BACK TO THE ROOTS.
How retailers are getting back to the traditional retailing, to reinvent their staggering retail concepts.
What does Carrefour, Tesco, Lidl, Mercadona, etc...have in common, to have been changing drastically there existing boring basic discounter retail concepts into a kind of new lifestyle experience. Today, the hiper and supermarkets are presenting a new brand business model, using the old traditional ways of retailing, maintaining strong competitive price levels.
Last week, the big boss of Mercadona, a leading food retailer in Spain, admitted openly his failed marketing strategy of dropping a few years ago the fresh food concept and announced the immediate creating and formation of 21.000 professional shopkeepers. (like the you can find them in the little neighborhood stores,..the real specialized retailer....)
In the meantime, Lidl is leaving aside, its pure pallet image, by offering more branded products, better presented and showing tendencies of a real convenience store, offering daily fresh, in the store made bread and even in some cases, a coffee station, (offering, to take away hot drinks) or fresh seafood.
By reorganizing the store concept into various attractive 'boutique' areas, like a food court (where all food products, like fish, meat, bakery and grocery are presented and made on a very artisanal tradition), fashion corner (all items are well presented, like the way you can only find them into a high end fashion store) or the multimedia products presented in a high tech environment and managed by specialized trained staff.
The key is specializing and bringing a new buying experience, by offering a good service, wide range of products, fresh and in front prepared foods,...in house courses and or product presentations. The whole, presented in a clear visual easy to understand attractive animated and well presented concept.
Shopping becomes again a unique experience, it has to be easy, comfortable,....
So more appealing stores are needed...
Have a look to the interesting opinions of the consumers (what drives them..) after visiting the new 'Tesco' store concept....
It is clear that few businesses will survive, staying sticked with their existing business format. As consumer tastes, wants and needs are changing rapidly, each retailer has to adapt them to the new trends.
Where in the late 2005 / 2006...the key business slogan was standardize and in advanced prepared products, in order to reduce costs and create a easy high rotation of products and sales, today we go back to the good old school where 'Small is again Beautiful'.
The economical difficult situation (less income, so less buying power), the new forms of family (more and more single living persons, an increasing senior population, more fast food and already prepared meals) and changes in buying habits, have forced the retailers in offering small quantity product offers and more competitive prices. (today your local supermarket is full of 1€ pack offers and today you can easily buy just one piece of fruit from the vegetable stand or just two slices of you favorite cheese in the cheese section).
By having smaller quantity of products, prices looks more interesting for the consumer. (however not always more cheaper than bulk packs, where you get more value for your money).
The recent confession of Tesco, that it has generated more than 30.000 tones of food waste in the first 6 months of 2013, has created an strong reaction and motivation for retailers to push strongly into above small quantity product policy. (so more benefit, less waste...)
By combining above new product and pricing policy, offering a more personal shopping experience into their store spaces, creating a kind traditional local market atmosphere, above retailers hope to turn there staggering sales turnovers, competing again with the local small retailer.
As mentioned already in my previos posts on 'small retailers' and the 'empty shopping street' problem, the key of success and survival is specializing and being different.
Just have a look to some of the above concepts like Carrefour and Tesco....and the motives for their changes.
Not only food retailers are getting back to the traditional roots of retailing. Above strategy is implemented in a wide range of concepts around the world.
Just have a look, how they changed a classical garden center in Alberta, Canada..to the 'The Enjoy Center', where the garden center and greenhouse are the anchor, completing it with a central market place, with a home decoration and kitchen store, a deli with local food specialities, a wine store, a spa and even a restaurant.
The marketplace is mainly used to present events, product presentations and or trainings and has become the principal public attraction and a motor for selling its products.
Like its name,...you come to enjoy...
Just have a visit...at this amazing concept.
Maybe they never have gone...
Above operators can reinvent, copy and create an perfect atmosphere or store concept,...but the major challenge will be definitely, the creating of a high level competitive retail 'detail' sales staff, like you often can find them, in your small neighborhood store.