How might Ireland’s largest grocery retailer identify ways to compete in the baby aisles without being drawn into unfavorable ongoing price war with competitors? In addition to increasing footfall, the aim was to drive significant revenue growth in this shopper segment both in the baby category and in the overall stores.

The solution

The Parent VIP hour concept designed by Hellon creates competitive edge by reducing parents’ stress and making their lives easier while doing their grocery shopping with children.

We discovered that reducing stress and helping parents during their grocery shopping helps grow loyalty and increase parent spend. The prototyped concept validated the desirability of Parent VIP Hour, and allowed the client to implement the new shopping experience with confidence that it will work from day 1. We tested and delivered 10 concrete ideas, many of which have already been fitted in all new branches and several existing ones.

The results

As an outcome for the project and the tested prototypes and innovations the client has launched several initiatives like the Parent VIP –package, Baby food Ambassador, Free fruit for kids nationally, sweet free checkouts and doubled parent parking spaces and built hotel grade baby changing rooms in all new build stores.

The client saw a 3.3% increase in their baby category revenue when looking at the pre-vs post trial period, in addition they also saw a marked increase of 5.2% in the overall store sales pre-vs post. During the trial period, 70% of the shoppers said they felt less stressed during their experience and 90% said they would be spending more time in store and/or would return more often to shop as a result. In addition, there was an increase to shopping earlier in the day +3.5% from 22.6% of people shopping 9 to 12pm to 26.1%, this helped the store give a better experience at quieter times and maximise their resources in store.  For the stores involved in the service design project and in the commercial trial, the total annualised incremental revenue impact was as high as 678,000€. Based on the project, the improved customer experience and the new solutions, the client now estimates an incremental revenue of €4.84M annually to be achieved as a direct result of the Service Design.

Top results

Increased revenue

Based on the project, the improved customer experience and the new solutions, the client now estimates an incremental revenue of 4.84M€ annually to be achieved as a direct result of the work.

Shift towards customer- centricity

The project also managed to shake up internal processes, starting a shift towards customer-centric development in the client organisation.


Increase in social media reach and 512% increase in engagement during the project

“A supermarket that makes my life easier would influence my decision on where to do my big shop. It would also give me more head space to respond to offers and new products in-store.”

The process

The approach to the identified business challenge was built using human- centric design thinking and a service design approach. Insight methods (12 Diary studies, 8 Customer interviews and 3 Mystery shopping sessions at the main competitors’ supermarkets) were utilised to understand the parent shoppers’ underlying needs and motivations as well as the main drivers for choosing where they shop. Through co-creation and ideation with key stakeholders, new conceptual service innovations were created and a selection (10 prototypes) of these innovations were taken to livelab – testing with actual customers and employees in a live in-store environment.


Let’s start our journey together!

Jaakko Wäänänen

+358 40 560 4828