Ahold Delhaize’s Giant Co. (formerly Giant Food Stores) has taken a hyperlocal approach to its smaller, urban store format, Giant Heirloom Market.
The goal was not to simply create a smaller Giant grocery store, but to design a completely new format centered on providing a seamless shopping experience and tailored to each of the urban areas it serves, taking into account local demographics and cultures. While all Ahold Delhaize USA banners are keen on elevating their local offerings, Giant Heirloom Market goes further in showcasing local purveyors, fresh and prepared foods such as sushi and bread, as well as the retailer’s Nature’s Promise and Taste of Inspirations private labels.
After more than a year of planning, the first Giant Heirloom Market location opened in Philadelphia in January 2019, in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood. Following the first grand opening, the company went on to open two more locations in urban Philadelphia neighborhoods, including a store in Northern Liberties that opened just before 2020 and was designed with young adult shoppers in mind. The Path to Purchase Institute recently visited that location.
The Northern Liberties Giant Heirloom Market is roughly 13,000 square feet (much less than the typically 98,000 square feet of suburban Giant stores). Encompassing two levels, this location includes the banner’s first “Underground” taproom in the basement, while the grocery shopping experience is on the main floor.
A fourth planned Giant Heirloom Market location is planned for Philadelphia’s Queen Village neighborhood. Prior to the pandemic, that store was expected to open before 2021.
Upon entering, it’s hard to miss the LED lighting and illuminated signs that draw attention to different categories, including “Garden” items, “Plant-Based” options and the butcher’s Heirloom “Kitchen,” which spotlights national brand Boar’s Head and allows shoppers to get freshly sliced or packaged meat and cheese.
The liquor department, which is relatively large given the small size of the store, is well-lit to highlight a selection of craft, imported and domestic beer and wine.
The lighting is an important part of the Giant Heirloom Market concept and is leveraged throughout the store. Giant tapped Lincoln, Nebraska-based Lighting For Impact to help design a plan that enhances the overall look and feel of the store and showcases featured assortments from local businesses, such as Italian store Claudio Specialty Foods. A dedicated, illuminated endcap with a countertop for sampling (during non-COVID-19 times) merchandises mozzarella and cracker products from Claudio.
Giant Heirloom Market was designed to support various shopping methods and technologies. A rack sign near store entrances invites shoppers to use a Scan It! mobile shopping application that lets shoppers scan their items as they shop. Additionally, a new Scan It! mobile pay checkout capability located near the Express self-checkout lane (which accepts cash, mobile payment and cards) allows for a quick (and safer) shopping experience.
A self-serve “Olive Oil Bar” endcap from store brand Taste of Inspirations serves as an automatic dispenser and blending station for olive oil and vinegar. Shoppers can use the touchscreen to choose their desired blend of olive oil-based ingredients with additions like garlic and vinegar.
The taproom in the basement is one of the most unique aspects of this location. Part bar and part arcade, the destination lets shoppers order a sample ounce of any beer or a full pour using a touchscreen above the tap. All drinks are available to go. The space also has shuffleboard, arcade games and free Wi-Fi. Masks are currently required.