In an unparalleled, and probably never to be repeated, outbreak of efficiency, this week’s Store of the Week blog has been written in less than 24 hours since I was actually in the store. And what a store it was. Edeka, the German retail alliance largely comprised of independent shopkeepers serviced by regional wholesale operations, is steadily assembling a reputation for having some of the best supermarkets around and this recently relocated store in Ratingen, up the road from Dusseldorf, absolutely burnishes this reputation further.
Part located in an historic industrial building and partly in a modern annex, Edeka Kels (the Kels family have been in food retail for over 150 years and operate two stores) opened this new iteration of its Ratingen store in June this year.
Trading from around 2,500 square metres, the store has a breath-taking fresh offer, enhanced by around 40 metres of service counters and a great food-for-now offer including an instore restaurant.
Produce is outstanding, featuring a great local and regional proposition and really benefitting from details like a veg mister and some rather lovely buckets of herbs used as decoration.
As with the rest of the store, the fixtures and lighting are tremendous, really bringing the products to life. There are plenty of nods to the Kels family’s long-term commitment to food retail– the store is lined with historic photos and signage explains the philosophy of the business.
The service counters, including an awesome bakery, a greengrocers, meat, fish, sausage, deli and cheese, are fantastic. The meat section is a real highlight, with beef aging cabinets and digital signage complementing a phenomenal range of product and array of services.
The rest of the grocery range was exemplary. Edeka’s PL range has improved exponentially in recent years and was well deployed throughout all categories. Fixtures were top-notch, great use being made of curved shelving and low shelf heights, which really enhanced sightlines and navigability. ESLs were used everywhere except the service counters, providing clarity and efficiency alike and once again causing me to wonder if they will ever gain traction in the UK.
The health and beauty department was an unexpected highlight, with well-lit fixtures augmented by a dropped ceiling, while the wine section was superb: exposed brickwork from the original building showing off the extensive range to great effect.
This store is a fine example of how independent retailers can thrive as part of a larger group, combining entrepreneurship and local expertise with the benefits of national scale and support.
Bryan Roberts, Global Insight Director