Rethinking Supermarkets

Supermarkets of the future may become the center of neighborhood life, predicts planner Mark Hinshaw.

Neal Pierce comments on Hinshaw's recent article in Planning Magazine.

Pierce writes, "Foodwise, the new market wave offers amenities residents crave - ultra-fresh vegetables and fruits, organic choices, varieties of fresh fish, specialty breads, spices and bottled spirits.
Will lack of parking crimp the growth of city and neighborhood markets? No, argues Hinshaw. A growing number of new markets are offering just a few dozen parking slots, some none at all."

Full Story: Supermarkets as Neighborhood Centers: Vision For a More Walkable America



What about non-supermarket forms of food delivery?

This is interesting, as it touches on a dynamic area many of us are watching.

I would have liked more discussion about other emerging forms that may also change the ways food is distributed. There are a range of different models progressive communities are testing out like farmers' markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), some companies like Fresh Direct have moved into direct-delivery service, and there are concepts for future experiments in urban farming.

Huge growth potential for this

This is a great trend that I think planners of all stripes should support. Retailers are beginning to realize that inner cities (not the core downtown, but just outside of it) offer a tremendous market opportunity, the incomes may be low but there are a lot of potential customers. The product mix may not be as focused on high end organics (although we should all support organics) however, access to fresh, real foods, will be rewarded by these consumers with their dollars. Stores that serve as community centers can be a huge benefit to these areas.

In high end downtowns (the innermost core where the fancy condos are), these folks are willing to pay more for organic, quality groceries and don't mind shopping for it regularly, its part of the appeal of downtown living.

We need to tie this trend into reestablishing urban farming, protecting farms on the urban fringe, and helping build buy local campaigns to make it economically feasible to remain in the farming business.

Chris Holtkamp

The future of grocery shopping

In the urban centers the only sensible way of the majority of grocery shopping is online via delivery to your doorstep.
This leads to more corner store and medium deli style supermarkets within the neighbourhoods and farmers markets.

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