REWE is one of Europe’s leading supermarket chains. Founded in Germany in 1927, the REWE Group now employs 330,000 staff in 15,000 stores across 19 European countries.
REWE are constantly striving to improve their customer experience. Equally, they want to maintain their reputation as one of the go-to retail employers in their own country and beyond.
They are always on the lookout for new ideas - practical concepts that can be used both nationally and internationally to improve shopper marketing and help employees contribute to their success.
Philipp Grofe is the REWE Group’s Head of Shopper Marketing, Strategy and Analytics:
“It’s something we’ve been doing for the last 6 years, working with internal and external partners to evaluate and develop innovative concepts. We began working with Cosaris… and could see the potential in the company’s research”
They asked us to carry out detailed research into relevant trends within the food retail industry. They wanted to benchmark themselves against retail excellence across Europe and discover new concepts which could be realised in their own stores.
Rather than a dull boardroom PowerPoint presentation, they wanted a learning experience which would kick-start a conversation. It had to excite their leadership team and spark new ideas about what’s possible in retail.
Over the course of several months, Cosaris visited some of the most innovative flagship retail outlets in Europe - the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Slovenia, The Netherlands and Belgium.
“Cosaris visited several countries and retailers, spoke to different senior managers and set up an individual online questionnaire.”
In the course of our research we interviewed over 100 industry experts from retail, manufacturing, logistics and academia. A detailed online questionnaire focused on current and future food retail challenges, and what retail success looks like now and in the future.
We wanted to discover what was important for all stakeholders - shoppers, employees and suppliers as well as top-tier retail management. We looked at the subject from multiple angles including health and wellbeing, social and environmental responsibilities, new technology and innovation - all with a view to pinpointing the keys to retail success.
Once the research was complete, we prepared a detailed seminar and presented our findings to REWE’s senior management team.
This was definitely not a boring PowerPoint presentation. Over the course of a few hours, the seminar took delegates on a virtual tour of Europe. Digitally, they visited some of the most innovative stores, experiencing exciting contemporary retail concepts as though they were there in person.
“The seminar helped open the eyes of our managers to the different concepts other stores are using. It encouraged managers to think about concepts such as social space and shoppers’ in-store needs. It allowed them to think freely about what could be done without being constrained by traditional thinking.”
By looking outside their own retail silo, REWE were able to open their minds to how other retailers overcame common challenges. We helped them see the areas where retail in general needed to improve, and the skills gaps which needed to be filled.
“It got managers to think outside the box when it comes to future possibilities in the FMCG market. It helped us take a more strategic approach, rather than concentrating on our core business in isolation. In conclusion, it has allowed us to take a much broader view on what we can do.”
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