Monday, January 9, 2012

Inspiring creative supermarket ideas from around the world

Going to a supermarket can be a dull and stressful experience. Today they are all freezing to keep the food fresh, hence you rush through them in your little summer dress, eager to get out as soon as possible, hopefully carrying some items you need - if you were lucky enough to find them in the clutter. Sigh. We might love their ads and the brands, but supermarkets really need to shape up to keep people happy in the long run. 

Here are some creative super market ideas spotted by Alain Thys, author of So You Want To Be Customer-Centric Original post

MPREIS in Tirol (Austria)

If you thought supermarkets were square boxes which lacked any form of architectural imagination, MPreis in Austria is clearly intent on proving you wrong. Launched 90 years ago, this Tirolian supermarket chain is known for making sure their supermarkets are architectural beauties beyond compare in their industry.

EATALY in New York

Part deli, part experience, part restaurant and with a massive beer garden on the roof, Eataly is somewhat hard to define. But what is pretty clear is that this high end Italian megastore is pretty on the ball when it comes to creating a food shopping experience to remember. Not to mention the art of securing the margin that goes with it.  The video below says it all.


H-E-B in San Antonio, Texas

In early 2010, this Texas supermarket decided to group all male skincare in a Men's Zone. This was driven by the insight that most guys, especially in Texas, don't really feel at ease looking for their products alongside female hygiene and hair removal products. The results were phenomenal with a year-on-year sales increase of 11% on a range of 534 personal care items.

ChronoDrive/ChronoVillage, France

We have all seen the "shop online and pick up in store" programmes which most advanced supermarkets have implemented. But France's Auchan has taken matters a step further by designing a Chronodrive service station where you can  collect your groceries in 5 minutes or less. The current format upgrade, Chronovillage even helps you secure a freshly baked baguette, a good bottle of wine or a rose to remind your spouse how much you love her (hey, it's France). These extras are provided by complementary specialty stores which surround the pick-up zone. Apparently the format is hitting it off, as Auchan has announced a quite aggressive roll-out plan.

Kaiser's Berlin, Germany

The Futurelab blog already covered the store in 2009, but Kaiser's in Berlin is still the most senior friendly supermarket that I've ever seen. From magnifying glasses to read prices to modified trolleys, every aspect of this food retailer has been adapted to the needs of those who aren't as young as the product managers that typically market to them. As the world's population keeps aging, this is one retailer everyone needs to watch.


Tesco Homeplus, Korea

Sure, I know it's shown up in every retail presentation of 2011, but Tesco out-innovated everyone with its subway station smartphone stores. If you would have missed it, or would like to indulge once more, do check out the video.

The People's Supermarket in London, UK

Last one in the row is a supermarket that doesn't use special furniture, architecture or technology to create a unique experience, but manages to do so nonetheless. Owned by it's customers, who are also regularly asked to lend a hand in the restocking the aisles or servicing customers, The People's Supermarket focuses on local, authentic products at fair prices.  


Shopper marketing is an upcoming and growing area for marketers, thank God... I believe we will see more touch screens, experiences, varieties and happenings in the supermarkets in the future, thanks to clever strategies.

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