easyFoodstore – discount by undesign?

Opinion

It may look stark, but the design of easyFoodstore is no less intelligent in what it’s seeking to achieve than its more expensive rivals.

True, the look is more DIY store than grocery shop, but there are many aspects to the design which make for a good customer experience and arguably a shrewd move by easyGroup.

The bright orange colour creates stand-out and clearly links easyFoodstore to the easyGroup masterbrand colour palette, drawing on the brand equity it has built up across several sectors, including aviation.

Meanwhile, the stripped back décor helps the store feel uncluttered and the minimal layout allows customers to quickly and easily navigate through. Or just get in and out quicker. Even the bizarrely spacious shelving does maximise merchandising flexibility and also allows the products a bit of breathing space. There are operational advantages to this but not by design.

easyFoodstore’s simplification of the retail experience – including its limited SKU count of 76 goods – is particularly interesting in light of Tesco’s work to cut around 30% of its SKUs. And as the more established discounters make their offers more sophisticated – for example, the discounters’ introduction of in-store bakeries in recent years and Aldi’s recent introduction of sushi packs – it leaves room for new operators to satisfy ongoing consumer demand for stripped-back, no-frills retailing. As easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou himself has previously said, he believes there is “a niche below some of the current budget operators such as Aldi and Lidl.

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