Bouwplein, new construction market for professionals

Bouwplein (construction square in English) is a new inspiring community where professionals in construction with a different background gather. Under 1 roof Giebels, Stiho, KEUR afbouwcentrum and Baars & Bloemhoff offer a big assortment in tools, iron products, wood and construction materials and decorative materials and further construction material. All focused on the construction professional. The enormous assortment and the large opening hours offer convenience to the clients.

The new
Bouwplein-formula is a source of inspiration for these professionals and his clients by offering a showroom with all the latest trends and development of the construction sector. Furthermore Bouwplein is a knowledge center where every question is being answered. Bouwplein also offers a range of various facilities and services, demonstrations, breakfast and lunches a the square, amusement or offering meeting areas. The Bouwplein is the center for the construction, to meet, to be inspired, to search materials, to pick these materials up and to get it delivered.

The new
Bouwplein formula, the first one is located in Amsterdam and developed by Jos de Vries The Retail Company. Jos de Vries The Retail Company is experienced in the development of new do-it-yourselfmarket concepts and has also realized the new market for construction professionals in Spain, with the new Procalsa formula.

Below you can find some of the pictures of the new formula. Please feel free to
contact us for further information.

Development of new furniture store in The Netherlands

With a total of 27 stores the Dutch furniture chain Montel is one of the biggest groups belonging to “De Mandemakers Groep”. Montel is being considered as the specialist in sofas of The Netherlands. The designing and manufacturing is done by Montel itself. Montel decided to renovate the store-concept (after 12 years). Jos de Vries The Retail Company has been responsable for the development of the new store concept.

High quality store atmosphere, 100% own manufactured furniture and adapted design based on the Italian tendency market are the factors that belong to the filosophy of the company. After the renovation realized in a couple of months, the end of 2008 the new store was reopened.

With more (focus) light, higher ceilings and more special areas the concept is considered more surprising, interesting and distinguishing from other concepts. In the first months after the re-opening of the store an increase of 50% has been realized, reason to rebuild the other stores in the same house style. Below you can see the result of the new store concept in Utrecht.

Please visit the website for further information on the formula and our website for further information on our company.

Opening new supermarket Aquie; one of the most innovative retail concepts

Following last week´s message that Aqui é is nominates as one of worlds´ most innovative retail concepts and the news that the second store succesfully has been opened, we can now show you the results of this new supermarket in Porriño (Galicia, Spain).
Please contact the Spanish office of Jos de Vries The Retail Company in Barcelona for further information (English speaking) at

The ten golden rules of the store lay-out

Previous articles:

The ten golden rules of the Lay out
This chapter describes the ten golden rules of the store layout design. These rules will provide you with an overview of the main basic requirements for designing a customer-oriented layout.

Rule 1 - Layout = Positioning
A layout is an important positioning tool. You can use the layout to convey to your customers whether your store is a discounter or a chic design boutique. The manner in which you guide your customers in the commercial market is decisive as regards the position you wish to adopt in the overall market.
Customers associate an obligatory guided tour through the store with a discount formula. Therefore this gives you the opportunity to determine how your customers will perceive your store. The very opposite of this formula is an open layout presentation that gives the customer a great deal of freedom of movement. He or she can go anywhere. Customers usually associate this layout presentation type with a rather more upmarket shop. You should also take a clear position in comparison to your competitors and position yourself in the market in a distinctive way. Your layout will not only contribute to clear positioning, but can also serve to emphasise distinction.

Rule 2 - The first impression
The following should be kept in mind as it follows naturally from the idea of the layout as a positioning tool: ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’. It is important to give careful consideration to the store's entrance, because it will influence the customer's image of the store. A large entrance evokes in the customer the notion of an upmarket shopping experience. You will achieve the opposite if you create a small and narrow store entrance, which the customer will associate with a discounter.

Rule 3 - A familiar route
When designing a layout, it is of crucial importance to take into account, at an early stage, the way in which customers will be led through the store. A ‘slightly compulsory tour’ is recommended. You should give the customer the feeling that the route he has taken in the store was his own decision. On the other hand, from a commercial point of view, it is absolutely necessary to lead the customer along all the important departments of the store. Not just for the sake of turnover, but also for the sake of customer satisfaction. There is no greater source of annoyance for a customer than not being able to find the product he or she needs.
In the rest of the chapter we further explain the rest of the golden rules of store lay-out and the importance of a good store lay-out. If you want to read the rest of this chapter for free, please send an e-mail to Maurice van der Kooij and mention which chapter you would like to read.
This chapter is part of the book "the store manual" of
Jos de Vries The Retail CompanyThe Store Manual (2005) Jos de Vries The Retail Company has been working his way through the marvels of the Retail world since twenty years. Since the Retail branch on its way to professionalism is developing and also scholarly interest was growing, there still wasn’t a manual.Jos de Vries The Retail Company has made a definite change in bringing out “The Store Manual” a must for every store. You can order this manual for € 35,00 (excl. Postage and Package)

Aquíe (Grupo Cuevas) nominated for the World Retail Awards 2009

The candidates for the World Retail Awards (part of the World Retail Congress in Barcelona) have been announced. In the category Retail Innovation the Spanish formula Aquié of the Grupo Cuevas is one of the candidates.

The Spanish formula Aquié has been developed by Jos de Vries The Retail Company and is based on a new, modern design, the use of new technologies and a well-balanced assortment of healthy groceries. Everything seen based on Green Retailing. This central point in the company of Jos de Vries The Retail Company has been adapted in this concept by only supplying bio-recycable bags and furniture and lightning (in combination with Microlight and Smeva) selected on the environmental advantages because of the low consumption of energy.

Next to these innovative aspects of Green Retailing the clients can choose from a selected assortment of daily varying fresh and healthy menus (to prepare or prepacked). These products are tested and prepared by the university of Vigo to create an ecological and healthy product assortment.

This fifth generation supermarket is next to the success of being nominated for the World Retail Awards very succesfull with this new innovative concept. They are that succesfull that they opened their 2nd store already (in A Porriño, Galicia). The first supermarket can welcome over 1.250 visitors on a daily base and the turn-over is over 29% higher than the other stores of the Grupo Cuevas.

World Retail Awards will be announced during the World Retail Congress which will be held the 7th of May in Barcelon. For further information on the World Retail Awards and the World Retail Congress you can take a look here. For more information on the Spanish office of Jos de Vries The Retail Company in Barcelona please take a look here.

Food Study trip June 2009 The Netherlands

Jos de Vries The Retail Company organizes in June a study trip to the Netherlands for Food professionals. In this study trip you are able to see the latest trends and development in the Dutch food landscape, with a high focus on the latest developments in the discount stores.
Tuesday 02-06-2009
Arrival at the airport, hotel in Amsterdam, canal tour in Amsterdam and dinner in De Waag.
Wednesday 03-06-2009
Office Jos de Vries The Retail Company in Maarssen:
Christiaan Rikkers: "European Food Trends"
Jasmijn Prinssen: "Food discount developments"
Lunch in Maarssen
Store visits:
Breukelen - Albert Heijn - Newest Albert Heijn concept
Rotterdam - Hoogvliet - Discounter
The Hague - Coop Codis - Modern Distribution Center of Coop Codis
Return in Amsterdam
Thursday 04-06-2009
Store visits:
Hoofddorp - SuperCoop - Newest new value concept
Eindhoven - C1000 - Biggelaar, Smeva, LED
Veldhoven - Jumbo - New value food retail, discount
LaPlace - Lunch
Echt - Nettorama - Discount concept
Friday 05-06-2009
Free day
Saturday 06-06-2009
Return from Schiphol Airport

Master class Homebase: focus on decoration and furniture.

Master class Homebase: focus on decoration and furniture.
The British Retail world is one step ahead of the developments of European shops. Everything goes ahead, so the crisis came here first. In this article we will analyze the trading concept of the Homebase chain. According to experts Jos de Vries The Retail Company, there is a lot to learn from this chain.
About Homebase:
Homebase chain is owned by Home Retail Group. The Group is a leader in the UK trading in goods for the home with a turnover of over £ 5.9 billion for the last fiscal year. At the end of 2008 the chain had 331 stores, including 12 stores sequestered DIY-Focus. Currently there are some lay out changes taking place, adding of square meters – half floor. The chain grows steadily by opening up to 15 new stores a year.
Homebase - a network number 2 on the British market with a specialization on home decoration and garden center. It is a tradition that Homebase dictates style of houses and apartments. Therefore, a decorative assortment placed in the center of a trading hall.
Articles’ for home decor are specially highlighted. Merchandisers are trying to introduce products in a manner that it will inspire the buyers. Therefore, the chain does not spare square meters and provide 5 shelf meters for maximum of 25 home decoration items. But selling a lot more than in situation when the product was put in usual form -1 face per product.
Corporative colors of Homebase – orange and light green - are present only in the navigation and presentation of promo areas. The whole trade area is light and bright due to the quality of lighting, light walls and structural elements, racks of milk and a light gray color.
Laconic but effective navigation - ends of gondolas with signing “Great Price” on it draws attention. The chain constantly reminding about the discounts and offers. So on top of the shelves Homebase recalls their programs and benefits - «Enjoy. Up to 10% return on all items in the shop ». Shop is talking to the buyer, and it does not always require salespeople. Good visual design and communication is enough.
The chain is trying to show the products at there best. Flowers on low gondolas in large amounts, and a great cross-merchandising with pots - this is an attractive garden design department.
According to the statistics of the Western chains, paint department bring up to 40% of turnover. In many countries, the owners regularly paint the houses inside and outside. Homebase pays great attention to this department. High quality merchandising- sample jars of paint at the bottom, more expensive paint –at the top - accompanied by samples of paint, POS and booklets. A special place set aside for more expensive, but demanded eco-paints.
Building assortment is designed more modestly in Homebase. But here there are interesting solutions as well. In our opinion, presentation of mixers is excellent. Their visible, you can try them, and banners on the top of the rack create desired atmosphere and dividing into mixers for bathroom and kitchen.

Simply, but very clearly made a presentation of handles and hangers. Each type is stored in a separate box, and a product itself is demonstrated on its front panel. Storage, and demonstration, all in strict order.
The presentation of the tools is perhaps not the perfect one. Closed with metal grille, locked away stock – in this way the chain wants to maintain order and protect against possible theft. However, this does not motivate a buyer to purchase it. In general, assortment of more than 30,000 items of building, decorating and garden assortment is well-presented and interesting. Homebase serves over 70 million customers a year. Continuously informing and attracting by magazine Ideas, produced in 500 000 copies. Of course, the chain is attractive not only due to its design but also due to many marketing campaigns. For example now, in times of crisis, there a lot of sales - garden furniture, tools for half price, when buying two cans of paint of a certain brand the third – free of charge, etc. The chain makes a great stake in the service. In many departments, just push on the button - and «help will come within 2 minutes». Like many chains Homebase marks decrease of 16% operating profit because of the crisis. Last spring the bad weather influenced the sale of garden furniture, barbecue, and flowers. However, sales of kitchens and general products for home decoration is on the good level. As anti-crisis measure, the chain uses Furniture Card program. Many landlords had enough money for the property itself, but it was not enough the furniture. The chain encourages owners and developers. For this the program has been developed, to allow owners to buy at Homebase pre-selected furniture, in terms of the program Furniture Card. The chain allocates the buyer and gives cash to buy. The chain is confident that it will help to equip any room with in the budget. This is another key advantage of Homebase today.
Especially for Irina Bolotova, Nico de Jong, design bureau Jos de Vries The Retail Company
Photos: Nico de Jong
Further information can be found at or contact for further information.

The store lay-out

Previous articles:
Developing the store formula: The right combination of creativity and process based development
- The Discovery Phase: Discovery: Evolution or revolution? That is the question
- Translate trends into a successful strategy for the new store formula
- The new store formula: The concept phase, the actual design phase

The store lay-out
The importance of good layout Why is good layout so important? Is it not sufficient to offer a well-adjusted product range at a good price in the right place? Surveys have shown that one of the most important criteria for customer satisfaction is the ease with which the customer finds his way in the store. Besides, the customer expects to be led along the main departments of the store. Therefore a good layout is a matter of customer satisfaction.

Of course, there are also commercial factors that argue in favour of the importance of a good layout. A good layout provides you with the opportunity of influencing store turnover. The appropriate shelf layout, the arrangement of the product range or a well-thought out spot for special offers all have a direct effect on turnover. So a good layout may very well create a boom in a store's turnover!
Finally, of course, the layout also has an organisational component. Each store has its own best solution for logistics problems. This applies especially to stores with a fast turnover of goods, stores that sell products that are difficult to market or products that take up a large amount of space etc. Defining specific conditions is an absolute necessity for the sale of goods that require a certain (sales) ambiance. And, finally, it is important to keep both customers and sales employees satisfied.

In the rest of the chapter we further explain the purposes and the importance of a good store lay-out.
If you want to read the rest of this chapter for free, please send an e-mail to
Maurice van der Kooij and mention which chapter you would like to read.
This chapter is part of the book "the store manual" of Jos de Vries The Retail CompanyThe Store Manual (2005) Jos de Vries The Retail Company has been working his way through the marvels of the Retail world since twenty years. Since the Retail branch on its way to professionalism is developing and also scholarly interest was growing, there still wasn’t a manual.Jos de Vries The Retail Company has made a definite change in bringing out “The Store Manual” a must for every store. You can order this manual for € 35,00 (excl. Postage and Package)
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