Development of Dutch supermarket concept CoopCondis

The CoopCodis organization is based on an intensive cooperation between the organization and the members. CoopCodis currently consists of 180 Coop supermarkets in The Netherlands. For over 10 years CoopCodis and Jos de Vries The Retail Company work together developing multiformat stores for the three different formulas: Coop Supermarkets, SuperCoop stores and the Coop Compact neigbourhood stores. The development of the store concepts include the logo-designs, uniforms and the price communication strategy.

The best of both worlds
By the time of the creation of a new concept, the chain already had 50 stores in two formats: city stores mostly franchised COOP Compact (300-400 m2 7000 titles), supermarkets and COOP (600-1500 m2, 10 000 titles). The new situation on the market dictated an approach, based on the aggressive and competitive pricing concept, which will be valid during at least next 10 years. Dutch and German retailers have a good tradition - before they start to develop a new format, or concept, they explore, watch and analyze the experience of colleagues from other countries.

The idea of a new concept was born during a business trip of the top management of companies COOPCodis and design bureau
Jos De Vries The Retail Company to the UK. «We can sell high-quality products and offer low prices! Original lay out, communication and design will help to combine «incompatible» », - was a decision. Indeed, the idea was to define the concept for the new format of the chain supermarkets SuperCOOP (stores from 1000 m2., 24 000 titles). The concept combined two worlds - the best in quality fresh food and best price dry groceries, frozen and non-food. Pay attention to the layout: the customers enter the zone of fresh, high quality products. Here, through design, directed light, visual merchandising a market atmosphere is created.

By the entrance the customer is welcomed with the smell of fresh backed bread from bread department. In Holland, bread department is often placed at the entrance; it immediately wakes up the appetite and «helps» the hungry customer to purchase more goods. Incidentally, in the Dutch supermarkets under 1000 m2. trying not to do a full production cycle. In first place, because of the high rent for the additional meters and besides, everything delivered ready for sale, packed, or convenient for the final preparation. Therefore, bread is backed from frozen prefabricates, but the illusion of a fully fledged bakery is there.

Then the customer meets the fruit and vegetable abundance, organized with the help of standard plastic storage containers. By the way, a low cost was one of the goals of this project. Investments are 20-25% lower than by the opening of new shop in the old format (approximately 1000 euro per square meter). In the corner of «fresh» part of the store, customers will find meat and meat prefabricates. In a small 15 m2 room, two butchers prepare meat products. They take out of freezer pieces of meat cut it marinate or turn into mincemeat. For the customer this is another sign of quality and trust factor – meat is just cooked.

The idea of a fresh world design was the creation of warm atmosphere. Therefore used directed lighting, warm colors in the design and communications. Look at the posters on the walls in the department of cheese, bread, fruit - they create the impression that the shop is full of goods and the choice is big. Posters illustrate the products indicate and underline the goods itself. The second part of the supermarket - a zone of low prices - opens to the customers when they exit fresh area. Here they enjoy the atmosphere of good discounter. Design and appearance are quite different here - cold light, high racks for dry grocery and non-Food, red gondola end with a bright promotional price. All this gives the signal to the customer – it is cheap here!

This new concept SuperCOOP pleased the customers very much - on the one hand, they are buying quality products, on the other – leaving the store with a full sense of buying cheap. Thanks to a new concept, launched in the first three SuperCOOP stores, they are now 39 of these kind of supermarkets. And all this in a small, very competitive country, with no unreached places left. The success of the concept of two worlds shows itself in figures- before the concept change the turnover from 1 m2 per week was 120 euro. Turnover attributable to fresh food, was 45%. After introducing a new concept: the turnover from 1 m2 per week is 150 euro and the turnover of fresh products is now equal to 55%.

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