Düsseldorf features a new gem since earlier this year. EDEKA Zurheide Feine Kost has opened its largest supermarket to date in Berliner Allee. After three years of construction, it has opened its doors for business.
The impressive building, which used to be a Kaufhof department store, shines brighter than ever. Thanks to its glass façade, curious customers can catch a first glimpse of the new store and the many kitchens in the gastronomy section.
On 10,000 square meters, Zurheide showcases food, cuisine and experience to customers, who are initially likely to be overwhelmed. Rüdiger Zurheide, one of the two managing directors who gave us a tour of the store, concedes that German consumers are not used to the size and product variety yet. Zurheide presents three times the product selection your typical supermarket usually has to offer.
Huge and cozy
What sounds like a contradiction at first, quickly becomes clear as you walk around the store. Despite its enormous size, Zurheide exudes a familiar warmth and invites visitors to linger and browse.
How does it do that? The many design elements accentuate its unique sections. You walk through a produce market with a striking lighting concept, make your way to the organic food section, over to a wine specialty store or a cheese store. Customers don’t feel lost in the vastness of the market because the venue makes them feel like they are visiting many smaller specialty stores and shops.
The supermarket also exudes a noticeable calmness. No sales offers or music are blaring in the wide, accessible aisles. Though this arrangement might not please all customers – after all, they are not used to shopping in a calm atmosphere like this -, “we primarily want to accommodate our employees in this case. We want to make sure they are not exposed to continuous background noise,“ says Zurheide.
Product selection remains paramount
Despite all the special features like the Juice Bar, the Champagne Bar, and other gourmet treats, the food takes center stage. "Aside from Tchibo and our drugstore department, we don’t sell any non-food items. We sell groceries.” Patrons can savor everything from the store brand to luxury wine brands.
What sets Zurheide’s product selection apart from other supermarkets and is already an inherent part of the store is its "our own fresh-made products are the best" mentality. In addition to the store’s own pasta factory and nearby coffee roasting plant, desserts are also made right on-site. "Originally, we also wanted to make our own fresh mozzarella cheese for our Mozzarella Bar, but we were unable to match our own self-imposed high quality standards."
That being said, the store does its own on-site curing. In addition to classics like ham and fish, the shop is always eager to experiment and try new things, such as “Fischbratwurst”, fried fish sausage, which has been enthusiastically embraced by the clientele.
Shopping becomes a culinary experience
Gastronomy is a top priority. Thanks to the open kitchens and friendly ambiance, many small restaurants invite you in to eat and be amazed. From the vegetarian restaurant in the entrance area to the Grill Point, all the way to the Setzkasten - the gourmet restaurant of the store-, customers can find whatever their hearts (and stomachs) desire.
All the products used in these venues can also be purchased on the spot of course. And not only that, the chef also includes the recipe upon request. After all, the store’s motto ‘We love food’ (Wir lieben Lebensmittel) already tells you that "freshly prepared foods made from fresh ingredients are important to us. Our customers can see that we really mean it by watching the food preparation live", says Zurheide.
This doesn’t just apply to prepared dishes, which can also be enjoyed in the pasta factory and the Mozzarella Bar. One special highlight is the oil press on the lower level of the store. Experts show interested customers live and on-site how walnut oil is extracted from walnuts. "We want to show customers how products are made and what actually makes them such high-quality items. This motivates customers to buy on-site and puts the higher price into perspective,” explains Zurheide.
There is a variety of customer feedback and it’s usually positive. Rüdiger Zurheide is confident about the future and hopes that customers will quickly receive and accept the new supermarket. "Humans are creatures of habit and have to be convinced to change. But we can do this."