Grocer of the future?

As with my last post, some discussion topics on RetailWire focused on food retailing have equal application to general merchandising:

There may not be one “grocer of the future” prototype, but there are at least two trends at work that are also going in the general merchandise world:

1. The “barbell effect” is driving sales for huge, low-priced stores like Woodmans as well as grocers like Whole Foods and Wegmans focused on assortment and service. Those in the middle are the ones losing share, unless they develop a clearer point of view one way or the other.

2. “Smaller is better”: Some of the fastest growth in the grocery industry is coming from stores like Aldi and Fresh Market, both offering tightly edited assortments in small footprints even though they offer different price points. It’s the same trend that is driving big box and discount stores to develop newer, simpler concepts.

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