Written by: Rebecca Stubler
Most Marketing majors will never get the opportunity to rebrand a product during their summer internship, but I had the privilege of helping re-brand the Dublin Giant Eagle and re-open it as the brand new Dublin Market District. So far in Ohio there was only one existing Market District in Upper Arlington, now we have one in Dublin, and the third to open up in Solon in early August 2013. My fellow interns and I had the opportunity to help open the brand new Dublin Market District on July 11th.
For those who aren’t familiar with Market District, it is part of the Giant Eagle chain but it is much more upscale than your traditional Giant Eagle supermarket. However, the products are exactly the same in both Giant Eagle and Market District, with the exception of having a wider variety at Market District. This is Giant Eagle’s way of competing against Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.
My group of interns and I (7 of us total) helped out at Dublin all week long getting ready for the grand re-opening, plus tons of support staff pulled from other stores to help out. To say we worked at a million miles per hour might be an understatement. We worked hard making everything was perfect for the big day, because Buddy the Cake Boss was coming, in addition to the top ranking executives (including the former and current CEOs) flying in from Pittsburgh.
Helping re-brand an entire store in a few days time has been incredible. The minute details, such as new tags for every product (there are thousands of products), and every single “Giant Eagle” logo that had to be transitioned to the “Market District” logo. It’s easy for something to be overlooked. Fortunately, that was part of the value in the interns coming to the store. This was my first time at this store, so it was easier for me to spot out things that needed to be fixed before the big day compared to the Store Leaders that had been there for years. All in all, I was challenged the most this week because I had to learn things on the fly due to the time crunch.
On the big day there were people lining up to meet the Cake Boss beginning at 4:45am, Buddy’s first appearance was at 7:30am, with another appearance at 10:30am. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to meet him personally, but I snapped some pics as he unveiled the cake he made specially for the occasion. In the end the store pulled it off and sales were more than double last year’s sales on that particular day.
Overall, my experience re-branding an entire store has been insane, but in a good way. We never stopped working, cleaning, and preparing the store so that it would live up to Market District’s high standards. There was a time where we were on our hands and knees cleaning all the freezer doors and baseboards with Windex. It was awesome to be a part of this experience. If I were to leave you with a little nugget of advice, it would be to be open to anything. I did everything from restocking liquor, to sampling nail polish to people waiting to see Buddy. In retail, anything goes. We didn’t have these tasks because we are lowly interns, but because these are sales-boosting initiatives for the store.
What has been one of the more challenging parts of your internship/job, and how did you handle it?