Retail can often be a marathon - with Co-op’s Lab stores it was more like a sprint!

The story behind Lab Stores started with the Co-op’s desire to trial new formats across several locations to test ideas in a real situation, get rapid feedback, analyse results and adapt for future roll-out.

Eden were nominated to support a variety of the initiatives, including click-and-collect areas, fresh produce and Covid protection.

Remarkably, all this was achieved in a 6-week window. When you realise this included generating initial sketch concept ideas all the way to installation, with everything in between, you can see why it’s such an impressive feat.

By pursuing a highly condensed programme of engineering, development and rapid prototyping, we were able to get the Lab Stores up and running fast within a tight installation window. This was also helped by tight collaboration with other suppliers, working in close co-ordination and keeping open communication channels.

The lab stores in Codshall, Marsh and York are now performing well and supplying valuable data to help inform Co-op’s future plans – we’re looking forward to the next leg of the race!