Small-format trend calls for refrigerated cases designed for small spaces

By Kelly Sayko
Hillphoenix Case Division

Small-format stores now claim about half of consumers’ short shopping trips, according to market researcher IRI, and traditional retailers are adapting.

Big-box stalwart Wal-Mart is reporting same-store growth of nearly 8% at its smaller-footprint Neighborhood Markets stores, compared to just 1.1% for its standard format stores. Meanwhile, small-format rival Aldi, a German discount chain, is planning to add 600 locations in the U.S. by the end of 2018, bringing its nationwide store count to 2,000. Even megastore IKEA is trying out 19,000-square-foot spaces — 94% smaller than the Swedish chain’s largest floor plan.

Come to think of it, traditional grocers moving to small formats could learn a lot from IKEA shoppers outfitting studio apartments with space-saving furnishings. The key to success: Make every inch count.

Refrigerated cases are an obvious place to start. They’re among the largest pieces of equipment in any supermarket, and they’re absolutely essential. So, retailers designing tinier spaces should look for case options created with small formats in mind.

The V Series and J Series cases in Hillphoenix’s Clarity line save more than six inches of aisle space, compared to big-box coolers. But they don’t sacrifice shelf space or the kind of merchandising options that allow retailers to display prepared meals, cut produce and packaged goods at their best. Check out this infographic about what small-format refrigeration solutions can do for your business. And design your own customized Clarity case using our Case Option Viewer available at hillphoenix.com.

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