Discovery and Disruption: Supermarkets Could Break the Routine with DTC


1 The Regular is Actual 2 Curated Boutiques for DTC3 The Supermarket Boom4 Disrupt the Regular with Discovery5 Signage and Display6 A Different Path to Client Acquisition7 Medallion Can Help The Regular is Actual No matter how nice a grocery […]

The Regular is Actual

No matter how nice a grocery store is, at some point the”been there, done that” monotony of shopping excursions can be quite uninspiring…especially once you realize you have been considering salad dressing for over five minutes. After a time, even the most fervent foodies tire of this weekly slog up and down the supermarket aisles (follow the directional arrows, please!) . It is ironic that it’s called a”trip” to the supermarket when it is less of a travel and much more of a normal, repetitive routine.

We are all aware that in retail, the most sure way to interrupt the habitual is to introduce the experiential–to pull something new in the kinds of discovery and browsing. Experiential retail has become the buzzword of the day for quite a while now and a small number of merchants, including Showfields, have made it their raison d’être. Examining their distinctive spin on retail has motivated us to wonder: What if that weekly grind through the supermarket can be disrupted at a small but significant way?

We have got an idea for it.

Curated Boutiques for DTC

New York City is gradually reopening again, with Showfields one of the companies welcoming customers back in. CEO Tal Zvi Nathanel recently clarified how Showfields’s”arts-focused display layouts” create a more interactive and engaging customer experience. Showfields, self-proclaimed as the”most interesting store in the world,” houses three floors of curated and extremely designed pop-up shops. Even though the store version is loosely built on the idea of the standard department store, its doctrine is to”challenge the retail status quo by merging Art + Commerce and reimagine the shopping experience through the eyes of the consumer using immersive experiences, wonderful service and discovery.” On the brand-facing side, Showfields provides a highly visible platform for native DTC manufacturers to have a presence in the world of retail.

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DTC has long sought methods for brand awareness and customer acquisition, and physical retail is one of these tried and true procedures. Physical retail supplies a platform for forming direct relationships with clients, necessary for calling and responding to consumer preferences and habits, and for supplying the client”intel” necessary to facilitate product development. While not a low-cost method of attaining market exposure, the burden of operating a storefront can be justified as an investment in advertising.


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Establishing a presence in physical retail has frequently been the last stepping-stone from the road to successful brand-building attempts in the DTC industry as it’s the most difficult step to take. Opening a brick-and-mortar shop at the moment, especially, isn’t seen as a viable investment option. Retail outlets throughout the nation have opened and shut their doors in the aftermath of COVID-19; and since the virus wanes in the Northeast, many consumers remain wary of spending their shopping time in nonessential companies.

The Supermarket Boom

Among just a few essential companies, supermarkets and grocery stores have remained open through the onslaught of the coronavirus. As restaurants fast closed and consumption patterns shifted to dine-at-home, supermarket and grocery sales increased substantially, so much so that promotions were curtailed to avoid a run on particular products and to keep store shelves filled, according to Market Watch. The rock-solid and unwavering sales performance the supermarket became a part of can be viewed as an anomalous present.

Now, about these ideas we mentioned…








Disrupt the Regular with Discovery

Why don’t you add some surprise and pleasure for the supermarket and supermarket customers who have made inroads to store in shop and in person during the good times and the newer, unnervingly bad ones? Supermarkets stand to gain even more by bringing new experiences in the kinds of discovery and browsing to their clients.

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Shoppers at big supermarket chains are greeted by empty fronts of shop where once there were ATMs, prior to the ease of internet banking. Supermarkets could take a number of that empty space or utilize a similar place in the front of the shop to design an experiential boutique inside all the shops. Taking a page from the Showfields version, direct-to-consumer brands and products could be cycled through the boutique on a monthly or bimonthly basis. This would create an inexpensive platform for DTC discovery while providing a foothold in physical retail as conditions continue to fluctuate. We have written before about how DTC can use pop-up to grow offline, and this is a similar thought. But in this situation, the financial investment for the business would be less onerous.

Signage and Display

The boutique would need vibrant, lively signage and exhibits to break away from the bland supermarket inside. A modular screen system could be designed that would be helpful for various product shapes and sizes. Signage and print security could be enhanced using AR and QR to grant browsers and buyers access to rich content such as video and promotional games and opportunities, which would offer the brand with usable client information.

This notion is a win-win-win for the series, supermarket client and DTC brand. The series can enter into a set of short-term rentals with their new DTC partners to fill the boutique and offset the cost of producing the space. By building the boutique, the series enhances the in-store experience for their client base, who has the expectation that they will stumble upon something new and unusual during their normal jaunt into fill the larders. Along with the brand that signs on using the series affordably invests in an chance to receive their goods into the line of hands and attention of a totally new audience.

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A Different Path to Client Acquisition

There’s absolutely not any lack of stories about brandsbeing innovative and pivoting for increased success during this time period. Emerging health and fitness brand Ghost Rings is one of these. Susie Peebler, geophysicist and active lifestyle enthusiast, began Ghost Flowers after getting injured. Choosing rehabilitative care through resistive yoga and stretching as opposed to operation, Susie began tracing the lines of the energy meridians which are used in acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine on her workout clothes. She immediately realized that she could design beautiful activewear with a deeper purpose by integrating these very same lines into her designs. What we find relevant about the Ghost Rings narrative is that Susie started her business with trunk shows, distributing her merchandise to local boutiques and holding home displays. And like our supermarket concept, all are reliable procedures for introducing a particular audience to a new or product.

Medallion Can Help

Beside COVID-19, changes in consumer behaviour are the second strongest force driving and shaping the retail marketplace nowadays. It’ll be the companies and brands which acknowledge and respond to these changes using a clear vision and plan which will emerge successfully. In June, former Unilever marketer Keith Marijuana commented to international media platform The Drum, “Brands are pivoting and finding new ways to keep themselves relevant and engaging. If you don’t appear in clients’ lives you’ll shed relevance and they will forget about you.”

During our 50-year history in retail, Medallion Retail has seen markets fluctuate and has witnessed the corresponding changes in customer behaviour. We bring this experience to our work in assisting businesses and brands stay applicable and customer-focused during challenging times.