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Brief Published: 3 Nov 2017

Boom of the Boutique Grocery Store


At IRDC 2017, several retail design agencies revealed concepts conceived to elevate the traditional grocery store experience.

  • ‘Neighbourhood Market’ Channels Wellness Boom, USA: Californian organic grocer Erewhon’s locations (Venice Beach, LA and Calabasas, with Santa Monica launching in 2018) are strategically placed within thriving wellness-driven neighbourhoods. As such, all include a full-service juice bar, an open kitchen serving location-customised menus designed by well-known LA chefs, and naturopathic doctors providing assistance in the nutrition department. Recognising its role in the neighbourhood and emphasising its focus on sustainable design, most of the stores include sociable outdoor terraces, a living wall and greenery-lavished entrances. It was designed by California-based Retail Design Collaborative. See also Biophilia-Boosted Store Design and Medi-Leisure.
  • Farmers’ Market Overrides Pre-Packaged Purchasing, South Korea: South Korean retail conglomerate Shinsegae Group’s concept store PK Market in Hanam is inspiring consumers by overturning Korean supermarkets’ long-time reliance on vacuum-packed food – instead drawing inspiration from Western farmers’ markets. Unwrapped, fresh produce is displayed in contextually relevant settings – ie. a harvest truck for fruit, industrial water basins at the fishery. Food stalls selling ‘globally inspired snacks’ constitute 40% of the space, creating a buzzy market vibe. It was designed by American agency Thread Collaborative.
  • Tasty Aesthetics, Germany: The Cologne branch of Spanish speciality grocery retailer Solera subverts classic supermarket design with interiors inspired by Italian art collective Memphis Group’s clashing colour and geometric shapes. Furniture and branding come in vibrant colours and graphic shapes, contrasted against black walls and ceilings. Divided into shop-in-shops, it also features event spaces and a demo kitchen. It was designed by Spanish studio Masquespacio.

See also Future Supermarket Strategies