Updating a store’s look and feel may seem like a daunting task, but the end result will be worth it if you zero-in on the areas of greatest need—and maybe get some input from knowledgeable partners along the way.
BEFORE: Granby Village Health
NOW Foods recently spearheaded the remodeling of Granby Village Health of Granby, CT, owned by Lori Love for nearly 20 years. Located 10 minutes from Connecticut’s Bradley International airport, the country-type store has a great personality and a steady customer following, but Dan Richard, general sales manager for NOW Foods, said the business needed a helping hand to grab even more market share.
The idea sprung from a conversation with a NOW Foods sales representative who had recently visited several independent stores and felt many could use a makeover. “The independent store can be successful,” says Richard. “Unless the average store does something different than it did yesterday, we’re going to continue to see 10% —500+stores—or more go out of business every year.”
The company launched a makeover contest, sought nominations (courtesy of NOW Foods) and selected Granby Village Health.
A team from NOW Foods scouted out the Connecticut store that included Richard, his brother David Richard, Granby’s sales rep Mike Faghan, and two people from NOW’s Fruitful Yield stores and Larry Morris from KeHE Distributors. “We decided early on that we wanted to have a distributor on board with expertise in this,” said Richard.
The group zeroed-in on some targets for improvement such as moving the owner’s office from the front area to the back room, installing a new cooler, making consistent shelf sizes and installing all new shelving, resetting the products, buying a new storage shed and installing a new frontend checkout counter area. The whole process took four to six months (and nearly six figures of investment from NOW Foods) to put together, all culminating in late October.
The team also suggested the store rethink its pricing strategy. Richard says NOW Foods has a set of successful retail stores that also made a similar decision about eight years ago. Fruitful Yield changed from full-price retail stores to an everyday low-price model and added 20% more inventory. In support of a similar revamping and to compete better with Internet, NOW gave Granby’s its best pricing for bringing in 800 NOW Foods SKUs. Passing on the discount to shoppers, says Richard, will open up a whole new clientele to the store.
AFTER: Granby Village Health
“We want all stores to be successful. If you build a store and there’s nothing special about it or you’re above retail prices, you need to offer better value,” said Richard.
All these changes—more competitive pricing, additional product offerings and improved flow of the store—have not gone unnoticed by Granby Village Health shoppers. “It’s a more complete shopping experience for our customers,” says Love. “Customers are telling us that the store looks so much bigger. I haven’t expanded; we just reset the store in a way that really flows….Customers are shopping more. They’re spending more time in the aisles and looking at products we’ve had for a long time, but that they didn’t notice before.” Love says new customers are coming in, too, to see the new Granby Village.
Love says KeHE was instrumental making that change happen. “I have to give credit to Larry Morris of KeHE. He is a master of product placement and marketing…Having KeHE help us lay out the store the way it needed to flow was an incredible help.”
She adds, ““NOW Foods enabled us to bring this store to the next level. We would not have been able to do it on our own, and I am very grateful for that.”
Did you implement a unique solution that work great for your store? Tell us about it at KaylynnEbner@wfcinc.com.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, December 2014 (online 11/11/14)