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What Is A Third Space And Should You Have One

Third Space Coffee Bar

Consumer behavior at grocery and c-stores have evolved. More and more customers are not just shopping for groceries and essentials but also looking at retail spaces as gathering spots for a more social experience. The idea of a third space also known as a third stores, in grocery and c-stores are where customers can get meals, coffee, drinks and socialize. These spaces are serving to be highly beneficial for both the customer and retailer alike, aiding in their popularity and growth.

This blog serves as a guide on the basics of third stores and why you should consider adding one to your retail space.

What Is A Third Space?

Third spaces are dedicated spots within retail foodservice stores to eat and socialize that are separated from shopping areas. Many c-stores and grocery stores have already hopped on the trends by building community spaces with the addition of local restaurants, coffee shops, bars, etc. Examples of these recent additions include 7-11’s Evolution Stores, Whole Foods in-store craft cocktail bar and HEB’s newest in-house BBQ restaurant.

Third space beer and wine bar at grocery store

What Are The Benefits?

Third spaces provide a great opportunity for retailers to differentiate themselves from the competition. From a customer perspective, when choosing to buy groceries or c-store items, the main drivers come down to convenience and price.

Retailers are constantly competing on how to differentiate themselves when selling the same types of items, but price and convenience are not the only way retailers can do this.

Third stores add a much more unique differentiation to retail stores and can widen the typical customer base. For regular customers, these spaces can be an added benefit and deepen customer loyalty.

On the other hand, a huge benefit of adding one of these spaces is the opportunity to expand the customer base to customers who perhaps are driven by the third space alone. An effective and popular third store has the potential for customers to cross purchase while also enjoying these new spaces.

Why Should You Consider Adding a Third Space?

The future of grocery and c-stores is changing with the addition of online grocery delivery and curbside pickup. With a reduced need to step into the physical stores, these spaces can help entice customers to enter and stay in the store longer.

These spaces can be an exciting new feature to bring more customers into retail environments.

Third space coffee bar inside grocery store

Where Should Third Stores Be Located?

Design is extremely important for third stores, from the location to the seating to the actual food and beverage offering. For starters, the location of the third space should be close enough to the front entrances of the store for customers to easily see and access without getting in the way of customers shopping for items. Typically, these spaces should be on one side of the store, rather than the middle to avoid customer traffic with shoppers. For existing spaces, third store space can be added by expanding the store or rearranging build add-ons to already operating stores.

Choosing The Right Offering

There are a variety of different ways to approach third space design. When deciding on the type of space offered it is important to look the geographical location of the store itself. These spaces provide an opportunity to get creative with local artists and designers for the interior design of the third space.  

How Can KPS Global Help?

KPS Global’s customized product offerings can help retailers meet their third store needs. To meet the storage needs of third stores, KPS Global offers walk-in coolers, freezers, beer coolers, wine coolers, etc. Additionally, we offer customizable options such as shelving, lighting, display, traffic doors, etc. to help enhance design. KPSG has the right solution to make third spaces possible.  

For more information on KPSG solutions visit our website or contact us to get started today!

View through the glass door of a walk-in beer cooler, revealing stacked beer kegs
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