Mercator is one of the largest and most successful retail chains in south-eastern Europe and simultaneously market leader in Slovenia.
The retailer is also very active on the markets in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. And the commitment to south-eastern Europe continues: in 2007, Mercator entered Montenegro, followed by Bulgaria and Albania two years later. Mercator invests primarily in large shopping centres in the capital cities as well as in smaller regional markets.
Aleksandra Kocmut, Director of Sales Format Development and Standardization Mercator on the store concepts of Mercator.
Would you tell us more about the shopfitting concept of Mercator?
Since Mercator opened its first shopping centres and hypermarkets, we have cultivated an intensive co-operation with manufacturers and suppliers of shopfitting solutions. We continually work on attractive and enticing market concepts for our customers. We have never been satisfied with ordinary in-store ideas. Far more often we look for the ideal solution and actively involve ourselves with our entire know-how in all planning and development phases.
What does the Mercator strategy actually look like?
We encourage our business partners to continually offer us new solutions that they can, of course, also test with us in practice. At the same time, Mercator promotes standardisation processes in order to pass on high quality as well as creative, modern and functional solutions to various market formats.
Our newest store formats deal with energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions and the further development of technological processes. This commitment is paying off: customers gladly return to the Mercator stores and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere and the great shopping experience.
Which Mercator shops have shown themselves to be particularly innovative?
The renovation and extension of the Šiška hypermarket in Ljubljana in 2007 with a new store concept implemented here for the first time is certainly noticeable. The entire design was redesigned, additionally numerous innovative technologies and energy-efficient solutions were realised. We had very little time to implement all the ideas and additionally to our supplier we cooperated with an external consultancy agency. The market in the Maxi Market passage in Ljubljana is also a highlight: the constant exchange of experience with external consultants as well with our suppliers took place here. Because the entire building is listed, there was a very high need for coordination with one another. But I have to say: the imaginative and visually attractive design combined with the technological solutions to the most modern standard in this Maxi Market represent a breakthrough in store design in Slovenia. This is very clear to see in the reaction of our customers.
"WIRE TECH" AT ŠIŠKA
The shop solutions system brings the goods into the inviting openness in the foreground. 'wire tech' creates a lot of room for presentation, emotions and inspiration with its flexibility, individually tailored to each department.
Wanzl delivered the following to the Šiška hypermarket in Ljubljana, amongst other things:
- 1,000 'Primo' shopping trolleys for travelators, 185 litre basket volume
- 8 'Primo' shopping trolleys with 'Comfort' baby seat, 185 litre basket volume
- 35 'DR 22' child shopping trolleys
- 5 shopping trolleys for wheelchair users
- 12 'Fun Cabrio' shopping trolleys
- Transport trolleys, order picking containers, trolley shelters, 'Ecoport' entrance systems and checkout barriers
In 1997, Tomaž Smeh founded Smeh d.o.o. in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Within 13 years, the regionally oriented retail chain supplier became a business of strong growth, with 25 employees. Smeh has been a successful Wanzl representative in Slovenia since it was established. Meanwhile, its business activities have extended to Croatia and Serbia. Today, Smeh is considered an expert for the development and realisation of instore concepts taking into consideration regional characteristics and customer preferences. Smeh's special strength, working together with Wanzl as a shop solutions specialist, is the optimum use of floor space.
The most recent milestone was reached in June 2009:
Smeh opened a new logistics centre in the Serbian town of Stara Pazova, with 1,200 square metres of storage and office space and a show room. This investment has allowed Smeh to meet the requirement to intensify its business activities south-eastern Europe. As a result, the company is simultaneously perceived and accepted as a 'local supplier' by its trade customers in Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia.