Safeway store exterior designed by CampbellRigg

We deliver convenience food store retail design, branding, and format planning strategies
Few food retailers have managed to turn their store concepts and private label products into true brands, rivalling the manufacturers in terms of perceived value and brand equity. Yet, retailer branding offers enormous opportunities to increase store loyalty and to increase the gross margin. In this article we examine the trend in true store brands in the convenience food segment. The need for retailer branding is particularly striking as private label products continue to nibble at the market share of the national brands.

By establishing the conditions for a true retailer brand and by creating significant brand equity, retailers can achieve two major strategic objectives. First, the retailer brands will help to create consumer preference and ideally consumer loyalty. The second objective is to increase the gross margin. By increasing the brand value of the private label products, these can be sold at a much smaller discount of even at a premium relative to the national brands.

As convenience formats develop the daily passing trade while retaining local loyalty by fulfilling a top-up shop. Food retailers are emphasising highly customised prepared foods for time-pressed shoppers to eat in or take out, and counting on gains in perimeter departments to help offset sluggish center-store sales. A key thrust is offering consumers healthier eating choices, given the juggling act most consumers are doing with food nutrition and convenience.

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When exploiting consumer trends in convenience food retailing - We offer retailers format design solutions
Safeway management wanted to exploit the demand for home meal replacement and top-up shopping in London’s busy convenience food sector. The initiative presented an opportunity to emphasise Safeway's “fresh fast food” credentials. Working with the Safeway’s Store Development and Marketing team, we developed convenience food formats for St Kathrine’s Dock 30,000sqft store and the High Street Kensington 11,500sqft store. By increasing the footage of the fresh food departments, Safeway increased sales by 20% to 30% week on week. Frequency of visits to the store also increased from 28,000 customers to 35,000 customers a week. 

we create different worlds within the store

The Solution
Consumers expect much more from their retailers, such as health benefits, customisation, on-the-go consumption and premium convenience products.  

Our convenience store concept comprised four zones: “Fresh to Go”, Personal Indulgence, Everyday Essentials and Browser. Each zone has its own ambience and feel.  

The “Fresh to Go” sub-brand occupies 25% of the store, offering fresh perishables such as Hot Wok, Pasta, Hot Rotisserie, Fresh Pizza, a Sandwich bar and Patisserie and Bakery.

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Safeway convenience store interior retail design

The pizza section has been very big in terms of sales and profit margin. The department achieves average sales of £5,500 per week. The ‘hot wok’ is also very popular, producing sales of £3,500 - £4,000 weekly. The sandwich bar also takes around £4,500 a week.

The good news about having a sandwich bar in-store is if you run out of pre-packed sandwiches, you can make them, pack them and put them on the sales floor as well. 

Award winning Safeway convenience store retail interior design Award winning fresh pizza and pasta departments designed by CampbellRigg

The biggest contributor to the principle of success is the change in peoples shopping habits and they are moving very much towards fresh food. Safeway were probably one of the first retailers with a concept that captured that market where shopping habits changed from consuming just ambient foods/frozen foods to much more fresh focused. We have a big swing in terms of moving from being 45% fresh foods to 65% fresh foods. At High Street Ken – we are looking at 60% on fresh and 40% on rest. Fresh is more profitable.

we aim to increase the average basket size

Here is the personal testimony of Carlos Criado-Perez, CEO
Safeway Stores PLC concerning the design services of
27th May 2002
To whom it may concern
CampbellRigg worked with us from the very first day to help us bring to life our visual concept of New Safeway for the four retail formats in which we operate.
I am very pleased with the very good job that Campbell and his team have done to help us create our new look, and have no hesitation in recommending CampbellRigg for their excellent work in a very challenging retail environment.
Carlos Criado-Perez (Chief Executive Officer - Safeway Stores PLC

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Architectural plans and layout of a convenience food store for Safeway stores by CampbellRigg

Convenience store interiors fresh sandwiches department


Convenience store interiors of Safeway’s health and beauty department

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3 Apollo Studios, Charlton King's Road, London NW5 2SB UK Tel: +44 (0)784 1403349

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3 Apollo Studios, Charlton King's Road, London NW5 2SB UK Tel: +44 (0)784 1403349

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