Modern Romance in Grocery Stores

Tony Bennet may have left his heart in San Francisco but someone else left theirs in Aisle 5 down near the Produce section.

Whole Foods is among the grocery store chains tinkering with new ways to keep customers coming back for more, or most importantly, coming back INSIDE for more. Meal kits, delivery services and online shopping are changing how we get our groceries, and stores are looking for the best ways to accommodate their customers and stay relevant in the community.

Some are adding tables and chairs or couches to provide a space where people can congregate, visit, gossip…and in some instances, flirt. Grocery stores have become romance destinations for some.

They tend to be smaller stores that are toying with new ideas, and tend to be in smaller neighborhoods. Food industry analyst Bob Goldin sees a limited attraction. “In store amenities oriented toward socialization is probably more appealing to younger consumers,” he tells News Radio KTRH.

Some are adding bars: wine, sushi or other food-oriented charms; HEB offers cooking demonstrations in some locations.  Goldin says it’s an exercise in experimentation to develop all avenues of customer satisfaction as grocery stores react, as all retail is today, to the Amazon effect.

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