Tucson has a number of grocers - Fry's Food, Safeway, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market, Sunflower Market, AJ's Fine Foods, and Sprouts (plus, others!).
Some are big and some are small. Some are exceptional; others are...not.
Regardless of their current status, we hereby offer 5 tips for how Tucson grocery stores can inspire loyalty, increase sales, and offer outstanding service.
1. Give fruit to kids. The Whole Foods Market flagship store in Austin, TX has a great amenity in place for small children. Any child who walks in the door can choose from a piece of fresh produce (orange or banana) to enjoy during their shopping trip. So much healthier than the more typical cookie alternative!
2. Offer cheese & produce samples. We propose that sales in both departments will go through the roof if samples are offered. Another idea is for stores to hire an in-house Produce Expert. The expert would answer questions ("How do I know if a watermelon is ripe?" "How do I cook eggplant?" etc) and offer tastes of fruit/vegetables when requested.
3. Expand the bakery. Tucson is, sadly, quite lacking in the bakery department. Grocery stores can fill that space by creating stand-out goods with top ingredients. AJ's certainly understands how it's done; other grocers should follow suit.
4. Insist on higher food standards. Decrease foods that are highly processed and have too many unpronouncable ingredients. We Tucsonans want dairy products without antibiotics or growth hormones, cage-free eggs, grass-fed and pure meat, and a wide variety of organic products. These products ought to be the standard not the exception.
5. Celebrate birthdays! Start a birthday club for kids (or for everyone). People can sign up in advance to receive something free on their birthday - a cupcake, a crown, a piece of fruit, a meal at the deli, etc. Your call.
What amenities do you wish Tucson grocery stores would offer?
Which Tucson grocery store is your preferred choice?