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

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

Digital kiosks are at the front of the store, offering the chance for loyalty cardholders to access bespoke promotions and coupons, before one embarks into the main fresh area of the store. This is very well done indeed. Produce is housed on a swathe of diagonally positioned island fixtures – a very pleasing departure from the usual configuration of perpendicular aisles that are so common elsewhere.

The service counters are great. Arranged in a central island, counters devoted to cheese and charcuterie are a real treat and include some deft cross-merchandising such as secondary wine displays. The main wine displays are 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’ premium brands and PL items.

The rear of the store is home to the Chef Caprabo space, a location that can function both as a restaurant and a cookery school. The cookery school hosts events devoted to 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 taking home for. The product on offer looked amazing and I look forward to my next visit so that I can actually sample some.

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 in this store that keeping kids happy keeps mum and / or dad happy and keeps them coming back. The sort of loyalty created by these instore features is an emotional connection that serves to make purely 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 in the Spanish market, this Caprabo store is a very enjoyable place to shop.

Bryan Roberts, Global Insights Director

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