At last “Everything Organic”: Yardo opens in St. Gallen
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
The first Yardo “super Biomarkt” (organic supermarket) in Switzerland opened its doors in the centre of St. Gallen on Thursday 26 January 2006. This new type of specialist organic store sells a full range of organic and health products for everyday use. Yardo AG is planning to open more organic stores in Switzerland.
Picture: Cheese counter
Yardo AG has positioned its first organic store in St. Gallen in an ideal location where people pass by - directly in the vicinity of the railway station, the post office and the Neumarkt shopping centre (picture). Here at St. Leonhardstrasse 33, a bright, colourful organic store in tune with the latest ideas on shop design has come into being over the last few weeks.
This first Yardo “super Biomarkt” with 450 m² sells a full range of organic foods and luxury items for everyday consumption. In the basement, there is storage space of 240 m². The emphasis is on fresh produce. As well as creating the biggest organic fresh meat counter in the east of Switzerland, there are fresh food displays with cheese, bread, vegetables and fruit (picture). The bread and cheese are sold at service counters. Forty sorts of fruit juices and vegetable juices, more than 120 different organic wines and the full dry range complete the stock of organic goods on offer.
A comprehensive range of natural cosmetics provides for natural beauty as well. The Yardo range is rounded off by special foods for allergy sufferers (gluten, lactose, etc.), organic cat and dog food (picture), and natural products to raise vitality, enhance performance levels and maintain “a good figure”. When selecting their suppliers, the Yardo executives have concentrated on a small number of efficient companies and niche specialists.
The store also has its own self-service cafe (picture). The café in the corner, designed as a bistro, is open from 6.30 am until an hour after the shop closes. The target groups of the café are varied. For example, commuters can enjoy an early morning organic espresso, read the paper and have a healthy snack. Health-conscious employees and school children who spend time in this major city in the east of Switzerland now have the opportunity to eat a lunch of hot soup or an organic sandwich in a smoke-free environment at Yardo.
In the words of Albert Keel, the founder and chief executive of the young enterprise, Yardo AG intends the organic supermarket to appeal to a “new, confident generation that enjoys the good things in life”. This is how he described his aim at the official opening that was attended by many guests from the world of politics and business. “Yardo is not operating in the alternative sector. And we don’t want to sell some organic products just as a sideline in the way the big distributors do. Our aim is to offer our customers fresh, guaranteed organic foods with a high level of quality in the most efficient way. We want to give our customers a sense of ‘joie de vivre’.” Over recent weeks, Albert Keel has brought together a young sales team and prepared them for their formidable task. This highly motivated group is led by Anton Kerler. The 27 year old German worked as marketing manager for Bioluske in Berlin until December 2005 but then, as Frank Luske explained, he wanted “the challenge of a rapidly expanding enterprise”. (Picture from left to right: Albert Keel and Anton Kerler)
When selecting his 22 employees (picture), who share about 17 full-time posts, Albert Keel paid particular attention to their expertise. So his staff consists of food specialists, retail specialists, and such specialists as a fully qualified nutrition adviser, a fully trained practitioner of natural remedies, several pharmacists, a fitness instructor, a master butcher and several diet coaches. By applying this concept, Yardo is in the process of opening up a hitherto unknown dimension for the organic scene in Switzerland: fresh and absolutely safe organic food. Albert Keel sums up the philosophy of the enterprise: “Yardo is the purveyor of ‘joie de vivre’ and good health , both when you go shopping and when you sit down to eat.”
The “super Biomarkt” is conceived as the first in a series of Yardo stores to follow. It is the aim of Yardo AG to open more large-scale organic supermarkets (over 450 m2) in the next three years in Zurich, Bern, Basel and Lucerne. These will be flagship stores with an integrated organic cooking studio and, depending on size, other supplementary activities. In order to establish an efficient distribution of stores across the country in the medium term, so-called “Yardo Express” stores are to follow - premises with 200 to 400 m2 of shopping area - that could be new shops or stores taken over by Yardo or franchising partnerships with existing specialist organic shops.
The name “Yardo” is a new word created from “yard” in English, “jardin” in French and “giardino” in Italian. This international “garden” stands for freshness, purity, ‘joie de vivre’ and health. The investment costs were 1 million Swiss francs; the turnover target is 50 million Swiss francs by 2010.