Morrisons has opened the first of three new ‘lab’ store formats in Weybridge, with all three due to be open by spring 2015.
Working in partnership with retail strategy and design agency M Worldwide, the ‘Format Flex’ lab stores experiment with tailored formats that are targeted at different local communities – with differing propositions, ranges, store designs, and environments.
The three stores undergoing the makeovers are in Weybridge in Surrey, Birtley in Gateshead, and Milton Keynes.
Weybridge features a wider fresh range, while the Birtley store will have a focus on value. The Milton Keynes store is set to have additional elements incorporated into the design to appeal to the high number of young families in the area.
Michael Heanue, co-managing partner at M Worldwide, said: “Our work complements pre-existing research into customer segmentation and space allocation to create targeted propositions. This is all about getting closer to customers and providing value without compromise in a way that’s locally relevant but unmistakably Morrisons.
“At each store, the serve-over counter size and type will be flexed. Destination zones on the perimeter of the store have been created for hero categories that resonate locally. Extra space is also being given to the retailer’s Nutmeg children’s clothing range, along with improved connectivity to baby and health & beauty categories.”
Andy Newton, director of format & space at Morrisons, said: “Customers want their local store to be relevant to them and their family. The ability to dial up or dial down targeted aspects of stores is crucial in delivering that. M Worldwide has done a brilliant job in helping us to find design solutions that have genuinely improved the overall shopping experience for our customers.”