There’s something going on with grocery stores. They’re not even supermarkets any more. For the past three months I’ve been going to Grand Openings and the new food shopping trends I’ve been experiencing have been both exciting AND costly! Between the openings of the newly revamped Whole Foods (now that Amazon has taken over) to the last recent opening I attended (click here) of Earth Fare, buying your weekly grocery items have taken on a brand new shift.
Forbes Magazine lists several new tends popping up this year 2018, one of them being:
In-store drinking and dining: While super markets are expanding their online buying options, they still have a lot invested in brick-and-mortar stores, so they need to make them a more inviting place for customers to shop, Karolefski said. One way grocers are doing that is through in-store bars and dining areas. Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle Inc.’s upscale Market District stores host events like food and wine Fridays, where shoppers pay $5 for a wine glass and can stop at stations throughout the store for wine samples and hors d’oeuvres while they listen to a three-piece band.
“The place is crowded, everyone’s having fun, and they’re grocery shopping,” he said. “It brings in shoppers, making the store a fun place to shop, and that’s what grocers have got to do, give them a reason to come to the store.”
So, you can imagine my surprise, when I walked into our local Shop Rite supermarket only to find it 1000% revamped! True the last time I shopped there was a year and a half ago, because I’ve been doing most of my shopping at Aldi. Lately however, Aldi has been having shortages on certain items, causing me to search and shop for these necessary items in other stores. Shop Rite expanded their store’s square footage, revamped the parking lot and re-did the entire interior of the store. The aisles are wider. The products are fresher. The colors are more vibrant. The best part is in addition to their state-of-the-art Deli Department, Shop Rite now has take-out food stations PLUS a cool dining area to either eat there or take it home in your shopping cart! There’s a cheese section, a Mediterranean section, an Asian section, a sushi section, a meat & potatoes section (delish!) a dessert section (can you say: Junior’s Cheesecake!), a bakery to die for ($1.99 for six crispy, flaky croissants……..yes, please!)
Ok. Ok. Hubby and I got caught up in the madness. All we came in for was a $4.49 bag of grated cheese but we wound up dropping $78 bucks just by buying all these delishous foods we hadn’t had in ages. Once we collected our normal brain cells back, hubby and I decided we would divide our time and money between Aldi and Shop Rite. Aldi for basics (milk, eggs, bread etc.) Shop Rite for everything else! The Asian Chinese take-out bar is my fave! I get to pile seseme chicken, General Tso’s chicken, sweet & sour chicken, fried rice, some spare ribs all into a smallish package and go home and have a food fest! All for under $7 bucks (vs $25 for actual Chinese restaurant take out!)
Here’s a slide show of just some of the food stations Shop Rite has invested millions into to get a shopper’s dollar:
Live well, my friend and prosper. Live (and eat!) well. And prosper.