With EptaConcept in Mind: Trends in Shop Fitting

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Numerous factors influence the design of retail spaces in the food retail sector—both presently and increasingly so in the future. EptaConcept supports the development and implementation of new concepts for store design through its shop fitting services.

What trends currently shape store construction? How will they evolve in the coming years, and what impact will this development have on supermarkets? These and similar questions were the focus of the German Shop Fitting Association (dLv) conference in May 2023 in Linz. Joachim Dallinger, Head of Product Management and Marketing, and Petra Chmelova, Expert in EptaConcept and store design, were present for Epta Deutschland. "The trend towards appealing store design is further intensifying because market operators gain a competitive advantage over their competitors and because a pleasant atmosphere in the store ensures that customers enjoy shopping there and feel comfortable," summarizes Petra Chmelova.

The goal of store design must continue to be reaching all customers, whether they shop in-store, order online and pick up their purchases in the store or at a collection point. To achieve this, we create a unified brand presence across all channels." Additionally, convenience solutions are playing an increasingly significant role for the food retail sector. This is due to both the growing demand from customers for these products and the fact that they enable retailers to address the current shortage of skilled workers. "If supermarkets do not want to restrict their service hours at the counters in the future, they must act now and devise new solutions," advises Joachim Dallinger. "Because the general shortage of skilled workers also affects the retail sector."

Servicing all channels

Many market operators intend to increasingly implement omnichannel solutions in the future, aiming to provide added value to their customers while simultaneously mitigating the effects of the skilled labor shortage. Goods ordered online will then be collected from the store or designated pickup points. With #EPTABricks, Epta already offers a suitable solution, individually designed in collaboration with the Epta-Concept team to align with the concept of an existing or new market—including the market's logo and name. 'We discuss with our customers the market needs and how to implement them in a way that adds value to consumers,' explains Petra Chmelova.

Ready-made products on the rise

EptaConcept also embraces the trend of offering more convenience products and ready-made meals. These products can be effectively showcased in individually designed refrigerated displays, capturing the attention of customers. Therefore, the EptaConcept team creates sales spaces tailored to the needs of market operators and develops shop-in-shop concepts and special sales areas in close collaboration with retailers, aiming to further increase the sales of high-margin products. This applies, for example, to salad bars, fruit counters, sushi bars, and tapas bars. The significant advantage of EptaConcept lies in its all-in-one principle: From planning and construction to installation, retailers benefit from a single point of contact who handles the entire project.

How EptaConcept operates

The development of individual ideas for store design, visualizations for the design of refrigerated displays or entire store concepts, as well as their implementation, are among the tasks of EptaConcept. The concepts are always tailored to the positioning of the market, its location, and the customer group. If retailers have their own ideas, these are also incorporated or implemented with the support of the Concept team.

The store design by EptaConcept includes the layout and arrangement of dry shelves, the cladding of refrigerated displays, and the design of the sales area with floors, walls, digital screens, lighting, and food service equipment. Both custom-made and standard production are available for individually designed refrigerated displays.