Following the release of our league table showing the top 50 grocery retailers in Europe, here are five European store visits you may have missed, but need to check out.
Casino Group is trailblazing in terms of technological innovations, with a number of initiatives launched in the past year. We visited Casino Belles-Feuilles, in Paris, to see how the retailer's 'lab store' is getting on regarding its newest innovation: self-scanning with a smartphone.
The objective is to make shopping easier for customers and investigate how smartphones can help at every step, with technology supporting the shopping experience.
Convenience stores account for the majority of Carrefour's network in Italy. The developments we saw in Milan make these stores good examples of the neighbourhood convenience format. In-store communication and increased services available on site, such as dry cleaning and the personalised discount vouchers, show Carrefour's attempts to attract and retain customer loyalty, and make strides in the convenience channel.
This remarkable, high quality supermarket concept, developed by co-operative Edeka's independent retailer Uwe Osterhoff, attempts to recreate 'paradise'. The key feature is the unique, oval-shaped building, providing an extra point of difference in the Rewe-dominated catchment area. The store offers a warm and spacious atmosphere, underpinned by a café bistro, special lighting, warm colours and superb product presentation. This quirky and inviting atmosphere is a genuine differentiator. Fresh produce and fresh service counters are standout categories, while merchandising, signage and lighting all contribute to the proposition.
The store displays great examples of Tesco's continuing desire to open hypermarkets in high priority locations. It also showcases some fantastic new initiatives that are targeted at increasing category appeal, more of which we expect to see introduced in 2013. The new Food to Go concept shows a stronger focus on solution-based initiatives in its larger stores; these will create new growth opportunities and hopefully drive improving sales.
This is a good example of how Carrefour is evolving the approach it takes with its largest stores. The pricing message is clearly and consistently made, through a wide range of promotions that enabled shoppers to save money. And, as many French retailers are focusing on fresh and local ranges, Carrefour is obviously intent on communicating its differences and local ranges with significant noise.