Green retail design – it’s possible!

Retail chain stores around the world are working to reduce their footprint in terms of green building and energy savings, reducing waste packaging, downsizing food waste and more.

  • The Marker
  • Aug 2021
  • Lior Koren
Bullmarket, Or YehudaDesign: KOREN, Photo: Aviv Kurt

The right design and planning will contribute to the issue – beyond small and smart stores in city centers, promoting the sale of fresh produce in bulk and using materials which carry an environmental standard.

For more than 20 years we design, plan and execute commercial shops and chain stores, accompanying the world of retail which deals with challenges such as the transition to on-line shopping, regulation changes and alike. We attempt to leverage each such challenge into a business opportunity. When dealing with the climate crisis, the retail business, especially in the field of food, is in the eye of the storm.
Supermarkets have the most impact in terms of energy consumption of air-conditioning, lighting and refrigeration, the emissions of greenhouse gasses from air-conditioning, transportation and deliveries, as well as the materials used in the interior design of the store. Beyond that, the products themselves have dire consequences of environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in terms of exploiting resources, packaging and plastic waste, food waste and the customer’s selection of a food basket. The design and planning of the store carries weight and impact as well – beginning with the location and size, through establishing the marketing concept, planning the customer’s route and planogram and up to the display system in the store.
The Larger the store, the greater the impact is, and subsequently the responsibility of the retailer. Often, the required changes are perceived as a conflict of interest with the desire to sell more, and some are deterred by the necessary financial investment, however when observing what is happening in the world, it seems that in the long run this is a win-win situation for the retailers, the consumer and the planet.
Globally, all the big players are already in. The large chain stores have far reaching strategic plans in the field of sustainability relating to supply chain management, energy savings, renewable energies, reducing packaging and plastic, reducing food waste, green building, evaluating the footprint of products and more. In Israel the issue is still in its infancy, and lacks binding regulation, although the application of a green building standard on commercial buildings, as of March 2022, will require the retailers to prepare accordingly.

How do we start? In a nut shell – in recent years we have accompanied a welcome process of introducing large chain stores into city centers, in a format of smaller stores which consume less energy, are less polluting, save on transportation and reduce over consumption. We succeed, even in stores of hundreds of meters, in creating a worthy alternative for the consumer and profitable for the retailer, and to include most of the categories that can be found in the large stores – proper fruit and vegetable departments, meat and dairy departments, delicatessens and more. In the interior design of the store, use is made as much as possible, of quality materials which hold environmental standards, with an emphasis on high durability and diminished wear and tear, while providing solutions for interchangeable branding (which reduces the waste from temporary facilities), energy effective lighting design and more. The professional and highly experienced planning of display facilities, especially those intended for fresh produce which is sold in bulk (fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts and alike), contribute to the promotion of sales in these categories, while reducing food waste and packaging.
The staff at Koren has been trained to implement circular thinking in our working processes, we are members of the Green Building Council, maintain constant contact with suppliers in search of new raw materials and technologies, and keep ourselves regularly informed on studies and developments in the field. We will be happy to make all of the information accessible to you and to be at your disposal for the development of green solutions in store design and planning of the sales system, which will ultimately lead your business in the right direction.