A new way of working

The current times bring unexpected challenges. Doing projects all over the world for over 30 years, we could have never predicted that one day the opportunity of traveling would simply vanish. Shocking? Definitely! Unmanageable? We strongly disagree. It’s always good to visit the location and talk to customer face-to-face, but there might be numerous reasons why it cannot happen, at the moment COVID-19 makes it impossible to meet. Will we let this affect the result and quality? No way! We are only happy with a top concept, and we will go on until we have reached the result: nothing can stand in your way. We believe we need to imagine the new meaning of space and these times makes us explore the digital one first.

The question and objectives

Alley is a local Krasnoyarsk (Russia) chain of hypermarkets and is part of the Komandor Group family, operating in the region in three different formats (hypermarket – proximity – soft discounter). In 2015 JDV partnered with the group to create a new proximity store approach. The project was successful for years.  Recently  the situation in the region changed dramatically when federal chains joined the local market. Therefor there was a need to rethink the current format.  Starting with the improvement of their own unique identity, looking less corporate and reflecting their main values: “choice in price”, “trust in quality”, and “local optimism” to their customers.

The project

The main challenges of the project were strict time and location restrictions. Technical part of construction was already done, so JDV needed to fit in the ongoing process and come up with a lay-out that would both resemble Alley values and correspond with pre-constructed zones. Time limitations did made it impossible to meet in person, so it was mutually decided to set purely digital process. This was not the first time, but anyway very educational, to work completely in the digital space.

The receipt of success ‘working the distance’ is deep involvement into the process from both sides.

Alley provided the following:

  • Profound analysis of relevant projects, which resulted into the list of best practices that could be implemented instore
  • Design benchmarks, that helped JDV hit the right tone and atmosphere
  • Detailed assortment matrix by categories, including linear meters instore
  • Full list of equipment & materials suppliers to use in development
  • Versatile team consisting of staff members involved in all the stages of store opening process

In our approach we followed the “from design into action” principle. Each step was made in constant cooperation of the Alley and JDV teams using all available communication tools: skype, conference calls, even WhatsApp consultations. Every concept decision was instantly shared and approved by Alley team in terms of realisation with immediate feedback to JDV.

The result

The new concept of Alley hypermarket was developed in record-breaking 2,5 month! That’s the power of well-coordinated work!

Smart design solutions made simple standard materials look sophisticated and interesting. The store got a playful look, the rhythm and dynamics were supported by surprising floor tiling and massive navigation. Non-conventional colour choices allowed to unite several departments under one colour.

Along with the  Alley strong price communication that Alley is known for the customers now first see the café and fresh departments, setting the instore atmosphere and highlighting the quality of products. The launch of the pilot was super successful, as both loyal and new customers appreciated Alley’s new approach to their stores.


From JDV side we can proudly state that the concept was translated to pilot exactly they way it was planned and developed. We have to admit, it’s a rare case even for traditional concept realisation model. Maybe the pace and dynamics of digital process bring us all together to true agile approach, allowing both retailers and contractors to react fast and show flexibility like never before. Unexpected challenges bring unexpected success.