Yes, big boxes have made strides to address this issue with things like self-checkout and online options. However, the former still requires traversing a large “one-stop shop” store, and we don’t see the desire for last-minute in-store shopping going anywhere. If anything, the younger generation’s busy schedules and live-for-the-moment mentality mean that it’s more likely to value last-minute in-store shopping than the previous generation – if it can get in and out quickly.
We’ve seen regional grocers attracting time-pressed buyers with smaller stores and fewer selections, upending years of conventional wisdom that customers always want options. If actively competing against a larger retailer, grocers should focus their marketing on a fast-and-easy value proposition.
Niche stores can similarly win on the time front by focusing on convenience eating by offering a greater selection of foods that are either already prepared or take minimal effort to serve.
Di Bruno Brothers, a chain of five high-end retail locations in Philadelphia, has done this with flying colors. Browsing one of its stores, you’ll find specialty cheeses, charcuterie and olive oils, along with prepared foods such as lobster-and-spinach-stuffed chicken and pumpkin arancini. It's catered its selection to the type of person who wants excellent food but is more interested in sharing that food with others than in spending a lot of time in the kitchen preparing it.