Convenience Store News

NOV 2014

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10 Store of the Future | WWW.CSNEWS.COM design features responsive to how customers use the zones. The zones will then be designed to achieve the business objectives. The result will be a faster, easier and more enjoy- able customer experience and a strategy that distin- guishes the brand in the market and maximizes busi- ness results, Blackiston said. "The c-store of the future will have identified its customer base and their specific needs and behav- iors. This understanding will dictate how the store is designed, and the services and products it will offer," he added. "To directly compete with QSRs and fast- casual restaurants, as well as supermarkets and other fresh-food resources, it will put a particular focus on food-related offerings." King-Casey envisions the convenience restaurant concept consisting of: • Multiple Food Zones: The store includes a variety of themed food concepts, as you would find in a mall's food court. These zones feature informal seating for those in a hurry, and adventuresome Blackiston said c-stores of the future will be divided into "customer operating zones." Each zone, he explained, will be responsive to the unique needs of each different target customer set. COZI, short for Customer Operating Zone Improvement, is already a strategic principle for King- Casey, which has been in the business of retail brand- ing and design for 61 years. COZI focuses on under- standing customer behavior to develop brand-specific solutions that make the customer experience easier and more pleasant overall. "Each zone should take into account that different customers have needs and expectations that are dif- ferent from one zone to another," Blackiston noted. "And so, the design of each zone (specific features and communications) must be different from one to the next, so as to meet and surpass target customer needs and expectations." For this concept to work, c-store retailers will have to establish specific business goals for each zone, and identify zone-specific merchandising strategies and

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