A year in store – 2015 – Most challenging store – Fakta

So as we roll ahead to the second element of the alternative ‘year in store’ awards, the ‘most challenging store’ and in the past, it would have been a near certainty for a Tesco store to win this award, such was their descent into oblivion. However we have seen a major improvement in store standards, that no Tesco store was anywhere near this Danish discount outlet.

Indeed, no store across the UK or Ireland came close, or the US…. The Danish market was relatively strong, but stores like Fakta or Netto are discount stores and as such can have challenges around standards given their footfall – we do see the same with Aldi and Lidl over here for example.

I won’t name the specific location for this Fakta store, but versus the modern outlet I’d seen the day before, this was perhaps the most disappointing store I’ve seen in many a year. There really wasn’t much right, and the fixtures, fittings were dated, the store was deserted and standards were more than questionable.

The first Fakta was a smart piece of work, quite impressive with a modern layout and not too dissimilar to the Netto we see in the UK. However visiting another store is always good, to build a perception of what the reality is – concepts / new stores are always strong….

However the nuts and bolts, the bulk of the retailers estate is what counts, and some of these stores can be in challenging areas, or be challenging stores in their own right.

The entrance somewhat set the tone.
The entrance somewhat set the tone.

The floor itself is a rival to the WH Smith carpet (complete with Twitter account @whs_carpet) with gum stuck everywhere, with a tatty, cardboard outer for the wire dumpbin. The wire mesh exposed would have been better than this…

Not content with having a store deserted of customers at 10am in the morning, the delivery was still being worked, and as a result, the department was nearly sectioned in two due to the cages being everywhere.

More floor....
More floor….
Overturned labels - arguably the biggest retail sin.
Overturned labels – arguably the biggest retail sin.

Real basics here, the floor was dirty – the store became a place you had to shop, rather than a place you wanted to shop in. The issue there is once competition opens up – the customers will then flock there.

Overturned shelf edge labels are one of the worst sins, it is wasted labour, pure and simple. It adds no benefit – if there’s a gap – leave the label, if the label is invalid, remove the label.

But don’t turn them over.


Availability issues.
Availability issues.
1 day out of date - and out of chill too.
1 day out of date – and out of chill too.

Out of date reductions over by Meat didn’t inspire, especially since colleagues didn’t take them from the shop floor.

To wrap up, these two images perhaps sum up the store…….


However this is the end game really, location of Pet Food, behind the last checkout makes no sense, even now. Just a bizarre location, summing things up really.

Pet Food tucked away.
Pet Food tucked away.

So there we have it, Happy New Year! Fakta in Denmark win the ‘most challenging store’ of 2015… All fixable issues, but early morning – one would expect sharper standards.

This store was in a decent location too, but if the location is the only thing keeping customers coming – what happens if a competitor then opens nearby…..?

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