King Soopers in Denver
I don’t know if I have ever felt the energy in a downtown area as I did during a recent trip to Denver. Here are some current figures from the Denver Post: 23,000 people now live in a six-neighborhood downtown area that is three times the population than it was 2000. Additionally, there are 4,500 new residential units under construction trying to serve the rapidly growing and techno-developed working community. Both Whole Foods and Kroger’s King Soopers have built stores made for the urban environment inside some of the new construction. With King Soopers, I was quite impressed with the efficiency, layout and shopping experience.
- The checkout areas in this store are not really built for lines and shopping carts. Transactions tend to be smaller than typical, mostly using hand baskets. Fittingly, confections are centralized in one location. It was certainly a significant decision to remove virtually all impulse purchase opportunities at the check stands.
- It’s a spectacular showcase – pizza and Mexican street food are placed adjacent to the sushi bar. In the background at left, the light you see is one of two minimalist entrances to the store. The store is made up of extraordinary perimeter showcases whose square footage largely overshadows the center store departments.
- Fast, fresh and healthy take center stage as you view the oversized drinks section. Note that above the cooler, there is the temptation to pick up a healthy snack as you select your drink. A side note: In walking the entire store, there was not one display for an “established” carbonated or salty snack brand.
- It’s no surprise that a store in the Western United States, catering to a young urban population, would showcase “the garden” – a spectacular presentation. Take note of the shoppers in the photo: young men. Also note the organic area and the commitment to “Colorado Grown.”
- The store has a theme of fresh, fast and healthy – a perfect fit for this urban environment. Vita Coco, an iconic brand with this crowd for more than 14 years, has invested in an elegant display. Grab it and go. Monster Beverages had an equally impressive display.