The challenges for our customers
Understanding consumer needs and improving shop design
Modern consumers are becoming more and more mobile. The result is that they are increasingly eating on-the-go. It is therefore obvious that new providers are continually emerging in order to gain a slice of the pie.
Anybody who wants to be successful in the face of the growing competition must adopt holistic strategies and concepts. But how do you develop these? And how do you analyse the pros and cons of your own shop in the context of the tightly scheduled daily routine? Who has time to engage intensively with foot traffic, optimisation of product range or atmosphere? A reliable partner can help to surmount these comprehensive challenges.
Lekkerland passes its knowledge onto its customers, for example in the form of “360-degree fitness tests”, also known as store checks. Mainly customers in Germany and the Netherlands – here within the framework of the Lekker op Weg shop concept – currently use this service. Our experts analyse a filling station shop on the basis of facts and figures down to the last detail – from the overall impression and atmosphere, through the positioning of the product groups, to the presentation of the individual product ranges on the shelving. The environment also frequently forms part of the analysis. We then generate a concept tailored precisely to the site and to improved profitability, including concrete recommendations and new product lists. If necessary, we provide support during refurbishment and then adapt the shop optimally to the needs of consumers.
Lekkerland offers its customers tailor-made coffee and bistro concept, products and services in each country. This is because consumers of today expect to be able to purchase high-quality fresh products on-the-go. In 2015, we successfully expanded our offering in Germany. The new coffee and bistro solutions can be tailor-made to virtually all surface areas and combined with each other. Coffee and croissant in the morning, a slice of pizza in the evening – product ranges to suit the time of day are also a possibility.
On the back of the positive feedback, Lekkerland also introduced the coffee module in Austria. As in Germany, we are working together with strong national partners. Alongside coffee beans and coffee machines, the solutions also comprise accessories like mugs, marketing materials and matching furniture.
In 2015, customers in the Netherlands also made intensive use of the local Piacetto coffee concept. Sales of coffee beans increased by more than 20%. Moreover, the range of products has been complemented by A-brand Illy.
Optimally managing and marketing product ranges and achieving improved sales
Increasing the average value of a shopping basket and increasing your own sales and profit as a result – this is one of the goals of every shop operator. If this objective is to be achieved, it is important to have a well-arranged and managed product range made up of strong brands and own brands. Appropriate marketing of the products is another key factor, for example in order to initiate impulse buys. Yet how can you optimise the selection of products on offer and their placement? What measures can be deployed to increase the conversion rate? A large number of customers ask us these questions every day – and we give them assistance because the experts from Lekkerland know how to do things.
Product innovations offer major opportunities for sales to shop operators. We are continually introducing innovations and making them quickly available for our customers. Intensive advice on the products and their sales opportunities is a matter of course as far as we are concerned.
Lekkerland Germany expanded services in the area of spirits during the year 2015. We now allow shop operators to order very small amounts of premium spirits with our single-bottle delivery. This enhances their profile with consumers as a specialist for high-quality trend products.
Our new wine series is a particular eye-catcher. We are now offering an attractive wine concept in Germany designed in a contemporary style under the name of “Vineria”. Modern labelling with attractive appeal makes it easier for consumers to select products.
Our own brands are proven to promote total category turnover. Studies provide firm evidence that price-alternative products support category growth – without eating into the A-brands′ turnover. Last year, convivo, our private label competence centre, developed a new concept under the branding SO/OK. By the end of 2015, this concept has been introduced in more than 630 shops in Belgium, Austria, Spain and the Netherlands, for example in approximately 300 Dutch Lekker op Weg shops. The roll-out was preceded by a large number of pilot projects. In Belgium, G&V was the first oil major to test the concept in 22 filling stations under the management of the company owner Anja Verbeke and COO Rudy Vandenperre. Due to its huge success, the concept will be rolled out to a selection of independent stores during the course of 2016. We will also launch SO/OK in Switzerland and Germany in 2016.
Active selling and enhancing value added
The core function of shop operators is and remains providing advice and sales. And yet many of them find it difficult to concentrate on these functions. Ultimately, there are also a lot of other tasks that have to be carried out – from ordering goods, through coordination of different service providers, to the organisation of logistics. If I am a shop operator, oil company or coffee-shop chain, how can I succeed in reducing the operational processes and administrative activities so that I am able to concentrate fully on my customers? Why not co-opt a strong partner who will selectively reduce the resources that need to be put into these areas?
It might be a frappuccino, a fresh bagel or a muffin – the wishes of the customers are clearly the focus of attention in the Starbucks stores. Lekkerland Germany has put together a very special service package for Starbucks as a new customer so that restaurant staff are able to devote all their efforts to meeting the aspirations of their customers. We have integrated around 80 exclusive Starbucks products in our warehouses – deep-frozen, fresh and dry products. We collect the ambient products in Eindhoven, Netherlands. We store the fresh and deep-frozen products and pick orders in five hub warehouses, and then we distribute them from there.
We have agreed a delivery schedule on up to six days for supply to the stores. This allows Starbucks to offer super-fresh and tasty products at the weekend as well. We bring all the product ranges in just one stop so as not to disrupt the local procedures unnecessarily. Deliveries are made to around half of some 160 stores when they have closed during night-time hours for the same reason. Our drivers are given the key for the branches and they sort the goods directly into the fridges. This allows Starbucks employees to concentrate on giving advice, and on preparation and selling. This concept is going down very well. Starbucks, our first customer in Germany for the sector of Quick Service Restaurants, is very satisfied with the development of our services.
In 2015, we opened a new logistics centre for fast-selling items – products with high turnover frequency – in the outskirts of Barcelona so that in future we will be even better able to take account of further growth of our customers in Spain. Important foundation stones were also laid for future growth in Germany. In October, a new logistics centre therefore came on stream in Borna near Leipzig. This replaces the previous warehouse in Hartmannsdorf near Chemnitz. When a fifth hub warehouse is opened in Bobenheim-Roxheim near Mannheim in autumn 2016, Lekkerland will have closed the strategic gap. The new logistics centre will replace the existing warehouse at the same location. The old facility is now too small and the new centre will stock the full product range in all temperature zones.
Ordering new goods for the shop can be complex and time-consuming – but this needn’t necessarily be the case. Customers are easily able to place purchase orders round-theclock through our web shops Lekkerland24 and Conway24. For example, reminder lists can be set up for future purchase orders to make this maximally efficient. An equally simple method is processing purchase orders using our new hand scanners, which were launched in Germany in 2015. Lekkerland customers can use these convenient devices to scan in products – the data are then transmitted to the web shop and the click of a mouse sends off the purchase order. The scanner also makes quick and easy work of inventories.