New Design Throws Supermarkets a Curve

Fresh Brands, Inc., has opened a flagship Piggly Wiggly® supermarket in Sheboygan, WI, that includes the latest in refrigeration technology.

In reality, the mechanical system meshes heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration. For example, the system reclaims heat generated from the compressors of the refrigeration cases. The heat is captured and reused within the store during colder months.

Refrigerated and frozen products are displayed in cases designed for energy efficiency, temperature control, and ergonomic convenience.

Also to conserve energy, the store has directional and fluorescent lighting controlled by photocell technology. Depending on the intensity of the natural light filtering into the store, incandescent and fluorescent lights are automatically dimmed or turned up.

The deli counter at the flagship Piggly Wiggly supermarket in Sheboygan, WI.

Design Departures

Shoppers see a number of other departures from conventional supermarkets. The store uses a circular motif with curved walls and ceilings, and makes extensive use of natural lighting.

“In designing a modernized layout for the store, it was important to rethink how people currently shop for groceries,” said Karla Krueger, store designer for Fresh Brands. “We took away the feeling of being inside a big concrete box by removing the traditional style of right-angled walls and a flat roof. Instead we were inspired by natural shapes, leading to the creation of a more customer-friendly shopping environment.”

The focus of the store is on the fresh foods departments, which include a new “fresh-preferred” produce department, fresh meats with a butcher shop approach, and an expanded deli with a variety of specialty and ready-to-go items, as well as completely prepared meals.

The store also features a wine and spirits department with a wine cellar motif, and a walk-in beverage cooler.

Each area of the store has a separate tile design that varies in texture and color. “Our design goal was to give each department its own identity…to be a store within a store,” said Wayne Wiertzema, Fresh Brands vice president — store engineering/real estate.

Throughout the fall of 2001 and into 2002, a number of the other 90 Fresh Brands, Inc./Piggly Wiggly supermarkets in the region will be slated for technological updates, remodeling, or replacement, all influenced by the flagship store in Sheboygan.

Publication date: 10/01/2001

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