The wholesale store of the future: 3 trends that will shape professional purchasing

In addition to digital offerings, delivery and other services, shopping at the local wholesale store remains an important purchasing channel for professional customers. It provides many innovations: from rooftop gardens to ‘Scan & Go’.

Scan & Go

METRO wholesale stores – one of many channels

Internationally, professional customers can purchase goods locally in more than 660 METRO stores. Nearly 70 warehouses and around 560 stores with delivery complement the in-store shopping options with an extensive delivery service, known as food service distribution (FSD). In-house regional specialists provide additional support (Read more: Culinary delights delivered by METRO). This synergy of FSD and wholesale stores, combined with digital solutions such as DISH as well as online marketplaces in several countries, is called multichannel and is part of METRO’s sCore strategy.
More about sCore: https://www.metroag.de/en/about-us/strategy

Order online? Check. Have goods conveniently delivered to the restaurant? Check. However, some items have to be hand-picked by the restaurateurs at the local wholesale store. Sometimes they need fresh vegetables or fish for the menu of the day – or maybe they just realized they ran out of flour and need to run to the store quickly before the restaurant opens.

It all started with the traditional self-service store. Since the 1960s, METRO has been meeting the demands of professional customers with this type of store (read more at: www.metroag.de/en/about-us/brands/metro-makro-history). Over the years, it changed and grew in different directions. Meanwhile, flexible delivery offers and a wide network of warehouses, various digital solutions and an online marketplace have been added to the portfolio.

But what does in-store purchasing in the wholesale industry look like today? And what about tomorrow? Modern METRO wholesale stores, such as the recently opened store in Lyon-Gerland, are leading the way. 3 examples.

Store trend 1: Urban rooftop gardening

Urban rooftop gardening store lyon

In terms of being regional and short distance, it simply can’t be topped: The roof terrace of the METRO store in Lyon-Gerland offers 3,000 square metres of space for ‘urban farming’ – the perfect place for growing herbs, fruits and vegetables. The idea behind this concept is to make the best possible use of urban spaces. The medium-term goal is to create an ‘urban farm’ with around 20 varieties of herbs and fruit, especially tomatoes and raspberries. The rooftop garden is expected to yield 7 to 10 tonnes of crops per year, and customers can buy the harvested products directly at the store. But that’s not all – the area will also serve as a recreation and meeting place for customers and employees.

Store trend 2: 30-minute pickup

METRO store Lyon

30 minutes is enough time to get even the bulkiest orders packed and ready to go without having to lift a finger – apart from tapping on the display at the store entrance. Professional customers simply log in and select what they need. This service is intended for more than 700 bulky goods that customers do not want to carry through the store themselves or for standard articles that do not require inspection, such as drinks or large containers of cooking oil. Instead, restaurateurs can use that time to select fresh products. For example, while a customer selects fish for the daily special, METRO employees assemble his order. After paying, the customer drives directly to the pick-up station in the car park to receive his purchase.

Store trend 3: Scan items yourself instead of standing in line

Separate checkout area Scan & Go

Long line at the checkout? Not anymore. Services such as ‘Scan & Go’ make it easy to process purchases yourself. Customers scan the articles via app on their own smartphone directly as they take them from the shelf. Quantities can be adjusted via ‘More’ or ‘Less’ buttons. In the checkout area, users can complete their purchase with a click in the app. The data is transferred to the cash register via barcode. Customers only need to indicate how they want to pay. Some stores already have a separate checkout area for even faster processing of ‘Scan & Go’ purchases. And customers who pay by card or ‘credit’ function can even access the shopping basket via self-checkout and complete their purchase autonomously.

The bottom line: Wholesale shopping needs to be convenient, practical and fast. But despite all the time constraints, you can’t lose the personal touch.

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