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Ole Shows how Food Retail should be Interesting

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Supermarkets are either in and out affairs, designed to be shopped at speed or, in an increasing number of instances, places where consumers take time to choose their products and to enjoy the environment.

The new Ole supermarket, located on the lower level of Shanghai’s L+ Mall, is clearly one of the latter type with more than a whiff of the food hall about it. Walk through the doors of this one and one of the first things that will probably be apparent is the pillars. These are clad in wood fashioned to create a palm tree-like effect and giving the interior an immediate identity.

Then there is a central chimney/kiln-like feature which is fashioned from wood and glass and which turns out, on closer inspection, to be a self-contained wine cellar.

Overhead, the lighting is all drama, with patterns in the blacked-out ceiling making the shopper look up, as well as straight ahead. Even the cash-taking area has a warm and contemporary feel.

Retailers should be taking note of this kind of thing.