MANILA, PHILIPPINES – After more than a year of bringing affordable locally-sourced fruits and vegetables to the doorstep of customers through its website and mobile app, pandemic-born COOP Grocer has every reason to take pride in its first brick-and-mortar, phygital store in Shangri-La at the Fort, Bonifacio Global City.
The visually captivating “phygital” (physical + digital) store, which opened in January, is a combination of giving buyers the on-site shopping experience while still conveniently buying and paying for everything using a mobile phone.
In an interview with Rappler, COOP Grocer CEO Eman Pineda said that the store was made with tech-savvy and digitally proficient urban millennials in mind, which is why they worked towards making grocery shopping a “cool and distinctive experience.”
The COOP experience
As customers enter the modern, plant-themed store, they are met with COOP Grocer’s signature fresh produce, as well as unique and essential products such as COOP-branded chips, drinks, pasta sauces, meat, and deli goods, as well as house-made gelato, bottled cocktails, and even plant-based ethyl alcohol.
Compared to just shopping on the app, customers can actually touch and smell their desired products for quality checks before putting them in their tote bags (the ultimate millennial accessory). Customers can complete their payment by approaching COOP’s staff for cashless check-out.
COOP prides itself on being an online grocer in the Philippines with a reliable real-time inventory. Their goal is simple: to have one less headache by providing “hassle free-transactions.” That is why they intend to have no late deliveries, no out-of-stock notices after payment, and no phone calls after purchase asking for substitutions.
In the branch, they also have a milk bar where milk-based drinks are freshly-made to order. Orders can also be done via mobile phone. Soon, COOP Grocer will have self check-out counters, too.
What’s in store?
Eman said that they plan to keep COOP Grocer’s prices as affordable as possible, especially when it comes to their fresh produce. “We buy direct from our farmers and fishermen whenever possible, and through our technology for better forecasting, this leads to less food waste and higher savings, which is passed on to our customers,” Eman said.
They are also doubling down on a more varied, fresh assortment of meats, seafoods, fruits, veggies, and dairy, and plan to triple their grocery selection online this year.
As COOP continues to expand their online assortment and monthly drops at their physical store, the vision remains the same: COOP doesn’t just sell groceries — it sells freshness. – Rappler.com
Samantha Onglatco is a Rappler intern under the Life & Style and Entertainment section.