In the latest part of our series on The Schweitzer Collection of the world’s top 50 food stores, we take a peek at the outlets that are must-visit destinations for their omnichannel and digital innovation.

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

This list of amazing outlets has been pulled together by retail experts at Interstore | Schweitzer based on five criteria: product presentation, expertise & craftsmanship, atmosphere & interior, ready-to-eat offer and omnichannel & digital innovation.

When it came to omnichannel & digital innovation, the experts looked for stores offering an integrated shopping experience, with a smooth transition between physical and digital elements and intelligent use of tools and services such as fast and easy digital payments. Importantly, the stores they picked humanise the shopping experience, ensuring it is simple, interactive and enjoyable.

So which stores are must-visit destinations for their omnichannel and digital innovation?

Amazon Fresh – Woodland Hills, California, US

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Size:  3,250m sq Format: Supermarket

This is the most comprehensive large store from Amazon and therefore a great example of its technology-driven shopping experience. The store is a modern-looking traditional supermarket offering an affordable selection of fresh and ready-to-eat options, alongside a smart ecosystem of technologies including Dash Cart (shop and walk-out), Alexa for smart shopping lists, and Amazon Echo hubs positioned around the store for voice activated product searching. It goes without saying, you’ll need your Amazon app ready to get the most out of this high-tech experience.


Carulla FreshMarket – Bogota, Colombia

Size:  1,300m sq Format: Premium supermarket

The premium FreshMarket format is the result of a huge investment from Casino Groupe to give Colombian grocery shoppers a world-class retail experience. Among the technology on hand is payments via facial recognition and various self-payment systems that work with artificial intelligence. There are also digital info kiosks, electronic labels, e-lockers and the C&C drive-thru, plus Lu, the Carulla social robot designed to bring an element of fun to the shopping experience. Shoppers don’t even need to set foot in the store if they don’t fancy it, with a service allowing them to shop without leaving their car.


Coop Hagastaden – Stockholm, Sweden

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Size:  2,400m sq Format:  Supermarket

This flagship concept by the Coop brings to life many of the latest grocery shopping trends in a crisp, vibrant space. An in-store restaurant kitchen run by celebrated chef Jonas Corbell focuses on seasonal ingredients, while there is also a wide variety of store-prepared meal solutions to be enjoyed on-site or taken away. Overall, the offer puts a strong emphasis on local and vegan food. Shoppers are encouraged to use Scan & Pay technology (and the vast majority do), which has reduced checkout counters and means 70% of the store’s floor space can be dedicated to fresh categories.


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Fresh Hippo (Hema) – Shanghai, China

 Size:  300-1,000m sq Format: Supermarket

When Fresh Hippo launched back in 2016, it was heralded by retail insiders as the most progressive supermarket in the world. Going well beyond anything Amazon has managed, even today, this store from Alibaba remains the most innovative omnichannel shop on the planet. Since its launch, Fresh Hippo has branched into several formats, but still underpinning the concept is the omnichannel emphasis, the clever integration of in-store dining and the incredible fresh food offer.


Tegut Teo – Fulda, Germany

Size:  50m sq Format: Convenience

Major grocery retailers across the world have been trialling staffless stores, mostly in a bid to showcase their technological knowhow. But few have managed to create an automated experience that understands that it is still humans who are doing the shopping. Enter Tegut, a robotic store that blends intuitive digital experiences with an organic interior and thoughtful touches that make it a leading example of how to humanise the shopping experience in the digital age. (Photographs: Tegut… gute Lebensmittel GmbH & Co. KG – Björn Friedrich)


Walmart – Springdale, US

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 Size:  17,500m sq Format:  Superstore

It’s hard to ignore Walmart given its status as an international retailing behemoth. While it has been transforming its digital operations, it’s also been taking steps to redefine its store experience. While stores have traditionally tried to slow customers down to encourage browsing as a means to increase basket spend, its latest store is designed to get shoppers through to the tills as quickly as possible. Worth a visit to see how the biggest grocery retailers are embracing the modern age.