H.Y. Louie, which operates grocery retail and distribution businesses in British Columbia, opened its first Fresh Street Market retail format in January. Spring Advertising has created an outdoor, radio and in-store campaign to promote the new banner.
It wrapped the North Shore News to look like a bundle of asparagus, while transit shelters show bunches of carrots on street signs that say “A different kind of food store.”
“The look is very clean and fresh,” said Rob Schlyecher, Spring’s creative director. “They are opening up a new niche here in the market that sits between everyday grocery and premium priced.”
Schlyecher said Fresh Street’s layout is designed to deepen the consumer experience with a more immersive experience and sense of discovery. For instance, the entrance to the store is laid out to give the look and feel of a public market. There are huge rolls of local cheeses, a giant display of apple cider from a local farm and chilies arranged from mild to the extra-hot ghost pepper (which comes with a warning). The entire store emphasizes local first and products come with detailed information on shelf tags, signage and even on carry bags.
Gary Sorenson, H.Y. Louie’s chief operating officer and executive vice-president, said the plan is to open three Fresh Street stores each year through new real estate acquisitions or by converting IGA Marketplace stores – the chain H.Y. Louie has operated since 1955 when it licensed the IGA name.
“Our motto is affordable fresh food,” said Sorenson. “We have a lot of unique product for the foodies, the people who really want to explore cooking, and we’ve got a good basic fresh food offering.”
Sorenson said he expects his Fresh Street customers will spend less per trip than IGA Marketplace’s customers, but will shop three or more times a week instead of the traditional weekly shop.
H.Y. Louie has teamed up with local celebrity chef Karen Barnaby to develop a private label brand for fresh soups and salads called Chef Destinations. The idea is to work with local chefs on recipes that customers can go home and cook using prepared and hard-to-find products from the store.