Hema plans to trial its Spanish store formula in the Netherlands, as Spanish consumers buy more than their Dutch counterparts. At first, the formula will be tested in six stores.
More spacious stores
One important aspect of the Spanish formula, also used in France, is that the typically Dutch semi-high racks have been replaced by low display tables. On the other hand, the Spanish formula does make more use of the walls, as to display many items in an orderly fashion, but also in a smaller area. The spacious design does mean Hema will have to cut down its product range.
“In the blink of an eye, customers have to be able to see what we have on offer", CEO Tjeerd Jegen told Het Financieele Dagblad. "The most asked question in the Netherlands is where customers can find something." The new store formula sections a store into different "worlds", like living, cooking, baby, beauty and care. Within those worlds, products are grouped according to certain moments in a customer's life.
Jegen wants to bring the formula to the Netherlands because Hema's customers abroad spend more on average than their Dutch companions. Abroad, Hema is also known as a chain where customers come to get inspired and surprised, as opposed to its Dutch use, where customers visit Hema for very specific purchases. "In the Netherlands, tea cannot be found near the cups, but when you do place those together, you will seduce people who have come for the tea into buying something that fits their purchase."
The new formula will be put into practice in six stores this year. "We do not want to do anything rash and just implement a new formula", Jegen said. "Our customers are used to finding the socks with the socks and the underpants with the underpants, whether they are for adults or children. You cannot just alter that, because people have gotten used to that particular store design over the years."