The Netto shops in the south of Poland lacked an attractive appearance. They  looked stone cold, guaranteeing an unpleasant shopping experience: just low prices were just not good enough.

The Danish Netto supermarket chain had been well established in the north-west of Poland since 1995. However, the expansion into the south of Poland in 2010 experienced unexpected trouble – empty shops, despite good products and good prices.


Advertising and special-offer brochures did not help. The Netto managers where desperate at that point, since they where unable to put their finger on the base of the problem, and therefore could not come up with a solution, since they stated that all parameters where as they should be.


A visit to the empty shops in Oswięcim was sufficient, to see where the main problem lay. The first Oswięcim Netto had some customers shopping, the other was nearly completely abandoned; there was only one customer. Even the employees where nowhere to be seen. The counter section looked like a forensic surgery room, the door to the repository reminded of a slaughterhouse. There was no decoration whatsoever. The place looked stone cold, depressing.


 The main part of a solution to their problems consisted of a low-cost make-over of the interior of the shops. New visuals for both inside and outside of the supermarkets were developed; even visuals for each different store department, like bread, dairy, etcetera. The present visuals were too small and not very attractive.


The overall new image visual contained a little girl, a small dog inspired on the one from the logo, and a rush basket - thus adding some warmth to the brand.

The latter part contained recommendations for PR events, changed leaflets, and website.

Netto had so much been doing its best to make the whole look ‚cheap’, that they effectively scared consumers away.


It is difficult for me to say, how to call this untypical project. It was definitely not a pure nor standard strategy or corporate ID problem. Let's call it an image problem.

I had an argue with the agency's strategists, who told me my solution was off-brief. They let me present my vision nonetheless,  the strategists got shouted at by Netto's Danish CEO during our meeting. He accepted and implemented my idea with the new visuals, which turned out to solve the problem altogether.


This case shows the importance of being able to do proper research, and think out of the box and beyond a briefing, instead of offering a client some standard advertising solution that does not solve the problem

'Empty supermarkets' Netto



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