The path leads through all the different theme worlds of the discounter PENNY in the Czech Republic.
PENNY Czech Republic
Quick results rather than
a tedious search
An inspirational shopping atmosphere instead of your typical sea of shelves: This is what the new store concept of PENNY International in the Czech Republic is all about. A simple store navigation system enables customers to gain a better view of products and quickly find the items they want to buy.
Navigation is the art of quickly and safely bringing someone to their desired destination. This means one thing for store-concept developers: They have to design a path through the store in such a way that customers will quickly find their desired item. But at the same time, they should get the best possible overview of the entire product range. And also enjoy a relaxing, inspirational atmosphere. So it’s many challenges rolled into one.
PENNY International asked its customers in the Czech Republic to describe a store they would like to shop in. One frequent response was: The atmosphere should be pleasant and friendly, with many elements of surprise – just like a typical farmers’ market. And, please, no endless rows of boring shelves! “The feedback from customers served as a basis for creating a fundamentally new store concept – one that offers an attractive shopping experience while maintaining PENNY’s discount character,” says Mathias Mentrop, the member of the PENNY Market Czech Republic management team responsible for sales, expansion and construction.
Designing, correcting, completing: the local project team needed to cover a lot of ground before the pilot project became a final concept that would be rapidly introduced in all stores nationwide in May 2018. With 380 locations, PENNY ranks No. 1 in food retailing in the Czech Republic.
Keeping everything in view
The most important innovation was a defined path leading customers through the entire store. On their journey from entrance to checkout, customers pass through different theme worlds. A little turn to the left or right leads to a spacious cove of shelves where they can immerse themselves in the entire range of a product category. It all simplifies the shopping experience. Quick results rather than a tedious search.
It starts with baked goods and beer, two big-selling product groups in the Czech Republic. By tradition, shoppers generally prefer to buy bread, rolls and pastries at discounters and supermarkets rather than at bakeries. And beer is the country’s No. 1 beverage. No other Europeans drink nearly as much beer as the Czechs do. PENNY is well prepared, with a huge assortment of mainly domestic beers, in bottles and cans. “The path through the store leads customers through all fresh food areas,” Mentrop says. Whether fruit, vegetables, dairy products or meat – shoppers gain a comprehensive view of PENNY’s fresh foods, most of which are produced domestically. After customers have passed through theme worlds of washing and cleaning products, cosmetics and wine, just before the checkout, shelves and freezers full of weekly rotating sales items await. What’s on special offer today? Czech shoppers have a keen eye for such items. Anyone who just wants to quickly buy a few rolls can take a shortcut to the checkout counter. Passing by the drinks section, it’s just a few metres to reach the till.
Recurring wooden elements, a carefully coordinated LED lighting system and clear communications with appealing photos on the walls – PENNY’s new concept takes the shopping experience at the Czech discounter to a much higher level. And it has done so without giving up all of the elements that underscore the discount nature of the store. Products displayed on pallets, for example, or items presented in cardboard boxes. Customers like the new concept. It is a feeling that has been expressed in surveys and is reflected in customer satisfaction. Along the way, PENNY has become “younger”. The new design is having a magnetic effect on the younger generation in particular. Clearly, PENNY has created a type of store that consumers in the Czech Republic want – a store with a pleasant atmosphere and a large, well-organised product range, presented like a market square. “In new stores, we enhance this atmosphere by using an open ceiling design and a floor with anthracite-coloured tiling. This transforms a PENNY store into something more like a market hall,” Mentrop says.
PENNY has introduced the new concept at more than 120 stores so far. Seventy stores are to follow this year. The renovation project is scheduled to be completed by 2021 and new stores will be added as well.
PENNY in Germany
Customers score points with PAYBACK
It measures 8.5 by 5.5 centimetres, generally comes in bright colours and is tucked away in the wallets and purses of about 30 million Germans: The PAYBACK card is the ticket to Germany’s largest bonus programme. PENNY joined the programme in April 2018, the first discounter to do so. Whether they shop in one of the approximately 2,180 PENNY stores in Germany or online at penny.de – PENNY customers can rack up points every time they make a purchase, profit from coupons and redeem points later in a number of ways. For instance, by using points instead of cash when they shop at PENNY.
Currently, PAYBACK points are primarily collected in an analogue way. More than 500,000 cards in the new PENNY design have been issued during the past year. PAYBACK is also prepared for when customers will prefer to leave their wallets in their pockets and use cashless, mobile payment methods. Customers can also use the PAYBACK app to collect points with their mobile phone, activate coupons and make a mobile payment. On the go, quickly and conveniently. With 12 million downloads, the PAYBACK app is already one of the Top 3 shopping apps in Germany. And PENNY has been on board since 2018.