- Ahold Delhaize-owned Giant Food Stores has added Beer & Wine Eateries in four additional Pennsylvania-area stores in Hummelstown, Lehighton, Middletown and Philadelphia, according to The Shelby Report.
- The Beer & Wine Eateries feature an expansive selection of domestic and international wines; a wide variety of craft, domestic and imported beer; and an eat-in or take-out foodservice offer of sandwiches, wraps, subs and salads.
- “Our customers are busy and we want to help them save time with the convenience of one-stop shopping for everything on their grocery list,” Erik Keptner, senior vice president of sales, merchandising and marketing for Giant, told the publication. “Our Beer & Wine Eateries feature a good variety of both beer and wine for customers to pair with our many food offerings.”
Food retailers must do what they can these days to stand out in an increasingly crowded and competitive marketplace. At the top of the list is creating a compelling and differentiated shopping “experience” that not only gets more people into the stores, but keeps them there longer and coming back again.
One strategy is to go beyond selling just groceries and offer specialized services and conveniences — including in-store bars. Giant Food Stores is just the latest food retailer to do so when it added beer and wine eateries in four more Philadelphia-area stores.
Tapping the in-store bar trend isn’t anything new. Whole Foods has long included such an offer, complete with food and oftentimes entertainment inside many of its stores, including its recently opened 365 by Whole Foods concepts. Hy-Vee features a beer bar and glass-room wine cellar in its recently opened urban specialty Fourth + Court store in Des Moines.
Lucky’s Market, a natural and organic retailer with stores in 11 states, encourages consumers to grab a draught beer and drink it while they shop. “We wanted to offer a more relaxed environment for our customers where grocery shopping becomes less of a chore and more of an experience,” Kristen Tetrick, Lucky’s director of marketing and community engagement, told Food Dive in an email.
Adding beer and wine eateries provides multiple benefits for food retailers. It’s different and attracts shoppers, including coveted millennials, to the store. Research shows millennials have not yet fully established their food shopping habits or found a “favorite” grocer yet, so offers and experiences that resonate with this demographic and help build loyalty as they get older is critical.
In-store bars and foodservice offers also is a way to keep shoppers in the store longer. The longer they stay, the more opportunity grocers have to sell not only alcohol, but food, too. It also creates the opportunity to showcase specialty products available at the store,such as craft beers and local wines. And don’t forget the higher margins typically associated with specialty products and services. Any time supermarkets can bolster razor-thin margins, that's a good thing.