Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Real-icky Show

Like most other companies, grocery retailers bang on ad infinitum in their corporate and other communications about what they care about, what they love, what they're passionate about.

That's all well and good but a retailer especially has to show that they care - in every meeting with the customer. And most of those take place in-store, still.

When I think about our local supermarkets, a couple of them are clear in what they care about via the store experience. REWE, for example - there's caring about quality here (which you can see from their fresh produce and their luxury own label) as well as a human/friendly/local touch, which comes through the people that work there. And there's ALDI, of course. They care about price. They really care, and it shows.

But what of Real, the hypermarket who are part of Metro, the world's 5th largest retail group? There used to be two Real stores within a kilometer of each other near us (a legacy of Real being a patchwork brand, with defunct stores of other retailer brands being bought up here and there.) Real has always been a bit of a mish-mash when it comes to what they care about. The ads and the logo focus on price, but I think the main pulling point was always the range - beyond groceries, as encapsulated in the endline Einmal hin. Alles drin.

But our big Real that really did have "alles drin" has closed and we were forced to visit its poorer, smaller cousin. Oh dear, where can I start? The place was filthy and smelly and it seemed no wonder that the horse meat scandal had hit here the hardest. The sport, clothing and electronics sections looked like a flea market with the best things gone. And as we got outside, we nearly stepped into a splat of vomit.

Real won't be meeting these particular customers again.  

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