retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Poughkeepsie Journal has a story about the Applestone Meat Company there, which "has created a whole new way of shopping for freshly butchered local meat, with high-end, gleaming-clean retail shops that are open 24/7. They offer serve-yourself vending machines stocked with vacuum-sealed packages of everything from Porterhouse steaks, short ribs and rack of lamb to hamburger meat and homemade sausages … You just swipe your credit card, push a button, slide open the door and retrieve your sustainably raised meat selection. Fire up the grill at home and you’re good to go."

The seven vending machines, each devoted to a specific category, are in addition to a manned retail service window open during traditional business hours.

It isn't just vending with which Applestone is innovating: " It’s doing so well, in fact, that they will open a Grill Park in the spring. The grilling space sits behind the store, with eight charcoal grills available to any and all. Buy meat from one of the vending machines, or bring your own hot dogs and steaks."

Josh Applestone, owner of the company, is described as a third-generation butcher and former vegan who "has long been ahead of the pack when it comes to top-quality local meats and knowing how to butcher whole animals and sell the nose-to-tail parts in innovative ways."
KC's View:
A Grill Park? That's a pretty interesting idea … and goes along with the notion that stores needs to be more than a source of product, but a resource for their customers. Imagine if they had grilling lessons of various kinds … it'd be great.

I also love the idea of the vending machines. It isn't hard to imagine such an idea taking off … it seems especially attractive if the retailer has an established reputation and a high level of trust.

Content Guy's Note: I am really, really curious how long it takes some MNB reader to get the semi-obscure movie reference in the headline … and how many make the connection.