Reitan Convenience Denmark
Reitan Convenience Denmark completely transformed its way of doing business to stay relevant in Denmark’s competitive convenience store marketplace. The digitalization movement—from newspapers and magazines being read online to transportation ticket purchases happening online—had a huge impact on Reitan’s business.
“Categories that used to be very good for us started declining,” said Jesper Ostergaard, CEO of Reitan Convenience Denmark, which operates 7-Eleven stores. “We had to decide whether we wanted to accept that 7-Eleven was becoming less and less relevant for the consumers and gradually die or whether we wanted to prosper and survive.”
The company decided that “dying” wasn’t an option, and underwent a total revamp based on extensive market research to identify areas of growth, which included beverages and foodservice, as well as better-for-you and healthy options. To fulfill the new vision, the store itself had to morph from a traditional kiosk into a modern convenience store format with dedicated areas for in-store eating.
“7-Eleven Denmark not only has to face the changing world, but we wanted to get ahead of the movements,” Ostergaard said. “Every time a customer came into our store, we wanted to surprise them with products they perhaps didn’t even know they wanted.”
7-Eleven Denmark tapped into the consumer desire for fresh, healthy food options by bringing in more organic products, like organic fair trade coffee served with organic fresh milk in 100% plant-based cups. The stores now carry more than 64 SKUs of vegan and vegetarian products, while the packaging of all products utilizes environmentally friendly solutions whenever possible.
More of the food is prepared fresh on-site, and an extensive grab-and-go section is stocked with private-label fresh salads, wraps, sandwiches, juice, smoothies, fruit and snacks. Today, 35% of sales of food, drinks and bakery come from healthier products.
The company also tapped into its employees to showcase the new format and direction. With more fresh food prepared on-site, employees receive extensive training in food safety, while a trained chef manages the food category.
Technology played an important role in helping customers navigate and choose products, with digital platforms providing nutritional information. 7-Eleven Denmark tied deals and loyalty initiatives into its app, which led to a significant increase in the number of downloads. The stores accept mobile payment, and some high-traffic locations allow self-scan and pay options. In addition, home delivery via a third-party delivery service is available in select markets.
“Looking back, we have increased customer visits...and profitability, and we have become more relevant to more customers than we have ever been in the last 25 years,” said Ostergaard.