Progressive Grocer

AUG 2015

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118 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | August 2015 Equipment & Design Store Design Services T wenty-frst-century supermarket frms are much like their shop- pers in that they're increasingly seeking one-stop solutions to many of their needs, including store design, with the result that many design frms are rebranding themselves as "design services" suppliers. "We are not just drawing lines on paper or taking directions from merchandisers and wholesalers, like days gone by," afrms Steve Mehmert, president of Sussex, Wis.-based Mehmert Store Services Inc., which is focused on independent retailers. "We have become food experts. We are expanding our role as specialists in demographics, merchandising, in-store production, safe food handling, kitchen designs, storage designs, productivity, lighting, décor, equip- ment energy efciency, building energy efciency, life cycles, and on and on. Our design process runs deep into the facility, the equipment, the merchan- dising and the operations of our customers' stores." Design Plus Today's food retailing environment requires a growing roster of design services. By Bob Ingram Mehmert notes that 3D design continues to fully defne the future of his customers' new stores or remodels by allowing retailers to experience the store before design is even complete, thus eliminat- ing costly changes. "We are also receiving better support from the equipment manufacturers related to design, with departmental representations that allow for greater review and merchandising exercises than ever before," he says. "Te ability to defne materials and colors continues to improve as software and hard- ware continue to evolve. All of this works toward eliminating delays, lowering construction costs and eliminating equipment change orders, as we now have the ability to defne the store for our customers at such a higher level." According to Mehmert, diferentiation is still an everyday challenge, and the term accurately defnes what customers expect from the frms they hire: a store that showcases their uniqueness, clearly defnes the brand, highlights strengths, describes IslanD OasIs For albrecht's sentry Market — named Good to Great winner in the Best store Remodel/ $3 million-$6 million budget category in PG 's 2015 store Design Contest (page 42)— Mehmert store services created a series of concentric islands, including a new specialty cheese department.

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