Liveblog: IGD retail safari

Date : 24 October 2017

You’ll see some of the best concept stores and innovations on an IGD retail safari. Here’s a taster of what you’ll experience, from one of our most recent expeditions in London.

 

08:45

Safari-goers gather in hotel reception. There’s a buzz of chatter and excitement as they talk about the itinerary. We’ll be visiting a mixture of London stores, from organic specialists to food-to-go operators and flagship supermarkets.

 

09:00

Arrive at first store (Planet Organic). Retail safari chief Gavin, head of IGD’s safari programme in western Europe, is leading the group today. He gives us a quick briefing on what to look out for and we go inside.

The store manager explains the concept further and happily answers our questions. We check out the store, looking at how it mixes food-to-go and food retail in a relaxed environment.

 

09:30

Leave store to wait for our bus. A few people go and investigate other interesting stores nearby. Retrieve them. Set off for next stop.

 

09:40

On the way we spot an As Nature Intended organic store and, by popular demand, pop in for an unscheduled visit. The wide range, from fresh produce to baby food, beer and wine, is impressive.

 

10:00

Arrive at Eat 17. This family-run SPAR store combines food-to-go and convenience in a premium environment. Local products feature strongly. The product samples are a big hit, especially the salted caramel brownies! Everyone gets a pot of Eat 17’s famous bacon jam to take away.

 

10:30

Loads of questions and discussion on the bus on the way to our next store. Everybody’s talking about what they’ve seen and how it compares to their home market. People quiz Gavin about the UK’s online market size, the rise of the health and wellness trend, and the latest on food-to-go.

 

12:30

Pause for lunch at The Grocer Market Tavern in Spitalfields Market. It’s a welcome chance to rest, refuel, and review the morning’s activities.

 

14:00

Arrive at Morrisons. This flagship store shows off its strengths in fresh foods, in-store production, food-to-go and counter service. And showcases newer initiatives, like the ‘party zone’ which combines related products (cakes, balloons, cards…) into one easy-to-shop destination.

 

15:00

Get to Waitrose King’s Cross, its London flagship and our last stop of the day. The mixture of food retail and features like juice and tapas bars show how Waitrose has created a destination store.

Everyone’s impressed with the premium focus, food-to-go and lively in-store atmosphere. We pop into the cookery school, where they’re setting up for the evening’s class. Tempted to stay, as they’re making burgers tonight!

 

16:00

Hold the debrief in Waitrose’s in-store wine bar. (Sadly, minus live jazz band as it only performs on Thursday evenings). There’s plenty of debate as everyone shares thoughts and observations from the day.

 

16:30

Full of ideas to take back to their stores, everyone heads to nearby St Pancras to catch the train home.

 

We can also help you create a personalised safari to suit your needs, in Europe or North America. Get in touch to learn more.  

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