Store Design as a Branding Strategy
ing a retailer's brand as the leader in its marketplace can get complicated. In November 1999, that drive was at the center of an SN look at how store design was utilized to build brand awareness and increase share of stomach. Architects and designers cited cross marketing Center Store and perimeter items; emphasizing branding and private-label products; and the emergence of the Internet and new technologies as shaping the design of supermarkets.
Based upon the particular objectives a retailer holds dear, stores in recent years have begun to experiment with more creative formats, moving away from the functional design of a warehouse (see story mentioning Food Lion's new prototype, Page 10). Perimeter departments have moved to the fore and corporate brands have evolved into a higher quality image, drawing shoppers beyond a few endcaps. The total-store concept and department structures, as well as design elements in point-of-purchase, have become essential in grabbing and holding shoppers' attention. From the home-meal replacement stations designed like a mall food court to the melding of Center Store and specialty departments through consistent flooring and graphic elements, design has emerged as a strategic tool retailers can leverage in their fight to hold onto market share.