Maintaining a nutritious diet is recognized as one of the most important practices for living a long life. And for decades, grocers have played a primary role in the well-being of the public by supplying the food that contributes to healthy eating habits.
Things are different for grocers today during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s no longer just the healthy food options; it’s also about keeping customers safe and healthy throughout their shopping experience.
Some things don’t change
Without question, COVID-19 has disrupted the lifestyles of virtually everyone. That lifestyle change is readily apparent at the grocery store. Where once many shoppers found browsing aisles to be cathartic, today’s customers are more interested in shortening the time they spend inside the store. In fact, going out on an ordinary grocery run has become worrisome for people that may be susceptible to the virus or who may be concerned about potentially spreading the virus to others.
Even still, a study by bankrate.com found that 72% of respondents say that in spite of their concerns, they’re still heading to the store during this pandemic. While online sales of hard goods appear to be on an upwards trajectory that one day could eclipse brick-and-mortar browsing, grocery shopping remains primarily an in-store, do-it-yourself endeavor.
With little to no change on the horizon for customers and their shopping habits, grocers are ramping up their efforts to keep a trip to the store safe and efficient.
Above and beyond
Efficiency starts with the store’s product displays. When shelves are organized, stocked and front-faced, customers can quickly make their selections, helping them save valuable time. Proper conditioning also minimizes customer contact with other products on the shelf, which limits the spreading of germs.
That’s why many grocers consider pusher display systems — along with cart sanitation, one-way aisles and social distancing — to be part of their strategy to mitigate customer concern of potential exposure. With pusher systems, healthy food products like cut vegetables, pre-packaged salads and herbs are continually front-faced and orderly, which allows customers to find what they need without having to sift through disorderly shelves and displays. It’s not a secret that the easier it is to shop, the faster customers can leave.
SpaceGrid II® from Retail Space Solutions is a modular pusher system that’s built to allow cold air from refrigeration units to be directed through product areas that keeps food at a controlled temperature — perfect for fresh produce. SpaceGrid II uses a release button that allows store staff to pull trays out and restock products efficiently. To accommodate different package sizes, SpaceGrid II adapts to package widths from 5” to 10.9”. With a crystal-clear polycarbonate front lenses that make products easily visible for customers, SpaceGrid II helps create the feeling of a safer environment for grocery customers.
“Efficient shopping is key to safe shopping,” said Joe Crum, Retail Space Solutions Director of Marketing and eCommerce. “We understand that grocery shopping is a necessity, and we also understand that we have a responsibility to provide ways that keep customers safe through these unprecedented times. Installing pusher systems like SpaceGrid II is a great step in that direction.”
Pusher systems reduce the contact customers have with stock on the shelf, and they also help limit their contact with other customers by holding hustle and bustle to a minimum. This, of course, makes social distancing a more manageable goal.
Store staff also benefit from the use of pusher systems. Because pusher systems keep products front-faced all day long, the call for shelf conditioning is cut dramatically. Stock monitoring and management are also simplified: pushers eliminate false out-of-stocks and make restocking easy.
Retail Sales Solutions knows that during these times of uncertainty, healthy eating regimens play a significant role in our general health. As the country continues to reopen, dining out remains an uncertainty causing the home-cooked meal to be heavily relied upon. With the presence of pusher systems in grocery stores, consumers can safely purchase the contents for their next healthy meal.