Development of a new store concept for a animal store chain

Jos de Vries The Retail Company developed a brand new store concept for a pet shop specialist, the company Welke based in Germany. In this article we explain the background, objectives and results of this new store concept.
The company Welke is already for over 100 years specialized in the world of animals, they are located in five different German cities; Dortmund, Bochum, Köln, Duisburg and Lünen. All these locations are big size areas (between 1.500 and 3.500m2) where the animals have a central place. The personell is well qualified and are crazy about animals. The animals are housed in quality areas and where possible a whole experience world for the animals has been created.

The product groups from a pet store consists of water animals, rodents, birds, reptiles and the cat and dog area. Both last groups face strong competition from supermarkets and other selling points selling animal food. To position the company as animal specialist, not only massproducts and technical products is being sold but also a broad and deep assortment of premium animal food products.

The company Welke is franchisee of the Sagaflor Verbundes Zoo&Co company. Central themes in the company philosophy is the welfare of the animal.

Welke asked Jos de Vries The Retail Company to develop a new store concept for the store in Duisburg. Jos de Vries The Retail Company is a well-known organisation in the retail business. Jos de Vries The Retail Company is one European´s leading company in analyzing, designing and realizing shop concepts.

Background of the new concept
Germany is in Europe one of the most competitive markets in animals. Fressnapf is with more than 700 stores marketleader in Germany and the rest of Europe. Untill 2 years ago the Zoo&Co company differentiated itself on this competing market by the central animal care and the wide range of products. With the entrance of Fressnapf XXL and further profesionalization by for example Futterhaus the difference between concepts more and more disappeared.

The company Welke developed in 2007 together with Zoo&Co a new specialized pet store in Frankfurt. This store was elected “most innovative pet store of Germany” at the Petstorecongress.

Next to the development of the new store concept Jos de Vries The Retail Company also developed the new concept of Zoo&Co Systems. They are differentiated by the size (between 800 and 1.000m2) and the identity of the concept.

The objective of the project
A concept like Zoo&Co has the possibilities to combine price and quality and therefor wants to show that. The store design as well as the communication has to share this with the clients.

The new concept of Zoo&Co Welke in Duisburg
The 22th of January 2009 the new market from Zoo&Co Welke in Duisburg was reopened. The first month the store saw an increase in customers (+20%) and turn-over per client (+5,5%).

5 key points on the new Zoo&Co Welke concept

Zoo&Co Welke identity starting points of the project:
- Animal life and animal welfare are the central key aspects of the Zoo&Co identity.
- The presentation of products needs to be maximized, This means for the concept that special offers and normal pricing has to be communicated
- Welke is dynamic and is a pleasant concept for the clients. The store offers a wide range of products and has a high service level. The atmosphere is pleasant and inspires the clients.

Jos de Vries The Retail Company and the change of the Welke ID
The adaptation of these values cannot only translated by a logo, but also in 3-dimensionality. Different from a traditional interior-designer Jos de Vries The Retail Company tells a story, the products, pricing, emotion let the formula speak from a retail-orientated-view. A normal shop-fit company looks more from an architectural point-of-view instead of the retail orientated view of Jos de Vries The Retail Company. (The store has to maximize the sales opportunities). The following fases have been realized to develop this new store concept.

Fase 1: Development of the store lay-out
Mass on the rear side (mainly food) showing the competitive position in the market
Modest presentation, to present the added value of Zoo&Co
Animal housing as natural as possible

Fase 2: Routing
Dog and cat section in the main route starting directly from the entrance
Rodents is the center of the lay-out, showing the experience world of the animals
Impulse and Zoo&Co brand products placed at the exit, to offer clients extra service and seduce clients to do additional purchasing
The main route of the dog and cat section leads to the specialized areas
Focus images help the clients with the navegation throughout their objective area. The focus images contain images of the animals.

Fase 3: Store design
3.1 Focus point
Every department has a clear recognizable focus point presented with the typical Welke-brand

3.2 Gondola shelves
Big gondola shelves at the back at food, rodents and water animals. Small at the smaller shelves with for example accesories

3.3 Shelves
Transparent with good communication pricing. The shelve plan needs to be optimized to maximize the number of products shown.

3.4 Premium
Premium does not have a specific way of presentation

3.5 Focus in shelving and added value
Generally there are 2 options to communicate animal life and animal welfare.
- One technical, well-designed central module let the clients communicate and provides information on maintenance and animal welfare
- Second there is the option to communicate in a vertical position the added value. This last option can also be adapted to communicate market information.

Fase 4: Animal housing
Based on the principle “retailing is story telling”, the material of the animal housing has been selected. The store will communicate with the clients. Based on this the material has been selected. How can you achieve:

- combining the products with the animal housing. (cross merchandising)
- show the clients that it consists of more than just the animal
- explaining the animals and how to best maintain the animals
- adding accesories, make it lively to offer solutions

Fase 5: Communication

Attract the customers to enter the store and help the consumers by signing to easy the shopping.
- Fachade
- Entrance
- Look&Feel
- Focus
- Departments
- Gondola of shelves
- Shelves
- Exit

We created for the Welke concept a different way of communication. The communication not only focuses on the animal but also tries to transfer the emotion and experience. The communciation is placed in image focus, head of shelves and in the for Welke developed brand section.

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