Whilst online has grown massively, ‘Bricks and Mortar’ stores are still key was the message from Chris Hayward from IGD when he joined us this week for the BFFF Business Conference. The focus for physical stores will be to ensure space is re-purposed combined with ensuring ‘ranging’ is fit for purpose. IGD see that ‘ranging’ is going to be reduced and that as counters come out of stores – how this space is used will be critical.
Technology instore will play a part but the cost to install new technology in older stores may slow down the introduction.
It is also important that consumers accept the technology. The use of voice for instore technology was highlighted as something consumers may find strange now but will be commonplace in a few years.
They highlighted that the new Amazon Fresh Store in London was more than just a convenience store. Amazon are also using as a hub for returns and collections for their wider online business. It was felt the store was to show case the technology that will be sold to other retailers – similar to the Ocado model.
Online grocery shopping is forecast to remain at current levels possibly growing more over the next few years. Thus it is essential retailers drive out cost which may tie in with re-purposing space with the use of mini-fulfilment centres to reduce the cost on the last mile delivery costs.
Wal Mart (USA) are trialling new stores that are fitted with the latest technology including instore navigation and offers/suggestions sent to your mobile via their app.
Kroger also in the USA have teamed up with ClusterTruck to offer meals delivered with 7 mins from preparation – this widens their offers and makes good use of space.
Going forward it will be even more important that the right range is in the store – the bar for the reason to shop has gone up. However, the view is that most of the change will be evolution and not revolution.
The presentation from this year’s Frozen Food Business Conference will be made available to all attendees. If you were not able to purchase a ticket, please contact Siobhan O’Callaghan.