- ShopRite announced it will open a “state-of-the-art” full-service store in Cromwell, Connecticut on May 18, according to a press release.
- The 67,000-square-foot store will include a community room and culinary center for cooking classes, a registered on-site dietitian to provide nutrition counseling, and ShopRite’s grocery pick-up and delivery e-commerce services. The store will house prepared foods like custom salads and other dishes from in-store dining spots the Grill, Sizzling Wok and Sushi, House Smoked BBQ, Go Bowl and Natural Foods.
- The store will also include ShopRite’s legacy services like a from-scratch bakery, meat department with trained butchers, a full-service seafood department, a floral shop as well as a section dedicated to organic, local and gluten-free foods and fresh produce. In addition, ShopRite is incorporating energy-saving technologies like LED lighting and environmentally friendly refrigerant systems.
While many grocers have curbed store growth, chains like ShopRite, Albertsons and Whole Foods are still opening landmark locations that serve as customer destinations as well as testing grounds for new products and services. ShopRite’s new location touches on numerous growth trends with a variety of prepared food options, e-commerce services, organic and local products, health and nutrition and elevated versions of classic grocery store departments.
Seafood and bakery departments, in particular, have the ability to drive store trips. According to the Food Marketing Institute's Power of Bakery report, the bakery department is one of the biggest draws for in-store grocery trips, with in-store bakery sales reached $13.8 billion in 2018. Seafood, on the other hand, only generates about $12 billion in sales for retailers, according to FMI. This number is significantly less than fresh meat or produce, but there’s a big opportunity for retailers to boost sales and by offering a fresh catch every day, ShopRite is leaning into the opportunity.
Prepared foods speak to convenience-seeking consumers like millennials who aren’t interested in spending much time in the kitchen. But most consumers are still preparing and eating meals at home. According to NPD Group, four out of five meals a week are prepared at home and in 2017, 80% of meals were home-cooked. By offering a cooking and nutrition program, ShopRite is tapping into both ends of the spectrum.
When it comes to the push in home-cooked meals, ShopRite has tried to tap into the latest technology. The retailer recently partnered with tech firm Chicory to launch a shoppable recipe initiative that will allow shoppers to add ingredients to their Shoprite.com virtual cart.
Many other retailers have opened similar stores to ShopRite in the past year including Whole Foods’ new 70,000-square-foot flagship store in Atlanta, Georgia that includes a rooftop bar, old-style butcher and four fast-casual restaurants. Albertsons’ also opened the doors to its second Market Street store in Meridian, Idaho, which includes a live lobster tank, on-site dietitian and scratch-made bakery.
In addition to testing new services and probing customer demand, ShopRite's new store comes as a response to Stop & Shop's store updates in and around nearby Hartford. Those updates, which include everything from foodservice updates to new e-commerce integrations, will extend to more stores as the company learns which features resonate with customers.