Development of new hypermarket concept of Mercator Slovenia

Mercator (Slovenia)
For the better understanding of the concept a short remark about the features of the retail market in Slovenia and the formula itself. The former Yugoslavian republic has always been in a special position being located closest to Italy and Austria, under the strong influence of culture and technology from Western Europe. After the turbulent 90-ies the country began to change very rapidly and absorb the European approach to building a commercial business. Today Slovenia is a country with a 2 million people population, a small, very competitive and fast growing retail market. Over the last 15 years the market didn´t show not only chains of all formats but also a good infrastructure and the European approach to business. Hypermarkets have already started to open 10 years ago and chains gained considerable experience in working with this format.

Mercator - is the leading chain in Slovenia with a 45,8% market share, and one of the most important players in the countries of former Yugoslavia. The company owns approximately 1.200 stores and works in multiple formats - hypermarket, supermarket, discount and «c-store». In addition to food products lines the chain operates in the direction of non-food, selling cosmetics, electronics, items for home decor, clothes. The chain has unique experience in the absorption of 25 retail companies and a good annual growth in sales (about 18%) and turnover of 2.06 billion euro a year.

Today the chain operates 17 hypermarkets with trade area from 5.000 to 12.000 m2. Thanks to the experience of working with food and non-food category the concept of a hypermarket is formed and is effective. Mercator has a clear strategy for business and brand development. The chain relies on the development of loyalty programs, develops new services - such as Healthy life club. For the format of hypermarket an experience in working with food as with non-food - textiles, a group of «home decoration» makes a special advantage.

Today those hypermarket chains are leading, which effectively manage the non-food part of the assortment, organize effective seasonal purchases, promo.
In 2006 Mercator rebuilt one of its hypermarkets and for the development of lay out, design and communication concept
Jos de Vries The Retail Company was responsable.

The trade area from Mercator has increased from 6000 to 8000 m2, the shop demanded a new, modern concept and lay-out, but given the already existing infrastructure. The chain wanted to make the supermarket more up to date, comfortable, increase the proportion of own label products in the volume of sales.

Additional 2000 m2 were added on the right side of the building and were scheduled for placement of non-food goods and home decoration. Area of fresh products - fruits and vegetables, breads and pastries, meat, cheese – became the center of the hypermarket. We believe such a lay out plan is effective, since these product categories are most profitable for the chain and the main focus to be made on them, giving most passable areas. High quality products - gastronomy, tasty bread, meat and fresh fish - this is what the customer looking for. For the grocery, or as they are known in Europe - must articles - water, beer, toilet paper, the customers will always reach, so they are appropriate in the back of the room.

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