January 31st, 2013
11:15 AM ET
Your household may have to fight over who gets to do the next grocery run, especially if more than one of you enjoys an adult beverage.
As grocery stores look for new ways to bring in shoppers, one innovation has been the addition of beer and wine bars that allow customers to enjoy a drink while they collect their groceries.
Whole Foods Market has embraced this idea with approximately 70 stores across the country offering numerous beers on tap and different wines to explore.
Four years since the opening of its first in-store bar, Bell says it has been a great way to engage shoppers and give them an opportunity to taste things they may have not thought to buy, as well as to educate their customers.
"We wanted to build a sense of community in our stores and these venues help offer that," said Bell.
Many grocery stores have looked for ways to create an atmosphere that makes the store more of a destination then just the location to do a quick errand. Jo Natale, director of media relations for the Wegmans grocery chain, explained that they look to provide choices to customers not just in the food they offer, but the experiences they can have. In addition to a market cafe for dining in or take out, the 81 store chain also offers on-site cooking classes, celebrity chef appearances, food demonstrations, and live music in their cafe areas.
"We often hear from customers that it is a place where they take out of town guests," said Natale.
Perhaps the idea of having a drink while shopping may seem unusual to some people, but Bell said it's not the first time such a thing has been implemented. "Twenty years ago it was unusual to walk into a beauty salon and see someone with a glass of Champagne. Times change."
The Whole Foods Market in Washington, D.C.'s Tenleytown neighborhood added bar service last October and shoppers have supported the new addition.
“I hate grocery shopping, so if I can actually walk around and drink a beer, it makes it a lot less painful,” said shopper Lori Rattan.
"We have a nice group of folks who come after work for the happy hour specials," said Meg McGarry, the store's marketing team leader. "Customers seem to enjoy that they can relax and have a beer and do their shopping at the same time."
The Tenleytown store has even added cup holders that can accommodate a pint glass to some of its carts, making it even easier to roam the aisles with a drink.
When it comes to the operation of the bar, shoppers shouldn't expect to see just any of the stores employees jump behind and serve someone a pint. McGarry noted that a small team has been specifically trained and certified to serve alcohol in the stores.
While McGarry has seen a mix of people enjoying a drink in the store, she does find it heavily favored by one demographic.
"As cliché as it seems, there are a lot of men who say 'I won't mind doing the shopping now.'"
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I do believe that it is a good idea for advertising beer and wine. It is true many people, including myself would not purchase something at random and hope that it is enjoyable. I however do not really like the idea of people drinking and shopping. While I do not necessarily dislike the idea. I feel that you need to pay attention to what you are shopping for, let the food be the experience. Drinking would only mask this experience.
this is old news. 30 years ago schweggmans (sp) grocery in the new orleans area had a bar inside the store. made shopping for groceries a pleasure
Can you say DUI waiting to happen!
So....will police officers be stationed at the exit? Because this is plain and simple a recipie for disaster. "Sorry oossiffer, I had to run out for groceries, got drunk...." Really? Our lives are so stressful we can't navigate the grocery store without a drink? Really?
Men, get there and meet drunk, bored housewives during the day while their husbands are at work.
I've been to the Whole Foods in Encino, CA that has a bar & tapas. I don't think it's meant for people to drink & shop, actually, I don't think you're allowed to take the alcoholic beverage out of the eating area. Whole Foods has areas that are more of a coffee house/restaurant than an actual grocery store. Part of the marketing seems more to get single professionals to stop in multiple times a week, even multiple times a day. A lot of young people don't cook at all, they just get ready to eat meals at Whole Foods. That's not something a Krogers in the midwest is going to do. Families that shop on a budget for groceries once a week using coupons are not going to care about Whole Foods tapas menu & imported bear on tap.
And to think we don't have enough of an alcohol problem in this country! I don't drink except a bit of wine, and even that is rarely. But to each his own. I LIKE to do my grocery shopping!
Drunk at Food Lion. Awesome.
This is a ruse to get you to spend more money. That's it. Even mildly intoxicated people will make more impulse purchases. Just like the waitresses in Las Vegas walking around the casino handing out "free drinks"....same thing. People gamble more with alcohol in them.
Depends upon the time of day...if I'm shopping around 5 or 6p.m. I might enjoy tasting some wines. But I don't want the wines poured in little plastic cups as I had in one Whole Foods wine tasting event...Yuck!
And now every Piggly Wiggly south of the Mason-Dixon line will be serving Everclear along with the roadkill. A teabagger's paradise indeed.
OMG...it is totally *ludicrous* for folks to drink alcohol whilst shopping...for one thing, these food stores have to pay thousands of dollars for the liquor license...and guess who pays for THAT? The shoppers! Our Whole Foods here added a bar (and the store is located in a mall that has like 70 bars) and then their in-store specials all disappeared. It's all about loosening up the shopper so they buy more goods, that's what I think. And hardly "health promoting." ugh...greed is what it is.
Oh my gosh, I just wrote basically the same thing and my name is Val too....hehehe! I agree with you- this is so greedy it is disgusting!
heh, the 2 Vals are in agreement! :-)
One of the reasons I choose to drive 20 miles out of my way to go to Wegmans instead of the 10 or so closer supermarkets. I don't always have the extra time to make it there, but when I do I see it more as an experience than a chore. I like making a lazy day out of it where I can grab lunch and then shop. I can also pick up a 6 pack or two. My only regret is that the better Wegman's with the bar/restaurant is further away. It might be time to move.
have a cannabis cookie before you go
Booze in the Grocey Store? Who's going to check out the people before they use the self Check-Out?
My first stop at Central Market before grabbing a buggy is the customer service counter for a couple Shiners.
Try some better beer – up on the shelf to the right.
Please remember to drink in moderation. As alcohol is bad for the liver. Since hospital bills are high and not many have insurance. It is best to be careful. So that means no smoking and drinking.
I assume your screenname indicates what you DO approve of?
And yet the cashiers will STILL look down their noses at the wine drinkers and beer snobs.
Whole Foods Lincoln Park has an insanely popular wine bar in the middle of the 80,000 sq ft store. They also have a very popular draft beer and kombucha bar front of store. They are adding a bar upstairs soon. Money $$$. Great revenue source and HIGH profit margin.
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We drank for a time while doing laundry at our apartment's laundromat. All went tell 'til we lost a load. <;-} Went back thru all the machines, found the lost load and had to stay 45 minutes longer thru that last dryer cycle. While I would enjoy sipping a Jack 'n' diet while grocery shopping, I think I'd hold it to just one.
As Willy Wonka once said, "Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker."
You, sir, have mis-attributed my prose. I would deem you a two "l" llama, and send a pack of Assyrians down upon you like a wolf on the fold, but then, I would never use those words... in jest... a second time.
This way, when you get bagged, you will have your choice of paper or plastic...:)
Next: Bars in hospital waiting rooms, DMV's, and church.
Reblogged this on keneishawilliams.
I would if there weren't so many errors on my receipts! I am estimating 1/3 visits have errors, some as much as $20, most in favor of the market. I spoke with a manager at one store who explained they just have too many items – unacceptable! So, unfortunately for now I have to stay not just sober but alert.