How do you frame the current challenges that grocery retailers are facing in fresh departments?
Fresh departments are losing money, while labor shortages & investments in training are making them harder & more expensive to operate. So, retailers everywhere are asking, do we need these service counters? What would the alternative look like? It’s a difficult question. By removing them, retailers risk losing fresh authority that’s so central to consumer preference.
Changing customer habits.
Long-term changes in customer behaviour toward convenience is driven by time pressure & changes in eating habits, which over time has impacted the effectiveness of serviced counters. Meanwhile customer demands for expertise, transparency & experience is only increasing.
Aisles of sameness.
The most obvious solution is to remove the service counters and arrange products into self-service aisles. It’s a decision in the wrong direction for customers who want to feel the customer experience closer to a market concept. In this scenario, nobody wins in the long run.