Michaela Kühn


myEnso - the digital corner shop

Flexible shopping around the clock. The start-up myEnso operates 24/7 supermarkets, known as Tante Enso stores. The Tante Enso stores are located in villages and rural communities and counter a negative trend. According to a study by Heilbronn University, up to 8,000 areas in Germany are threatened by a lack of local supply in the future.

Woman with shopping bag opens supermarket door with access card.

The start-up myEnso operates 24/7 supermarkets, known as Tante Enso stores. The Tante Enso stores are located in villages and rural communities. © myEnso

The big advantage of corner stores: thanks to their digital infrastructure, customers can shop here not only during regular opening hours, but also at any time of day or night thanks to chip card access and self-service checkouts.

In 2019, a new kind of village store opened in the small town of Blender in Lower Saxony with just under 3,000 inhabitants: doors opened by chip card and 2,500 products on the shelves. This was the test run for a concept that is set to revolutionize local supply in rural areas. Because if 300 villagers invest 100 euros each, a village store can be run. This is the idea of the Bremen-based company myEnso, which takes care of equipment, goods management and delivery.

Five years have passed since this first store opened. Since then, more than 20 village stores have followed. And dozens more places are on the list of applicants.

Local supply around the clock

Open around the clock, seven days a week, the mini-markets supply the population with food and everyday necessities. Registered customers are given access to the store via a chip card - employees are mainly only on site to restock shelves. Goods can be scanned and paid for using various digital systems.

And how does that work? The stores need a stable Internet connection so that verification at the entrance, the digital checkout system and stock management function smoothly. What was previously painstakingly put together in individual components has now been coming from a single source from Deutsche Telekom for over a year: a stable network and standardized IT equipment from the Cisco Meraki ecosystem. Both together form the basis for the digital store concept.

Fast installation and full transparency

Telekom is already in use in several stores - and is meeting the supermarket operator's expectations across the board. "Telekom's IT concept forms a reliable basis that supports our digital business model at all locations around the clock," explains Helmut Leopold, Chief Information Officer and member of the Executive Board at myEnso.

With Telekom as a partner, myEnso can equip new branches with the plug & play solution much faster than before. The cloud-based IT infrastructure can be configured remotely and adapted flexibly. Using network diagnostics, myEnso can also keep an eye on bandwidth fluctuations at all times, optimize performance and rectify faults remotely without having to send a team of technicians to the individual stores. With a reliable and fail-safe IT infrastructure that is available around the clock, the start-up has taken an important step in its development and can now concentrate fully on its core business. Namely, to further accelerate the growth of the store network. "Telekom and its partners provide us with a standardized IT solution that significantly reduces our workload during ongoing operations and also makes it much easier for us to open new branches," says Leopold.

Priorities are changing. Much of what was once a choice is now a duty.

Smart business

The global economic crisis is accelerating existing trends. Yesterday's decisions are today's commandments.