In the first part of our series on The Schweitzer Collection of the world’s top 50 food stores, we take a peek at the stores worth visiting for their exciting food-to-go offers, including in-store dining

Searching for inspiration on store design? Look no further than The Schweitzer Collection – a selection of 50 food stores from across the world every serious retailer, and food lover, should visit.

This list of amazing outlets has been pulled together by Interstore | Schweitzer, a consulting, design and shop fitting company that operates in countries all over the world. Aware of the growing importance of in-store experiences against a backdrop of surging online sales, its experts set out to find the best examples of grocery retailing globally.

“Not really being able to travel much during the pandemic, customers often asked us to show them shops they could get inspiration from,” says Bernhard Schweitzer, owner and CEO of Interstore | Schweitzer.

“Together with Grégoire Kaufman, our retail consultant, we came up with the idea of creating a selection of shops that were not only designed by us, but also some of the most interesting ones that all professionals should know about.”

Each store on the list has been visited by the firm’s retail experts over the past three years, and was selected based on five criteria: product presentation, expertise & craftsmanship, atmosphere & interior, ready-to-eat offer and omnichannel & digital innovation.

“The idea we want to convey is that we believe very strongly in the physical point of sale,” says Schweitzer. “Even with omnichannel and e-commerce, we believe that an attractive location is a great value for the customer who is looking for an experience that goes beyond low price and good product.

“It’s about a sensory experience, but also a social experience. This is the common thread of selection. We know that at the end of the day it is frequency that makes the profit, and if a retailer invests in achieving that frequency, that is a good thing.

When it comes to making shopping a social experience, in-store dining and food-to-go take centre stage. The experts chose stores based on the quality and originality of their culinary experience, looking in particular for those that created a social atmosphere and blended the shopping and dining areas seamlessly.

So which stores among the top 50 stood out most for their gastronomic twist?


Aldi Corner Store’ – Sydney, Australia

Size: 1,200 sq m    Format: Compact discount supermarket

German discount giant Aldi has already proven itself to be a trendsetter. The development of Aldi Corner Store in Sydney represents another milestone in the group’s history, and shows the retailer is on top of changing consumer habits. With this new local, art-infused, urban-oriented small format, Aldi wants to get closer to its clientele and target younger, health and sustainability conscious customers. The new format offers a growing assortment of ready-to-go meals and convenience-based products, which – along with a new takeout coffee and artisanal bakery offering – complement its vast product offer. (Photographs: Aldi Australia)


Ametller Origen – Catalonia, Spain 

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Size:    1,300 sq m    Format:   Organic supermarket

Ametller Origen is an organic chain taking Catalonia by storm. Its customers value quality over price and its focus is on fresh and healthy products, with an emphasis on convenience, innovation and flavour. The business is a social movement, with commitments around local sourcing and sustainability. Its store formats are also highly innovative. Our pick is its Mercat D’Autors concept, which features a gastronomic market, workshop space and restaurant. 


Biltoki – Saint-Etienne, France 

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Size:    1,200 sq m    Format:   Market hall

Biltoki is currently leading the resurgence of market halls across France, re-inventing the traditions of local sourcing and food culture with a 21st century twist. Inside the magnificent and newly opened Halles Mazerat, shoppers can visit around 30 passionate food traders and artisans, who have been carefully curated to offer a range of delicious products and dishes.


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Bridge – Zurich, Switzerland

Size:     1,200 sq m      Format:   Food market

Bridge is an experimental store offering a truly innovative hybrid concept that blends the features of a supermarket, market hall and hospitality space. Its programme of local traders and pop-ups gives the experience an ‘always new’ feel. The lab kitchen provides a unique social cooking space, while the specialist fresh food departments showcase world class ranging and display. Just sublime. (Photographer: Love Weber)


Erewhon – Santa Monica, California, US

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Size:     1,000 sq m     Format:  Premium supermarket

Erewhon is a Los Angeles-based organic grocer and café with six locations. At first sight, the impressive architecture of the Santa Monica site, located a stone’s throw from the beach, looks more like a designer mansion or a luxury fashion store than a premium supermarket.

The bright and airy interior is packed with a broad variety of fresh produce, while the show kitchen gives shoppers a direct view of ready-to-eat meals being prepared from fresh, sustainable products.

The outstanding organic food offer, together with highly professional staff and the store’s modern design, make it an exemplary example of how a supermarket can respond to consumer demands for sustainable, tasty food and a beautiful shopping environment. 


Éxito Wow – Colombia, South America

Size:  7,400 sq m    Format:   Supermarket

Laureles is the second Wow store by Grupo Éxito in Colombia. This next-generation hypermarket concept showcases the group’s innovative blend of physical and online shopping. The store’s social robot Otti offers assistance based on vocal commands from the customer, while smart carts allow shoppers to view recipes and navigate the store. A dedicated click & collect corner enables both pick-up and home delivery. The store also boasts a food hall, offering local and healthy delicacies, as well as a co-working space where visitors can grab a nice cup of coffee.


Good Wine – Kiev, Ukraine

Size:   2,500 sq m   Format:   Gourmet store

Having started as wine importing business, Goodwine branched out into the world of gourmet food and gastronomy with this Kiev store, which is made all the more splendid by its enviable wine offer. Boasting a welcoming, modern environment, it features an excellent product range, a gourmet restaurant, a sushi & champagne bar, an inviting coffee shop and a wine tasting corner. (Photographer: Love Weber)


Jumbo Foodmarkt – Utrecht, the Netherlands

Size:  3,600 sq m  Format:  Supermarket 

For the foodies out there, Jumbo Foodmarkt is not to be missed. Situated in an old warehouse, this store at Veghel boasts a particularly special atmosphere, with an amazing assortment of products from food specialists, as well as freshly made sushi and delicious homemade Italian, Asian and Dutch dishes that can be enjoyed at home or in the Jumbo Foodmarkt Café. The site is also home to the Jumbo Academy, which doubles as a cookery school and experimental kitchen. 


The Barn Bio – Brussels, Belgium 

Size:  500 sq m    Format:   Organic market

This is what modern entrepreneurship looks like. The founders of Barn Bio realised their dream of a sustainable food business with this permanent indoor market, which offers 100% organic products in bulk at fair prices. Since the first store was founded, another four markets have opened their doors to an ever more health and climate-conscious clientele. The honest, straightforward simplicity of this concept reminds us that healthy and organic doesn’t need to come in premium packaging.


Wegmans – Brooklyn, New York, US

Size:   7,400 sq m   Format:   Supermarket 

Grocery chain Wegmans’ cult following was only enhanced by its arrival in New York City. This latest store in Brooklyn Navy Yard is vast, boasting a European market-like arrangement crammed with incredible products and innovations. It’s a food-to-go mecca, featuring a pizza station, sushi counter and coffee/bakery stop. Novelties include on-the-spot lobster steaming and make your own craft beer six-pack, plus a mezzanine level cocktail bar to rest and relax before carrying on with your shop. 


Whole Foods Market – Tampa, Florida, US

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Size:  4,450 sq m   Format:   Organic supermarket

Whole Foods was a trailblazer with its organic food market concept. This store in Tampa, Florida, represents the next generation of Whole Foods stores emerging in the wake of the chain’s acquisition by Amazon. While the store is still very ‘on message’ for Whole Foods, it has a more minimal decor. And while it still excels in fresh, it has a greater emphasis on food-to-go. There are also plenty of locally sourced grocery products, including an extensive selection of craft beers.


Zurheide – Düsseldorf, Germany

Size:   10,000 sq m  Format:    Gourmet supermarket

Spread over two levels, with a unique range of over 60,000 products, Edeka Zurheide in Düsseldorf can rightfully claim the title of “food haven”. Alongside a host of different gastronomic concepts including a mozzarella bar, champagne bar and prosciutto bar, this larger than life food store also boasts its own Michelin-star restaurant. It offers an unrivalled food experience and is well worth a visit.