In October 2022 SPAR Netherlands opened a pilot store in the small town of Philippine with the newest convenience format: Spar Foodclub. Focussing on freshly prepared warm meals and barista style coffee. The second pilot store opened in July 2023 in Tilburg. Sandenburg-DST was involved in the phases of creating a vision and strategy, concept development and 3D design.
Sandenburg-DST worked for over a year with the Dutch organization and with SPAR International on realizing the physical output of the strategic corporate vision King of Convenience. The whole idea of placing the SPAR Foodclub center stage inside the store, is based on the belief: you can come in any time of day for freshly prepared warm meals, barista style coffee, pizzas, salads, warm snacks and tosti’s. In a hospitable environment. With the conviction: ‘SPAR makes your day.’
Six basic design principles were leading: the lay-out and the routing of the store, the presentation, the furniture, visual anchors instore, a communal design framework in line with the shopper journey, and the role and position of online versus instore collect and delivery.
At the local village store of franchiser Peter Bolleman in the province of Zeeland, the interior has been completely designed to accommodate the shopper journey focused on convenience as well as the journey of the regular grocery shopper. In this way we created an optimal customer experience for both types of shoppers. The fresh counter and seating are visually very distinct elements at arrival. Beside a wide range of convenience products, the store offers a self-scan checkout and a safe by PostNL that shoppers can use outside opening hours to collect packages.
New elements have been added in the second pilot in Tilburg. The customer can use the revamped vegetable and fruit department, which is completely cooled, use the packaging machine for cans, the liquor store, and the extended range of (cooled) drinks and tasty bites. The team further developed the concept on the bases of local customer profiles and personas. This ensures that the store fits better with the needs of the clients in the market area. This is the reason in part other layouts were made, leaving the routing unchanged.
Both pilots are part of the larger ambition of the company to create a one-stop shop where customers are at the right place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Both at SPAR Bolleman and SPAR Zorgvlied (Tilburg) you can order fresh and tasty warm meals. The preparation is done instore. It’s up to the guest to decide if he wants to eat inside on the spot or prefers to take the meal home. SPAR Netherlands first analyzed the results of Philippine before franchiser Nicky van Zoggel got permission to convert his city store in the borough of Zorgvlied. Inside the brand-new store it’s all about foodservice with an assortment and services which are closely aligned with foodservice. Even the furniture has been specially fitted. The city store is expected to have higher volumes than the village store in Zeeland. The store is designed to accommodate specific customer types that fit with a city store with a neighborhood profile.
‘With SPAR Foodclub we take a great step forward in our growth path to become the King of Convenience in the streets of Dutch cities and villages.’
Geeske Burema, commercial director SPAR Holding Netherlands
SPAR, founded in The Netherlands, celebrated in 2022 90 years. According to GfK the food company is in terms of fair share the most successful vendor of fresh produce in country. In July 2023 Brand Finance announced that SPAR has the highest brand value in the Dutch grocery market. In May 2023 the SPAR organization won the national franchise prize.