- Sendik’s Food Market opened a remodeled 40,000-square-foot store Saturday in Brookfield, Wisconsin, that represents a departure from its standard format, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- The $5 million "experiential" location includes a bistro, a grilling station, wine and craft beer on tap and an 8,150-square-foot Sendik’s home store offering apparel, home goods and a floral shop.
- The Corners of Brookfield, the development where the new store is located, is two years old and includes a Von Mauer department store, retail shops and 244 luxury apartments. Sendik's operates 16 grocery and convenience stores in the Milwaukee area.
Sendik's splashy store update shows that large chains aren't the only ones investing in experiential retail.
The grocer's bistro and grill station fall in line with customer demands for fresh meals. The large selection of apparel and home goods, meanwhile, might seem a bit odd for a food chain, but the company has a "Sendik's Home" line that's available at every store. It's also becoming more common to find budget-chic clothing at food stores, with Hy-Vee and Kroger having recently rolled out lines.
Sendik's updated store in Brookfield will have plenty of commercial company to help drive traffic, with a few other upgrades planned for the shopping center including a boutique movie theater, a comedy club and restaurant tenants Wahlburgers and Cubanitas.
As an independent grocer with a long history in the Milwaukee area, Sendik's has a keen understanding of the customers it serves. However, longstanding competitors like Roundy's are revamping stores while hard-charging Aldi has spent nearly $40 million updating stores in the region.
Independent retailers typically have the advantage of a devoted customer base and deep knowledge of the communities where they operate. These retailers lack the expansive capital major chains have, but many are still investing in-store updates.
For example, Niemann Foods' farm-to-table concept store, Harvest Market, applied for a permit in July to remodel and rebrand its Country Market store in Springfield, Illinois, according to local news reports, though the timeline for the remodel hasn't been announced. Gelson's Markets in California remodeled three stores last year, with two San Diego area locations boasting tapas bars, seafood and sushi counters and cold-pressed juice kiosk.