Eli Zabar’s vs Zabar’s vs Gourmet Garage vs Citarella
When thinking about the upscale grocers and eateries of Manhattan, it would be easy to assume that each store is very similar and that they have the same marketing strategy. However, each store has a largely differentiated approach to entice customers and cultivate a positive buying experience. These different methods of marketing their brand and experience to the customer relies largely on their individualized brand identity and store location. Each store had different concentrated marketing, conversion and capture rates as well as different pricing strategies, brand emphasis, and layouts. While some stores focused on the enhanced grocery buying process, others focused on creating an atmosphere where the food becomes secondary to the experience of the store as a whole. In all four stores they carried specialty items and mostly organic products. Taking into consideration that we are in a green age movement, people are now trying to buy more locally grown products and organic items. 1 This attracts consumers who are willing to shell out more money to obtain what they believe are the best and healthiest products.
Gourmet Garage is a specialty food store with a large selection of organic produce, prepared foods and an atmosphere that encourages the eat-in experience as well as grocery shopping. Though the store advertises itself from the outside, once inside the store, the consumer is immediately inundated with large red “gourmet garage” signs to continually introduce the retailer. This extra internal advertisement is necessary considering Zabar’s and Citarella had many of their own self-branded products stocking the shelves, whereas Gourmet Garage did not. Gourmet Garage stocked a limited selection of household goods and paper products, therefore concentrating the in-store focus away from household products and on fresh, organic food products. On your way to grab a high conversion rate item such as the milk, you would have to pass by lower conversion rate items such as eggnog when its not in season, or a treat that just happens to catch your eye, but you weren’t planning to buy.2 They segment the store to have higher conversion rate items in the back and some in the front, while most of their lower conversion rate items can be found in the middle of the store3. Their brands are environmentally friendly, responsible brands, suited to generation x and y consumers. They have samplings of products to encourage the consumer to taste and familiarize themselves with what is stocked in store. The front of the store is more cramped and has less space forcing you to move further back into the store, as you do the aisles open up, allowing you to have more space to look at the selection of products. Their “weekly wow” is a self promotion tactic that the store implements in order to grab the customers attention with what is perceived as a bargain4. This helps emphasize that this is a deal and has added value, not that the other items in the store are less endorsed by the company or valuable. The items that had deals were further back in the store, so to get to them you would first walk through all the regular priced items.5 The prices here are decidedly higher than wholesale, but you can attribute that to the wheel-of-retailing.6 In 1981, at Gourmet Garage’s inception their initial marketing concept was gourmet food at wholesale prices and today they are an upscale gourmet food destination where prices remain mid-range and the products still appeal to the large consumer market that wants to shop like a chef. Gourmet Garage has overemphasized the fact that you are shopping at their store with huge red and white branded signs whereas Citarella focused on immersing you in a holiday wonderland that emphasized the shopping atmosphere. Citarella is a gourmet supermarket that caters to an urban