Inside Fresh St. Market’s flagship format

Date : 13 February 2020

Stewart Samuel

Program Director - Canada

Locally operated Fresh St. Market has opened a flagship store in the heart of Vancouver, launching one of the city’s most anticipated new food retail stores of 2020.

Global landmark

Fresh St. Market has developed a strong local following and global retail interest since the launch of its first store in 2013. This latest opening brings the network to five locations, with further stores in the pipeline. The retailer operates a differentiated supermarket format, featuring an eye-catching design, innovative in-store services, drawing on its local roots. Its latest store has opened in the heart of Vancouver, at the base of Vancouver House, highlighted recently by CNN as one of the world's most anticipated new buildings in 2020.

Source: IGD Research

Public market like experience

We visited the store on opening day. The concept is impressive, building on the established strengths of the Fresh St. Market brand. It showcases the diversity of the independent food retail sector and how it continues to develop some of the key formats to see in the Canadian market.

Source: IGD Research

The public market like experience fits perfectly in this location, positioned across the water from one of Vancouver’s landmarks, the Granville Island Public Market. Key competitors in the area include Urban Fare and Choices Market.

Source: IGD Research

What we liked

Localisation of the offer. The store reflects local features and surroundings. Areas of the market include ‘Welcome to our Garden in the City’, ‘Howe Sound Seafood’, ‘Pacific Street Deli’ and ‘Perk for your Pedal’.

Source: IGD Research

The store features an engaging store design, with clear department signposting without using traditional department names.

Source: IGD Research

Humorous messaging features throughout the store.

Source: IGD Research

The ‘Fork Lift Kitchen & Bar’, a 50-seat, licensed restaurant provides customers with an opportunity to grab a meal. It offers a range of burgers and tacos, while also featuring a bar.

Source: IGD Research

Local sourcing features heavily, with companies such as Two Rivers Meats, One Arrow Bacon and Lion’s Bay Coffee Company all having a presence.

Source: IGD Research

The store design maximises the pie-shaped footprint.

Source: IGD Research

It also offers click and collect and bike deliveries; the mantra at its refrigerated locker is, “More Life Less Shop.”

Source: IGD Research

Key takeaways

  1. This store is a great example of the continued evolution of supermarkets, blurring food retail and foodservice to create a store with destination status
  2. In this urban location, the retailer has chosen to feature only express checkouts, optimising space and maximising customer flow
  3. Incorporating local elements into the store design creates talking points while also ensuring it is a truly neighbourhood grocer
  4. While the store has several ‘wow’ design features, the eclectic look and feel ensures that it remains grounded
  5. The store makes good use of space, drawing customers in from the front to the rear

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