Hey there, you beautiful market research nerds. Back for more? Last week, we told you everything you need to know about panel surveys; this week, it's time for customer intercepts! One of the most versatile market research methodologies in the toolkit, customer intercepts put businesses directly in touch with their actual customers.
Northgate Market, a chain of Mexican-oriented grocery stores and a bonnafide southern California institution, is living the dream. From its bootstrap immigrant origin story to its current stranglehold on the Latinx grocery market, its national recognition as essential to low-income communities to its seduction of hipster/millennial shoppers, Northgate Market’s history and trajectory tell us a lot about the evolving nature of ethnic grocery stores.
The Cheesecake Factory, everybody’s favorite ‘everything under the sun’ casual dine-in, is going fast casual, rolling out a piloted pan-Asian fast casual concept in a tony Los Angeles suburb. The new location, called the Social Monk (more on the name and the monk later) will look to capitalize on food service and fast casual trends, and when an avowed leader of the casual dine-in segment is jumping into the fast casual life raft, it merits some contemplation (yes, that is a monk joke).
Grocers beware, Aldi is coming for you, your margins, and your customers (protect your millennials!). The German discounter, which currently operates 1,800 stores in 35 states, was just named Retailer of the Year by Supermarket News, its second such victory in the past four years.
Things have been rocky for Starbucks as of late. The two-tailed mermaid has seen its stock drop 14% this year and missed projections for five straight quarters before recently turning it around, and CEO Kevin Johnson is unhappy, calling the year-to-date “not acceptable.” Financial analysts are in a tizzy, wondering if it is time to turn their back on the coffee giant—as Yahoo so succinctly put it, “is it finally time to sell?”