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Spectacular bakery concept sets new paradigm

Spectacular bakery concept sets new paradigm

Progressive Enterprises has really stepped outside the square when it comes to the concept and design of the bakery departments in its two most recent developments - Woolworths St James in Hamilton and Foodtown Sylvia Park.

The Hamilton bakery has been operating for about eight weeks, opening just a few days before the very similar one at Sylvia Park. “These two bakeries are unique to New Zealand and there is nothing like them in the rest of the country,” says Progressive’s equipment supply co-ordinator, Bill Baines.

The bakery design and concept, from Progressive's own design team headed by David Ivory, elaborates on the 'store within a store' theme that the company has successfully employed in a number of its other categories.

Gil Retter from Dimension Display, who implemented the Hamilton project, says her company was really surprised when the concept was first presented to them. 'We are used to clients developing their merchandising solutions in an evolutionary way, but this concept was taking a giant leap in terms of visual impact, quality specification and complexity. This time the designers had really outdone themselves in terms of ‘wow’ factor.”

The design and layout draws the customer into the bakery and, thanks to curved floor-to-ceiling amber-orange sectional walls, the bakery is visible from most parts of the store.

Once in the area, the highly specified fixtures, lighting and signs all work together to create a special upmarket ambience. Without even looking at the beautifully displayed product, customers know they are going to find a lot more than a sliced white sandwich loaf here!

“This was a very challenging project because we had to go from original drawings to installation in 16 weeks,” says Bill Baines. “The project was extensive and the design criteria were exacting using unusual materials with very original shapes and contours.

“We use Retail Dimension for a significant number of projects mainly because their team covers all the bases - including designers who can understand and interpret our concepts and design requirements and people with all the practical implementation skills including a full understanding of materials and their capabilities. This translates to an ability to take a design and figure out the best and most practical way to turn the concept into a reality - a factor that was especially critical in the bakery implementation.”

While the concepts were well developed, it still took hundreds of hours of designer time to convert them into a form that Retail Dimension was confident could be manufactured and installed without problems, yet still give the impact intended.

Gil Retter says, “There was no time for prototypes or trials - it had to be right first time. At one stage we had three of our four in-house industrial designers working full time on the project.”

In the final analysis, the project was very satisfying on a number of fronts. “In addition to a client that knew what it wanted and was prepared to step well outside the square to get it, we had the chance to work with new and challenging processes and materials.”

“Bringing home a difficult job on time and to the client's satisfaction is rewarding in itself but perhaps the greatest satisfaction is hearing that the new bakeries are already generating sales well above expectations,” concludes Gil Retter.

Retail Dimension offers a national display, merchandising and shopfitting service backed by factories in Auckland, Wellington and Palmerston North.


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