Bryan Roberts, Global Insight Director

Part of the Eroski empire, Caprabo has often impressed me when I’ve visited its stores in Spain. Its outlets are on the smaller side and have always done a solid job in terms of city centre retailing.

Late last year, I had the chance to see one of Caprabo’s newer supermarket iterations in Barcelona. On the ground floor of a recently opened shopping centre, the unexpectedly spacious store was awash with nice little touches and innovations that seek to improve the shopping experience and enhance the efficacy of the retailer’s loyalty endeavours.

Digital kiosks are by the entrance, giving loyalty cardholders the chance to access bespoke promotions and coupons before moving into the main store. Inside, the fresh section is very well done indeed. Produce is housed on a swathe of diagonally positioned island fixtures—a pleasing departure from the usual configuration of perpendicular aisles.

The service counters work brilliantly. Arranged in a central island, those devoted to cheese and charcuterie are a particular treat and include some deft cross-merchandising with secondary wine displays. The main wine displays are also superb, with plenty of chilled capacity and fixtures devoted to premium lines. This is a theme that plays out across the rest of the range, with bays devoted to ‘La Nostra Seleccio’—from premium brands to private label.

The rear of the store is home to the Chef Caprabo space, a location that functions both as a restaurant and a cookery school. The cookery school hosts events for adults and children, a nod to the growing demands for more experiential retailing. Alongside sits a Mediterranean hot food counter for both instore consumption and take-home meals.

The health, beauty and baby area was excellent, not least because of a dedicated seating and activity area for younger children to use. Yet another acknowledgement that keeping kids happy keeps parents happy and keeps them coming back. The sort of loyalty created by these instore features makes transactional considerations like price less relevant—important in a market dominated by the likes of Mercadona and Lidl.

While it might lack some of the visual bells and whistles offered by Carrefour, this Caprabo store is a very enjoyable place to shop.

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