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    Future Store: The Neighborhood Market

    The vision of api(+) is a return to simplicity, convenience and locality.

    By Linda Lisanti, Convenience Store News
    Rendering created by api(+)

    TAMPA, Fla. — In the future, convenience stores will evolve into savvy neighborhood markets that listen to their customers whose voices say: give me local flavor; embrace my multichannel retail demand; create an experience that offers tantalizing variety; give me healthy, fresh meals on the go — and make all of this easy and convenient.

    In November, Convenience Store News will present a special edition of the magazine centered on the question: What will the "convenience store" look like a decade or more from now? The c-store industry's leading media brand is partnering with some of the top thought leaders and design firms in the nation to give readers a preview at how the convenience store will evolve over the next several years and how it will serve a changing customer base.

    Just like today where we see many different types of c-store models in action, the future will be composed of different types of c-stores, each focused on different aspects of the convenience experience and on different customer archetypes. C-stores of the future will likely incorporate aspects of all four of these basic types: The Convenience Restaurant; The Refueling & Refreshing Center; The Neighborhood Market; and The Forecourt of the Future.

    Here, we provide a sneak peek of The Neighborhood Market. For this future store type, CSNews called on Tampa-based design firm api(+) to present its vision.

    Tom Henken, vice president and director of design for api(+), said small-format shops of the future will highlight sensory experiences to engage shoppers through tasting, smelling, touching and seeing. Increased competition — the ability for consumers of the future to eat virtually almost anywhere — will dictate that c-stores put forward an experience.

    "Food should be all about enjoyment," he explained.

    api(+) envisions the Neighborhood Market concept consisting of, among other things:

    • Smart technologies, eliminating the need for a checkout line.
    • Café-like environments.
    • Areas that cater to chef-driven cuisine in competition with fast-casual dining.
    • Interactive programs that sell products in all their forms — raw, prepared and packaged.

    Check out CSNews.com all this week for sneak peeks of each Store of the Future prototype.

    By Linda Lisanti, Convenience Store News
    • About Linda Lisanti Linda Lisanti is editor-in-chief for EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News and Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner media brands. In this role, she is responsible for content development across all of CSNews' print and online properties, with a specialty in coverage of the foodservice category in convenience stores. Lisanti has more than 13 years of experience in the journalism field. After working as a reporter for several daily newspapers, she joined CSNews as a staff writer in August 2005 and held senior writer, senior editor and executive editor positions before becoming editor-in-chief in August 2014. Lisanti has a bachelor’s degree in communications/journalism from Rowan University.

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