Four European retail-chains have been selected before the fair BioFach, the world’s leading organic trade-fair, to be the most remarkable chains doing organic efforts. They are not the only ones but perhaps these lighthouses could encourage other chains to do similar efforts. The following chains have been chosen: Irma from Denmark, Tegut from Germany, Auchan from France and Norma with their Austrian branch for European Organic Award „ Top-level Bio 2013“.
Irma has 83 stores in total. 80 on Zealand, 1 on Funen and 2 in Jutland. 4 of the shops on Zealand are Irma City stores. The shops are very variable in size from the big grocery store that covers everyone’s needs for quality goods, to the little convenience store. Irma City is called Irma’s little sister. You will find all the familiar Irma products combined with longer opening hours and central locations. Irma City stays open after hours so that customers can shop organic when the workday ends later than intended.
The award is given for IRMAs unique organic quality focus for top end retailing in more than 20 years and due to the fact that IRMA has organic products as a strong element in the own chain concept.
In order to realise this, IRMA has built up close relations with local organic producers – and implied strong partnerships, this has given the organic producers unique basics for their development of high quality products and the whole organic concept
Tegut is an independent and manager-owned chain of supermarkets in the central part of Germany. They have 280 supermarkets and have been among the organic forerunners in Germany for more than 25 years. With the example of their supermarkets and as a whole chain they convinced the Germans that it makes sense to count on organic food. Today the percentage of turnover of organic products in their supermarkets is more than 22 % and in some of their selected supermarkets much higher. For high-class organic food Tegut has become one of the first locations in Germany. Tegut is selling Alnatura as their shop-brand, they sell special regional products, Demeter-products, a lot of fair-trade-products including fair organic milk. With this offer and the way to sell organic food Tegut has been chosen in Germany as one of the really good examples.
From the viewpoint of Germans and Danes French hypermarket are really big. Auchan for example runs among other types of shop already in France 116 of those hypermarkets They are 2 500 to 22 000 square meters large, have 150 to 900 employees, show 30 to 100 000 different products, have 20 to 90 cashiers for 5 000 to 30 000 clients a day. Auchan has been hit very early by the fact that their clients found that organic products would be too expensive for every day. So they created a range of organic products and priced them to less than one Euro to show organic food must not be only expensive. The buyer of organic food did a tremendous job in a short time to build up a high quality organic offer. For Auchan the fruit of these efforts has been that the group also built up the first only-organic supermarket within the group called Heart of Nature.
Norma is a family-founded German discounter with a very special focus. The owner was deeply connected to organic food, especially from Austria. For 7 years Norma also built up 15 discount-shops in Austria. The organic assortment there is larger than in Germany: 119 different products and the share of organic sales is higher than in Germany: Austria 85, Germany 5. All organic products are sold under the shop-brand Organic Sun. And even there are only 15 discount markets Norma in Austria they have among the organic assortment 16 organic products from Austria. For this special effort of a discounter this strategy is quite award-winning, because possibilities of this kind out outlet are limited by the very small assortment they have in general.
We are proud to see these retail-chains as examples of the most active players on BioFach 2013. And we hope these first steps will encourage other retail-chains to follow. BioFach is really a good place for organic people from different countries to look at each other and to learn one from another“, tells Dr. Holstein, one of the initiates of the award.