Growing Grocery and Frictionless Shopping

By Mike Haaf, Executive Chairman of the Board

In January, when Kohl’s announced plans to add grocery to drive traffic to stores, it made sense to me. Especially since the majority of U.S. households visit a grocery store once a week across income levels, according to Statista.

A recent Retail Dive article quotes Kohl’s CEO Kevin Mansellsaying the retailer has “identified a whole list of partners” from the convenience and grocery channels that it believes would be a good fit to fill space left in about 300 stores it has “right-sized” over the past several years. The plan is for Kohl’s to lease space to partners that will increase the frequency of store visits and effectively turn the locations into supercenters.

This bold move by Kohl’s is actually a throwback to its roots when Maxwell Kohl began the business as a supermarket in 1946. By 1962, Kohl’s Food Stores was the largest supermarket chain in the Milwaukee area, and that’s when Maxwell opened his first Kohl’s Department Store in Wisconsin. The original Kohl’s was positioned between the higher-end department stores and the discounters, selling an eclectic range of goods, including candy, engine oil and sporting equipment.

Kohl’s history underscores the need for department stores, supermarkets, grocery and convenience stores, all retailers and purveyors to stay connected with consumers. Understand what shoppers want and adjust business strategies to accommodate their needs.

Consumers are demanding frictionless shopping experiences, including self-checkout, price-check technologies and mobile apps. Customers want to work with retailers that understand the value of their time, increase ease and convenience. That’s the primary motivation for Self Point’s upgraded Scan and Go. The new product allows consumers to scan items as they shop, utilizing in-store way-finding and shopping lists, and then bypass checkout lines altogether.

In addition, the focus on physical store locations must be balanced by a convenient, easy to use e-commerce experience. As Kohl’s seeks to increase the frequency of visits to its stores by adding grocery, investing in the 24-hour access of online shopping should be a priority as well.

With smart devices almost always within arm’s reach of consumers, a mobile-friendly, online store allows retailers to continue engaging customers wherever they are in the buyer’s journey.

For example, the Self Point team works with large food retailers and global supermarket chains, as well as specialty shops and neighborhood stores. Regardless of size and location, they all need a digital storefront to remain top of mind with their customers. E-commerce elevates the customer experience, ensuring an ongoing interaction with your shoppers. From creating shopping lists and recommending complementary products to remembering past purchases, e-commerce platforms provide tools and shortcuts for busy consumers.

An optimized digital storefront has countless benefits including:

·       Easing the consumer’s path to purchase

·       Elevating customer experience and loyalty

·       Extending the retailer’s brand

·       Enriching the grocer’s relationship with manufacturers              and CPGs

·       Enhancing revenue

While retailers are expanding the grocery competitors’ landscape, supermarkets and specialty stores can maintain a competitive advantage by optimizing their business strategies. Embracing technology innovations and an effective e-commerce platform are critical for food retailers to thrive in today’s cutthroat marketplace.

For success stories on food retailers transitioning to mobile and online shopping, please contact us at (888) 300-9298 or email

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