When The Kroger Co. (Cincinnati) acquired 16 Fred Meyer hypermarkets in Arizona, it sought a new formula for combining grocery and general merchandise into one store format.
Kroger named the lifestyle store Fry's Marketplace, and hired Shook Kelley (Los Angeles) to design a prototype featuring three key components - a neighborhood organizational layout, lifestyle vignettes and merchandise-forward signage. The concept debuted in Phoenix.
"Grocery stores love homogenous environments," says Kevin Kelley, Shook's lead principal/brand strategy. "At Fry's, we've broken it all up into neighborhoods, and each one is different."
The store's five neighborhoods are Fresh, for perishable products; Value, for packaged grocery goods; Home, for home furnishings and decor; Health, for life-enhancement and health products; and Occasion, where specialty products are found. Each department has its own distinctive color and materials palette, decor and background music.
Sprinkled throughout these neighborhoods are lifestyle vignettes, where items from various departments are brought together for suggestive selling. Rounding out the store's fresh approach to grocery shopping is a signage and graphics system that relies more on products than words to indicate different departments. In the celebration area - where toys, snacks, cards, gifts and flowers are sold - designers suspended a large card rack with balloons and streamers trailing off over the department. Chandeliers comprised of teapots and coffee spoons hang above the coffee and tea area.
"We're selling something beyond product, we're selling a lifestyle and identity," says Kelley.
Client: The Kroger Co., Cincinnati
Ken Pray, coordinator of store design
Mary Gawle, interior store design
Fry's Food Stores of AZ, Tolleson, Ariz.
Michael Donnelly, president
Steven Hagen, director, facility engineeringDesign: Shook Kelley, Los Angeles
Kevin Kelley, lead principal/brand strategy
Stan Rostas, Frank Quattrocchi, Mike Nicholls, Kevin O'Donnell, Kevin Kennedy, Terry Vickers, Linda Krause, designer/architects
Todd Roland, environmental designer
Rosalind Doty, designer
Architect: Kurt D. Reed Associates Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz.
Decor Fabrication: Schorleaf Inc., Phoenix
Flooring: L.M. Scofield Co., Los Angeles
Wall/floor tile: Dal-Tile, Dallas
Decorative wall finish: Triarch Industries, Houston
Cork panels: Jelinek Group, Oakville, Ont.
Paint: Frazee, San Diego
Benjamin Moore & Co., Montvale, N.J.
Pratt & Lambert, Cleveland
Pittsburgh Paints, Pittsburgh
Laminates: Pionite, Auburn, Maine
Wilsonart Intl., Temple, Texas
Nevamar Co., Odenton, Md.
Vinyl film: 3M Commercial Graphics Division, St. Paul, Minn.
Refrigerated cases, shelving: Hussmann Corp, Bridgeton, Mo.
Madix Store Fixtures, Goodwater, Ala.
Photography: Mark Boisclaire, Phoenix