Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/689994
If a grocerant is literally a blend of a grocery store and a restaurant, it should look and feel like it. Tat's the consensus of experts tasked with helping supermarkets defne and distinguish their grocerant areas through the design of those spaces. "[Grocerant design] sets the tone and communicates a message to customers that they can have quality food there for lunch or take it home and have it for dinner," says Steve Meh- mert, president of Mehmert Store Settings, Sussex, Wis., which provides retail project solutions including store design and equip- ment. "It's part of the total store need, as we are now creating that kind of hybrid." Michael Lehman, vice president of market- ing and product management for ConTech Lighting in Northbrook, Ill., underscores the importance of ambience for attract- ing—and keeping—customers in the gro- cerant area of a supermarket. "You get into creating an environment for the experience of it. Tat's what Starbucks does—people buy cofee and hang out there. Why can't grocery stores do the same thing?" he says. A sense of place Distinctive design strategies can help grocerants create their own ambience. BY LY N N PE T R A K Laser-cut lighting and furniture made from reclaimed lumber set the style for the cafe at Jackson Whole Grocer in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The cafe/lounge at Metcalfe's Market in Madison, Wis., is designed to encourage relaxation and casual conversation.