You are what you eat – food has become a means of establishing an identity. Away from fridge goals and food intolerances, sustainability is the key that allows consumers to choose the goods they buy consciously, favouring quality rather than quantity. Consumer behaviour reveals a shift towards lifestyle-oriented choices, measured against criteria such as organic quality and locally sourced. This trend poses completely new challenges for the retail trade. Products must be displayed in a way that enables the customer to identify with them. Wanzl Shop Solutions, in close cooperation with the EDEKA shopfitting department, developed a special concept for the reopened EDEKA Fitterer branch in Rülzheim, Germany, over 2,200 square metres: the retail space transports customers to a retro-style weekly market.

The design for EDEKA Fitterer is based on the self-image of the operating family. As reflected in the slogan “Fit, Fitter, Fitterer”, their name stands for locally sourced goods, freshness and quality of the highest standard. This is why the slogan is displayed as a personalised adapted seal of quality in the various product segments. The concept uses a white, woven diamond pattern as a repeating motif reminiscent of the traditional shopping basket, combined with grey stainless steel and light wood. “We wanted a coherent theme that would serve as the common thread through the departments to create a calm atmosphere. Customers should identify with every department, feel comfortable and enjoy shopping with all their senses. In this way, we encourage customers to stay longer in the store and increase the probability of additional purchases,” explains Tino Pilharcz, Head of Key Account Management for EDEKA National at Wanzl.

As soon as they enter the store, visitors are greeted by the appetising salad and soup bar. With an elegant wooden front, black metal soup pots and a basket-look back wall, it lets the fresh colours of the individual salad varieties pop and encourages you to help yourself. Right next to the bar, the display of fruit and vegetables in rich colours of red, green, yellow and orange shines under the warm light of the pendant luminaires on the Vitable shelving system, the design of which is based on traditional market stalls.

Customers feel as if they are in the marketplace. This effect is strengthened by the wooden baskets, which are used to display cucumbers, tomatoes and aubergines – practically fresh from the field. Wooden applications on shelves and walls provide homely accents; the horizontal arrangement in a layered format is reminiscent of rustic fruit boxes. The juicer in the middle of the product segment, with its basket full of oranges clearly visible from all sides, also catches the eye and adds a flash of colour. As a special twist, the floor tiles advertise the availability of fresh doner kebabs, similar to a scavenger hunt. If the customer follows the “this way” sign, they will end up at the deli counter, where they will see a juicy, fresh kebab skewer turning under a large green hood.

Just a few meters away, Fitterer’s honey attracts particular attention. While the rest of the colour scheme in the convenience sector is very restrained in order not to compete with the multi-faceted nature of the products themselves, the home-made, regional organic honey is showcased on a free-standing shelf. “We chose staging for the product presentation of organic honey,” says Pilharcz, explaining the optical highlight. “In combination with accent lighting, the product is given a stage in the truest sense of the word, like a star that cannot help but be in the limelight. This actively draws the customer’s attention,” he adds. Four pedestals display selected varieties for tasting; customers can find explanations about their characteristics and regional origin on the shelf wall. These are decorated by small honeycombs in rich yellow. The effect of the signal colour is intensified against the dark grey of the shelf and the combs are designed in such a way that honey seems to flow from afar – an appetising illusion for customers.

The stroll through the store then takes the customer to the fresh produce department. “For fish, meat and cheese, we adapted the overall concept with wooden cutting boards and slate boards on the wall, like in a country kitchen,” explains Pilharcz. Ceiling spotlights and a black-and-white colour scheme provide cool lighting, allowing meat, fish and cheese to stand out. Wooden cutting boards also serve as a decorative element on the large freezer cabinets in front of the counter. In keeping with the theme of the display, humorous slogans – such as tongue twisters – on black slate boards above the counter elicit an amused reaction from the customer.

In the wine and spirits department, customers are taken on a journey to southern climes – wooden boxes, heavy wine barrels and pictograms of grapes transport the viewer away to a Mediterranean vineyard. Decorative empty wine bottles add to the rustic charm. The contents of the bottles shine thanks to the subtle warm lighting, as is fitting for a Fitterer’s Premium product. The pure tech shelf, on the other hand, has a discreet design that optically recedes in order to bring the product to the fore and to display it in a way that promotes sales. When strolling through the aisles of the wine department, a counter with a bar stools invites you to linger.

The chemist’s section is a dream come true from the 80s, with floor pictures of cosmetic items in pink and white accent colours set against a grey background. A small make-up corner is integrated into the trendy fittings in front of a mirror with Polaroids, ready for customers to test the products – the shopping experience brings back memories of girls’ nights before going out dancing. Silver disco balls glisten on the ceiling to match the motif, and the lettering on the wall declares “Fitterer’s Quality”.

The candy shop is designed in a vintage style reminiscent of the 50s. Colourful letters illuminated by small spots attract everyone’s attention and look like the gateway to Willy Wonka’s Wonderland, a merry-go-round at a fair, under whose canopy a spiral animation makes children’s eyes sparkle with wonder. Beautifully designed sweets hang from the pastel-coloured columns in the middle. Even the candy-coloured exhaust pipes on the walls match the theme. The display with the wire tech shelf, which makes the sweets look like they are floating on air, is encircled by a round frame.

The colourful shopping experience continues in the flower department. The sign “fresh flower box” adorns a black trolley under a pink-and-white awning where the fragrant display is presented. In combination with daylight lighting, the basket patterns and wooden boxes give the varied colours of the flowers a natural environment; the small red origami against the black background provide an additional dash of colour. The checkout area, on the other hand, lends a homely atmosphere thanks to the hanging wooden panels with ceiling spotlights. Together with the columns, these divide up the space and provide an atmosphere of peace at the highly frequented POS in which customers can finish their shopping in a relaxed manner. EDEKA Fitterer has a total of 40,000 articles on its shelves. Their requirements for the adaptation of the design concept are as individual as the common denominator that unites them: as natural as possible. As Pilharcz summarises: “Nowadays, it is no longer enough to simply present products – you need to think outside the box. Shopping must evoke feelings that young customers in particular can tap into. This is the future of the food retail industry.”