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Each year we visit hundres of convenience stores and we’re seeing similarities in the challenges and opportunities faced by retailers worldwide - however, how they react varies widely.

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We round up the latest developments from leading Nordic retailers as they invest in supermarkets, convenience, online and foodservice.

Norway: NorgesGruppen’s Meny launches new Gourmet and Urban banners

NorgesGruppen’s MENY supermarket banner is launching two new concepts; Meny Gourmet and Meny Urban.

Meny Gourmet will be the larger store concept which aims to create “good dining experiences for customers”. The stores will focus on exclusive goods, manned vegetable dishes and cheese and meats. Meny CC Vest, one of Meny’s largest stores, will pilot the new concept.

Meny Urban will be smaller stores located in city centres. The stores may be as small as 500 sq. m to help Meny to establish itself. They will sell take-away hot food and drinks as well as groceries.

The retailer has identified 15 existing sites that would suit the Meny Gourmet concept, and seven that would suit the MENY Urban Concept. MENY will also look to open new stores with these concepts in mind too.

Despite this, around 200 Meny stores will remain regular stores, with the option to choose items from the Urban and Gourmet concepts where appropriate

Commenting on the new store concepts, Vegard Kjuus, head of Meny, said, “We see that people are more happy about food, they travel more, enjoy eating out and want good take away solutions. It is also where there is greatest growth at the moment. While a mall may have a growth of perhaps one percent a year, a restaurant or coffee shop may have seven percent growth. It says something about the possibilities for Menu Urban”.

Sweden: Reitangruppen’s Pressbyrån to open unmanned convenience concept…

Meanwhile, Reitangruppen’s convenience format Pressbyrån is launching a new unstaffed convenience concept. Stores will offer a range of ready-packed products, including fresh pastries and sandwiches, among others. Initially these will be opened in offices but Pressbyrån hopes the concept will be rolled out to other locations besides offices in the long term.

CEO Mariette Kristenson said, “Based on each situation, we will be able to optimise the supply according to that customer's demand, it can be anything from hygiene items to a unique magazine range”.

…As it acquires Caffeine Roasters in the Baltics

In related news Reitan Convenience has acquired the coffee chain Caffeine Roasters after gaining regulatory approval from the Lithuanian competition authorities.

Caffeine Roasters, established in 2007, is the largest coffee chain in the Baltics. As part of the acquisition, Reitangruppen will gain all 60 of Caffeine Roasters’ coffee shops in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Commenting on the acquisition, CEO Johannes Sangnes said, “All formalities are now in order, and we look forward to starting work on further developing Caffeine Roaster's solid position in the Baltics. Caffeine Roasters is one of the strongest brands for coffee shops in the Baltics, and they are known for their quality coffee and good service”.

Elsewhere in Europe, retailers in the UK and Ireland are also investing in coffee. IGD Retail Analysis subscribers, can access our exclusive insight presentation on
“Coffee-to-go in convenience stores” here.

Sweden: Bergendahls’ Eko targets 37 stores

In Sweden, Bergendahls’ is planning to expand its Eko (not organic) supermarket concept with two to three store openings planned a year. The concept aims to offer leading brands at low prices and currently operates five stores in Borås, Fjälkinge, Kalmar, Malmö and Västerås. It is set to open an additional store in Örebro by the end of February 2019. The long-term goal for Eko is to open 37 stores in the country.

In an interview with Swedish trade press, CEO Ted Berggren said it will target stores of over 7,000 sq. m situated in locations with more than 80,000 residents, although locations with 100,000 – 120,000 are ideal. Product ranges include seasonal, household and cleaning products, flowers, toys, confectionary and hair and body care. The store also features Lekia, a flower shop, and Hemmakväll, a lighting shop.

Finland: S Group helps local suppliers sell online

Elsewhere, Finland’s S Group has announced it will launch a pilot to help local suppliers sell their products through S Group’s online store.  Orders will then be delivered to shoppers via their local Prisma pickup point. Local suppliers determine their prices while S Group charges commission. The pilot will be trialled in 2019 in Uusimaa, Pirkanmaa and Satakunta.

Antti Oksa, director of selection at S Group, explained, “We want to provide our customers with the opportunity to buy food directly from producers by combining shopping with the online food order. At the same time, a new channel of interest for producers will open up for other direct sales”.

The direct sales model has been developed with Mtech Digital Solutions.

Want to keep up with the latest developments from leading retailers including NorgesGruppen, Reitangruppen, Bergendahls and S Group? Sign up for IGD’s free Retail Analysis international newsletter.

The Co-op has announced plans to develop franchise stores, the first time the convenience retailer has licensed its brand to independent retailers.

Franchise model

Following successful trials that started last spring, Co-op is set to develop a network of franchise stores. The independent retailers will have access to Co-op’s own brand range, which is currently available in around 4,000 stores following the acquisition of Nisa.

Co-op will offer full training and a support package to its new franchisees with a full service model. This will include Co-op EPOS and back-office services, automated replenishment, store-specific planograms, deliveries through Co-op’s network, tailored account management, and Co-op membership and community support.

The first Co-op franchise store on a university campus will open on 20 February in Leeds.  

Franchisee requirements

Interested independent retailers can register their interest at a new website. In order to qualify, franchisees must generate weekly sales of £20,000, have a sales area over 2,000 sq ft and a back of house over 800 sq ft. The franchisees will also need to show that they share Co-ops values and principles.

Martin Rogers, Co-op’s head of new channels, commented:

“This is a significant milestone in our franchise ambition and we’re looking for the right retailers in the right locations to share in our success and help widen the reach of Co-op products. We have been trialling our franchise model since last spring, with our fourth store opening this month, and we have seen a minimum 50 per cent uplift on sales in these stores. We now have the capability to deliver franchising at scale, offering our award-winning food, in new places to attract new customers and members. We’ve got a strong track-record in delivering quality products for our customers and we know that when we work together to achieve a common purpose, great things can happen. We’re a business that’s growing and innovating to give our customers more of what they need”.

 

For more information on Co-op, Retail Analysis subscribers can visit the retailer’s hub page here.

This week Shell began the rollout of its new food-to-go collaboration with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.  We visited the Beaconsfield Services forecourt to take an early look at the new concept.

First impressions

Visiting motorists should be aware of the new range as soon as they arrive at the forecourt.  The concept is well-communicated both inside and outside with external signage on pumps, bollards and windows, and posters, bunting and balloons instore.  A recognisable face to millions of UK shoppers, Jamie Oliver features heavily in promotional materials helping the new brand to benefit from his trusted reputation for down-to-earth, healthy and tasty food.

In-store presentation

The new range is presented in a counter directly opposite the store entrance (formerly a deli2go counter) and a chiller cabinet nearer the checkouts.  The new branding is lighter, brighter and more modern than deli2go which certainly helps to communicate the change in Shell’s food-to-go offering.

The counter was an existing feature of this store so may not be introduced to smaller sites, however here it enhances the perception of freshly prepared food.  A selection of hot food-to-go items including traditional pastry goods as well as a premium hog roast sausage roll, new chilli and curry hot pots, hearty wraps and toasties and a range of breakfast items are served from the counter, alongside cakes and pastries.

The food

Fruit and veg snack pots, salad bowls and even sushi now sit alongside traditional favourites such as the substantial BLT Triple (now with black pepper mayo) demonstrating Shell's desire to broaden its food-to-go appeal to new customers.

Premiumisation, lighter options and new product formats extend into breakfast too, with a new egg, bacon and beans hot pot (also a vegetarian version with eggs, beans, mushroom and spinach), two varieties of porridge and a bacon roll with tomato chutney, amongst other hot and cold dishes.

Traffic light labelling is clearly visible on packaging and according to Shell, 60% of the range is now green or amber rated, helping customers choose healthier options.

The £4.99 meal deal is clearly signposted and priced comparably to the £5 meal deal at the nearby M&S at Beaconsfield Services.

And children aren't forgotten - two new sarnie boxes (chicken or cheese) should keep travelling little ones - and their parents - happy.

 What we think

Jamie Oliver has become a trusted brand, well-know to the British public for promoting healthy eating and tasty, filling food.  This makes him a great choice for Shell who are aiming to retain their existing loyal customers whilst introducing lighter options to appeal to new consumer groups, particularly women.

In-store execution in this site works well with the counter providing a focal point for food-to-go in-store and plenty of space to showcase the breadth of the new range.  We’ll be visiting smaller sites later this month to see how execution works in a more restricted area.

Overall, this collaboration demonstrates how a retailer can make a step-change in its food-to-go proposition by working with the right partner.  Read more about partnerships in food-to-go in our Food-to-go trends 2019 report.

Presentations

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Despite its heritage in large format stores, Jumbo is building an innovative convenience format that targets convenience missions, but also meets a wider range of shopper needs. Jumbo City builds synergies with La Place to elevate the bakery, coffee and smoothie offer, combining this with the retailer's traditional strength in core grocery ranges to create a store that meets multiple missions.
13/02/2019
Delhaize's Fresh Atelier format provides inspiration on how retailers can target an on the move and convenience-oriented shoppers in high footfall, urban locations. See in-store to understand how the retailer has balanced a wide range of food-to-go options, but looked to maintain efficiency and profitability.
12/02/2019
Find out the five trends shaping convenience retailing across the world, this year and beyond, and see how innovative retailers are responding.
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See how Applegreen has evolved forecourts into convenience stores with mini food halls.
View all presentations

Find out the five trends shaping convenience retailing across the world, this year and beyond, and see how innovative retailers are responding.

We consider five themes shaping development and how the format could innovate in the future.

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