Innovation Spotlight: High’s Serves Customers on Their Terms

The retailer’s primary competitive strategy is improving the customer experience.
Angela Hanson
Senior Editor
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High's Store 2022

BALTIMORE — At High’s, adding innovative technology is supporting the Baltimore-based convenience store retailer’s primary competitive strategy of improving the customer experience.

The chain has been focusing on upgrading technology at the site level for several years now. When High’s planned out its new flagship store in Owings Mills, Md., which is also the chain’s 60th location, it decided to emphasize new technology as a key offering.

The flagship store, which opened in mid-July, offers a variety of the most up-to-date technology options with the goal of making every shopping experience that much smoother. We strive to provide solutions for every customer that visits our store,” said Meghan Mattern, advertising and social media manager for High’s.

Such solutions range from touchscreen ordering points to frictionless payment. The most recent update is the addition of self-checkout kiosks and mobile ordering through the High’s Rewards app, which allows customers to choose the payment experience they find most convenient. Customers can skip the line and check out at any point during their visit,” Mattern noted.

A fundamental aspect of innovation for High’s is the ability to keep moving in pursuit of better ways to fulfill customer needs and wants. Innovation means staying relevant to our customers — making sure that we are continuously exceeding their expectations,” said Senior Vice President Brad Chivington. We do this by listening to their feedback and creating points of difference from our competitors.”

Listening to its customers led High’s, a division of Carroll Independent Fuel Co., to move to a dual food and technology focus, while still maintaining its connection to the brand’s heritage of dairy and ice cream.

The new flagship store, which occupies 5,000 square feet of space, serves as the anchor location for Owing Mills' Red Run Commerce Center. The store’s kitchen highlights a wide variety of signature items, such as handmade pizza, hand-breaded chicken, hand-dipped ice cream, and an expanded hot and cold beverage area.

The site also has a first-of-its-kind Carroll Clean car wash, featuring a large vacuum area.

The flagship store is as an extension of the brand’s five-year optimization project, which began in 2019. The goal is to present a fresh, relevant brand and offer across its footprint. High’s has sought to develop a signature point of difference in the marketplace — warm, inviting and delivering a premier experience with a wow factor.

Future High’s stores will have the same size, footprint and offering of the flagship store, but the company is prepared to step into the future with a flexible mindset. [We] always try to take what we have learned and adjust our concept as needed,” Chivington said.

About the Author

Angela Hanson
Angela Hanson is Senior Editor of Convenience Store News. Read More