This Week In Retail Marketing Innovation - July 1, 2019

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These 6 Grocery retailers are taking in-store experiences to the next level

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Several grocery store brands are are following the sea change to provide unique in-store experiences to their shoppers, in efforts to make them a destination for downtime. The idea is, the more relevant services they offer to their customers (in-store cooking classes, fitness studios, personal shoppers), the more likely they are to secure brand loyalty.

ShopRite, Jungle Jim, Gelson’s, Wakefern, Meijer, and H-E-B are all transforming the outlook of plain-jane grocery stores by providing unique in-store experiences for the customers. 

Wakefern, Meijer, and Johnson&Johnson worked with Perch to educate and engage their beauty customers with interactive displays integrated into Lozier shelving systems for end caps throughout the midwest, including identifying a pool of comp stores to measure statistically significant sales lifts adjusted for seasonality. 

ShopRite’s Morristown, New Jersey location is the first to feature a Village Food Garden Wellness center, which includes free registered dietitian services, a full service pharmacy, a learning space for children, and a fitness studio. The store has created a one-stop shop for customers seeking a healthy lifestyle. 

Building a community was important to ShopRite, says brand spokeswoman Amanda Fischer. "We've become this strong community hub and created a sense of belonging, which is not something you get in a traditional supermarket," she says in a statement.

Jungle Jim’s International Market recently opened an airport-themed experience center called Jungle Experience Center, or JXC. The JXC is known for hosting festivals, cooking classes, and even movie screenings. Guests can also enjoy, for example, a five-course gourmet meal with Jungle Jim’s wine pairings while taking a virtual tour of their winery.

The retailer currently throws 20-30 events per year, with tickets ranging from $20 to nearly $150. The JXC is allowing the brand to put itself into the lives of their customers beyond the grocery shopping experience, and has positioned itself as the meeting spot for several buzz-worthy events.

Next on the list is Gelson’s, a popular Southern California high-end grocer that added Sip ‘N Shop as a feature in their stores. Catering directly to their market of suburban upper-middle class residents, Gelson’s new Sip ‘N Shop program allows customers to sit at the in-store bar and sip wine while a store associate does their shopping

The service is free, has no minimum order size, and is now offered at 12 of their 27 stores throughout SoCal. Since the service began, Gelson’s has seen a 35% increase in the average basket size with orders using the service than without, according to John Bagan, Gelson’s chief merchandising officer.

Finally, down-south Texan grocer H-E-B is set to open a brand new store in 2022 that will feature a beer garden, food hall, and live music venue to accompany their 110,000-square-foot grocery store. The store is meant to be a “community gathering place,” according to the company.

This will be H-E-B’s largest store yet. While the grocer offered live music in stores in the past, the combination of the food and beer hall, art installations, enormous grocery store with bulk options, and more, this will be H-E-B’s grandest entrance into Austin, otherwise known as the Live Music Capital of the World.

Grocery retailers are looking to the future when it comes to providing their customers with an unforgettable experience. Competing grocery brands will have to make their own marks in order to survive in the “all-inclusive” retail world.

A new Toys R Us brand will open its doors in 2019

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Toys ‘R’ Us, which liquidated in 2018, left the toy industry in shambles, with a 2% drop in sales to $21.6 billion last year, according to NPD Group. The toy giant shutting down, however, meant good news for other toy retailers such as Walmart, Target and Amazon during the 2018 holiday season.

But the famous kids brand isn’t staying out of the game for long. In 2019, the retailer has resurrected under the new name Tru Kids, and plans to open six stores this year, in addition to an e-commerce site. 

Tru Kids has lived under the Tru Kids Brand umbrella, just as Toys ‘R’ Us, Babies ‘R’ Us, and others had before the two “‘R’ Us” brands declared bankruptcy. As opposed to its sister brands, Tru Kids is seen to have newfound potential by their executives.

The company will be led by President and CEO Richard Barry, former global chief merchandising officer at Toys ‘R’ Us.

"Despite unprecedented efforts to capture the U.S. market share this past holiday season, there is still a significant gap and huge consumer demand for the trusted experience that Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us delivers," Barry said in a statement. "We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to write the next chapter of Toys ‘R’ Us by launching a newly imagined [omnichannel] retail experience for our beloved brands here in the U.S."

Tru Kids is set to open by the end of 2019, with floor plans of about 10,000 square feet in undisclosed cities, and will be headquartered in New Jersey, where the Toys ‘R’ Us headquarters once lived.

Reebok shifts focus to a new maternity collection for new and expecting mothers

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Reebok has launched a new maternity collection for new and expecting mothers, according to a company press release. The collection will include leggings and tank tops in sizes XS to XL with high-stretch fabric, built with softness, comfort, and support in mind.

Earlier this year, Nike embraced inclusivity by including a yoga line for both men and women, in addition to adding plus-sized mannequins and clothing options. They’ve also made it clear through numerous ad campaigns that they are in support of strong women. 

Lululemon tried to be unique by creating a new line of self-care products, including deodorant and dry shampoo, with several displays at Sephora. Puma also wanted a piece of the pie by creating a ground-breaking performanced-based makeup collection with Maybelline.

While these other brands have made great strides in the activewear market, Reebok is now entering territory that hasn’t been explored before. Reebok is tapping into an underserved market by creating activewear for expecting mothers. The other brands must be wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Barbara Ebersberger, vice president of performance apparel at Reebok, commented on the new line: "Our goal is to create comfortable, supportive apparel for the active woman in every stage of her life, and we want this versatile collection to keep moms-to-be feeling empowered and confident during any activity, whether they're at the gym or at work.”

Sounding Smart by The Retail Water Cooler

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