Leading Irish convenience retailer Centra, part of the Musgrave Group.
Centra had successfully held its own through the recession in Ireland, but as the economy improved the brand wanted to rethink its high-convenience (or ‘Hi-C’) format stores. Centra needed to compete for the new customer who has more money to spend and is interested in healthy living.
Household was asked to drive reappraisal, to make Centra the first place customers think of when it comes to convenient eating – all while retaining the retailer’s brilliant service basics.
The Transformational Solution
The experience concept is ‘Fast Fresh Kitchen’, good food the way you want it, quick. The design unifies Centra’s offer – which includes food for now, grocery top-up shop and newsagent – to create the ultimate convenience experience with a new focus on food.
Household designed a new look and feel for Centra, with a new brand palette that’s cleaner and more ordered and contemporary. The store now has a ‘Scandinavian deli’ feel that reflects grown-up convenience.
The hero area of the store is The Good Kitchen, a new food-for-now sub-brand recommended and created by Household to dial up Centra’s authority around food. This area features a barista, deli counters and grab-and-go food. There’s a seating area with a buzzy café feel that offers generous service gestures like phone chargers and free wifi.
With The Good Kitchen’s sub-branding rolled out across serving elements, digital menus and packaging, the result is a branded food experience with an irresistible and inviting tone of voice. Grab-and-go packaged food has been given a new focus of ‘good food on the run’, making it feel as well prepared as food from Centra’s fresh counters.
There is a holistic feel across the store, demonstrating that Centra is a handy destination at each time of the day. The newsagent and grocery areas have been refreshed, featuring a new curated tone of voice (‘Crafty Brews’) and a quicker pace (‘Top Up & Pay’).
With the new store’s focus on healthy, fresh food-for-now, Centra has shifted from ‘convenience store’ to ‘convenient eating destination’.
The new concept encourages customers to make Centra part of their regular shopping routines. Initial trading results at the pilot store at Limerick’s O’Connell Street are very strong, with a 25% increase in sales store-wide and some bestselling products selling x4 more. Coffee sales have quadrupled, and there are also 30% more customers coming through the door. Following this success, the concept is being rolled out to more of the Centra estate.
James Ryan, Centra Limerick O’Connell Street store owner:
“The new environment is driving range reappraisal. Customers will now buy sushi, hummus, craft beers etcetera. They would never have bought these from us before. Some products have nearly doubled in sales, just because the environment is better.”