What role does increasing digitization in retail play in your company?
Digitization plays a very important role in our company. We are keen to ensure that our stores meet today's standards in every respect, starting with modern and efficient store construction. All our locations are equipped with fully digital displays and price displays, as well as the latest scales and checkout systems. Our customers will soon receive handheld scanners so that they can scan products via the EDEKA app, if desired, and pay quickly and easily at the checkout.
Equally important to us is our online presence, our website, which is continuously updated, as well as promotions and a positive social media presence. Our customers get all this and appreciate our efforts.
With the long-term goal in mind of making administration completely paperless, we switched to a new merchandise management system in 2023, which was driven by EDEKA. However, we are also active on our own and have developed our own small merchandise management system for our production to enable the purchase of goods from our stores via a web store and to simplify processes.
Personally, I am responsible internally for store design and an appealing product presentation. For me, it is fundamental to find a balance between our corporate DNA and the demand for digital tools in our stores. For example, we use comparatively few monitors in our areas. A personal approach is very important to our customers, which is why we achieve more with handwritten boards, for example, than with flat screens.
The Edeka Schenke supermarket in Gütersloh is now the third project that you have converted or redesigned with Schweitzer.
What do you appreciate about this collaboration?
We received enormously positive feedback from customers and employees after the remodeling of the flagship store in Gütersloh. Among other things, the entire refrigeration system had to be renewed - our specialist saleswoman in the mopro department said after completion how happy she was about the new department. Of course, this also helps to motivate the employees and spurs them on to do their best.
The cooperation with Schweitzer's store fitters is totally harmonious. I always look forward to the appointments with my contacts, we meet as equals and I like that. As I am mainly responsible internally for planning the store construction and the product ranges, the Schweitzer experts with their many years of expertise are the perfect partners. It's important to work with someone who leaves room for the merchant's ideas, who understands his language and knows how to implement what he wants in the appropriate style. This works very well with both Schweitzer and the designers at Interstore. Our ideas as a trading company and Schweitzer's ideas and visions merge and thus lead to more than satisfactory results: in short, it simply fits.
Were you able to record an increase in sales after the conversions?
The E-Center Rheda-Wiedenbrück was a new building at a new location with strong competition in the same zone. Despite the difficult conditions, we have achieved our sales targets to date.
Generally speaking, it takes longer these days to recoup the investment of a refurbishment or conversion, but this is not due to the market, but to the overall competition. You have to be incredibly good to achieve the sales you want. To this end, we rely on sophisticated store design, among other things.
In the just renovated flagship store in Gütersloh, we achieved very good sales even before the renovation. We are 100% convinced that this store will also achieve its sales targets. Already one month after the opening we can see a positive development.