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Hi, I'm Kevin Coupe and this is FreshTalk.
I'm coming to you this morning from the Lunds & Byerly's Kitchen in Wayzata, Minnesota, which the company opened earlier this year as an experiment in fresh food marketing. I've always thought that one of the most important rules for any retailer is to get out of town, to travel, to see what the most innovative companies are doing around the country … and this is a perfect example of why.
This 17,000 square foot unit is almost entirely devoted to fresh food - entrees, salads, charcuterie, pizzas, sushi - all of them laid out in what really is the epitome of effective food theater … dramatic, yet entirely accessible. And, at one end of the store, is a cafe that has a full bar and a sit-down dining experience, with food and drink being ordered via the iPads that are at every table.
It's not just fresh foods that are available here, though … because customers can order traditional groceries online, or via the in-store iPads, and have them delivered to Amazon-style lockers at the other end of the store. So you can actually do a full shop here, though it is a non-traditional full shop.
It is all very cool, and very effective. And some of the concepts Lunds and Byerly's have been testing here have already found their way into its regular stores, like the new and fantastic Byerly's opened just a few weeks ago in Edina, Minnesota.
Now, to be sure, this isn't a perfect store. The development in which it operates isn't fully built yet, and so the expected customer base hasn't yet materialized. But in a lot of ways, I think that stores like these are the future of the supermarket industry … or at least one future, as innovative retailers like Lunds and Byerly's look for new ways to be relevant to a changing consumer base.
That's what's on my mind. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: