A Showcase of Retail Innovation: Second-Half 2020
Grocertopia first-half 2020
WGB’s signature Grocertopia feature from the pages of its print issues serves as a visual reminder of excellence in merchandising, engagement and retail theater. This collections spotlights Bashas’ Bakery Creation Stations and its creative—and pandemic-friendly—promotions; Whole Foods’ stunning Wellness & Beauty department at its recently opened Baltimore store; Walmart’s Hissho Sushi & Craft Beer experience at its Supercenter in Rogers, Ark.; and Alfalfa’s interactive Produce Lab and the retailer’s post-pandemic plans for it.
Bashas’ Creates Buzz in the Bakery
At a time when we could all use a little more family fun, Bashas’ in Arizona has rolled out several creative promotions in select bakeries. Its Bakery Creation Stations invite shoppers to pick up prefilled icing bags and sprinkles along with undecorated cakes, cookies and cupcakes for some at-home frosting fun.
But the Bashas’ bakery bonanza doesn’t end there. The grocer also recently wrapped its annual Donut Flavor Craze contest, the theme of which was “indulgence.” “We’ve challenged kids of all ages to submit their recipe for their favorite guilty pleasure, and, like every year so far, we just never know what type of outside-the-box thinking we will get,” said Ashley Shick, Bashas’ director of communications and public affairs.
Whole Foods Market’s Baltimore Beauty
Whole Foods Market’s 47,000-square-foot store in the Harbor East neighborhood of Baltimore boasts a stunning Wellness & Beauty department with an array of beauty and body care products. In addition to meeting the Austin-based company’s standards, which ban more than 100 commonly used ingredients, many of the products in the beauty section and throughout the store are locally sourced by Whole Foods foragers, who seek out innovative and trending items across the country.
“We’re proud to include several local beauty and wellness brands at our new Harbor East store in Baltimore, providing shoppers with an abundance of high-quality products to choose from,” said Jessica Vanderdys, regional whole body buyer for Whole Foods’ Mid-Atlantic division.
Walmart’s Sleek Sushi Bar Makes a Splash
Seeking to create a destination for hand-rolled sushi, hot appetizers and more, Walmart recently introduced a Hissho Sushi & Craft Beer experience inside its Supercenter in Rogers, Ark. The full-service format delivers a sit-down, restaurant experience with easy access to everyday items, including breakfast dishes, sushi, hot appetizers, craft beer and wine. “This opening of our second craft beer bar location [the first was in a Brighton, Mich., Meijer store] showcases Hissho Sushi’s commitment to growth and innovation by redefining the experience of a customer’s evening at their local grocery store,” said Dan Beem, CEO of Hissho Sushi. “We’re proud to work with progressive retailers, like Walmart, to create an experience that is worth coming back for every day.”
Alfalfa’s Low-Tech Lab Delivers High Impact
The Produce Lab in the newly opened Alfalfa’s Market in Longmont, Colo., makes fresh fruits and vegetables the stars of the show. Located within the produce department, the interactive culinary theater concept welcomes shoppers to ask questions as team members prepare a bounty of produce. What’s more, the end of the pandemic will spell the beginning of the area’s fresh-cut sampling program.
“We make so much wonderful stuff in the produce department, from guacamole to pico de gallo to value-added items like cut vegetables and fruit,” said John Gengel, director of store performance and operations. “These things are usually made behind the double doors in our production areas, so customers never see them. So, we thought, why not bring that out front?”