The changes aren’t only in produce. Kings emphasizes its ready-to-eat foods with an extensive redesign of the prepared foods department. The floral department also got a facelift, with more of a gift boutique feel.
The changes appear to resonate with consumers. Kneeland said customer counts are up about 20% through November, and sales are tracking at a similar pace.
Kings continues with the store rebranding strategy. In 2012, the company completed four stores, including expansion into Connecticut. In 2013, another nine stores are on the docket.
Kneeland said while the Bedminster store is a model for what the company plans to do with its rebranding strategy, each store has its own identity to match the neighborhood.
The rebranded north Hoboken store, which opened in October, caters to young professionals and urban dwellers, for example. It has an expanded produce department, a pizza oven, expanded salad bar and fresh sushi made in-store.
“When you walk into a Kings, it’s all about the food and the presentation,” Kneeland said. “Displays are designed to greet you and show you the freshness, and that’s really what we’re all about.”