Design Lodge - Influence the Customer, Dominate the Market

KRS' Andrew Swedenborg was interviewed by German retail design magazine Design Lodge for this feature on best practices in environmental branding and design.

We think Andrew sounds great in German. But just in case you don't sprechen... here's a Google translation of the interview.

Andrew Swedenborg is executive vice president of the American consulting and design offices King Retail Solutions.

The US-based design and consulting company King Retail Solutions (Eugene, Oregon) can draw on over 40 years of retail experience and realizes projects for clients such as Safeway, ButterLONDON and Starbucks. Design Lodge spoke with Executive Vice President Andrew Swedenborg on trends, strategies and inspiration for the food trade.

What inspired the food retailing?

Supermarkets and food retailers, especially those who want to create a strong brand experience for their customers are looking more and more outside the traditional food to retail design. In many cases, they emulate this strategy in other retail sectors such as fashion and even gastronomy.

How does this work? What are some examples?

A method successfully paving its way in food retail design is "stores-within-stores" where baked goods, beauty products and fresh produce each receive their own individual space, aesthetics, lighting and flow. By incorporating several small boutiques within the large area of ​​the grocery store, the shopping experience of a single visit becomes a pleasant trip into several custom shops. The integration of small quick-service restaurants, cafes and even DaySpas in grocery stores are already expressed in this strategy. Starbucks has implemented the concept with great success, and thus built a strong brand loyalty which is reciprocal - a win-win situation for the supermarket and shop at the supermarket.

Where does this start?

Grocery stores are transformed to some extent into mini-malls. With selected stores that are designed to target customers at multiple levels a customer might, for example, enter the store to buy his favorite coffee and end up with shampoo, sushi and cheese. Or put another way - he could come over for a loaf of bread and go with bread and a smoothie again.

Why are store-within-store concepts important?

Food retailers now understand that they are competing not only with direct competitors, but also with specialist shops such as cafes or bakeries. By having the equivalent of specialty shops built on their own surface, these retailers are pulling in new groups of customers, without losing classic clientele.

Does store design for the food trade at the moment have any other trends?

Another trend is the introduction of highly stylized brand presence. Twenty years ago, the aesthetics of food stores was absolutely functional. The featureless interior design ensured that purchasing decisions were made solely on proximity, selection and price. Meanwhile, Food Retailers understand that branding is as important in your business as with clothing, jewelry and household goods. The "look and feel" is differentiated allows grocery stores to speak to their customers today at a level that works on instinct. It is this level, resulting in the emotional bonds - a warm and comforting, emotional attachment to the brand. We like to say: If you can influence a piece of mind of the customer, determined to a large share of the market.

What happens when the branding is being neglected?
Even if these markets on the other hand strive to provide good service. Today a strong appearance is as important as customer service when it comes to create a valuable shopping experience.

What other factors determine the present market?

One of the most important developments is a shift in the localization. The customers want to be informed about the history and origins of their food. And when the food comes from a local source or having a local impact - all the better. Here is a store concept of local interest is therefore as important as a balanced range.


KRS designs retail spaces for some of the most successful brands in the world. We're creative. We have fun. We're always looking for fresh perspectives. Everything inspires.

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