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Meijer focuses on local with new Detroit store

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Continuing its investment in Detroit, Meijer opened a new supercenter last week on the city’s northwest side. The nearly 200,000-square-foot store is located near the Old Redford and Brightmoor neighborhoods and provides local residents the opportunity to walk to get fresh groceries.
 
“We always work hard to find locations that will best serve communities, so we are proud that this neighborhood store will provide our new neighbors a fresh grocery option,” Doug Meijer, the company's co-chairman, said. “We’re very excited to offer a one-stop shopping experience and do our part in helping this neighborhood continue to grow and thrive.”
 
There will also be a significant emphasis on local, as the Detroit Meijer store will be the latest to highlight Michigan small businesses through the retailer’s Made in Michigan initiative with the Michigan State University Product Center for Food-Ag-Bio. Last year, Meijer expanded its program that supports small Michigan businesses to feature 16 new Michigan-made grocery items in all stores statewide. This year’s lineup will include strawberry syrup by Jessica’s Natural Foods in Birmingham, walnut and almond granola from Pure Blend Granola in Clawson, hot salsa from Mrs. Pruitt’s Cha-Cha Salsa in Detroit, ginger teas from Foods (Food for Thought) in Honor, ginger teas from Sweetwaters in Ann Arbor and multigrain flatbread and pizza crust by Easy Artisan Bread in Tecumseh. 
 
“The opening of a second Meijer store in Detroit is the latest example of our ability to attract new investment in our neighborhoods,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Having two Meijer stores to serve as retail anchors is filling an important need in our city and creating significant job opportunities for Detroit residents as well.”
 
Built on the site of the former Redford High School, the new Meijer supercenter is the latest of 11 new stores the retailer is opening throughout the Midwest this year. 
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Walmart combines physical and digital in new Neighborhood Market store

BY Mike Troy

NEW YORK — Walmart continues its building boom in Northwest Arkansas, opening a Neighborhood Market store just a few miles from the chain’s headquarters in Bentonville. During the past few years, company has added new Sam’s Clubs, Supercenters, a Walmart To Go convenience store, a grocery pick up facility and nearly 10 new Neighborhood Markets to the area.   While adding another new Neighborhood Market isn’t a huge deal, but the store’s location, its layout and some of the signing elements are noteworthy.

The store is located roughly two miles from a busy supercenter adjacent to Walmart’s headquarters, suggesting the retailer is not averse to cannibalizing sales from its larger format stores in the name of overall market share gains.

The small format Neighborhood Market store is designed to appeal to convenience oriented shopper and to take that concept to a higher level the store features a fuel center with multiple pumps and a tiny convenience store with a highly edit merchandise assortment.

Inside the main store, Walmart made a notable change to the layout by breaking the gondola runs that stretch from the front of the store to the rear to create a mini-action alley that bisects the store.

There is also a small section at the front of the store in the food section where lower profile fixtures are filled with organic and gluten free products. In terms of signing, Walmart was very aggressive in promoting its omnichannel capabilities.

On virtually every endcap throughout the store and with several freestanding navigational signs Walmart called out its buy online, pick up in stores capabilities. Employees even wore bright orange shirts touting the Walmart Pick up option.

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New General Market Forum delivers big insights at DSN/Mack Elevation event

BY DSN STAFF

 

New General Market Forum panelists included: (standing) Dan Mack, Mack Elevation Forum; Emmet Dennis, Sundial Brands; Wayne Bennett, DSN; Jean Legros, Mentholatum; Andrew Kingery, Beiersdorf; Rich Dennis, Sundial Brands; Bob Wiltz, Paris Presents; Chris Skyers, Wakefern; Paul Kenny, Combe; Dave Fox, Dentek Oral Care; and Craig Dubitsky, Hello Products; (seated) Debbie Brandwene, Unilever; Heather Warnke, Kao; Sarah Montante, Unilever; Steve Yde, Wahl Home Products; Shannon Curtin, Walgreens; and Bruce Kramer, Wahl Home Products.

CHICAGO, Ill. — There is a new wave of consumers that is quickly becoming the most powerful economic force in retail.

Enter: The New General Market consumer.

 

“It is causing retailers, marketers and all of us to rethink our blueprint on how to meet the needs of this new consumer. They are independent, digital and want to ‘engage’ as opposed to being ‘talked at,’” Mack Elevation Forum founder Dan Mack told attendees here, May 27, at the New General Market Leadership forum.

 

The New General Market platform – a Drug Store News and Mack Elevation Forum co-produced forum event explored why real consumer intimacy and authenticity are core to creating “emotional connection” with today’s new consumers. The forum partners included leaders from Sundial Brands, Beiersdorf, Paris Presents, Wahl Home Products, Unilever, Fleet, Hello Products, Mentholatum , Comb, Kao Brands, IRI, Social Deviant and Shannon Curtin of Walgreens along with Chris Skyers of Wakefern.  

Richelieu Dennis, co-founder and CEO of Sundial Brands, a leader and pioneer in identifying and responding to this cultural shift, shared Sundial’s history and the company’s vision for creating products for today’s diverse consumer based on unique, unmet needs, focusing on fair trade practices, natural and certified organic ingredients. “At all levels of the company, we try to listen to the voice of consumers and engage in meaningful dialogue, not speaking at them,” Dennis noted. “We believe in loosening our grip on our brands and letting consumers help define and build the brand.” 

Larry Levin, IRI EVP of Mid-Market said, “culturally competent organizations recognize the new mainstream is itself multicultural. These organizations recognize their consumer’s values, attitudes and lifestyles not just demographic profiles. They recognize the new consumer – fueled by Millennials — are influencing the culture.

Marc Landsberg, CEO of Social Deviant talked about the new rules for building brands socially.  “A committed social network – who are advocates are your best brand influencer, “Landsberg said. “Engaging with specific communities is not about building walled gardens. It's about creating engaging content that incites action through intersecting needs, wants and interests. There is no such thing as a social strategy, everything is social.”

“We have brought together companies who are very open and have built relationships with consumers based on their aspirations and values — not just their demographic profile, DSN publisher Wayne Bennett said of the program.  “It was an exciting day of insights.”

 

Mack added: “We hope to spark a conversation with the industry — including top retailers — sharing how some of the top brands are building authentic, emotional relationships with today’s changing consumer and the in-store implications, product groupings and activation.”

 

Participants in the May forum event are helping to define the best practices of winning brands that are connecting with Millennials and today’s diverse consumer. The highlights will be featured in a special cover feature in the August issue of Drug Store News.

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