Swiss Farms, America's Drive-Thru Grocer, has opened its first Franchise Store with veteran Starbucks and Auntie Anne's franchisee and a 2010 IFA Franchisee of the Year, John Betz.
The food retail grocery store franchise, which is located at 6 South White Horse Pike, Somerdale, New Jersey is also Swiss Farms first expansion into New Jersey. "I am excited to bring this exceptional and unique shopping experience to New Jersey consumers. We plan to open 2 additional Swiss Farms stores in Camden County over the next 24 month establishing more critical mass in our Jersey side beachhead," stated John Betz.
"The store which boasts a dramatic sleek, award-winning architectural design and iconic fresh farm imagery is built for fast service and selection, and is well positioned against area supermarkets with drive-thru convenience plus Supermarket Prices without the Supermarket Hassles," according to Paul Friel, CEO of Swiss Farms Stores.
The store was built by Partners, William & Tony Santora who own & operate A&E Construction, Inc. a major construction management firm in the Philadelphia market. A&E Construction also built the new Swiss Farms corporate prototype store in Ridley Park, PA, which opened in November 2009. And based on its success with customers and employees alike, it became the model for the Somerdale store.
According to Rocco Fiorentino, President of Swiss Farms Franchising, "The Somerdale store embodies a list of elements that capture our joint vision of a world class drive-thru." Going all out, the Somerdale store boasts 1600 feet, almost double the size of many current Swiss Farms stores.
For faster service, there are two service doors on each side. Equally important there is a by-pass lane on each side. So if the customer is done with their order before the car in front of them, there is no waiting. They just drive by the car in front.
When the customer drives up to the new store they encounter what looks like a glass house: floor to ceiling glass walls on 3 sides rising vertically 14 feet for maximum visibility. Custom racking systems complement the store with prominent product exposure, including refrigerated dairy and produce display cases.
The result of this designed merchandising is that the store's interior serves the customer from the car, showing them the offerings and even tagging sale prices.
For increased visibility merchandising, the new store has eight 46-inch LCD screens and a large LED pylon sign highly visible from the street. The entire system is integrated to a meteorological site tying the offers to the weather. So they are promoting tea cooler and ice cream when the temperature hits 90; soup and hot chocolate when it drops to 30 degrees.
The message also changes by day part promoting breakfast in the morning; "what's for dinner?" at night. "With our digital signage we have maximum flexibility in targeting our promotions and we don't kill a tree in the process. This is very green," says Rob Coldwell, Franchise Development Director for Swiss Farms.
The store offers fresh baked rotisserie chicken with sides of baked potatoes and veggies for a complete dinner-time meal offering. There is also a fresh bakery in store with fresh piping hot artisanal loaves, muffins and cookies. An expanded line of produce is in evidence as well as a line of fresh Swiss Farms dinners.
One thing that hasn't changed with the new Somerdale Franchise store is the personalized customer service experience Swiss Farms provides. According to franchisee John Betz, "This is a high-touch business. And with that Swiss Farms enjoys extreme customer loyalty.
"Our store associates are part of the secret sauce that has given Swiss Farms an unusually strong bond with its customers. I know, I grew up around Swiss Farms as a kid where they rule in Delaware County, PA.
"We are now using technology and superior store design to make the Swiss Farms customer experience more efficient and delightful. But I'm not stopping there. Our store associates will always be up front & center providing a world class customer service experience. That's our calling card."
Swiss Farms, America's Drive-Thru Grocer has successfully operated corporate stores in Delaware and Chester County, PA since 1968.
Swiss Farms is a convenient replacement for the supermarket express lane, where you pick up staples such as milk, bread, drinks, produce, meals-to-go, eggs, ice cream etc. without getting out of your car. You simply drive up, order and drive away with your groceries.