A Micro Market is a new concept offered by many vending operators today. Replacing the can, bottle, snack, and carousel bank of vending machines is a self-checkout retail shopping experience. Micro Markets began as very simple and over the past few years have become more sophisticated as vendors learned that a beautiful, well stocked and displayed market was what businesses demanded today. They generally consist of a self-checkout station, a set of products to display the items for sale, such as Fixturelite retail displays or racks, and reach-in coolers and freezers like those by Minus Forty Technologies. You could roughly define it as a focused, miniature, unmanned convenience store in a company’s break room.
Micro Markets differ from convenience stores in several ways. Most notably, they are unmanned. Security camera systems and closed-campus locations mitigate the unmanned risk to the vendor. Successful Micro Market operators form a partnership with the business customer’s HR department to appropriately handle theft and employee feedback. Another significant difference is that Micro Markets target a very specific audience – the employees of the business break room in which it is installed. This unique element makes communication with the employees critical to ensure the mix of products available is what they will purchase.
The Micro Market customer and vending operator benefit in a symbiotic way from the market installation. Using custom fixtures instead of vending machines, operators can offer a much wider variety of products, many times with better margins, since they are no longer limited to the sizes, shapes that a vending machine could accommodate. Customers can pick up, touch, and read an item prior to purchase resolving the nutrition posting requirements and the dreaded “mis-vend”. Proper Micro Market fixture placement provides unique up sell/cross sell opportunities to the vendor. For example, placing a basket of chips on the self-checkout fixture can make simple for and remind the customer purchasing a sandwich that chips could make lunch more satisfying while increasing the operator’s sales.
For a consumer location in the micro market design or layout process, or who are remodeling their existing break room, the timing is perfect to investigate a Micro Market solution using Fixturelite fixtures to complement the décor and theme of the break room and enhance the employee experience.
It should be noted that while Micro Markets aren’t right for every setting or business, the experienced professionals at Fixturelite can help you determine if a particular location is suited for a Micro Market.