In Living Color

By Mark Faithful

Photos by Interstore/Daniel Horn

In a country typically characterized by desert and sand, Egypt’s biggest supermarket chain Metro Markets has implemented a new store concept that focuses on fresh, intense colors and an upbeat environment that emphasizes value and a positive mood.

From the store layout and graphics to in-store communication and visual merchandising, Italian-based Interstore, part of Schweitzer Project, created a concept based on “Everyday Value With a Smile,” which so far has been successfully implemented at three locations around the greater Cairo area. Between March and April of this year, two outlets ranging from about 6,000 sq. ft. to 8,000 sq. ft. and a larger 17,000-sq.-ft. store were remodeled.

The various fresh areas appear as colorful highlights and have been designed as color boxes. A module-based construction enables a simple rollout program for further locations. In the fresh departments, metal cases in gray and light yellow, as well as tall, thin “highlights” shelves in different colors, provide opportunities for product staging and to break up the rows of groceries.

“Every assigned color is a reference for the design, graphics language, visual merchandising and communication,” explains Luca Viglianti, art director of Interstore. “It is a clear decision under the motto ‘keep it simple.’”

A clearly structured sales area has been designed to enable customers to do their shopping quickly and conveniently, while a gray floor and bright, tiled walls provide a warm atmosphere and set the focus specifically on the intense, colorful highlights at the fresh counters and graphics. Furthermore, each department has its own palette of colors and materials, while an intensely visual graphics language supports the concept, with large-scale product images supported by speech bubbles with bilingual texts.

“The highlight is the use of the color range; we created clearly defined spaces that are coherent for the different sections and spaces,” Viglianti says. “The graphic part is also a highlight; all the colorful pictures bring life and sympathy to the store. We created a clear structure in the layout and a design that became a stage for the products.”

A design-forward grocery shopping experience that brings a smile to your face? Yes, please!


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