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    Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover Makeover Hits 'Look,' Tech, Prepared Foods

    The initiative will roll out across both chains over next three years, to meet the changing needs of customers.

    After exhaustive customer research, Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover will officially unveil a logo redesign and introduce new technologies and in-store features tomorrow. The changes will gradually roll out to stores in both Ahold USA-owned chains over the next 12 to 36 months, Stop & Shop director of public affairs Faith Weiner told Progressive Grocer.

    "Customers' needs are changing, so we are changing to meet the needs of today's customers," said Weiner.

    Shoppers at the Georgetown Square Giant in Bethesda, Md., will get an advance look at the new logo, which will appear on the storefront today. Weiner explained that the permitting process in different areas affects the rate at which outside logos can be converted.

    The colorful new logo for Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover is a "fresh, lively representation of what's going on in the stores," according to Weiner.

    Tying in with the fresh new logo is new "logo wear" for associates that employs the same color scheme and features shirts tailored separately for men and women. "Associates are the face of the company," explained Weiner. "We want them to be comfortable." Happy comfortable associates make for a better shopping experience, she added.

    They're probably even happier with the recent advent of an employee discount program that offers associates and their families 5 percent off all store items and an additional 5 percent off store brands.

    Beyond a new appearance, the chains are introducing such new features as a selection of over 100 fresh prepared foods, including soups, fresh-flavored rotisserie chickens and hot and cold side dishes; a test checkout lane that instead of offering tabloids and candy provides such healthy snack alternatives as yogurt, animal crackers, and bottled water; and a meat service counter where customers can talk with an in-store butcher and ask for cut-to-order meats.

    The company is also rolling out new technology, including the DeliVision digital kiosk at which customers can place their order digitally, an Easy Shop hand-held device, which allows customers to scan and bag groceries while they shop, and a one-stop station in the produce department where customers can weigh, price, and bag their fresh fruits and vegetables.

    But not every single innovation will be seen at each location, Weiner was quick to point out. "We present offerings that fit each store, and merchandise to fit the customer's needs," she observed, adding that different locations had their own unique requirements. All Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover store would have some elements of the new look by Aug. 22, however, she noted.

    "It's day one for us," she said.

    Asked about future rollouts, she replied that the chains would listen carefully to customer feedback and make further changes accordingly.

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