Imagine an oasis: a virtual garden, if you will, of fresh produce, meat, cheese, wine, freshly baked goods, an ocean of seafood, and more. All this bathed in brilliant sunlight, surrounded by living trees, and enhanced by exotic shades of tangerine, turquoise, fuchsia, and emerald for as far as the eye can see. Sound like paradise? It is! Find it all at the Hannaford Bros. Supermarket in Falmouth, ME, and at many other locations throughout the northeastern states in the near future.
For Hannaford Bros. Co., the concept of an interactive shopping experience that would appeal to all five senses gave way to the construction of a 55,000- square-foot supermarket that exemplifies the future of full-service, high-value supermarket shopping.
"The store reflects the feedback we've received from our customers and attempts to integrate those products and services they've identified as most important to them," says Rod Hodge, executive vice president and COO of Hannaford Bros. Co. "The store [offers] a shopping experience unlike any other, with surprises in every department throughout the store. The interactive focus of the store's interior design appeals to all the senses."
From the vantage point of the design team, reinterpreting and updating the grocery chain's established brand and reputation for quality and value was paramount to the success of the project. It also meant riding against popular design - trendy intimate boutique-style departments throughout a maze of aisles and a labyrinth of obstructed signage. "It was important to the client that we design the store with the look and feel of an all-in-one supermarket. Lighting elements, ceiling systems, custom-dyed concrete floors, shelving colors, and uniform signage and pricing stickers all reflect Hannaford Bros. brand as being that of quality and integrity," says Bob Lowe, associate principal at Somerville, MA-based Arrowstreet Inc., the architectural and design firm for the project.
Throughout the main grocery department, the emphasis is more on product value and less on aesthetics, using minimal color and casement treatments. Quality and convenience are the value-added options in this area as customers breezing through for those grab-and-go staples enjoy an easy-in, easy-out shopping experience.
Wood, brushed metal, and original artwork add a signature element to each of the specialty departments. Bright colors and large graphics grab the attention of shoppers and emphasize their arrival into specific areas. Signage and wayfinding tools are large, colorful, and easy to identify and read. The multi-dimensional quality gives them a look of permanence and sophistication.
Shopping aisles are wide and uncluttered. Custom-tinted concrete floors add additional waves and splashes of coordinating color throughout the store.
As anchor of the supermarket, The Butcher Shop is framed with rugged, heavy timber. An endless selection of prime cuts and choice meats are available, sliced to order at the meat counter. In similar but contrasting design to The Fish Shop, dramatic and colorful custom tile artwork adorns the walls and pillars in both of these departments. Refrigeration cases are low and convenient to access.
More upscale departments - Nature's Place and The Wine Cellar - employ a more polished and refined look, with rich custom wood casework and finishes, signature artwork, and brightly colored banners. Interactive sampling areas and kiosks invite shoppers to participate in cooking lessons, try new recipes, and gather and exchange wine information.
Without question, the pièce de résistance is the breathtaking atrium setting of The Farmer's Market. Complete with natural lighting from the clerestory windows, living trees, and sidewalk vendor-style pushcarts as display fixtures, this department is the favored area of the supermarket. Large-scale illustrative graphics and natural finishes help define The Farmer's Market environment.
Whether going to the market is your bag or not, the experience of shopping at the Hannaford Bros. Supermarket is a vacation for the senses and will satisfy even the fussiest connoisseur.