- Earth Fare saw a 10% lift in dine-in food sales after installing digital screens at a cafe inside one of its stores in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to a press release.
- The test, which lasted from March to May, included mounting five 55-inch LCD television screens in the cafe seating area along with menu boards and digital promotion signs. The screens and the management software, which were provided by Mood Media, are still operating inside the store.
- The screen installations coincided with the store's remodel, which began in February — one of several store updates the 55-store chain performed this year, according to an Earth Fare representative.
Earth Fare ran its screen test at the Charlotte store's South Park Bar & Grill, the only bar-and-grill concept the chain operates. That made it a natural fit to run live sports, in particular March Madness basketball. According to Trey Courtney, Mood Media’s global chief products and partnerships officer, the firm rushed to install the digital screens in time for the tournament, when shoppers would be enticed to sit, eat and take in a game.
Although Earth Fare has digital screens throughout departments in 23 of its stores, this was the first time the chain had put monitors inside an eat-in seating area, a company spokesperson said. The results of the three-month test were promising, and could trigger a wider rollout across Earth Fare's in-store cafes.
Courtney said Earth Fare and Mood are discussing expansion but declined to note specifics. An Earth Fare representative declined to comment on the matter.
In addition to providing a more relaxed, fun atmosphere inside its store, Earth Fare also wanted to drive brand awareness with its test. The television screens include company promotions that wrap around the live video feed. Promo boards situated around the store, Courtney said, drive awareness of store cafe offerings, while the digital menu boards help secure meal and drink sales. Store employees can control all media from a central hub and can customize and schedule the screens to run anything from live TV to current weather.
Earth Fare has been steadily rebranding and remodeling stores across its operating area to keep pace with evolving shopper demands. This includes streamlining store layouts and adding in popular products and enhanced meal options. Earth Fare has also positioned itself as a health-focused grocer, with promotions like a "Boot List" of banned ingredients and a "Food Philosophy" that extols the virtues of clean eating.
Other grocers are installing digital signage in order to engage customers and quickly swap out promotions and pricing. Kroger has introduced digital shelves and displays to hundreds of stores, while Fareway recently rolled out digital signs to all of its 125 Midwest stores.
Courtney said Mood has seen increased interest from grocers who want to enhance their store experience, particularly specialty grocers. Grocers are also utilizing digital screens, he said, to provide back-of-house information to employees.