The prestigious competition “celebrates outstanding and innovative retail spaces that encourage new techniques in planning, design, graphics, light, visual merchandising and technology.”
RDI International Design Award winners represent the best of the best, regardless of store format or retail merchandise/service classification. Design firms and in-house retail design teams from around the globe were invited to submit projects.
An Urban Grocery Store Design Challenge
Georgia Main Food Group, the parent company of Fresh St. Market, asked King Retail Solutions to create a store design that would not only serve Vancouver residents living nearby, but would become an immersive destination food experience, drawing in customers from the wider area.
The goal was to tap into the quirkiness of the office tower location to add an urban twist to Fresh St. Market’s farm-to-market offer. The design gave a nod to the waterfront area’s industrial roots while highlighting the diverse choices in freshly prepared food and groceries.
Located on the ground floor of a high rise in the trendy Yaletown neighborhood, the 15,000 square foot site presented unique challenges for a grocery store design. The space was an asymmetrical polygon, with exterior walls that were more than two-thirds glass. This rendered a standard case layout impossible.
Instead, the KRS design team used lighting to showcase key sections, including produce and cheese—some displayed in a freestanding cheese humidor—to draw the attention of passers-by on the street. Designers made the most of the quirky space, defining stores-within-a-store, an inviting cafe, and a burger grill.
The interior features dramatic, outsize signage, much of it three-dimensional or downright sculptural. A bold, playful, farm-to-city vibe energizes the interior. The experiential impact of the interior seems to have connected with customers.
“What an amazing grocery store! It feels like you’re going into a marketplace, not a typical grocery store, with all the sections clearly signed,” writes one customer in his five-star review of Fresh St. Market.
An ideal project for KRS, Fresh St. Market utilized virtually every service in the company’s portfolio, including retail concept, design services, engineering and prototyping, and production.
“It’s a testimony to the talent, vision, and execution of our multi-disciplinary team,” says Executive Vice President Farrah Potter. “We’re delighted to receive this recognition.”