Psychology of seafood case display
Every seafood retailer knows sourcing the freshest seafood available is not enough. Knowing the science and consumer research behind fresh seafood merchandising is what helps some markets excel.
Take Santa Monica Seafood of Santa Monica, Calif., a longtime wholesaler that also operates two stores with cafés. Its Costa Mesa, Calif., store features a custom seafood case that is a continuous 64 feet.
“When you come through the front door, you kind of get hit with that ‘wow factor,’” says Bob Vogel, the company’s director of retail operations. “The lighting is very extravagant — each bulb costs USD 45 — and produces a crisp, clean light.”
The unique horseshoe shape of its Santa Monica store’s glass case also draws attention. And breaking up fish by color palette really helps cases in both stores pop, according to Vogel.
“It helps to have the salmons up front, then purples and reds with items like tuna, then your whites with sea bass and other fish, then back to Arctic char,” Vogel said.
The correct presentation of the fresh seafood case is essential to sales. “It is extremely important to have a grand opening atmosphere, where the product is well presented and looks fresh at all times,” says Pat Lee, seafood buyer for Chandler, Ariz.-based Bashas’ Family of Stores. AJ’s Fine Foods, one of Bashas’ banners, arranges its fish by cooking type, color and texture.