PLYMOUTH, Minn. -- Lunds is rolling out an array of high-end cookware, cutlery and kitchen gadgets to all eight of its stores, starting with a store that opened here last month.
More than 500 upscale culinary items, which are completely new for the chain, are displayed in the unit's Cooks Corner and cross merchandised in other areas of the store, according to Julie Griffin, culinary products manager.
"We've seen a great turn on the products, and customers have made comments on how pleased they are with the assortment," she said.
Lunds, an upscale banner under Lund Food Holdings, Edina, Minn., plans to slowly replace the warehouse-type cookery items that are being merchandised in other Lunds stores, Griffin said.
According to Tom Senko, general merchandise and health and beauty care merchandiser, the company made a decision to move away from price-valued, warehouse items. He said the upscale atmosphere "is the nature of our stores, and [the culinary gadget] area was the last one to have warehouse products." He said the new array "fits in better."
The product offerings range from Pillivuyt porcelain serviceware and dinnerware and LeCreuset cookware to Westhof-Trident cutlery. Prices range from as low as $5 for some items to $800 for a copper cookware set.
Griffin said many of the new kitchen gadgets are housed near the Cook's Corner, which sits adjacent to the supermarket's first demonstration kitchen. However, Lunds is also cross merchandising the products in other areas of the store. Ice cream dishes and spoons are displayed with dessert toppings above the ice cream cases, for example.
"We wanted to offer our customers a one-stop shop, instead of having them make several stops [in order to] make their food at home," Griffin said.
She said that the company was aiming to single out the culinary accessories that were "best in class" to make it easy for customers to find high-quality housewares in a single location. However, high quality "doesn't necessarily mean the highest price," she pointed out.
While the store here, located in a shopping center on Vicksburg Lane, is the first one to display the full line of new kitchen accessories, she said three other stores that are currently being renovated will also have "a full culinary presence."
The store also offers such culinary flourishes as a 16-foot olive bar and a full cheese counter. Lunds has an in-house culinary specialist who offers demonstrations on recipes and cooking technique throughout the week, and it also hosts guest chefs.
"There's a lot of innovation in the store," Griffin said.
It all works together to forge the store into a single destination that could meet the needs of anyone with gourmet inclinations. If a customer gets an idea for a new dish upon entering the store, she said, "We want to give them everything they need to put it together."