We spoke with CEO Joost Leeflang about the newest Marqt store, how passionate employees add character to the brand and how the ‘DJ of Marqt’ fits in the bigger picture.
The new Marqt store concept was first introduced at the ‘shopping center Brazilië’ in Amsterdam. Today, the second store with a similar concept has opened its doors at Hoofddorpweg. What is the concept all about?
It’s an improvement of Marqt as you know it and we added new things that are more directed towards the consumer. For example a new Marqt ‘Hulp in de Keuken’- department has everything you need to prepare a quick and easy meal. The product offerings change during the day; so for breakfast you can find yoghurt with granola and for lunch good soups and salads. For dinner, several ‘1-2-3 Aan Tafel’ options are available depending on how much time you have to cook.
How has the Marqt brand evolved over the years?
Marqt was founded in 2008 with a mission to change the food system. It started as a food market where farmers or local manufacturers got to meet customers. Over time, this marketplace turned into a store concept that is still focussed around fresh foods. You could say the essence of our brand has stayed the same, but the consumer mindset has obviously changed throughout the years. Our partners have set an example of how to produce products with respect to people and nature. The demand for these products has not gone unnoticed by traditional supermarkets, as they are also changing their product offering.
We are actually very happy about this because together we can make a difference.
"The right music contributes to a calm setting where customers can be thoughtful about the foods they buy"
From a brand perspective, Marqt ‘feels’ different from ordinary supermarkets. How do you accomplish that?
It’s the people that really make a difference. Our staff are very passionate about good food and drinks. They share knowledge on how to best fillet or marinate your fish, how to prepare a great vegetarian tofu dish or they give you advice on what cheeses really fits your platter. Everyone is quite spirited and conscious about food and that passion is very noticeable in the store.
Music composer Julius van Ijperen is responsible for curating Marqt’s playlists. How do you see the role of background music?
We want to create an ambiance where customers can truly immerse themselves in the quality of our foods and drinks. All the senses are taken into account; visual, touch, smell, taste and also sound. The right music contributes to a calm setting where customers can be thoughtful about the foods they buy.
Julius also played out during our store opening as ‘DJ of Marqt’. It was a great day!
Marqt now exists for 10 years. What are you most proud of?
Our employees! The good energy they bring in really has a positive effect on everyone. Also, we succeeded in turning our ideologie into a store and we have grown from 1 to 17 stores. Marqt is a proven concept and we are very proud of that.