Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 14

grocery stores

FEATURE

long way since its introduction into the marketplace. The
quality of LED lighting is constantly improving and ad-

Ken's V I E W

vancing energy efficiency along its evolutionary path."
Indeed, for businesses such as food retailers, that oper-

Clean-Up In Aisle 6

ate on slim margins, energy efficiency is a prime concern.
"Mechanical (cooling and refrigeration) efficiency is improving rapidly but continues to be one of the highest single operational costs," according to Tom Henken.
"Fixture-level innovations help with energy use as
well," he continued. "Retailers are implementing solutions
like easy-access, full-view refrigerated and frozen case
doors and doors in non-traditional areas like beer and produce to reduce energy loss. Asymmetrical vestibules help
contain HVAC loss and higher levels of insulation are often implemented to combat overall building energy loss,"
Henken said.
"Temperature and humidity are major HVAC issues
and are being addressed with specialized HVAC equipment specially designed for grocery stores," Joe Keene
agreed. "Refrigeration systems are more efficient than in
the past. Grocers are starting to put doors on cases to conserve energy. Building controls are integrated to control
not only the building temperature but the lights, refrigerated-case temperatures, refrigerated-case lighting, and water consumption, among other systems"
Consumers also shift toward brands that they can believe in, ms consultants' Longbrake said. "Not only does
energy efficiency play a role in the bottom line, but grocers
are more transparent about focusing toward sustainable
efforts."
"Today's customer seeks brands that will uphold sustainability and energy efficiency responsibly. We encourage our clients toward sustainable and earth-friendly solutions as a core part of our design ethos," added Deborah
English.
Food shopping today offers more variety and enjoyment than in days past. Shoppers expect it, and retailers
must identify the specific desires and preferences of their
clientele to remain successful. It's clear, too, that food
stores have not stopped evolving. What automation and
big data will add to the mix may well be the next big thing
in food retailing. CA

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14

Phillips Enterprises Inc.

Cuhaci & Peterson

ms consultants Inc.

D L English Design

WD Partners

COMMERCI A L A RCHI T EC T URE

AUGUST 2017

commercialarchitecturemagazine.com

A

recent email tersely informed me, "You'll never

That's a lot of junk food to keep track of by any measure,

be alone in aisle 6 again." Which was disturbing. I

and it helps to know what's selling and what's not.

mean, how did the writer know that I enjoy being alone in

On the other hand, there seems to be a demand for

aisle 6 in the first place, and who or what henceforth was

smaller, independent chains alongside the megastores.

going to be crowding the aisle with me?

They're more unique, offer better customer service, can

Big data, that's who, I discovered. Along with Amazon,

make changes almost overnight, and some folks don't

which recently announced the purchase of Whole Foods.

mind spending an extra nickel or two for the experience

That's just swell. Big data will probably be leaving its

of shopping there. Too, new urbanism encourages smaller

shopping cart in the middle of the aisle all the time, and

groceries and specialty food shops that are within walking

Amazon will be whispering that "people who bought this

distance.

frequently bought that. You should, too."

That brings up the "European shopping" trend. I take

Aisle 6 used to be a peaceful place, away from the

it to mean almost daily trips to a close-by food emporium

perimeter of the store where all the foodies are buzzing

for the fixings of a single meal. I suspect that, save for a

around the fresh produce, freshly prepared entrées,

few lucky residents of thriving new-urbanist enclaves,

artisanal cheeses, cappuccinos, and whatnot. Store

not a lot of Americans are actually doing anything close

designers tell me that more folks are avoiding the center

to European shopping. For that matter, I'm not sure how

of the store where the prepared foods-in cans, no less-

many Europeans are doing it either.

and other unnatural stuff languish on the shelves.

European

shopping

never

was

exclusively

But, like I said, aisle 6, with its rows of products that

European anyway. Years ago, before gargantuan talking

used to be trees, with its packages that feature unnaturally

refrigerators, or any refrigerators at all, daily trips to

colored bears and cherubic children, was a generally

the grocer or butcher or baker were more necessary.

uncrowded oasis. If one listened closely, one could almost

Even with iceboxes, those primitive insulated boxes with

hear the rustle of the plastic wrap in the breeze from the

real ice, cold storage was limited. Besides, stores were

air conditioning. Now, if I linger too long, big data will be

close, even in neighborhoods far from the central city.

sniffing around, collecting god-knows-what personal

Americans, as well as Europeans, shopped in similar

information about what's in my shopping cart. Did he buy

ways.

the toilet paper with the bears or the cute kid? Both are
equally disturbing.

Stores, in suburbia at least, are no longer so close.
To me, European shopping doesn't mean jumping into an

One shopper, quoted in the book Grocery by Michael

oversized SUV to pick up a few items for tonight's dinner.

Rhulman, said she preferred the self-checkout lane

Rather, I'd call it attention-deficit shopping for people who

because she was sometimes embarrassed by her

can't or won't anticipate what they might eat a day or

purchases. I can almost see that, given the choices. But I

two hence and can't be satisfied with-or remember-a

have news for her; as soon as her purchases are scanned,

dining decision made a few days past. And just what is the

whether by her or another human, big data knows what

point of those giant refrigerators if you shop every day?

she bought anyway.

Then there's the concept of ordering online and picking

By the way, it's interesting that at the store where I

it up in the store. That's apparently where Amazon has an

shop, the self-checkout stations have been demolished

interest, although it's experimenting with something called

and replaced with old-fashioned express lines manned

Amazon Go, too, where you just grab stuff and walk out

by actual people. That runs counter to the trend toward

with it. No checkouts, but you'd better have a smartphone,

transactions that call for less and less human contact. I

or it's shoplifting.

kind of like management for going in the opposite direction.

Wait, wait, I've got it. You use Alexa to order your

Now, I can see the appeal of big data to grocers.

groceries and then send your self-driving car to the store

They operate the slimmest of margins, hovering around 1

by itself to pick them up. With the time you save, you can

1/2%, I'm told. The 3,000-sq.-ft. store of days past became

stay at home with your bloated, nearly empty refrigerator

30,000 sq. ft. and then 90,000 in some instances. In 1975,

and try to figure out why your electric and gasoline

the average store had fewer than 9,000 items. By 2008,

expenditures are so high.

the number had quintupled, according to Rhulman's book.

- Kenneth W. Betz, Senior Editor


http://www.commercialarchitecturemagazine.com/food-shopping-redefined/ http://www.commercialarchitecturemagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Architecture August 2017

Food Shopping Redefined
Architectural Photography
The Architects
Lighting & Electrical Products
Exteriors Products
HVAC & Plumbing Products
Building Technology Products
Interiors Products
Windows & Doors Products
Showcase
Index
Portfolio
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - Cover1
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - Cover2
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 1
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 2
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 3
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 4
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 5
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 6
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 7
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - Food Shopping Redefined
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 9
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 10
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 11
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 12
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 13
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 14
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 15
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 16
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - Architectural Photography
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 18
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 19
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 20
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 21
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 22
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 23
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 24
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 25
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 26
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 27
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 28
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 29
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 30
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 31
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 32
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 35
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 36
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 37
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 38
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 39
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 40
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 41
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 42
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 43
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 44
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 45
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 46
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 47
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - The Architects
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 49
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - Lighting & Electrical Products
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 51
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 52
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 53
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 54
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 55
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - Exteriors Products
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - HVAC & Plumbing Products
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 58
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 59
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - Building Technology Products
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - Interiors Products
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - 62
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - Windows & Doors Products
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - Showcase
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - Index
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - Portfolio
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - Cover3
Commercial Architecture August 2017 - Cover4
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