The Grand Experiment Continues

Tomorrow (Friday) is the opening day for our Herndon, VA store.  I will know by 3:00 on Saturday if the opening is successful and, to an extent, whether this store in general will be a success.

Many retailers do extensive research when picking locations.  Not me.  I use more of my “gut feel”.  I look primarily at the demographic density, competitive landscape, and road/travel patterns.

Most of our stores are in odd locations.  I remember when I picked the site for our Jessup store, all I heard was “Nobody goes on that side of 95” or “You’re opening across from a prison- surrounded by truckstops?!?”  The Jessup location turned out to be one of our best.

On the other hand, when I picked the site for another store, everyone thought it would be our best store because it was finally in a “real shopping center”.  Turns out, it has consistently ranked last.

Choosing a location is not a science.  Even after we open, we have a difficult time knowing for sure why one store is more successful than another.  Lots of theories, but that’s about it.

So, on the eve of Herndon’s opening, we at MOM’s are all very excited, yet a bit tense, as this grand experiment called “MOM’s” continues.

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20 Responses to The Grand Experiment Continues

  1. Katy says:

    Hope all goes well!!

  2. Ross says:

    A bit late, but CONGRATULATIONS and I hope the gut feeling (and the store!) work out just great.

    I used to shop the Rockville store, which I really liked (your…first, I think?) but the parking was a mild hassle; so was getting there, oddly enough, even though it was in the middle of upper Bethesda/lower Rockville. Still, great store, great staff, I spent a lot of time and money shopping there.

    Now, since moving to Rosslyn, my closest store is Alex; I wish there were one a bit closer, but I found a “back way” to the store that gets me there really, really fast, even during rush hour, which is amazing. Smaller store, but the place is always clean, and the supplement staff (all of them, Morgan in particular) are just excellent: smart, approachable and a real credit to your business.

    Stepping back a notch, I am just amazed when anyone takes these kind of chances — multiyear leases, stocking food, hiring people, advertising and advance inventory budgets. It’s amazingly bold and gutsy and admirable. I’m just glad to be living in the area where the future 1,000 store MOM chain started (and reaping all the benefits of the great selection!)

  3. I hope the opening was a huge success. We were there enjoying the samples, mingling with the staff, splashing through the puddles and smiling at the electric car charging station. You leave no stone unturned. I stop by MOMs even when I have nothing to purchase, just to chat with your staff and feel like a million bucks because someone is carrying my groceries to the car. I applaud you and your courage and your success. I will continue to sing your praises as you raise the bar for all the markets in our midst.

    • Scott says:

      Sue Ann- you know I absolutely love that “12 reasons” blog post! I couldn’t have said it better- and it is refreshing to see someone put organic ahead of local in terms of importance. A local farmer dumping chemicals on his land is part of the problem, not the solution.

  4. Pingback: 12 Reasons to Shop at MOMs Organic Market (or a similar market near you) | Conscious Bites Nutrition

  5. Lisa Merkel says:

    So – – what’s the verdict? Even with a snowshower thrown in for good measure?!?!? 🙂 We are glad you’re here!

    • Scott says:

      All’s well! Herndon will be a nice addition to the MOM’s family.

      We noticed that our basket averages are really high- 3rd highest in the company already- and the highest ever for a grand opening. This means Herndon has customers who are DEDICATED to organics!

  6. Nicole D. says:

    Please, what is your gut telling you about Dale City/Woodbridge? My closest store is Alexandria…….:(

  7. Kim W says:

    I used to love shopping at the Jessup store. Now I’ve moved south to Waldorf and I can’t wait until the store opens down here. I will be a regular!!

  8. Ginny says:

    We certainly love our Lutherville store, and drive past a large number of grocery stores to get there! Congrats on another great success!!

  9. DHT says:

    I live nearby in Great Falls and went last Saturday midday to your grand opening with my daughter and sister and we are so excited to have your store nearby. Thanks! we will be back.

  10. Allison says:

    I’m looking forward to your grand opening in Falls Church. Until then I will being visiting the store in Herndon.

  11. Eileen says:

    Since visiting MOM’s in Alexandria…it has become my #1 grocery store and can’t wait till Merrifield opens.

  12. Jane says:

    I stumbled upon this branch after breakfast at the Virginia Kitchen, having never heard of you guys. Anyway, it’s love, reminding me so much of co-ops back home in Minnesota. Actually, love is the fact that I live about a mile from the Gallows and Lee intersection. Or is that providence?

  13. MT says:

    Scott,
    Is the unnamed location that “consistently rank[s] last” a problem, or just a lower level of success than the others? Also, it’s not the Bowie store, is it? Don’t close my store! We moved to MD from the Midwest in 2010 and stumbled upon this Mom’s store a week after arriving. A few months later I quizzed my spouse “of all the things that have happened in the last year, what one unexpected thing has fundamentally improved our lives more than anything?”–the answer was independent, without hesitation, and agreed: MOM’s. Don’t close our store.

    • Scott says:

      We’re happy with our Bowie store. Sales are good and the community is great. And yes, even our bottom ranked store is simply at a lower level of success than the others. It’s a store we would never close. Thanks so much for your concern, though!

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