Could your supermarket one day become your one-stop-shop for all things entertainment? If you look at how Ahold Delhaize CEO Dick Boer views the future of grocery retail, the concept may not be too far off from reality. In a new interview with Bloomberg, Boer was asked what the key was to surviving a retail landscape in a post-Amazon grocery world. His answer? Boost the entertainment value.
“We have to make the store more exciting. The shopping environment needs to be easier, less complex, and more entertaining,” Boer told the business news source. According to Boer’s estimates, as much as 5 percent of grocery purchases will move online by 2025, and enticing customers into brick and mortar stores will be more of a feat than ever.
One way Ahold Delhaize may look to overcome that obstacle is to build “gathering spots,” including things like restaurants, Boer says.
This isn’t the first time a large retailer has brought the idea of restaurants into their supermarket playbook. Kroger announced just earlier this month that it will build Kitchen 1883, dubbed a “fresh new take on American comfort food…feature[ing] a made from scratch menu, hand crafted cocktails, and a family-friendly atmosphere.”
“I worry about all of them,” Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said about his competitors in grocery in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “And I worry about restaurants. We operate in an industry that is $1.5 trillion in terms of how much people spend on food. If people are eating a meal, we want to get our fair share of that meal.”
Another segment that Boer touched on during his Bloomberg interview is what everyone has been talking about—meal kits. With Albertsons buying up meal kit provider Plated, estimated by Bloomberg to be a $200 million deal, Boer suggests that we may see even more meal kit companies partnering with traditional retailers in the future.
“Meal boxes really need the support of a home-delivery system,” he said. “The best way is to have the support of dry groceries.”
Ahold has been offering its own meal kits through online service Peapod for some time now, and Boer believes providing boxes of ingredients this way can be a big plus for a customer already doing their grocery shopping online. The issue, Boer explains, is that they don’t work as well as a standalone product. “It’s too expensive to acquire and keep customers if your only business is delivery meal kits,” he said, according to Bloomberg.
Want to read more from Bloomberg’s interview with the Ahold Delhaize CEO? Check out the link here.