Last September during NATSO's International Study Tour, myself and several NATSO members traveled to Norway, France and the United Kingdom to get a unique look into best practices in the advanced European market, as well as a glimpse of the international best practices of the future.
During the tour, we learned that international retailers are struggling with many of the same operational issues as North American operators. Attending the study tour in person is the best way to gather valuable business insights abroad, but as a distant second best, over the next several weeks I will provide readers with a virtual tour of my trip through pictures I gathered last fall.
Open and Inviting Shopping Experiences
C-store operators and highway fuel retailers in Norway focused very much on SKU rationalization. We saw this with the French operators as well, where less is more.
We also saw a focus on an open, inviting shopping experience, whereas UK retailers had much larger SKU counts driven in the food categories with robust offerings of prepared and ‘craft’ fresh offerings.
See some examples I gathered:
// See more international blog posts here.
Register to Attend the 2013 Tour
I would encourage you to attend this year's International Study Tour. Held Sept. 22–27, it begins in Amsterdam with hosted retail study tours and ends in London with the ‘Future of Convenience’ conference and exhibition. For years field trips have provided hands-on experiences to make learning come to life, but the in-depth opportunities aren’t just limited to kids in school. NATSO members that attend are gaining valuable business insights by visiting some of the most innovative international retail and petroleum locations while also learning about food service and retailing techniques they can apply to their operations back in the United States. Register and learn about the conference here.
Photo Credit: Darren Schulte/NATSO
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