Consumers consider their local stores to be distinctly lacking – lacking in choice (49%), lacking in space (25%) and lacking in competitive pricing (49%), according to research by food exhibition IFE13.
It will be showcasing a convenience concept store of the future at its Excel, London, show (17-20 March 2013) developed by six final year retail marketing management students from the Faraday Centre of Retail Excellence at Leeds Metropolitan University.
Working with Professor Cathy Barnes, IFE said the students have developed forward-thinking concepts with consumer needs at the heart of each one. From online click and collect schemes, to digital reminders, virtual food screens and a 24 hour counter, the concepts have been merged into one modern store design, which is claimed to herald a new phase in convenience shopping.
From the moment someone walks into the concept store they start their own, unique journey. The senior shopper, who prefers to pay by traditional methods, can visit one of the manned counters, whereas the busy, young professional can benefit by pre-ordering from the pay, click and collect zone, giving him or her time to try on clothes in the virtual fitting rooms.
For those with a family, children can be dropped off in the kid’s zone, which also morphs into multiple consumer space, perfect for pop up shops, mother and baby groups and book clubs, giving consumers the community feel 35% like to enjoy.
In store Wi-Fi means shoppers have the option to receive helpful updates, such as subscription reminders from the pharmacy and, as 19% of consumers like to buy local produce, a freshly stocked deli counter adds variety to the daily essentials available from the virtual food screens. Finally, the refreshment zone makes the perfect place for relaxation, whereas the 24 hour counter gives consumers access to goods around the clock.
Professor Barnes said: “Although we’re not expecting change to happen over night, we hope our concepts will inspire the convenience sector to make gradual, but necessary changes to their stores so they remain front of mind and ‘convenient’ for consumers.”
Chris McCuin, event director, IFE13, said: “The student concepts are not only innovative, they insightfully cater for all consumers. Spira Projects is now working hard on the installation, which we’re looking forward to unveiling at the show in March.”