Re-thinking stores for success
Schweitzer is developing novel & effective solutions to help a range of clients to deal with their particular challenges and those of the wider industry. So, what are these key challenges, and how is Schweitzer solving for them?
Schweitzer supports retailers to become more successful through the conceptualisation & implementation of innovative store concepts. “Combining proven technology with innovative, tailor-made design – that works brilliantly with Schwietzer,” says a delighted Volker Wiem, co-owner of Edeka Niemerszein in Hamburg. For us, satisfied customers are not only proof of successful endeavour, but is also an incentive for continual improvement. Our clients, who range from small local retailers and large international retail groups, see us more as a partner & problem solver, applying expertise to re-think the customer experience around their short & long-term challenges, particularly in the fresh food departments.
Concept 1: Re-imagined fresh food departments
Ongoing experience with clients from across the world provides us with the insight to identify the efficiency of turnover-driving fresh food departments. Our mission is to improve their performance by developing customized store concepts & solutions. Fresh departments are staff intensive areas & currently suffering from acute shortages of skilled workers. For many end consumers, the quality of the fresh food area is of central importance in their choice of retailer. Among other things, they expect comprehensive product knowledge and a high level of transparency in terms of product origin. In parallel, consumer habits are changing due to increased time pressure & changing consumption habits - resulting in them seeking out more convenient products & solutions
Retailers must therefore ensure that they meet the new customer demands and at the same time offer a shopping experience with which they can earn money. Retailers can meet these industry challenges with new ideas. Interstore, Schweitzer's sister company and retail design agency, continuously develop innovations & strategies to conceptualize and design successful fresh food departments.
Thanks to countertop manufacturing in its own production facilities throughout Europe, we can offer customized as well as standard solutions for clients. For example, we have been developing plug-in fresh food counters that can convert from service to self-service quickly and easily. This flexibility in the furniture means that the department can continue to operate without staff during quieter periods, saving working time and costs.
We have also been working with retailers to re-imagine entire fresh food areas in the form of experiential self-service departments, where counters fill the informational gaps that can be created by a reduced workforce by providing important product & category information. Through deliberate storytelling and a targeted presentation of goods, self-service departments can convey the same market ambience and expertise as staffed departments, with greater levels of customer convenience.
Concept 2: Quick wins - maximum impact with minimal investment
Retailers worldwide face similar challenges: how to transform stores quickly with a new identity and customer experience while working to small or restrictive budgets. At Schweitzer, we have supported several retailers through partial remodelling, allowing them to launch updated stores or parts of their stores to give a fresh look & improve sales performance. For retailers with one store, or a whole estate that requires fast & effective remodelling, Interstore develop strategies to support a more holistic customer-centric approach, with aspects such as store layout, graphics and visual merchandising taken into account, developing creative solutions that are not just more beautiful, but also commercially more successful.
Concept 3: Adaptable through maximum flexibility
In times of rapidly changing customer needs, retailers must be able to adapt their sales areas quickly. This is usually associated with high costs and considerable time. Our Flexstore® concept enables retailers of all sizes to respond quickly and easily to changing situations. Whether for a single department, an independent boutique or an international retail group - the best and most flexible solution is developed in close consultation with our clients. Individual areas or entire stores can be transformed to achieve maximum flexibility through modular furnishing and layout solutions, resulting in significant cost savings in the long term.