For independent grocers and the wholesalers that serve them
The Utopia Group and the N.G.A. have a fleet of Innovation centers traveling the country visiting independent grocers to demonstrate the latest in front-end technology.
Goodwin’s Organics, in Riverside, Calif., was built around the goal of making eating healthy easy, paring it down to one objective: eating an organic-only diet.
Referred to as a “Quality of Life Center,” by owner and IGN member Martin Goodwin, a third-generation grocer with three other, more traditional stores, It was supposed to be a tech lab in the form of a store, a handy way for Goodwin to test-run his proprietary point-of-sale (POS) system for prospective buyers. But thanks to the singular vision of its owner, the store instead became Goodwin’s Organic Foods & Drinks, a real-world experiment in simplifying the delivery of health and wellness to the consumer. (Incidentally, the POS system, IT Retail, is one of several in-store technologies showcased in Pan-Oston’s Utopia Across America Tour Buses.)
The store attempts to equip consumers with everything they need to accomplish this in a 10,000-square-foot store that offers organic solutions ranging from raw goods to a sit-down meal or takeout dinner. However, another commodity that Goodwin’s Organic Foods & Drinks delivers is inspiration, especially for those new to the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.
“When it comes to ‘Vitalize Your Living,’ we really mean business,” says Goodwin, referring to the store’s slogan. “We’re really trying to help families to be more healthy, in an easy way — just by eating, which leads to a healthy, more productive, and better quality of life. We’ve seen where the pharmaceutical industry has failed – prescriptions don’t take care of everything.”
And just as he believes the right food is important for good health, he believes the right social environment helps, too – and he provides that environment to local students in the form of an inside student lounge with tables and couches, and in four outdoor patios – with free Wi-Fi all around.
His latest technology challenge has been finding the right online tools to help educate his shoppers on healthy living. To do this, he’s moving from a traditional website to more social media related tools, including the WordPress blogging platform for more robust content capabilities, Survey Monkey to learn more about his customers, as well as participating in other traditional social media platfotms.
His latest success is his latest version of IT Retail, which he continues to use for slicing and dicing his valuable customer data for all kinds of micro-target marketing. “We know which 100 customers are responsible for 25 percent of our business, and which 300 customers make up most of the remaining 75 percent,” he says. “We’re triggering coupons based on how valuable these shoppers are to our business. Just by doing this, our gross increased 40 percent last year.”
To see IT Retail in action, sign up for a visit by the Pan Oston’s Mobile Innovation Center by clicking the link below.
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