Sep 03, 2019 | By Jane Boddy
Aug 02, 2018
By Allyson Rees
Mention the word “convenience” to any average American, and they’ll call to mind the blocked red, orange and green logo of 7-Eleven; a fluorescent-lit, gas station-adjacent store filled with 5-hour energy drinks, Little Debbie snack cakes and lottery tickets. With over 154,535 convenience stores operating in the United States, the category seems immune to the retail apocalypse, but a new store in Los Angeles could demonstrate that a certain shift in mindset is taking place.
Launched by LA public relations expert Rachel Krupa, The Goods Mart is a new wellness-oriented convenience store stocking snacks, prepared food, small household items, toiletries and sundries, all free of hormone disruptors, antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides, nitrates, and GMOs. The store is also free of single-serving plastic bottles, and has promised to donate food within 24 hours of its expiration date to nonprofit organization Lunch on Me, which feeds homeless people throughout Los Angeles.
Krupa was inspired by her childhood in rural Michigan, in which she frequented her local Sunoco gas station to stock up on groceries and touch base with other townspeople. The concept should work in LA’s Silverlake neighborhood, a relatively small area filled with Millennial parents, artists and freelancers. For LA’s car-obsessed culture, the location is also a good fit. The building originally operated as a drive-thru mart in the 70s, and now can continue to be a pit stop for drivers passing down Sunset Boulevard to Hollywood or Downtown LA.
Also setting The Goods Mart apart from other convenience stores is its lush outdoor space, an aptly-named “Jungle” landscaped by LA architecture firm Terremoto. Once patrons purchase a LA Colombe coffee, gluten-free treat from Sweet Laurel or organic slushie from Kelvin Slush Co., they can sit outside and relax.
Though The Goods Mart is a stand-alone store at the moment, Krupa plans to open more locations around Los Angeles and perhaps even across the US. She’d better work quickly as convenience stores are fast catching on to the consumer lean towards health and wellness. In January, 7-Eleven announced it would begin stocking USDA organic cold pressed juices.
Want more on the future of convenience stores? Read WGSN’s Convenience Store Culture: Japan and Beyond report.
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