4 Steps to Transform Your Sweet Shop into a Fall Marketplace
The fall season is the perfect time to showcase what makes your grocery store different from the competition. With a little effort, you can create your own fall market within your store that will invite customers to linger, sample, and purchase. Get started with these ideas.
1. Invest in the visual.
Depending on your budget, this could be minimal or elaborate. Choose an open area in your store – your sweet shop is the perfect place if you have one, but if you don’t, the space around the deli or bakery can work well, as can a location near the wine aisle or by the checkouts.
Consider renting faux wood vinyl floor planks for a welcoming feeling and to set your fall market apart from the rest of your store. Bring in straw bales and – of course! – lots of pumpkins, which can also be for sale. Instead of covering your display tables with traditional white or black cloths, get some burlap or fall-themed cloths. Your local craft store will have an assortment of decorative leaves, acorns, and other table décor. Bring in some red, orange, and yellow mums from your floral department to complete the look.
2. Focus on fall scents and samples.
The sense of smell is a powerful motivator, so make sure there’s always something enticing being cooked or baked fresh so customers follow their noses. Apple pie, caramel corn, and kettle popcorn are sure to attract customers from all areas of your store to investigate.
Once you’ve brought them in, keep them with small samples of your goods. A bite of baked apple on a toothpick or a sample cup of kettle corn are sure to delight the taste buds and encourage a purchase of more. You can also offer samples of local foods you carry, such as meats or cheeses from nearby producers.
3. Showcase your assets.
Bring in produce from your fresh section (think different varieties of apples displayed in baskets), your bakery, and other relevant departments. For made-in-store items be sure to prominently display your private label so that it feels more personal to shoppers.
Identify anything that is grown or made locally, whether it’s produce or baked goods from right in your own store.
4. Create a feeling of friendly camaraderie.
For flowers, pumpkins, and produce, handwrite your prices. For baked goods, include an information display with your store baker’s name, photo, and a brief biography to remind customers that the item was made personally by someone from their own town.
You can even include recipe cards for some items, such as apple pie with apples, pumpkin pie with canned pumpkin, or roasted Brussels sprouts. For ingredients that aren’t included in the fall market display, add a helpful note with the appropriate aisle where the customer can find each one.
Once you’ve set up the basics for your fall market display, consider adding some small events to attract families. For example, during your busiest times for family visits, book a face painter or balloon animal maker for kids and make sure to advertise the event in advance with in-bag flyers and posters around the store so parents know what to expect.