Author Archives: Kraig Koelsch

Merchandising Success in a Format-Flexible World

Store sizes are changing, remodeling activity is on the rise and selling space is under pressure from alternative uses.  This is the format-flexible world in which merchants must make optimal assortment decisions to satisfy shoppers and grow sales. Doing so requires understanding where store design is headed, the impact on selling space and how assortment optimization enables new opportunities.

Improve your understanding of these new dynamics by joining Steven Duffy, SVP of Design with the acclaimed architectural, engineering and design innovation firm Cuhaci Peterson, and Todd McCourtie, VP of Product Management Assortment and Space Planning, at SymphonyAI Retail CPG, for a revealing look at:

  • Hot store design trends, remodeling innovation and what’s next for small formats.​
  • How assortment optimization enables design flexibility and productivity improvement. ​
  • The role of advanced technologies in understanding new item incrementality, transferable demand and store clustering opportunities.​
  • Practical examples of how AI improves the speed and accuracy of merchants’ optimization efforts.

To download the on-demand recording, please click here.

These Design Categories Are Shaping Grocery

These Design Categories Are Shaping Grocery

It’s safe to say that we’re living through an economic inflection point that affects our daily lives. Food and other current trends are influencing the future of grocery for the next three, five and even 10 years. Understanding these trends as “breadcrumbs” that influence food and grocery design will help in understanding how they shape the future and prepare us for change.

In the book “Trend Sociology v. 2.0” by Louise Byg Kongsholm, the author notes that change itself is at the heart of trends, and she reminds us that everyone fundamentally feels that change is good, even if it doesn’t affect them.

[Read more: “What Is the Biggest Growth Opportunity for Grocery Leaders?“]

Kongsholm explores the significance of six trend types that we’ll apply to grocery:

  1. Types of society, which last for centuries.
  2. Paradigms, which guide personal beliefs that last for decades.
  3. Gigatrends, which are long trends that affect us for 10 to 30 years, radically changing our way of life and conditions. These trends also often have a global effect and usually contain elements of economy, politics and technology.
  4. Megatrends, which are those medium-length trends lasting three to seven years, and are characterized by spirit, lifestyle and consumption.
  5. Microtrends, which last six months to three years.
  6. Fads, which have a longer shelf life by comparison.

Regardless of its timeframe, each trend has three affluential parts: society and culture, consumer trends/behaviors, and the industry’s response to delivering new products or services. Consider these when looking at trends, and you’ll notice a path forward becomes more apparent and a bit more demystified.

To read more, click here.

Transformation Paradoxes graphic

Periodical Highlights Future of Retail

Our Senior Vice President of Design, Steven Duffy, was recently a featured author discussing the future of retail in the October 2021 issue of Retail and Restaurant Facility Business. The article is available in the print and online editions.

In the article, Duffy revealed four ways technology can transform stores by 2030. The following is a quick excerpt from the article:

The future of retail changed forever as the pandemic exposed the inadequacies of eGrocery. Consumers seek convenience at a fair price, and they want a frictionless experience. Grocers and retailers must adapt, and quickly. Retail and grocery formats and their supporting technologies have remained static for decades, unable to respond to shoppers demands, new technologies, and have failed to meet today’s consumer’s shifting paradigm.

Retail of the Future is at an Inflection Point Today

During a recent speaking engagement at the Category Management Association annual conference, we provided clarity on the four future retail themes or paradoxes. Theses are driving the change in how and why we shop and are the connective tissue, the infrastructure behind the transformation of future grocery retailing.

1.) Physical to Virtual: The merging of physical to digital, often called phygital, is how we buy today.

2.) Small is Big: Smaller format is more attractive with technology and convenience playing a part.

3.) Blurring Formats: Retail stores are decreasing in size as restaurant and C-store formats hybridize to include grocery.

4.) Simplify Complexity: Make systems easily accessible enabling a more intuitive and frictionless experience.

Let’s unpack each of these elements that form a base for the rapidly transforming, technology-enabled retail and food-based ecosystem. This overview addresses the retail experience, yet broader and more sweeping changes are necessary across the entire environment and logistics network to facilitate changes moving forward.

To read the entire article, please go here:

AutoStore fulfillment center model

New FutureShop Model & Fly Through Unveiled at Groceryshop

Cuhaci Peterson was extremely pleased to help AutoStore develop an eGrocery automation model for their exhibit at Groceryshop 2021, representing the store of the future that’s here today.

The model and virtual fly-through illustrate the functions of AutoStore fulfillment connected to an operating grocery store.

Below are still images of the automation model by itself and on display at the booth, as well as the full fly-through video.

Phygital Ecosystem and the Future of Retail | FutureShop

Phygital Ecosystem and the Future of Retail

Cuhaci Peterson Chief Executive Officer, Greg Simpson, was recently a featured author in the September 2021 issue of Progressive Grocer. The article is available in the print and online editions.

In the article, Simpson offers key considerations in merging physical and digital strategies to obtain the optimal store experience. The following is a quick excerpt from the article:

After 18 months of tremendous change accelerated by an enduring pandemic, the retail industry has reached an inflection point. Expanding and varying customer needs, coupled with re-emerging competition, require new ways of thinking. Or is it an old way of thinking?

The customer is always right, but for that premise to be true, then the future of grocery must be designed for the benefit of the customer, not to coerce them. It’s not the user experience that is changing, but that the customer will change it.

However, to give a better grocery experience requires connecting a series of dots that meet the evolving customer ethos. Grocery must be evaluated across all the channels, forming a network with a new portfolio. Let’s call it Retail Portfolio 2.0 – a concept centered on the entire store portfolio, addressed from the customer point of view. It requires connecting the need, the timing and the delivery method to succeed, but that success only happens when the silos of logistics, store design and construction fade away.

This isn’t a simple process. Retailers often appear just as confused and are divided in attitudes toward innovation, the ability and willingness to make capital investment, and the need to rethink the future store. Over the past two decades, retailers considered only a physical retail portfolio network. Fast-forward to today, and we see a new interconnected environment.

To read the entire article, please go here: