foods.
“We are excited to partner with the leading grocery retailer in the St. Louis market. The partnership between Schnucks and Volpi is the highlight of a relationship that spans a combined 200-plus years of servicing the Midwest market,” says Tim Urban, chief commercial officer for Volpi Foods.
Another type of store-within-a-store concept is a seasonal or temporary pop-up store, a concept that has taken off in other grocery settings, from big-box stores to shopping malls. According to industry consulting firm PopUp Republic, the pop-up industry has grown to nearly $10 billion in sales.
To that end, as the synergy and collaboration within and beyond the retail industry continues, some pop-up stores are a way to drive business for both partners. After its acquisition of Whole Foods, for example, Amazon has announced it is opening stores inside Whole Foods stores, including pop-up stores that will offer a variety of gifts for this holiday shopping season, such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV, Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets.