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Healthy Attitudes in Texas

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While in Dallas this past week attending the Healthy Foods International Exposition and Conference, we had the opportunity to visit a few retailers in the area, including a all-out tour of a Market Street store, part of the United Supermarkets family. The Lubbock, Texas-based company also operates United Supermarkets, as well as a Hispanic format called Amigos United.

dallas2.jpgMarket Street, the chain's upscale banner, demonstrates United's commitment to health and wellness. This particular store, #563, opened just this past February inside a green retail development on West Bethany Drive in Allen, just north of Dallas. There's a dedicated Living Well boutique, located between the in-store pharmacy and HBC. The section is staffed and includes an informational kiosk and a service desk.

Even in dry grocery, the Living Well program was present, with set-off signage and bronze-colored shelves marking natural/organic/better-for-you choices within the conventional aisles. This is the type of integrated-segregated planogram increasingly favored by mainstream retailers as they bring their wellness products from a separate section into the regular aisles.

Shelf tags served as additional identifiers, with colored symbols denoting whole health or special needs choices. One of the more noticeable tags was the green organic mark. Green was also the color of the reusable bags for sale for $0.99. They were displayed prominently along the front end, as well as in the wine section. The latter bags were smaller and had a divider sewn in to hold up to six bottle — no clanking.

dallas.jpgAnd while this has little to do with health, one of the most notable features of this store was the quality of the endcap displays. No on-ad products stuffed on shelves, covered with loud promotional signs. These displays worked: A baked bean display promotes barbecue and the Red Raiders of Texas Tech; another eye-catching shelf hawks condiments, arranged neatly beneath a full-size grill (also for sale, naturally). Many of the props were pulled from the store's gift section, serving as an opportunity to cross-merchandise these high-ticket items, too.

It's encouraging to see this kind of effort going into merchandising. Deep in the heart of Texas, here's proof that a thoughtful, comprehensive approach can create success in the area of whole health. And it doesn't hurt to have fun endcaps, either.

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