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Retail Safari in Düsseldorf

This year´s trip to Düsseldorf for inspiration showed possibilities how stores can become a pleasant part of customer´s leisure time.

As a part of our visit at the Trade Fair Euroshop in Düsseldorf we could not miss our traditional trip for inspiration to local stores. We started the Retail Safari with the perspective set forth at the very beginning by the words of Frank Rohme from German POPAI: “Retail will be more and more about the active interaction of people with people, about people activating people to buy something at a store. Only the question “May I help you?” would not be enough, but there will be necessary to recognize and understand needs of customers and offer them solutions. A store won´t only offer goods any more, but it will become a part of meaningfully spent leisure time of customers and a place of expert consultations and experiences with products and brands.” The presage of the future is already represented by convenience stores that offer also restaurants or bistros, where customers could eat something from a local assortment or have a rest and coffee.

We began this year´s Retail Safari in a supermarket of the Rewe brand, which reflects results of the previously carried out neuro researches with its form. These are demonstrated, for example, by an installed floor with a design and imitation of cobblestone surface, which gives customers the impression of moving in the market place, chosen colors or temperature optimized for shopping to 21,3 °C. On the contrary, there was missing a categorial navigation, which was due to smaller size of the store and also simple scope of assortment, in which customers orient quickly and intuitively. The absence of navigation, in this case, is also supported by browsing and impulsive cross-selling of unplanned items.

Directly at the entrance, customers are lured by attractively arranged fresh food, ready-to-eat islands including fresh juices followed by fruit and vegetable assortment. To complement the arrangements, there are also used home-looking bowls with fresh vegetables reminding customers of the moment of consumption and creating pleasant feelings. So that hungry shoppers buy more and, at the same time, they satisfy their twinge of conscience at the very beginning of shopping, thus unblocking the interest of less healthy assortment. In Rewe, they pay a lot of attention also to wine assortment. Many Czech wine shops could envy the atmosphere, presentation and range of assortment of this supermarket. Also digital price tags have their place in the supermarket enabling a prompt update according to the market situation and own on-line shop. But discounts and action banners are sporadic here. Cooperation with the company TCC, which offers non-food products of well-known brands within small shop-in-shops in the store, is also an interesting tool for attracting customers. Customers can buy these products for discounted prices via a loyalty program.

From Rewe, we went to Frankonia, a store with hunting goods, including weapons, thus a concept not yet known in Czech shopping centers. Customers can touch most of the products, surprisingly also real weapons, and thanks to locking steel wires, they could also try them without any assistance of any shop assistant. Even here, it is true that if a customer touches a product, the likelihood of a purchase increases (in FMCG, there holds that a gripped product is being purchased in 50 – 60 % of cases). Our visit number three was in a Manufactum store, which is a part of the iconic “catalogue” mail order company Otto. With its original mix and exposition of assortment, we could classify it somewhere among Ikea, stationery shop, gift shop, junk shop, dressing-room and modern delicatessen with a possibility to sit down for a while. But everything was of high quality, premium and focused on products of 70th and 80th retro style, including iconic bicycle seats or bakelite rotary switches. The store also included an offer “entire story of cooking” or “everything relating cooking” as cookware and cooking equipment or food for bistro.

The store uses fashionably fully open shop windows where customers can be seen going through assortment or refreshing themselves with local delicacies. The view of them helps to make an impression of a stylish community center that lures curious people to step in. In the store itself, with an indescribable charisma, a customer easily gets addicted to its charm and starts discovering and shopping adventure. If something is out of stock in Manufact, it can be ordered and picked up later or get delivered home. Omnichannel is a matter of course. The success of this young retail brand is also evidenced by the fact that it already has 20 stores in Germany.

Then we visited a family store Barbara Frères, which focuses on high-end clothing and footwear for children from luxury brand as Gucci, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Hermès, etc. In addition to the overall design of the store, we were impressed by the phenomenon “curated shopping“ or “shopping with an advisory voice”, which in this case materialized into “Lisa”, the online system with own app allowing customers of the e-shop to purchase via a live video session. “Lisa” works as follows: First, a customer orders for a purchase with on-line consultation with a shop assistant via a web site (just three hours in advance minimum) and at the same time, he/she can enter general information about his/her ideas, style, favorite brands and products he/she could be interested in, so the shop assistant can prepare for it. In the agreed term there is a shop assistant ready for him/her to demonstrate models via “Lisa”, to give advice about combinations and to extend a classical e-shop with an active personal interaction, advice and inspiration. If such a shop assistant is skillful, he/she can broaden horizons of customer´s needs, actively offer items he/she could not imagine himself/herself and help him/her with the often difficult decision-making process. Thanks to that, a brand gets to know its customer better and so it is able to be better partner at the moment and for future communication and shopping. “Lisa” itself, patented by the company, became another axis of its businesses. Today, Barbara Frères rents “Lisa” to other stores and prepares its serial production and wholesale sales.

Our fifth visit was a renowned local store Dornroschen offering flowers and stylish furniture on which the flowers are displayed. In its interior, it works with a spatial composition based on a giant stairs displaying goods in levels and beautifully visible from the outside. Thus there are displayed more products without affecting aesthetics or clear arrangement.
Subsequently we visited Denns – an organic grocery, a supermarket with healthy food, bio and organic food, where you can buy everything from fresh bread, through fruit and vegetables, to cosmetics, bear and wine. It reminds established independent stores with healthy food in our country with its fragrance and style, however, even in a small space, there was not underestimated a navigation helping customers to orient and at the same time it reminds them what might be also useful for them. And personalization got also into this store. Everyone, after a registration of his/her card, can print out a customized offer based on a number of collected points from previous purchases in the stone store or e-shop. We must also say that almost every incoming customer used this option.

During our Retail Safari, we were impressed also with the approach to positioning and communication of discounted goods in Kaufhof Gallery. In the fashion department, there was used a sign with information of discounted goods locations. All discounts were concentrated in a specially designated part of a floor. In C&A, we saw how even cheap brands can present themselves in a premium way with the perfect visual merchandising. Modern shopping centers in Düsseldorf are designed as airy places for relaxation. When shopping, customers can relax on a comfortable sofa, join free Wi-Fi, deal with their business matters or play with children. We believe that our insights will inspire you and so that we will contribute to our better points-of-sales.

Your DAGO team


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