Food Court Maxi-Mart, MERCATOR, Slovenia
For Mercator, we designed Ljubljana’s most beautiful supermarket, with a floor space of 1,600 m². MERCATOR, Slovenia’s largest trading firm, asked Jos de Vries The Retail Company to transform the ‘aging’ supermarket concept at Ljubliana’s Maxi department store into an exclusive food shopping concept with a high percentage of delicatessen products. In creating the concept, Mercator also wanted us to take account of the historic architectural style of the department store, as well as of its orientation toward the target groups: parliamentarians, functionaries, tourists and residents of central Ljubliana.
The starting points for the project were: luxury, expert service, high quality and customer-orientation. As the store is often frequented by students, the concept also needed to contain a convenience-food department of a high standard. As the food level is a department within this department store, we deviated from certain elements of the classic supermarket layout. The entrance area needed to give customers a free-flow feeling.
As a result, linear check-out zones were largely avoided. Small circular paths for the checking out were placed in the shop-in-shop departments, Convenience Foods, Bio/Herbs, as well as Gifts. In the fresh-foods area, however, the customer does receive the impression of being in a classic supermarket. The fresh products department forms the heart of the supermarket. All the departments are supported by means of communication elements, in which graphic representations and 3-D visual merchandising alternate, mounted on the rear walls. This stimulates an intense high-quality freshness experience. The idea is to give customers the feeling that they are receiving high-quality products for their money.
With the goal of providing everything for one’s daily needs, the assortment of the rather small Dried Products Department was given a luxury orientation. In the Wine Department, the exclusive, high-quality wines and spirits are given maximum appeal through the use of walnut shelves and dimmed lighting. The market’s reopening took place in late August 2008. The Results have exceeded the market’s expectations and goals, thus demonstrating that a good strategy, together with a well-realised shopping concept yields successful results.