We complete our review of the trends from the Central and Eastern Europe: outlook for 2018 presentation with the third and final trend; Retailers trialing digital solutions.
Retailers test in-store retail innovations and invest in online
Retailers across the CEE are investing in digital retail solutions and develop presence in the online channel or optimise in-store operations.
Lidl opened an IT hub in Romania in March 2018, another office to coordinate international online tests and support development of websites and apps. Currently, Lidl in CEE operates online only in the Czech Republic selling non-grocery products. The discounter is testing e-commerce in Poland with www.winnicalidla.pl, a site that sells alcoholic drinks with a Click and Collect service.
Auchan is investing in digitalising its operations and stores in CEE as part of its Vision 2025 strategy. Auchan Romania rolled out its Click and Collect service across all Bucharest stores in July 2018. It also launched an online service in the food service sector, www.lamasa.auchan.ro, earlier in the year. On this site shoppers can order fresh cooked food, and have it delivered home or in the office. Carrefour rolled out in Romania a similar concept along with an app, www.gurmandio.ro.
Source: Auchan Romania, Carrefour Romania
Zabka Poland presented its vision for a 'store of the future' concept in September 2018 which was developed in partnership with over 10 companies that includes Microsoft. It contains solutions that streamline the shopping process and optimise in-store operations, such as a system that helps to adjust prices and assortment in each store to local shoppers. It also uses digital signage and intelligent shelves to inform staff of out-of-date products.
Mega Image Romania follows a similar trend as Zabka with a ‘smart’ store. It developed the concept in partnership with Vodafone Romania, which installed nine retail innovations in-store. These include ‘smart sensors’ to track shoppers’ in-store movement and observe their most used shop paths. Other innovations automate on-shelf stock monitoring, display personalised promotions on digital signage, and reducing payment process with a queue management system.
X5 is installing retail solutions in Perekrestok to optimise in-store operations. These include automation of replenishment, ‘smart’ planogramming, and intelligent labelling to track food storage conditions.
Magnit is investing in the ‘digital transformation’ of its business. One such investment is the roll out of a repair request system. Staff will be able to log faulty equipment using mobile phones by scanning barcodes, which help specify the unit and issue. This system is designed to allow for a quick turnaround in repairs, while allowing staff to focus on customer services.
Source: Magnit Russia
Trends in 2019
Discounters will continue to be more flexible in terms of store size to open stores in residential areas and city centres. All retailers will continue to enhance their food-to-go and food-for-now offers to create shopping destinations. They will look to widen their organic assortment and local ranges to improve shopper perception of the quality on offer and increase choice in healthy eating ranges. In 2019 more retailers will pilot in-store digital retail solutions to drive engagement.
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