Belgian department store chain INNO has reopened three completely renovated stores. At the same time, the retailer is extending its offering with coffee, sandwiches, juices, chocolates, and flowers to further enhance the shopping experience.
Emotion and warmth
After months of refurbishments, INNO presents three completely renovated stores: in Leuven, Liège and Sint-Niklaas. Four of the sixteen department stores have now undergone a thorough renovation. While regular customers can still recognise ‘their’ INNO, the retailer also wants to appeal to a new audience.
“We are bringing more emotion and warmth into the stores. Shoppers should feel good in our stores. We divided the department store into worlds: each department has its atmosphere, with seating areas, plants, and so on”, Merchandising and Marketing Director Elly Zwinnen explains. There is room for local accents: in Leuven, for example, the store offers a much wider range of kitchenware than before because the offering in the region is not as extensive.
The department store chain is introducing new partnerships, especially in the food segment. In Liège, and very soon also in Brussels and Antwerp, customers can enjoy a cup of coffee, a smoothie or a fresh juice from BON, a breakfast and lunch chain that already has eight branches in Brussels. Salads, sandwiches and desserts are also on the menu.
In Liège, INNO is also partnering with Rouge Coquelicot to provide flowers and houseplants. Customers will also find interior design items, vases, and candles in the shop-in-the-shop. Also in this store, chocolatier Arnaud Duroy displays a wide range of 100 % Belgian artisanal pralines and other specialities like cuberdons, melocakes and macarons.
The refurbishments are part of a broader strategic transformation plan, which also included the launch of a digital marketplace last spring, the implementation of a new ERP system in the back office and the complete rebranding of INNO.
“We are reinventing the department store and making INNO a fascinating place to be for the Belgian public. INNO will be an inspiring environment stimulating all the senses. Thanks to additional services, such as the ‘Coffee corner & Jus’, an afternoon of shopping at INNO will truly become an all-round experience for our customers”, CEO Armin Devender says.
INNO developed the new store concept last year during the lockdowns. The first trial store opened in December 2020 in Schoten, a town near Antwerp. “The first results are excellent”, Devender explains. “We are getting good customer feedback. They can find their way around the store more easily and are appreciative of the lounging areas.” The other INNO stores will also be renewed in the coming years.