Designing food stores: when shopping becomes an experience [promoted content]

A smart supermarket design while maintaining cleanliness and maintenance can have quite an impact on the nature of the purchase, the preservation of customers in the long term and the growth of the business. There are quite a few companies that are able to upgrade any store in accordance with budget and requirements.

  • The Marker
  • May 2021
  • Uri Karib and Riva Shor
Yohananof, Holon Interchange Branch[Photo: Aviv Kurt]

A successful shopping experience does not necessarily end with the purchase of the product we have come to buy. Elements such as proper organization, pleasant lighting and smart design can greatly affect the manner in which the customer experiences the shopping experience and his motivation to return. In order to design a successful compound, many parameters must be taken into account, such as the population of customers, location, the layout of the area and even what similar competitors are present in the area. Among the companies who deal with this area are: Koren, B Smart Retail Ltd. and Dariel Retail Design.

KOREN Company

There is a variety of ways to encourage shopping in food stores and supermarkets, among which we can find aggressive and competitive promotions, giant signage, customer clubs, and more. Next to these, in recent years it is possible to see more and more designed and planned foods stores which offer a pleasant and convenient shopping experience, which allows the customer to make a proper purchase and contributes to an increase in revenues.

“Through professional planning of every single meter in the store, it is possible to reach optimal results”, says Lior Koren, the owner and chief designer at Koren Company, which specializes in the design and establishment of high revenue experiential sales complexes, and which in recent years is accompanying the activities of large retail chain stores such as Hazi Hinam, Yochananof and more.

According to him, in order to fully maximize the sales potential – it is important to know what the route of the customer in the store is, the display and shelving systems, the width of aisles, the design of the various categories, the lighting etc, which all have a critical importance for creating a successful shopping experience, and allow for the optimal operation of the store and the increase in revenues.

How do you approach working on designing food complexes?

“I distinguish between general retail and food retail, in which thousands of products with short shelf lives are sold, like fruit and vegetables, meat, milk etc. This challenge requires a great deal of attention to the issue of operation; how many tomatoes can be stacked without harming the freshness, how to enable the cleaning, sorting and frequent transportation of goods, the correct planning of storage and operations areas – all of which are of great economic- operational importance. Unlike book or clothing stores, in which it doesn’t really matter whether the products are sold every day throughout the season and we need to mainly deal with the customer’s experience and visibility.

“We aspire to create stores that are comfortable, diverse, clean and pleasant, that the design in them is aimed to the target audience and represents the brand well, and to allow the retailer to sell well thanks to an easy and optimal operation. A professional design of a store will reduce the operational overheads, depreciation and man power, and will maximize the revenue per meter and the customer’s experience. Our unique work method is comprised of full service to the retailer which includes the formulation of a concept, planogram, architectural planning, complete design and planning of the shelving and display system, graphic design, production, supervision and installation in the area. When all of the professionals work together under one company, it is possible to reach the best result.

“The shopping experience is made from the entire shopping process in the store,” continues Koren. “Whatever the customer sees at the entrance to the store which invites him in, the width of the aisles that will allow him to shop at ease even during a busy hour, whether the merchandise is well lit and properly displayed, the continuity between categories, the variety, number of cash registers, whether the shelves are full enough, and whether the store is clean and pleasant. All these need to conform to the spirit of the chain store, the brand values and the level of pricing.”

The design of the store can promote healthy nutrition and protection of the environment. For example – The promotion of fresh food categories such as fruit and vegetables, and creating bulk sales compounds which reduce packaging and food waste. “When small stores in city centers do this professionally, both the retailer and the customer benefit from it.”

Vegetable department at Bullmarket Or Yehuda[Photo: Aviv Kurt]

What are the parameters that you use to examine the success of the process in the field?

“According to the survival rate of the stores over time. I see beautiful stores that will not survive, which is evident in the amount of changes that take place in the first one or two years. In stores we execute, no significant changes are made after the establishment, since all the parameters are taken into consideration in advance. Additional parameters: The reports from the retailers and suppliers of an increase in revenues, opening additional branches, and implementing a successful design for other locations in the chain.

How did the increase in online shopping, especially during the Corona year, affect the physical stores?

The increase in online shopping encouraged physical stores to invest in improving their attractiveness, so as not to lose their market share. We are currently involved in the development processes of retailers and companies which implement advanced systems and digital measures in an attempt to integrate between the online and the stores. It is most likely that in the near future we will see more digitization in stores – smart cash registers, digital shelf occupiers, easy payment conditions in the field, communicating promotions, screens and more. In my estimate, the physical stores will specialize in all the parameters and constitute a coveted alternative to online shopping.”

Further in the article other companies in the field are being presented. A link to the full article can be found at the top of the page.