Francophone switzerland: fourth-generation village store faces new challenges – Latest news

Francophone switzerland: fourth-generation village store faces new challenges

This year, florian lochner from kirchehrenbach wants to tackle a rough project. Together with his parents, he wants to open the "nahkauf lochner" store restructure. The market belongs to his mother maria lochner, he is to take over this later. At the moment he is responsible for the "schnapsstodl and for the online store of spirits. Florian lochner says that there have been major sales losses since the opening of the supermarket in neighboring weilersbach. And they want to make up for it this year. For this the "nahkauf lochner" needs a niche, a unique selling proposition. Florian lochner plans to include more regional products, but without becoming a farm store: "it should be a mixture, because people are becoming more aware of what they buy. But sometimes they also need a maggi fix."

Using synergies

There is no meat or bread counter in the supermarket. "Kirchehrenbach is a prime example of an attractive village. There is also a butcher and a backer. We support each other and use positive synergies", explains lochner, who is a retail salesman and business administrator and is currently studying for his business administration degree.

Regional, but competitive

For him, it is important to offer regional products that are competitive. "What many people don’t know is that we already offer regional beers in the beverage market, that there is a parking lot in front of the beverage market, and that we’ve had a delivery service for years.", pays lochner on. The latter is used mainly by elderly people who order their goods mainly by phone, which are then delivered on fridays. Especially the coarse and heavy goods are ordered. "We deliver from a purchase value of 25 euros", explains lochner. He further reported that a unique selling point of the market is its proximity to the customer. People know each other and exchange ideas. "This is important in a village. And kirchehrenbach is a special place, because there is a lot going on here and there is always something going on", schwarmt florian lochner.

Advertising via whatsapp

To make the offer better known, he wants to do more advertising. For example, there will be a newsletter distribution list via whatsapp, more modern flyers and a fresher website.

Florian lochner already implemented a special feature last year: the "schnapsstodl". With friends, he expanded the space above the beverage market. "I have invested a lot here", he says, but does not want to reveal exact figures. The fan of whisky and rum has turned his hobby into a profession here. He currently offers around 3500 different spirits here. 2000 of these are whiskies. By the end of the year, he wants to offer 4000 to 5000 different spirits. "Then the shelves are full", says lochner laughing and tells that he also offers tastings for companies and private persons and plans further events around spirits. He already has customers beyond the region. Regional brands are offered here as well.

"We have to see if it works that way. I don’t want to be able to afford a porsche, but at least a private car. Everything should simply remain fair", says florian lochner. He hopes that people in the countryside will also spend a little more money on regional and sustainable products.

The fourth generation

By the end of 2020 at the latest, we will have to see whether the concept works. Otherwise you have to think about what to do next. Florian lochner is the fourth generation in the store. "It started in 1930 with a market in kiosk grobe", he tells and shows a photo of his grandfather selling persil at the village square. Florian lochner does not intend to do that. He wants to survive with his market and the new concept of regionality and sustainability.

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