"The shopping atmosphere must be right"

Interview with Professor Krafft about the wishes of supermarket customers

In conversation with the press office of the University of Muenster, Prof. Dr. Krafft gave insights into his findings on the buying behavior and wishes of today’s supermarket customers. He states that, on the one hand, some customers have an increasing need for a fast and hassle-free purchasing process, while on the other hand, others value a broad assortment, enough personnel, and an enjoyable atmosphere.

Since more and more supermarkets test new store concepts to assert themselves against the increasing competition, the question arises if customers value these attempts. The modernized stores are characterized by fresh and regional assortments, a focus on mid-priced and premium segments, and the offering of events such as wine tastings. Further, the atmosphere is enhanced by wide aisles, warmer light, and more, well-educated, high-quality-service delivering personnel. While customers who appreciate fresh and regional products embrace these new concepts, many former loyal customers turn aside from the purchase at their renowned location since they do not find their way anymore and miss “their” familiar supermarket. Thus, Prof. Dr. Krafft recommends to not radically modernize a whole branch network at the same time but to carefully and organically redesign one supermarket to then gradually continue with the remaining ones. After all, an improved supermarket-concept offering a pleasant shopping experience can be the source of a lasting competitive advantage. The complete interview can be found here.