FREEHOLD, N.J. -- Foodarama Supermarkets' 18 ShopRite stores are expanding and repositioning nonfood lines.
Among departments involved in the remerchandising efforts are pet supplies, home and office, batteries, lightbulbs, film and greeting cards. These categories are being given more in-line space. General merchandise and health and beauty care now account for almost 50% of dry grocery linear gondola shelving and promotional space in newer, larger stores, Richard Saker, executive vice president, told SN. "As our stores got bigger, we allocated more room to expanded nonfood lines," he said. Most of the company's outlets are in the 60,000- to 65,000-square-foot range, though a store scheduled to open in 1997 will be about 75,000 square feet. Foodarama here launched its first pilot pet supply destination center in April in a New Brunswick store. The larger 50-foot pet center will be introduced in about eight other stores. "It is working out very well," said Saker. Foodarama will expand the pet center concept over the next several months. With 35 additional feet devoted to the destination department, in comparison to the retailer's 15-foot pet sections, the center also offers supplies and accessories, added Saker. Additionally, the chain increased its home and office departments to 30 feet, up from 7.5-foot sections, and greeting cards went from 35 feet to 150 feet. In other news, ShopRite has begun integrating larger bonus and value packs of batteries, lightbulbs, film and other general merchandise into the in-line departments. For instance, it now merchandises bulk battery packs on the mainline battery gondola. Other club-size products may be added.
Foodarama and other ShopRite operators previously merchandised these items along with bulk food in a warehouse outlet section, usually located at the rear of the store. The sections were created to compete against club stores.
But now Saker says the retailer is secure in the image it has established in the consumer's mind.
"We're getting away from the warehouse outlet. The customer, for the most part, has accepted the fact that we carry these large packs," he said.