Lessons Grocers Can Learn From Department Stores: Lesson Ten—Amenities

By Andrew McQuilkin

Customer amenities are the memorable extra steps that a retailer takes to understand and deliver on the needs of each guest. If done right, they bring true moments of surprise and delight.

ice cream section

Grocery: It’s long been as basic as baggers offering to load groceries into a shopper’s car. Grocers have also successfully added other amenities over the years, including sampling stations, wine tastings, cafés and seating. In-store technologies such as ordering kiosks in the deli have also reduced wait times.

Department stores: Mirrors on every column and tester bottles in cosmetics are a given in most department stores. Restaurants and cafés have started to make their way back into the stores as well. The key amenity for all guests is a clean and well-lit fitting room that provides a sense of security and an organized wall system to compare clothing options.

Advice: With grocery stores adding more apparel, there’s a role for a better fitting room experience. And as beauty products become more standard, adding testers and mirrors will let shoppers know they’re making the right choices.

Aiming to outwit new competitors, the largest grocery chains are already investing in technological innovations like curbside pickup, automatic checkout, and delivery services to provide better service to customers and simplify the shopping experience. But as they evolve with this focus on technology, they should not overlook the many easy and relatively low-cost physical tweaks that can be made in stores to incorporate the best of the long successful run once enjoyed by department stores.

This is the Tenth and final Lesson of “Lessons Grocers Can Learn From Department Stores.” To view all ten lessons in their entirety, check out our full white paper, "Grocery - The New Department Store: 10 Lessons to Avoid the Same Fate."


Content Type

Blog Post


August 09, 2019



Written by

Andrew McQuilkin

Andrew McQuilkin, Design Leader, Partner

For over 30 years, Andrew has served in key design leadership roles in the retail industry. In his role as Design Leader, Andrew is responsible for leading the retail design and architecture team’s expertise in branding, store planning, interior design, merchandising, building architecture and rollout for retail clients. Andrew has extensive knowledge and background in the design and implementation of department stores, vendor shops, specialty stores, large format and discount stores with award winning retail designs including six Store of the Year Awards.

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