I recently visited Dublin in Ireland for a meeting with NACS International member Maxol. Their Regional Manager hosted me for an afternoon full of stores visits: Topaz, Applegreen, Texaco, Spar, Chopped, some independent convenience retailers and of course some Maxol sites, including the winner of the Honorable Mention Award for Large Formats: Maxol Mulhuddart.
After the tour I had been asked by my host “What did you notice to stand out, compared to other countries?”. I actually had seen a lot of innovative initiatives on our tour, some best practice and some really good ideas. But one thing indeed stood out: the location specific focus on tailoring an otherwise chained, organised and planogrammed assortment to the individual customer group of the respective store. Be it offering 1€ bakery items with each coffee to the workers at the site close to the port, offering family-meal-plans to the families having dinner at the site in the residential area or offering readily chilled Champagne at the site close the large office complexes.
As one store manager phrased it “We are not Aldi, where the customer expects to find the same product at the same place in every store...”. Location based adaption of centralised planning is not the norm, so this really seemed something to stand out compared to other markets.