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Four new formats to learn from

While we may have been starved of new store developments recently, the flow hasn’t stopped completely, and the good news is that more developments are now starting to come through. Though it's always hard to judge a store without having visited, here are four recent openings we think are worth a closer look:

SPAR's one person store, Waalwijk, Netherlands

Photo source: SPAR Netherlands

SPAR has unveiled a store designed for just one person,constructed from a converted shipping container. The store is just 18 sq m but crucially can be placed ‘on any plot’. The combination of self-scan checkout and a one-person entry policy means its supports social distancing. SPAR has designed the format to be flexible enough to meet shopping needs in new and alternative locations, such as beaches, campsites and even boats. SPAR Netherlands is currently identifying locations around the country to site the new proposition, within which the offer focuses on food and drink to go, including a coffee and hot food offer.

With much more domestic tourism expected in the Netherlands this year, it sees this format as one able to help meet new peaks of demand in different types of location. This isn't the only recent SPAR opening in the Netherlands - a new type of SPAR city format, named SPAR city small, in Utrecht city centre, further developing its focus around catering for on the move missions.

Maxol Clare Castle, Co. Clare, Ireland

Forecourt operator Maxol has been modernising and updating its proposition. A key principle has been to bring its own brand from the forecourt exterior into the store and to develop its own food & beverage proposition from that. There's a subtle but significant shift here, with more focus on developing its own brands and less reliance on using partner food-to-go brands. Maxol has created its own coffee brand, Rosa, upgraded its deli offering and, in this latest store format, added its own Mexican burrito concept, a Taste of Mexico, into the store. And this is a forecourt designed to meet a variety of distinct missions, with its own extensive seating area and supporting kids' play area very much a part of that. It's also notable for its location, in Co. Clare, with a combination of tourists, commuters and residents making up the customer base. Encouragingly the store is also trading well in targeting evening missions.

Photo source: Maxol, Food Futures Insights

PCC, Central District, Seattle

PCC is a food retailer with a difference. A co-op, it was set up by 15 Seattle families in 1953. It has always been member-owned and operated — a $60 lifetime investment gets each member an equal share. Profits are returned to members, stores and the communities that PCC serves. And that community ethos runs strong across everything it does.

It also happens to run fantastic looking stores with a strong focus on targeting food-for-now and food-for-later missions. Its latest store is its first in Central Seattle, and from what we've seen, read and heard, appears to be a great representation of what this natural and organic focused grocery store is all about. We've visited neighbourhood stores in the past, which lend themselves well to meeting multiple missions, and driving multiple visits per day from local customers. The range of food-for-now also impressed in these stores, with a wide variety of cuisines and dishes on offer. It will be interesting to see how this translates to a more central location.

Photo source: PCC

Mr Georges at Delhaize, Belgium

Mr Georges is a premium deli concept that delivers well beyond what you'd typically expect to find in a supermarket deli offer, in the breadth of range, quality and solutions it provides. Originally launched in two franchised Delhaize stores in Northern Belgium, Mr Georges is now launching in a number of Delhaize corporate owned stores. It has already opened in the first of these, in Genval, with plans to open in three further stores in the coming months. This is a combination of delicatessen, food for now and food for later so to our minds is a great fit in helping its host supermarkets show they can meet more missions, more often. The below photos cover each of the three formats open so far.

Photo source: Mr Georges

At Food Futures Insights we are always eager to learn more about new format developments - let us know if you want to nominate a store for our next focus on new store openings.

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