Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Reinventing the Japanese grocery store

Sydney-based design consultancy Landini Associates has partnered with Japanese mega-retailer Felna to completely reinvent its grocery store format. The collaboration began in September 2020 and the first location, Felna Sawatari, opened in late 2021.

The new design is said to reaccentuate Felna’s product offering while enhancing its reputation for a warm customer welcome.

In addition to the interior and graphic environment it also delivers an evolved trading identity and external store branding solution.

The redesign will be rolled out across Japan over the coming years.

About the new Felna

Landini Associates designed almost everything visible, including the identity evolution, master planning, interiors and all in-store graphic communications, from signage to ticketing to a new system of icons.

“We’ve accentuated our design with instantly recognisable food icons, the best possible lighting, and a natural, comfortable presentation with prime visibility for Felna’s hero departments,” says Ben Goss, Design Director for Graphics with Landini Associates.

“Internal wayfinding and customer navigation eases the shopping process, with new department signage and directories creating an atmosphere of comfort, curated selections, and wide-open visibility to abundant freshness.”

The store features a “calming backdrop” of warm timbers and monochromatic finishes, which can also be seen from outside through larger glass openings.

“Soft, modern, iconic and impeccably honest”, the new Felna design format is said to capture an “appreciative and egalitarian” shopper by creating a welcome brand experience that simply gets out of the way of the high-quality product.

Another achievement of the sustainable redesign is to support Felna’s goal of increasing purchases of prepared and semi-prepared foods in the deli and ready-to-eat categories, as well as its Osazai meals, which include hot and cold tapas-style offerings. Felna and Landini Associates also seize on clever ways to help customers shop “more easily and more frequently,” suiting the lifestyles and desires of their growing shopper demographics.

A virtual delivery

Landini Associates and Felna accomplished all of this virtually, without the designers ever visiting the client or site in Japan. 

“Covid saw to that,” says Creative Director Mark Landini. “While working remotely is by no means new at Landini Associates – 85% of our studio’s work is overseas, yet all of our designs are done from Sydney – we do normally travel to project locations and spend time face-to-face with our clients. So along with a global pandemic, this was certainly a new experience, and we could not be more delighted with the results.”

“More market than supermarket”, the new design energises the retail environment, with Landini Associates delivering a modern yet honest appearance whilst emphasizing Felna’s fresh and refined offerings.

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