Since some time, we have been in contact with a new exciting client that holds the title the ‘most far away located client’ of JDV in over 30 years. Namely, 16.630,62 km from our head office. A great score and with a lot of distance from the second place Singapore: 10.496,85 km, and third Cape town, South Africa with 9.661,56 km. We are talking about the Australian Supabarn, a very ambitious organisation which aim is to bring distinctive retail experience, when it comes to food, but also when it comes to supply chain, store experience and design. In short, the kind of retailer that we love to join forces with to start our first Australian adventure.
Supabarn, quality fresh foods at highly competitive prices
Supabarn is a family-owned brand, founded in 1991 and currently operates 10 stores. The great distinctive factor is their local and personal approach. They offer their customers the best locally sourced fresh products for highly competitive prices. Supabarn does all the butchering in-store and operates bakeries. It is very inspiring to see how Supabarn gets their products from the farm into their stores within 24 hours. Their supply chain is so short and lean that there is no need for warehousing. All this makes Supabarn a very inspiring club of people who share the passion for great food.
Store design that gives products a stage
Our aim was to translate these distinctive features of the brand into the store design of the new store in Kingston. The starting point was to make the product the hero. Theo Koundouris, General Manager: “The highlight of the design is that the design enhances the focus on the fresh foods and is very different to what anyone else in Australia is doing.” We created a stage for the products enhancing the feeling of the farmers market and/or barn. For example, by using robust materials and rough wood. Susan Dokter, JDV Designer: ‘we wanted to create more emotion to the store and tell the story about Supabarn, its products and its mission by adding a distinctive branding layer’. One of the great innovations is that Supabarn is going to integrate foodservice into their concept, showing leadership in their market.
Although the physical distance was enormous, in the co-operation the contact was very close. The Supabarn organisation is very hands on that suited the practical approach of JDV seamlessly. As they organise the realisation phase themselves there are a lot of questions that need to be answered very quickly so that everyone can keep on going. Susan Dokter: ‘it goes without saying that you always have to be available for your client, but if your work with these distances this is even more important’. In the design phases, we planned regular online meetings, which means starting the workday on one side of the world, when the other side is finishing. Susan: ‘Even though you do not meet each other physically, during the process you really get to know each other. Supabarn was happy with the choice to go out on a limb and select a retail design company from Europe. Theo Koundouris: ‘I was extremely impressed with not only their designs, but their knowledge of the supermarket industry. I have found working remotely quite straight forward and effective. JDV have quick turnaround times and are very practical. It was an eye opener for me as to how easy it was and how transferrable the ideas from JDV were.’ Despite the great physical distance and the fact that it was our primeur working in Australia, in the end the way of working isn’t that different from what we are doing already for over 30 years. The design is always a translation of the brand and its values, wherever and whenever, And because of the strong brand identity of Supabarn the design came very naturally. We really enjoyed working together and congratulate the whole team with their new store in advance.