What makes a store attractive – The secret recipe.

July 14, 2022
Food shopping is a highly personal, and sometimes emotional, experience.

For some, food aligns directly with their beliefs; for others, it’s a strong connection to their culture and upbringing. And because food shopping decisions align directly with consumers’ needs and preferences, food retailers have a unique opportunity to differentiate through the physical experience they offer. That is why we believe brick-and-mortar is the linchpin of the omnichannel customer experience.

Using our almost 100 years of experience, extensive global travel visiting stores all over the world, we decided to share the best food retail stores that we believe to be the most attractive.

Attractive stores are not beautiful, but meaningful, capable of creating a strong connection with the customer by their identity & character, inviting customers to use all their senses to enhance the customer experience.

We defined 5 key ingredients that create the secret recipe for attractive stores.

1. Space & Atmopshere

All brands and retailers need to think critically about the physical dimension of shopping, to create appropriate ambience for the desired customer experience through the effective combination of architecture & interior elements, including shape, colour, scale, materials & light & sound.

Making use of the scale at Selgros, Poland

2. Attractive Layouts

The key to motivating the customer through the retail experience is through a well defined layout, ultimately intuitive, whilst constructed with different missions in mind. With an effective layout, retailers can provide spaces that can support fast & efficient behavior, slow browsing & discovery, or a combination of both.

A customer journey sketch, Interstore

3. Exemplary Product Presentation

Physical retail, at its heart is about experiencing product in a tangible way. With food, the selection process can be dewildering, therefore presentation is crucial to help with decision making. At its best, the store should present product as a visual story that sells itself, demonstrate food theatre & entice engagement.

Produce displays at Bridge, Zurich

4. Celebrating Expertise / Craftmanship

As we spend increasing time ‘online’, the single biggest differentiator that ‘offline’ shopping can offer is the real human dimension. Automation has re-framed the role of staff, with the best retailers deploying people to guide and share expertise. The best stores create a platform to show and tell; a stage for staff & real-life storytelling.

The Boulanger at Epicerie, La Bon Marche

5. Exciting & Ready-to-Eat

Retailers need to stay ahead of ever-changing food trends to keep customers engaged. Food service is playing an increasingly important role inside food stores, providing customers with freshly made ready-to-eat solutions for on-the-go or in-store consumption, with the best retailers harmoniously combining retail with gastronomy into a seamless experience.

Dining at the Central food hall, Ladphrao

Our Retail Report ‘What makes a store attractive?’ has over 80 examples with insights, with 100% inspiration guaranteed, regardless of the format or geography you are operating,


Please get in touch to schedule your deep dive with us to learn more about best-in-class retailers from around the world.