Small Is Beautiful

A major European grocery chain wanted to expand its business into small-format convenience stores. The company had tried several times to launch pilot stores but failed each time. After a thorough debrief the company realized its error—trying to impose their old business model on a completely new concept. What did it have to do differently to ensure success? The company called in an external consulting team led by a current Rivia partner and gave it complete freedom to manage the project, including how to best engage all functions of the company.

The Rivia partner established clear criteria for assessing viability at decision points along the way. Working closely with the client, the partner and his team determined pricing and assortment, led the design of the stores, and changed virtually everything behind the scenes from hiring practices to supplier relationships. Hundreds of small-format stores have been launched since, the success much greater than anticipated and sustained now for more than ten years.