Neiman’s making changes to improve customer experience

ALPENA – Hal Neiman, owner of Neiman’s Family Market, has learned over the years that providing high quality customer service and being innovative is key to continued success and future growth. Over the course of the coming months and years Neiman has plans to create and implement new and exciting shopping experiences for his customers.

The first two changes include a fleet of new grocery carts that are made of light, high-impact plastic that include cup holders for shopper’s coffee, as well as a stand that allows consumers to browse coupons on their iPad while shopping. Neiman said the plastic is durable and better equipped to handle northern Michigan rain and snow seasons.

The store’s restrooms also will be remodeled and a foyer outside of them is on the verge of completion. Neiman said there will be other projects on the horizon that will heighten the customer’s shopping experience. He said the upcoming changes does not necessarily mean making the store larger, but more customer friendly.

“Out theme is we’re not going to get bigger to compete against Meijer, we’re just going to get better,” Neiman said. “We identified a whole series again we can do and we are going to do them in a sequence of events. We have been innovative for 30 years and we are going to continue that trend.”

Neiman said there will be creative advertising with a touch of humor, as well as contests to promote the store, products and services. He said there also will be a service meat and seafood counter, and a subtle change to the aisles.

“The biggest physical change people will notice is six of the aisles will be widened from six feet to seven,” That is possible because we are going to move the bulk food section to the far wall and move the floral section to the front cove area,” Neiman said. “That move will not only give us more room in the aisles, but more room in the produce section where we no we really need it to get a larger variety of products.”

Neiman said plans are still being made to what changes will be made to the front of the store, but said there will be changes to the entire store front will be done.

“At some point the revolving door will come out and we’ll create a whole new front entrance,” Neiman said. “We also intend to do a dramatic change to the bagel stop. We need more space where families can sit. We are also toying with the idea of altering the pharmacy, so people don’t have to stand in the aisleway and have a bit more separation and privacy.”

The store will also going to incorporate different ways for customers to receive discounts on their mobile devices. Neiman said he hopes to have the program up and running at the end of summer, but when it is shoppers can provide simple information to the store and be notified about sales.

Neiman said with the addition of Meijer and potentially a new Aldi store on M-32, does increase competition. He said he is ready for the challenge and believes the new improvements and future projects will allow the store to be successful for many years to come.

“It’s not about the competition, it’s about creating an innovative mind set in our company,” Neiman said. “We want it so when a customer spends their hard earned money here, their dollars have more value than when they shop somewhere else. If we don’t so that we deserve to lose sales. That is how our attitude has been and that is what it will continue to be.”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at