Our visitors always want to be ahead of the game, both with their pace of life and innovation. Their behaviors is a first sign of new trends and habits that we will see in society. Currently, we are seeing a strong demand for convenient, personalized shopping that sometimes means displaying different types of products that you would not expect in the same place, such as snacks and services, or food and household items. Shoppers want to find everything they need here and now, says Viktorija Gražienė, the manager of Europa.

According to Gražienė, the retail sector is adapting quickly to customer needs; an example of this is the placing of products from different categories together.

‘When creating the concept of our new IKI store, we had the eternally busy CBD resident in mind. We thought about the products they need the most and how to make them easy to find, especially for those who are focused on more important matters’, explains Lina Muižienė, the managing director of the IKI retail chain.

‘We have thoroughly analyzed and refined the assortment – from the fresh food assortment to the conveniently packaged lunch kits and the healthy snacks’, she adds.

Furnished to the latest standards, the largest format IKI store is expected to open in the first half of March. Investments amounts to EUR 2 million.

Range, intuitiveness and quality

According to Muižienė, matching the assortment to the expectations of a CBD resident, requires more than to pay attention to the quality. The new IKI store will provide a wide range of Grab and Go products, tailored to a dynamic daily rhythm, on-the-spot baked pizzas and the option for customers to make their own fresh juice.

‘We are glad that we and IKI share the same approach – their modern concept store aligns perfectly with our goal of offering a lineup of brands that understand what the people of Vilnius’ CBD need’, Gražienė says.

The 1,302 sqm store will offer around 11,000 products, aiming to cover all the different needs of the customers, be it for weekly shopping, restocking kitchen staples or just grabbing a quick lunch.

In addition to the usual checkouts, the new store will offer IKI Bitutė self-checkout service for quicker shopping.

A shift in mindset

During the pandemic, people living and working in CBD became used to online shopping, and that has remained the preferred choice for most ever since because ordering online in a break during work hours or on the way to a meeting saves a lot of time compared to visiting a shop.

Brick-and-mortar shops are adapting. With some shoppers only coming to pick up their purchases, the new IKI will have the LastMile e-shop pick-up service.

According to Gražienė, all these changes show a shift in mindset: with technology taking over the daily chores and artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things growing, people less and less want to do routine tasks.

‘The future customer will be even less willing to waste time on routine tasks, they will leave it to technology. The pace of life will probably not slow down, but we expect to see a radical change in what people spend their time on. It is no longer enough to provide standardized products – we will have to personalize and tailor them to each individual’s needs and to deliver valuable experiences’, she predicts.

That’s why, as explained by Gražienė, it is crucial to start thinking of how the retail sector can optimize its product assortments. ‘We have exciting challenges ahead of us as we adapt the shopping experiences to new mindsets.’