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by Kevin Coupe

Northern California-based Draeger's long has had a reputation for exceptional specialty food marketing in an up-market, aspirational setting. Founded by Prussian immigrant Gustave Draeger during the early 20th century, the store is known not just for great food, but also for a broader view of the consumer's kitchen, with an upscale housewares department that seems designed to save the shopper a trip to Crate & Barrel.

During last week's trip to Silicon Valley for the GMDC "Retail Tomorrow" conference - where we mostly spent time in internet accelerators, on the Google campus, and looking at non-traditional retail formats - we also visited a touchstone of traditional food retail ... Draeger's flagship store in San Mateo. (Its other three stores are in Los Altos, Blackhawk, and Menlo Park.)

It was early morning, so there weren't very many customers in the store, but Draeger's sparkled nonetheless. There are some pictures below, but I did want to point out the most Eye-Opening thing in the store ... that with all the fine foods and wines available for sale, the $7.99 bottles of wine were merchandised with all the same care as the $70 bottles of wine. I think that's important, and I wanted to share a little bit of the experience.


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