I am giving a talk February 21, How to Make Yourself Irresistible to Your Customers, and I went in to 2 grocery stores in Pennsylvania that are great examples of two brands actively trying to accomplish this. Giant and Wegman’s are two grocery stores in Pennsylvania that are working hard to understand their customers’ lives and adapt to their needs.
Giant has built a superstore that has, in addition to all of the groceries and fresh produce you would ever want, a cooking school, a cafe, a children’s care center so that you can shop while your children play and a community center that has meeting rooms and catering available for a myriad of civic events.
Wegman’s is an up-scale superstore with a “European market” type feeling. The pharmacy area feels like a pharmacy; the bookstore area feels like a bookstore; there is a market cafe and deli, there is a Starbucks-esque dining/meeting area. They have tea sampling; they have an area where you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about cheese, and they sell newspapers from all the major US and international cities the world.
These are two stores that are looking for ways to differentiate themselves and become indispensable to their communities, and it’s working. As one customer described Wegman’s business, “People are coming in from the hills in droves, just to shop here.” These companies need to be competitive, to find ways to make the shopping experience so pleasant that no one would ever consider going anywhere else. Both are meeting the needs of their community in very different ways. It creates a highly competitive environment, and it will be interesting to see who will win. My money is on the consumer!