How do we balance speed with customer experience?
Narvesen is a kiosk chain, with 350 outlets across Norway. The stores serve 200,000 customers every day, providing quick, purchases from coffee to confectionary, magazines to movie tickets. However, the increasing threats from retail specialists, discounters and online competition forced Narvesen to reappraise its brand.
Dull, dusty and dated was how Narvesen stores could be described. A stark contrast to specialists offering more quality, and discounters competing on price. A simple lick of paint wouldn’t stop the decline in customer experience. So as part of Mission’s overhaul of the brand, we were asked to rethink the stores intended for Oslo Airport’s new terminal.
The airport proved to be an excellent testing ground, to rethink convenience store principles. We studied the way customers shop, and identified distinctly different buying habits, where speed was essential. This provided the basis for a new concept called “Flow.” A combination of visual, physical and service ideas, which successfully secured the lucrative locations within the new terminal.
Building on this momentum, Narvesen asked us to develop the Flow concept for their stores in various cities, shopping centres and transport hubs across Norway.
We began by opening up the façades as much as possible, to improve sightlines and allow customers to orient themselves, before crossing the threshold. Signage makes the revised identity visible, with glowing colours that subtly change through the day. As soon as you enter the store a ceiling detail, nicknamed the “light-path,” twists and turns from entrance to counter, hiding the ducting and suggesting the fluid route through the store.
A natural colour palette, of oak and warm grey brings a Scandinavian simplicity, that’s easier on the eye. Whilst brighter, softer lighting makes the whole space more welcoming. Product categories are clearly signed, directing the customer from anywhere within. Whilst promotional clutter is confined to large digital screens that animate throughout the store. The whole atmosphere is easier on the eye, providing a more comfortable space to shop.
Our early customer analysis identified different purchasing patterns from hurried, to intentional, to browsing. We redesigned the store layout to put “quick” purchases, such as bottled water, to the front of the store. Whilst “browsing” products like books, were placed at the rear. Along with wider aisles, the new layout provided much more freedom of movement throughout.
The redesign of features such as the coffee bar and bake-off, are made from softer forms in corian. Making them easier to maintain, providing a sense of clean efficiency. While the cash-desk design encourages intuitive queuing, making it easier to pay, by cash, card or phone.
Last but not least, we introduced slim-lined express check-outs by the doors. People who use the express check-outs are particularly in a hurry, they don’t want to navigate the store, they just want to grab and go. Our self-service solution allows them to pay, and be on their way in seconds.
The sum of these initiatives culminates in a fresh, open atmosphere, where it’s comfortable to shop. Meeting the challenges from specialists and discounters, whilst beating them with a more convenient experience. The concept has proved extremely popular with new stores seeing an increase of 17% in revenue with customers buying more from across the store. The new concept is now green lit for implementation in key locations across the capital, with roll out in further locations following.