Retailers glean farmers market insight

07/17/2014 08:56:00 AM
Pamela Riemenschneider

pikes place marketPamela RiemenschneiderKing Retail Solutions studied reviews of five major markets, including Seattle's Pikes Place Market, to get a feel for what consumers are looking for in their own stores. Variety, freshness, entertainment and local fare are among the primary draws of major farmers markets in a study conducted by Eugene, Ore.-based King Retail Solutions.

The company’s new study “Tapping Into the Value of Farmers Markets” offers retailers advice based on 250 customer reviews of five major markets to help create a “Best of” street market experience in their stores.

Retailers can tap into that image by:

  • Becoming a destination for community activity;
  • Offering a variety of local products and promote locality;
  • Inviting local producers into your space to interact with shoppers;
  • Selling really great prepared foods;
  • Fostering a lively atmosphere with regular demonstrations, samples and entertainment;
  • When weather permits, letting your product “spill” onto the sidewalk;
  • Creating a space where shoppers can relax and enjoy their purchases;
  • Supporting your community, invite its feedback, and be neighborly.
  • Of course, produce factors prominently in creating that farmers market appeal, said Chris Studach, creative director for King Retail Solutions.

“The quality and variety of the produce — fresh, tasty, awesome colors, texture — visuals are extremely important,” he said. “I mean, that’s the real reason the shopper is there in the first place, and all design aside, the authenticity lies in the product more than the presentation. But the ‘farmers market’ is certainly contributing to the perception of fresh and local.”

A street market or farmers market may have an advantage because consumers feel they’re interacting directly with the farmer.

“That can be hard to replicate in-store, so hence the appeal of the character and approach of a farmers market,” he said.



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