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New experience concept

The Belgian franchise chain Tom & Co. has opened one of its most attractive stores to date in Kortrijk, formatted to a new concept
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The company, a subsidiary of Delhaize, occupies a leading position in the Belgian pet retail trade. According to its own figures, it currently enjoys a market share of 15 % of the Belgian pet sector as a whole with around 100 stores. 13 of these outlets also offer a range of live animals, and thus operate under the name of Animal Center Tom & Co. The new 700 m² store in Flemish Kortrijk is one such outlet, based on a new layout concept.
All in blue: the aquatics section with a ”quiet corner” in the new Animal Center Tom & Co. in Kortrijk.
The high quality standards applied with regard to fittings and the product range are evident immediately on entering the store. The outlet is characterised by spacious pet sales areas, a cultivated ambience with a “quiet corner” in the aquatics section and a retail area organised along clear lines. To allow customers a good overview of the sales floor as a whole from anywhere in the store, all shelves have been constructed at eye level. The shelves themselves are made of galvanized metal and are deliberately neutral in colour, so as not to distract attention from the products on offer. A visual contrast is provided by the four-tier wooden shelving at the ends of the gondolas. Suspended placards, pictures and stickers bearing animal motifs act as an aid to orientation around the store, depicting not only dogs, rodents or birds, but also a human hand reaching for a beloved pet. This is sales psychology at work, lending visual emphasis to the close relationship between man and his pet.
Worth a look: the modern caged bird section.
Live animals play an important role in the store. The pet sales areas themselves are distributed evenly over the retail area as a whole and serve to catch the customer’s eye. Different signal colours are used to indicate the various types of animals: blue for aquatics, yellow for caged birds and violet for rodents etc.  The large animal houses are of modern design and reflect the latest findings regarding pet care.
Format Manager Tom Engelen and the shopkeeper Valerie de Jaegher.
The strong emphasis placed on quality in the new store is conveyed not only by the competence of the sales staff, but also directly at the point of sale; various brightly-coloured signs at the sales counters answer questions that are frequently posed by pet owners. The location of the tills also indicates the priority given to the provision of specialist advice: instead of tills placed immediately by the exit, as is…
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