Caught In the squeeze between Wal-Mart and Whole Foods, many supermarket operators are trying to get smaller, more intimate, more convenient.
Bi-Lo, the Greenville, S.C.-based chain of mid-level markets, decided its path was to go bigger. "Super," in fact. Thus, the Super Bi-Lo concept was developed, and carried out by Design Fabrications Inc. (Madison Heights, Mich.).
"The 60,000-square-foot format was an attempt to develop a signature design in a larger footprint," says Tony Camilletti, Design Fabrications Inc.'s vp, strategic development, "with a more upscale product line."
The store was aimed for an affluent part of Columbia, S.C., offering not only more product in its 33 percent larger footprint but also to create appeals to upper demographic shoppers who still want all the brand names they were used to getting. So natural health and beauty products were added.
The conceptual theme is "breezy," a design that evokes the sense of a warm and breezy summer day. "It's visual and psychological," Camilletti says, "and it's also practical." The ceiling is painted an airy blue and underneath there are umbrella fixture units in the produce area that are thematic but also contain metal halide lighting elements. These powerful spot sources produce good highlights and also strong Color Rendering Index qualities.
"The palette of muted earth and sky tones creates a clean and refreshing ambience," says Nadine McLearon, Design Fabrications Inc.'s creative and marketing director, along with sweeping, undulating curves that carry the shopper through the space.
Client: Bi-Lo LLC, Mauldin, S.C.
Design: Design Fabrications Inc., Madison Heights, Mich.
Architects: MCA Architecture, Greenville, S.C.
CDA Architects, Columbia, S.C.
General Contractor: M.B. Kahn Construction Co. Inc., Columbia, S.C.
Engineering Services: Sims Group, Greenville, S.C.
Photography: Laszlo Regos Photography, Berkeley, Mich.