Żabka has completed the biggest store remodelling in Europe. Consequently, more than 6500 chain’s outlets already operate under a new concept and are marked with a green, smiling logo. The store modernization process started in 2016 with 51 modified outlets. After 4 years the chain has already remodelled all stores. The change has had a positive impact on brand positioning, sales effectiveness and a growth in the number of customers. Across the entire process, Żabka has been supported by the owner – the CVC Capital Partners fund. The last store in the new format was opened in early October in Warsaw, at 2 Boya Żeleńskiego Street.
Tomasz Suchański, President of the Board in Żabka Polska comments: we have completed one of the biggest store remodelling processes in Europe, involving in the process almost all departments of our company. Since 2016 we have modernized over 4 thousand stores, at the same time opening 2500 new locations. We have made key changes not only in the visual identification of the stores, but also in the product mix, arrangement and equipment. The new, open to changes, format has attracted 20 per cent more new customers and allowed us to respond even swifter to consumer needs. Owing to the format change, Żabka was ready for digital transformation and responsible actions related to natural environment and its immediate surroundings. Today it is one of the most dynamic and fastest developing convenience chains worldwide.
The remodelling of over 4 thousand outlets of the chain lasting from July 2016 to late September 2020 took in total almost 462 thousand hours of work of several overhaul teams, working both on the changes of stores’ interiors, and on installation of new equipment, racks and illumination. The greatest dynamics in the number of modernized stores was recorded by Żabka in 2018 and 2019, when it was remodelling as many as 4 stores daily on the average. Transformation of a single store lasted approximately 111 hours.
Żabka started the remodelling of the existing stores in July 2016 with 10 outlets: in Gdańsk, Gdynia, Poznań, Warsaw and Wrocław. One of the first stores to have been transformed was the Żabka outlet at Półwiejska Street in Poznań. It was back then when the image of a frog against yellow background was replaced by a minimalist sign based on characters and accordant with current design trends. The new logo was followed by changes in the visual identification of store interiors – they became lighter and more modern, while the store navigation became easier and more intuitive. Besides the well-known product mix, the modernized stores gained an expanded offer of takeaway snacks, hot and cold drinks and ready-to-eat dishes. Moreover, the chain was developing a package of additional services, owing to which customers, while doing shopping, were able to deliver on other daily duties, e.g. pay the bills. Since 2016 each newly opened Żabka store has been already launched in the new format.
By mid-2018 the chain already had over 2500 stores in the new format and with the new logo. The chain has focused on unification of the product and service offer across all stores and its matching to consumer trends. Those actions have resulted in several product innovations for convenience format, development of the fresh product shelves and Quick Meal Solutions category, as well as new services, such as the option to collect parcels from Żabka stores. The remodelling also covered the stores owned by the company and operating under Freshmarket brand, which have been gradually transformed into Żabka stores. The process has worked very well and resulted in excellent sales results.
2018 was the time of investments in digital transformation of Żabka chain. In cooperation with such technological partners as Microsoft, the chain presented technological innovations, which aimed to facilitate the shopping process and store management. They have included, among others, smart shelves, self-service checkouts, one-second checkouts, electronic price tags etc. Those tools, using among other data analysis and artificial intelligence, enable reduction to absolute minimum of the customer service time, more convenient and more friendly offer communication, better matching of the product mix to buyers’ expectations and improvements in logistic. In that period, the chain also implemented żappka mobile application, allowing for an even better offer presentation, involving communication with customers and easier use of additional services.
Today Żabka stores combine the benefits of traditional commerce, satisfying the need for proximity and personal contact between buyer and seller, and of modern convenience format, responding to the needs of contemporary customers, who pursue fast pace of life. The offer of contemporary Żabka stores also takes into account the trends in Poles’ lifestyles and eating habits, and includes an extensive offer of additional services, which make lives of customers easier; moreover, this offer is open to innovation and helps the chain to maintain the leadership on the convenience market in Poland. Żabka also stands for a franchising model developed throughout 20 years, which assumes close cooperation and dialogue between the company and the franchisees running stores under its brand.
Presently, Żabka chain operates over 6500 stores. Since January this year it has opened 500 new stores. The launch of another 500 outlets across Poland is planned by the end of 2020.