The Gaslight District’s sparkling new Clifton Market has initiated an online ordering and home delivery system to go toe-to-toe with its competitors, including the recently formed Goliath in the Whole Foods/Amazon deal.
To take a deeper dive into the grocery market, Amazon purchased Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion on June 16, ultimately fueling an already well-known competitor of local grocery stores.
Despite the Clifton Market’s small scale and already inherent competition with nearby Kroger locations and similar-minded purveyors of artisan and organic groceries and grab-and-go meals, the store’s board president Adam Hyland is confident he can outperform his competitors with a more personal approach.
“Our customers are not just numbers,” Adam says when asked how Clifton Market differs from bigger grocery chains. “They’re our neighbors, our friends. When people come in the store, our general manager calls them ‘guests.’ We have a commitment to serving people on a human scale.”
Customers are also frequently shareholders, as Clifton Market operates on a co-op model, where members of the public are invited to purchase ownership in the store to gain a voice in operations as well as special shopping incentives. But anyone and everyone is welcome to shop at Clifton Market, whether they’re shareholders or not.
Marilyn Hyland, Adam’s mother and Clifton Market’s director of marketing, also emphasizes the value in the store’s ability to take care of its customers on a personal level.
“We can be nimble,” Marilyn says. “We’re one store. You tell it to us, we hear it and we can react. We believe that’s huge.”
Taking care of their friends and neighbors, Adam and his mother have taken the mom-and-pop shop to the next level, pouring nearly a year’s worth of effort into creating a functional home delivery system to share their products with residents within the I-275 loop.
“We felt like it was a really great way to enable people to experience Clifton Market and the fresh foods that we have without having to come into the store,” Marilyn says. “People are really receptive to it and excited about it.”
“In this day and age, you have to have it as an element to be competitive in this market,” Adam adds.
Customers can visit Clifton Market’s official website to place an order for either pick-up ($2) or delivery ($10). Categories include everything from adult beverages and baby care to pet products, produce and ice cream. There’s no minimum required purchase and customers can set a time for groceries to be delivered when they checkout online. If you’re picking up, Clifton Market aims for an hour turnaround, says Marilyn.
However, the personal approach doesn’t stop there.
“We always say we take it from our shelves to yours,” Adam says. “It’s more than just delivering to your door. You can opt for full service delivery right onto your shelves in your kitchen. So folks with disabilities, older folks or people who are just busy can have it easy.”
Adam also assures customers that they should expect all of their groceries to land on their shelves in pristine condition.
“Eating is one of the most personal things you can do, and you need to trust the people who are picking your food and know they care about you,” Adam says. “Nobody here picks anything out that they won’t put on their own table.”
While Clifton Market still offers a valuable in-store experience with weekly events and happy hour specials, customers can now opt for that market experience to migrate from the store to their home pantry shelves — a tech-savvy and thoughtful one-two punch in this digital age.
The CLIFTON MARKET is located at 319 Ludlow Ave., Clifton. For more on the market’s new delivery/pick-up system, visit cliftonmarket.com.