USA: an era of unprecedented format activity

Date : 21 June 2016

New store formats from Safeway and Hannaford are the latest to launch in the US as retailers shift their emphasis towards natural and organic ranges and prepared foods.

Safeway banner launches in Florida

The first Safeway store has opened in Orlando, Florida, marking the entry of the banner into the state for the very first time. The retailer, which is now part of Albertsons, has opened in a former Albertsons location following a $10m renovation, and will be the first of three to open in Florida this year. The Safeway format provides Albertsons with an opportunity to test a fresher and premium-focused shopping experience, and helps it to compete more effectively with retailers such as The Fresh Market, Publix and Whole Foods Market. Through relaunching with the Safeway banner it is likely to encourage new shoppers to visit the store. The store offers an extended range of natural food products and online home shopping, key elements of the Safeway proposition in its existing trade areas.

New Hannaford prototype sets future direction

Delhaize's Hannaford operation has launched a 68,000 sq ft prototype in Bedford, New Hampshire. The store represents a new direction for Hannaford and will operate as a learning lab for the retailer. Supermarket News highlighted a number of new features including the 'Hannaford Kitchen' which offers an extensive range of prepared foods, a specialty cheese counter and community room. Having seen competition intensify in its operating area, including from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market, and Price Chopper launch a new format, Market 32, the retailer is aiming to set the benchmark for format development with this new prototype.

A number of new formats have come to market over the last six months

The US is experiencing an unprecedented wave of new format activity this year. New launches to date include Main & Vine from Kroger, 365 by Whole Foods Market, Walmart's Supercenter of the future and Winn-Dixie's new concept store. Common themes across these formats include an enhanced focus on organic and natural food ranges, and a broader range of fresh and prepared foods as the retailers tap into the trends which are underpinning sector growth. Consequently, retailers are flexing space allocation in-store, and although this is placing some additional pressures on centre store categories, retailers are also focusing on driving traffic in this area of the store through spotlighting value, improving navigation and adding elements of retail theatre.

Click here to see our recent visit to Walmart's Supercenter of the future in Rogers, Arkansas, and see how it is testing a new look and feel and new approaches to technologies, services, products and layouts.

Stewart Samuel, Program Director, IGD Canada
Based in North America, Stewart heads up all of IGD's research and coverage on the region. He also leads our study tours program across North America. Contact Stewart at [email protected] to see how we can build a format, category or innovation study tour for your team.