What we have learned from this last year is that the way we live, work and shop has changed. During the earlier months of the pandemic we were hit by the Great Toilet roll shortage, queues to get into supermarkets and the a huge demand for home delivery. Fast forward a few months and it seems that for many, the new normal meant a different way of working and living. A pace change, more time with family, less time commuting. Rediscovering your local surroundings and ultimately finding a new love and compassion for supporting and shopping local.

"The local store has all the right ingredients to become the new heart of the community"

The local farm shop - previously a place to shop for a treat suddenly became a life line. Sure, it was a little more expensive but the experience was rewarding. Becoming a ‘regular’ seeing the change in products through seasons. Advice on the best cut of meat or even helping you out from their own kitchen when flour became more precious than gold, with everybody baking banana bread and home made pizza. The local store has come back into its own.

We had thought this might happen. We recently created a local supermarket, in partnership with Spar that gave you the best of both worlds. The buying power to make household branded products affordable, while truly supporting and being ambassadors for great local produce, from whole grains, to coffee beans, fruit & salad to local honey.

What we envisioned is that the huge growth of soulless mega markets on the outskirts of once thriving towns, would soon eat themselves up. Shopping had become a chore, rather than a discovery of new and exciting products and recipes created right on our doorstep.

Every high street specialist has become a generalist. In the same time frame online food shopping has seen an 80% growth on the previous year, opening the channel to people who ordinarily wouldn’t dream of doing their weekly shopping online. Brands like Hello Fresh, Abel & Cole and Simply cook offer the glory of cooking a healthy meal using quality ingredients that are often not available at your local shop.

With the new hybrid working model and less commuting, people are suddenly less time poor and are able to see the effects of investing time and money locally. We see an opportunity for Supermarkets to adapt their current model to give more power to the franchisee to make decisions based on what their customers really want, knowing that they are prepared to spend a little more if they get great service.

The local store has all the right ingredients to become the new heart of the community. Promoting and collaborating with local producers, so your coffee comes from an independent business, not a global super brand. A place were quality products, expertise and discovery are more important than pure convenience.

If you would like to discuss more about our thoughts on the future of retail contact john@fourmation.studio