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About ICA Nära Sälen
- ICA is one of the largest grocery retailers in Scandinavia
- ICA Nära Sälen is an ICA store located in a popular ski resort area
- The store relies heavily on tourists, especially during the winter season
- Store size – 1,030 m2 (11,087 sq)
StrongPoint e-commerce solutions used
- StrongPoint’s Order Picking solution
- StrongPoint’s Click & Collect Grocery Lockers
- Cashguard and Vensafe
- 15-20% of revenue in 2021 has come from online orders
- Reduced the in-store loss caused by the pandemic by tapping into the online customer segment
- Saved costs of order fulfillment storage by using outside lockers as storage space
Because of its location, ICA Nära Sälen is a store that has been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Situated in a popular ski resort area, tourist customers have always been a substantial part of the store’s revenue.
“Because of the pandemic, fewer people have been vacationing in the resort than before. Not only that, but the government said that the people leaving for vacation should shop their groceries at home before leaving – or online”. Says Carl-Johan Åkerstedt, owner of ICA Nära Sälen.
The store had not previously offered e-commerce shopping for their customers, although it had been considered, but with the pandemic they realized it was something they had to immediately implement. The store was already a customer of StrongPoint, as StrongPoint is a preferred supplier of retail technology to the store’s group which helped to quicken the implementation and execution.
“We invested in StrongPoint’s Order Picking to greatly increase the efficiency of the in-store picking for online orders and StrongPoint’s Grocery Locker to help our capacity for fulfilling orders. We picked StrongPoint because we are very happy with the service and ease of use from their solutions”. Says Carl-Johan.
StrongPoint helped the store maintain revenue by tapping into the spike in online demand
By being quick to set up an online offer the store immediately saw an immediate uptake and so in 2021 between 15-20% of the store’s revenue now comes from e-commerce customers, with some days reaching up to 40% of all revenue.
“We would have lost a lot of revenue in this time if it wasn’t for StrongPoint. We get many big orders on Sundays with people buying groceries online for the entire week of vacation. Many Sundays our average orders are around 2 500 SEK (about 300 USD)” says Carl-Johan.
Carl-Johan particularly appreciated the added-benefits that installing click & collect grocery lockers had over providing a home delivery solution.
“Having a grocery locker was crucial because we had an incredible demand from online customers between Christmas and Easter and we needed to immediately provide a pickup or home delivery service. By opting for the grocery lockers we were able to avoid investing in a new cooling room to store online orders that were waiting to be delivered, because the lockers double up as a storage unit,” says Carl-Johan.
StrongPoint’s Grocery Lockers are purpose-built for click & collect of groceries and are built to work optimally in all conditions, even in the mountains of Sweden.
“We have had up to –30 degrees celcius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit) and the lockers have always worked perfectly for all temperature zones”, says Carl-Johan.
StrongPoint’s Order Picking flexibility allowed them scale up and down according to customer demand fluctuations
StrongPoint’s order picking is a flexible solution that can be customized to the exact needs of the store, it’s staff as well as being scaled up and down according to the daily fluctuations of customer demand. This is a core feature that has been particularly appreciated by ICA Nära Sälen.
“The store manager has been doing changing and adapting the solution to our needs over time. It’s a good system for a grocery retailer like us as it allows the possibility to change how you pick, what items you pick first in the bags, and we can decide on specific areas where we do zone-picking. The winter tourism really tested the store capacity in terms of being able to process so many orders from a relatively small shop and at many times we had 6 to 8 people picking groceries at the same time. Because of StrongPoint we were able to instantly scale up for the season and fulfill many more online customer orders,” says Carl-Johan.
Do you want to look at grocery e-commerce solutions for your store/chain? Contact StrongPoint here.