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Coop puts shopping on the rails

The Coop retail group is taking to the rails by introducing two shops on the network of the Swiss Federal Railways. In a first for Europe, Coop will sell convenience food for rail passengers in two converted dining cars previously used by McDonald's.

The new Railshop will initially be in train compositions on the busy Berne to Zurich route and will open for business when the new timetable comes into force on May 29.

"Finding places at railway stations for our Pronto shops according to the criteria and speed we wanted was almost a mission impossible, says Coop's Rudolf Burger, head of the Railshop project, "so I said to myself, let's take to the rails."

Burger considers these the strong points of the Railshop:
- it is a solution for all passengers
- customers in a hurry can quickly find all the articles they need
- it is part of a new strategy showing Coop on the move

As a partner of Switzerland's national exhibition, Expo .02, Coop will keep the Railshop in service until the end of the event. The company says it expects about 600 customers to spend an average of SFr15 a day in the Railshop.

The project is part of Coop's efforts to change with the times. A new logo is also being introduced.

By Robert Brookes

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