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Customer-oriented efforts paying off at City Market

City Market has revealed that two of its latest marketing efforts aimed at providing a more customer friendly shopping experience are producing good results.

The food store chain recently decided to blaze the 24-hour shopping trail, implementing the extended hours at four of its New Providence stores, and has also replaced its Sava-Check stamp system with a Smart Shoppers Card, both aimed at creating more convenience for shoppers, the chain’s newly-appointed Chief Operations Officer Neko Bethell toldGuardian Businessyesterday.

“We have spoken with a few[customers]and they like the idea of not having to worry about traffic in the store, or having a certain time to make it to the store by,”Bethell said of the 24-hour shopping currently offered at City Market’s Seagrapes, Harbor Bay, South Beach and Cable Beach stores.

One of the greatest concerns frequently raised about the extended shopping hours is that of security, but according to Bethell customers have been very pleased with security arrangements. She noted that the retailer has been working closely with the police association in this regard, and said they had provided’great support’.

According to Bethell the heaviest customer traffic the stores have seen during the extended hours has been at the Seagrapes location, where many early morning joggers and walkers have been shopping long before daybreak. She also said that male shoppers have outnumbered female shoppers during the extended hours and reported that the South Beach store was also seeing some good results. No hard data on shopping numbers or evening sales were available up to press time.

The move to a swipe card for customers to replace the Sava-Check stamps has also been received well by customers, according to Bethell. She said the Smart Shopper Cards have been offered for about two months now.

“Basically, we are eliminating the stamp process altogether,”the COO said.”We are offering the same point system in a card format, so no longer do you have to worry about going to the register, getting stamps, finding a piece of paper or a card to lick or stick stamps to.”Bethell said customers present cards at the register and have them updated automatically as they check out.

“Our customers are very pleased with the fact that they don’t have to worry about those stamps anymore, and we’ve had a really positive response from it,”Bethell said,”We’ve had a big demand for the cards and we’re actually on our third shipment thus far.”

Bethell comes to City Market with 20 twenty years of retail experience, and stepped into her position effective 4 January 2010.”I started out from the ground floor working at Solomon’s,”Bethell said, adding that she has moved through buying, division management, and other fields to arrive at her current post.

“Retail is my life,”said Bethell. She added,”I can help with the operations from a retail end because it’s what I know best.”She also said that being a mother and a wife, she can relate to many shoppers and their needs, and is in the position to ensure that this important consumer group’s needs are met.

“My primary task is to carry out the mandate of our CEO and to have the visions of our management team be brought to life–to make sure the daily operations of the store are run in a timely, efficient manor as far as getting things to from the dock, to the stores, and to our consumers.”

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