The Flight to Small Format Retail

By Sam Young • June 24, 2015

In 2015, retailers have started trending away from massive supercenters and towards faster growing small-format stores that cater to millennials and other convenience-seeking shoppers. In 2014, convenience stores had a historic year, growing 4.7% to $213.5 billion. Even Whole Foods has introduced, under the ‘365 banner, an experimental small-format store design, while retail giants such as Wal-Mart are planning to double their small-format footprint, called Neighborhood Market.


Many fast moving consumer goods retailers like Whole Foods are also jumping on the bandwagon to the belief that small-format stores better cater towards convenience-seeking customers, who are more likely to make frequent, quicker shopping trips but are still searching for high quality products. In 2016, Whole Foods is planning to open between five to ten stores under its ‘365’ banner to find new growth channels and advantages over its specialty competitors amid struggling sales numbers. The “365” concept is planned to be more tech-centric and offer lower cost items in order to provide a more contextually relevant experience for millennials, according to co-CEO Walter Robb.

Wal-Mart has also been experimenting with the condensed store format for over a year after experiencing stagnant growth and falling profits due to competition from small discount stores. Wal-Mart is anticipated to double their small-format footprint, opening 400 new sites. While the larger stores have the highest returns, the condensed format is able to reach a large, yet dense urban customer base. To date, Wal-Mart has experienced 7.9% growth in the small-market division across 381 Neighborhood Market stores.


Overview of SwiftIQ

SwiftIQ uses high scale data processing and machine learning to deliver contextually relevant insights and digital experiences for retailers and brands. Its platform unifies and analyzes data primarily from in-store transactions as well as also online behavior and third party sources to predict and inform category captains, shopper marketing, assortment, supply chain and content delivery decisions. SwiftIQ’s unique ability to process billions of basket-level transaction records in near real-time and convert that into on-demand mobile visualizations, day-parts, affinities and attribution fosters a new level of retailer/supplier collaboration and innovation.

Since launching its category captain and consumer behavioral analytics platforms in 2014, SwiftIQ has doubled in the first quarter of 2015 and now manages nearly $26 billion in offline, receipt-level point of sale data. The company provides software to 4 of the top 10 global CPGs and several billion-dollar retailers. SwiftIQ, named a Top Innovator twice by DataWeek has also been recognized by Google, Forrester, Forbes, ProgressiveGrocer and ComputerWorld for its achievements. For more information, visit

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