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The Vitamin Shoppe Redefines Wellness Retail

The Vitamin Shoppe Redefines Wellness Retail

Author: Gina Acosta

Source: Progressive Grocer 

The Vitamin Shoppe has launched a new format in New Jersey that looks to reimagine how retailers leverage consumer health-and-wellness trends.

The next-generation store, which opened Oct. 10 in Edgewater, N.J., unites technology and design in a “modern apothecary” format that aims to deliver the future of the health-and- wellness experience in retail. The concept looks to be a good example of the kind of destination that supermarkets could create to attract shoppers, who are increasingly demanding more health-and-wellness retail options.

The store, a 3,185-square-foot space, features interactive elements such as on-demand digital product guides, enhanced mobile POS checkout, a designated area to take the brand's new Only Me personalized health assessment, a complimentary body composition analysis station, and a supplement sampling machine. Signature merchandise assortments, including the store's CBD Central and Keto HQ sections, as well as service programs such as free nutritionist consultations via the Healthy Awards loyalty program, are integrated into the concept.

"Our newly remodeled Edgewater location represents the next generation of stores for The Vitamin Shoppe, and will inform the future direction of our total retail experience. We have taken the elevated aesthetic of a modern apothecary and imbued it with leading-edge technology and services that will simplify and demystify the experience of shopping for health-and-wellness supplements," said Sharon Leite, CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe, which is based in Secaucus, N.J.

The retailer said that it plans to open five new stores with a similar format through January.

The new format, designed by Dayton, Ohio-based ChangeUp Inc., features a warm color palette, wood flooring, and updated fixtures that enhance the merchandise layouts. Design accents include Edison bulb lighting, brass signage and leather trim details. A new wayfinding system streamlines the shopping experience, and strategically placed educational guides help lead customers to the ideal products for their individual wellness journeys. The checkout has been upgraded with a 100-inch LED video screen that displays inspiring and educational brand content.

A new digital product education tool will look to bring a wealth of information currently available on directly into the hands of in-store shoppers. Piloting technology from Addison, Texas-based Spacee Inc., the product recognition device brings up a detailed product guide on an LCD flat screen for any product in the store. Shoppers can quickly view usage guides, nutrition facts, customer reviews, current promotions and additional recommended products on screen. Enlarged labels are also shown, making small labeling text easier to read.

Also for the first time, The Vitamin Shoppe will launch the Aptos ONE Store Commerce mobile selling application, which enables mobile checkout on iPads – empowering the retailer's employees to engage with shoppers, ring up transactions and answer questions throughout the store floor without leaving the customer's side.

The Vitamin Shoppe said it was deploying both traffic counting and advanced heat-mapping technology from San Jose, Calif.-based RetailNext to fully understand how in-store employee behavior, marketing campaigns and promotions guide the shopper path to purchase. These analytics will be leveraged to improve the customer experience across all channels.

"At The Vitamin Shoppe, we are continually searching for innovative ways to evolve and enhance the customer wellness journey," Leite added. "The new digitally powered elements of our store encourage customers to deeply engage with our product offerings, as well as our highly knowledgeable in-store Health Enthusiasts, for a fully integrated omnichannel experience. The Edgewater store is a great example of our ongoing transformation into an agile, customer-centric company – as well as our continued commitment to helping our customers become their best selves, however they define it."

The Edgewater location also includes the first-ever Only Me health bar. This new service offers a personalized online assessment that delivers a custom assortment of vitamins and supplements to participating subscribers each month. Designed by medical experts, the daily packs provide a wellness regimen tailored to each customer's individual health and lifestyle needs. At the in-store health bar, shoppers can take the online assessment and set up convenient auto-delivery to their homes.

As part of the Healthy Awards loyalty program, customers can access The Vitamin Shoppe's expert nutritionists during virtual consultations via video, phone or in-store visit. The service offers personalized 45-minute consultations for Silver and Gold members, and 30-minute consultations for Bronze members, with a nutrition coach, in addition to other customized wellness benefits. Shoppers can sign up online for a free Healthy Awards membership.

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