Signs of the times – Grocery signage adapt to supermarket trends
Published on June 01, 2021
As our supermarket customers adapt to changing consumer behaviors and preferences, their store signage is changing too.
There are supermarket design trends that the pundits and prognosticators have talked about for a while now playing out in the grocery signage we manufacture for our customers. And then there are retail store signage changes driven by the global pandemic that no one could have predicted.
Below are some of the trends we see in grocery design and signage in 2021:
Smaller format grocery stores
Digital disruption in the grocery store business has been predicted for years, but 2020 finally brought the issue to a head. Now that online grocery store shopping is more prevalent among consumers, retailers are rethinking the layout and design of their physical locations.
It’s the ‘less is more theory.’ At CIP Retail, we are working on several retail store designs for customers in the process of shrinking their total store square footage to provide their customers with a simpler, faster shopping experience.
Sprouts is a good example, recently revealing to Winsight Grocery Business their plans to shrink their new stores from 30,000 square feet to less than 25,000 square feet. Lidl, the German grocer, is another excellent example. They tout easy-to-shop stores with just six aisles.
Smaller format stores serve several purposes, including reducing consumer confusion with too many options to choose from and making the shopping experience quicker and easier. Another benefit of fewer SKUs in the grocery store is more efficient supply chain operations. Numerous brands discovered this during the pandemic, reducing the variety of products they offered within a category to focus on keeping store shelves stocked with their best-selling items.
As online grocery shopping continues to ramp up, we may see other changes as well. For instance, grocery stores need more space for picking and packing online orders. Utilizing store square footage for order fulfillment rather than retail display and sales is an option many operators are looking at.
Using existing commercial real estate
Instead of building new supermarkets from the ground up, another trend we see among our grocery store customers is a willingness to renovate existing commercial real estate options.
We see more and more of our supermarket customers taking advantage of abandoned strip mall spaces and reinventing these buildings to serve the local communities with in-demand services such as restaurants and organic groceries.
These commercial real estate options allow grocers to put their stores in closer proximity to their target shoppers in many cases.
At CIP, we specialize in helping our customers adapt their retail decor packages to fit into non-standard architectural designs seamlessly.
Contactless shopping was in its infancy pre-pandemic, but we anticipate it is a trend that is here to stay even as pandemic social distancing orders come to an end.
According to Grocery Dive, some grocers saw curbside pickup service increase by more than 1000% during the height of the pandemic.
Experiences like buying online and pickup in-store or curbside pickup are quick and convenient for consumers – IF the correct signage is in place telling shoppers where to park, who to call, what to do, and where to go.
Signage that drives people to digital
Another signage trend is the need for more wayfinding signage related to a supermarket’s digital technology. For example, store aisle signs that encourage customers to download the store’s app for easier service or coupons and discounts is prevalent today.
QR code signage is another important tool for grocers. This signage gives customers instant access to information they need on their cell phone rather than touching a grimy kiosk or tracking down a store employee. Customers can scan the QR codes to bring up a map of the store, locate hard-to-find items, or quickly place online orders for out-of-stock items.
Part of the fun of designing, engineering, and manufacturing retail store signage and décor for supermarket chains across the country is the opportunity to see these supermarket store trends play out right before our eyes on our factory floor.
CIP Retail helps our grocery store customers transform their retail spaces’ look, feel, and function to adapt to changing consumer preferences and behaviors. We create beautiful spaces with maximum impact through the design, engineering, manufacturing, and installation of retail décor and signage.
From small requests to chain-wide rollouts, CIP is here to help. Contact us today to learn more.