Project: Naturally

Design: FormRoom
Opening date: March 2018
Store size: 120 sq m

New grocery retailer Naturally has opened the doors to its new London home on Holloway Road. Having found it frustrating to find good quality food at an affordable cost whilst knowing where food is coming from and exactly what’s in it, Naturally’s owner set about resolving this. Naturally's ethos is to supply its community with simple, fresh, delicious food.

The retailer worked alongside FormRoom to create the brand identity and design the UK store rollout. From cheese to charcuterie, freshly baked bread to pasta, each of Naturally’s produce can be traced across its journey through Europe, from the markets of Madrid to the direct, to the shopfront on London’s Holloway Road.

'The brief was to create a food store that would disrupt the relatively saturated market. The idea behind Naturally was to sell good quality products but without the traditional higher price tag. We needed to create a brand and retail environment that would reflect this and not alienate the average shopper who otherwise may not be able to afford those types of product,' says Jess Gillespie, head of projects at FormRoom.

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Evolving the brand from logo conception through to full brand guardianship, product packaging and store design, FormRoom began by analysing the competitive environment and target market for this new brand, eventually identifying three brand pillars: Quality, Transparency and Community.

Naturally’s brand purpose is crafted around its community as a local, reliable grocery store providing high quality products through its in-store bakery, cheese and charcuterie counters alongside all other grocery essentials. The ‘Naturally Mine’ loyalty scheme is core to the brand community, which offers experience rewards such as a Supper Club or a Meet The Makers taster sessions.  

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FormRoom approached the packaging from insights gained in the market research stages. Responding to pain points such as reducing waste, transparency and freshness. Bespoke resealable, reusable craft paper pouches with transparent windows were designed to view product within, with a sealed freshness sticker. The Naturally stickers communicate the ingredients, the supplier and the in-store packer's name, creating a local connection between the customer and the store team. The personalised freshness sticker acts as an experience cue, building on brand engagement and communicates the authenticity in the transparent supply chain.

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FormRoom created an ‘Unpackaged Zone’ with self-service dispensers for grains, cereals, pasta etc incorporated to reduce waste and encourage reuse of pouches or jars.

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For the store design, FormRoom applied the brand pillars of 'Quality, Transparency and Community' to the choice of materials throughout the fit-out, and furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) utilising sealed OSB, raw steel and a recycled composite plastic. All of the furniture is built in 500mm x 500mm sections that can be bolted together in different formations, responding to in-store community events, new product launches or changing customer journeys.

'Our material choices were driven by the idea of the urbanisation and regeneration of the traditional farmshop/butchers/deli. OSB provides a beautiful tactile texture replacing what would traditionally be solid wood, mild steel gives a sense of industry and the use of tiling keeps the space recognisable. Using materials in their raw state, with minimal cosmetic finishing or adjustment, reflects the no-fuss, simple quality of the brand,' says Gillespie.

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The existing red brick walls were retained and paired with white and green subway tiles and sourced pendant lighting.

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A striking visual brand cue was designed for the ceiling with suspended slatted wooden joists crossing and reflected within the furniture design. Within the Unpackaged, Wine and Bakery sections the joists drop from ceiling to floor carrying the feature throughout the store.

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A community table and window table encourage dwell time and interaction with staff who act as advisors, rather than sellers. An exterior cart takes the brand outside the store to offer seasonal tastings to locals.

'Naturally isn’t a health store – it’s about the enjoyment of food through delicious, quality ingredients. Naturally sells smaller, independent brands at an affordable price point. They are transparent about their supply chain and encourage shoppers to have a better understanding of where their food has come from. Naturally was also designed with the local community at heart. There is a large open seating table in-store to encourage people to use the space as their own and enjoy the environment,' says Gillespie.

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