In the heart of Bern, Switzerland, stands a retail establishment that transcends the boundaries of conventional shopping. The iconic Loeb Department Store, founded in 1881, is not just a repository of products but a living testament to a legacy of excellence that has endured for generations. Our ECR members went to a recent retail safari organised by Marilyne Filliger of GS1 Switzerland on the 5th of December which provided a deep insight into the historical trajectory of this family business, expertly guided by Martin Stucki, Chief Digital Officer (CDO) of LOEB AG and Reto Maurer, Head of Logistics of LOEB AG, who guided us through the store. As the intricate tapestry of Loeb’s history unfurled, it revealed not only strategic prowess but a commitment to sustainable initiatives and innovation that sets this department store apart.

Here are our takeaways from our retail safari at Loeb: 

Historical Legacy

The journey began with Martin Stucki’s captivating presentation, weaving a narrative that traced Loeb’s roots back to its inception in 1881. The family’s dedication to excellence and customer satisfaction has been a driving force, ensuring Loeb’s resilience and adaptability in the face of changing times. Stucki’s storytelling skilfully painted a vivid picture of the historical milestones that have shaped Loeb into the retail icon it is today.

Strategic Foundations

Beyond the historical narrative, Stucki illustrated the strategic underpinnings responsible for Loeb’s enduring success in the Swiss market. The integration of digital technologies and a keen understanding of consumer trends were highlighted as key components of Loeb’s approach. The commitment to innovation while staying true to core values showcased a dynamic strategy that has allowed Loeb to navigate the ever-evolving retail landscape.

Customer loyalty and engagement

Loeb recognizes the importance of building lasting relationships beyond transactions. The implementation of loyal member cards provides customers with exclusive benefits based on customer data and personalized offers and loyal customer club meetings, fostering a sense of belonging. This customer-centric approach reflects Loeb’s dedication to creating a shopping experience that goes beyond mere commerce.

Sustainability initiatives

Loeb’s commitment to sustainability takes centre stage with its innovative initiatives aimed at reducing environmental impact. One such initiative is the use of recycled return bags, emphasizing the brand’s dedication to minimizing waste and promoting eco-friendly alternatives. This commitment to sustainability not only aligns with global environmental concerns but also resonates with a conscientious consumer base.

Interactive Customer Spaces

Loeb Department Store goes beyond the conventional with interactive spaces designed to elevate the customer experience. A walk-in tattoo parlour, a beauty salon, and a men’s lounge complete with coffee, alcoholic drinks, and games, exemplify Loeb’s commitment to creating immersive and enjoyable environments. These spaces cater to diverse interests, transforming the act of shopping into a memorable and enjoyable staying in their retail space.

Family-Friendly Facilities

Loeb understands the diverse needs of its customers, exemplified by the inclusion of family-friendly facilities within the store. A dedicated kids care area and a breastfeeding space provide convenience and comfort for parents, ensuring a family-friendly shopping environment. This thoughtful approach aligns with the changing dynamics of modern families and underscores Loeb’s commitment to inclusivity.

Empowering customers through skill-building

Loeb empowers its customers by offering spaces that facilitate skill-building opportunities. The inclusion of a tailoring area and garment repair station, where customers can fix their own clothes and take courses, promotes a do-it-yourself ethos while fostering a sense of accomplishment. The availability of a kitchen area for rent and courses encourages customers to explore culinary skills, creating a dynamic and interactive community within the store.

Panoramic Rooftop Restaurant

The peak of the Loeb experience was reached at the panoramic rooftop restaurant, offering a breath-taking 360-degree view of Bern city. This not only elevates the overall ambiance of the store but provides customers with a unique and memorable dining experience. The rooftop restaurant encapsulates Loeb’s commitment to offering more than just a shopping destination—it is a place where customers can savour both products and views.

To conclude our retail safari at Loeb Department Store in Bern was a journey through time, strategy, sustainability, innovation and get to know the Swiss market and customer behaviour. Loeb’s commitment to sustainable practices, interactive customer spaces, and family-friendly facilities, coupled with strategic category management and an efficient underground logistic system, positions it as a forward-thinking and customer-centric retail establishment, setting a standard for the industry. As consumers increasingly seek meaningful and immersive experiences, Loeb stands out as a beacon of excellence in the Swiss retail landscape. In the grand tapestry of retail, Loeb has woven a narrative that transcends mere commerce—it is an ode to sustainability, innovation, and the enduring spirit of customer satisfaction.

Definitely a must-see store if you are in Bern, Switzerland.