Real stands for a multifaceted range of food products offering a great price-performance ratio with a large share of fresh produce complemented by an attractive non-food assortment. The selling spaces of the Real stores range from 5,000 to 15,000 square metres, with store assortments of up to 80,000 items.
"Real: one store, you won't need more"
This is the slogan being used in the new Real advertising campaign, and it succinctly sums up Real's unique profile. Real customers can easily navigate the store and find any everyday item – from food products through electronic equipment to clothes.
Focus on the customer
A substantial strengthening of customer orientation represents a key component of the new Real strategy. For this reason, the company has conducted a thorough customer satisfaction analysis. This study has produced 10 key customer groups including "young families", "best agers", "smart budget family" and "traditional hoarder". Based on these insights, Real can now address all customers with a more compelling and targeted approach. Real is committed to ensuring that its customers find exactly what they require for their personal needs when they shop in a Real hypermarket. As this also includes an excellent price-performance ratio, Real has lowered the prices of its key customer groups’ preferred products. And because it’s the customers themselves who can best report on why they particularly enjoy shopping in Real and why they’re fans of the supermarket, a new advertising campaign is planned to start in 2014. In TV spots, genuine, satisfied customers, cast for their parts in Real supermarkets, who are staunch fans, talk about their lives and why Real is their number one place to go for their shopping.
|Number of countries 2
|EBIT before special items 1
|Employees (full-time equivalents) 1
|Total number of items in product line
1 Status 30/09/2015
2 Status 31/03/2016
Starting in 1992, Real was created from the merger of 13 hypermarket operators with different sales concepts: Real-kauf, divi, Continent, massa, massa-Mobil, Meister, esbella, basar, BLV, Huma and Suma. In 1998, allkauf and Kriegbaum were added to the chain. Each of these companies had a very successful regional track record spanning several decades. In 1998, the chain was expanded by 94 hypermarkets of the Allkauf Group and 20 hypermarkets of the Kriegbaum Group. In May 1999, five stores of extra-Verbrauchermärkte GmbH were added to Real. In 2006, Real acquired Wal-Mart's hypermarkets in Germany, as well as the Polish stores of the French hypermarket chain, Géant.
The business concept
Brand articles and strong private labels guarantee a high-quality product line in both the food and non-food segments. Real places a high priority on quality and freshness in the food segment, which accounts for the bulk of sales. Food safety is the highest priority when selecting and buying products. This sales division has also responded in recent years to customer demand and is increasingly including in their range of products local produce under the label “Goodness from home”. Since the middle of 2013, agreements have been adapted to simplify and speed up cooperation with small-scale producers. The five private brands “Real Quality“, "Real Bio“, "Real Selection“ and "Tip“ and the brand "without name" introduced in 2013 form a further important component for distinguishing the Real family brands. With its brand "without name", Real offers low-priced basics which are excellent value for money. For customers looking to buy quality products at discount prices, Tip is always first choice. Enjoy excellent quality and save money as you go: Real Quality products score by being every bit as qualitative as well-known brands, but at permanently low prices. Discerning customers who place particular emphasis on premium quality can choose from a wide range of Real Selection products. These products score with exceptional taste, outstanding quality and particularly choice ingredients. With its Real Bio brand, the supermarket offers nearly 200 different organic products. These are sourced from organic farms and thus meet the high demands of the EU Eco regulations.
Real places particular emphasis on presenting products in an attractive, well-considered format. An improved customer guidance system makes it easier for customers to navigate the store. The store layout is now easier to understand and satisfies customers’ demands for transparency and the right shopping atmosphere. The modern store layout and more attractive prices also improve the brand profile as a family-friendly company that offers good value for money. Real's balanced combination of self-service and service booths distinguishes it from discounters as well as competing hypermarket operators. Real stores place particular emphasis on providing skilled customer assistance. Accordingly, Real continually makes substantial investments in training for its employees.
In addition to its attractive pricing, Real's market success can be attributed to a sophisticated logistics system: state-of-the-art processing of scheduling and invoicing, automated inventory management and computerised ordering systems facilitate on-time store deliveries.
Following the successful opening of a new location in Essen in October 2013, the successful market concept was implemented in a further 30 Real supermarkets throughout Germany in the first quarter of 2014. The aim was to complete renovation work in the chosen stores before Easter, in order to sustainably upgrade a large number of locations in as little time as possible. This was the first time in the history of the company that so many stores were upgraded in one quarter. As a result, Real not only operates the one flagship store in Essen, but has also at least one or two stores in every region of Germany which have now been upgraded according to the successful concept.
Throughout, all changes in the stores were designed to adapt to changes in consumer behaviour over recent years. Besides the current trend of buying via various channels, such as in online shops or drive stores, the demand for regional and convenience products is also growing steadily. In grouping products and in the various departments of the stores, plans closely followed customer search logic. With wider aisles, a free central aisle and lower shelves, the refurbished stores appear much more spacious and clearly arranged. By totally revamping the product range structure and placement of products, and introducing new services such as free WiFi, the stores have become considerably more attractive and competitive for customers.
Shop around the clock
Real strikes out in a new direction with its online shops: since August 2013, the sales division itself has been responsible for logistics, a service which had been provided by an external service provider up until this time. In addition, Real interlinked its online shop more closely with its bricks and mortar stores. Customers can opt to have their goods sent to their home address, to a Deutsche Post parcel station, or free of shipping costs to a local store. In particular, it is the working population which benefits from long opening hours when it comes to store delivery. As part of its multichannel distribution, Real also operates two drive-through supermarkets in Germany. Customers can order food or personal hygiene products online at www.real-drive.de and collect their order just two hours later at the locations in Isernhagen-Altwarmbüchen near Hanover or in Cologne-Porz. The intention is to establish this drive concept in further locations in the future, particularly in metropolitan areas. Real’s aim is to make shopping faster and more convenient for customers.
Benefit online and offline
As a founding member and long-term partner of the Payback bonus scheme, Real not only offers paper coupons, but also so-called eCouponing. This enables customers to select and activate eCoupons, tailored to their specific buying behaviour, via the Real app or on the www.real.de website. When they pay at the till, they only have to show their Payback card to gain extra points. This allows Real to cater to differing customer needs, from the over-50s who prefer to collect traditional paper coupons in their purses or wallets and then hand them in at the till, to young families who prefer to manage such things via apps or online. Since the beginning of 2014, all Payback users have been able to collect loyalty points digitally exclusively with Real. All that customers need to do to make use of this service is register on the Real app (available for Android and IOS) or on real.de/treue. Real rewards customer loyalty by alternating loyalty schemes with collector schemes. Customers who regularly shop in the store collect loyalty points and are thereby entitled to attractive brand-name premiums. As with the concept behind collecting Payback points, customers can choose between the classic approach of filling a booklet with bonus point stickers or collecting bonus points digitally.
Visit the Real website to find out more about the company, services and the latest loyalty schemes. In the Real online shop, you’ll also find many of the current special offers, such as electronic devices, toys, sports equipment and household gadgets.
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