Behind the scenes of the design of Bio-Planet 1.1

On 19 February, customers could discover Bio-Planet's new store concept. The store in Braine-l'Alleud was the first to introduce the new look. Later on, Bio-Planet will roll out the concept in the 30 other stores. Our specialists were responsible for the design.

Brand identity

"We started from Bio-Planet's brand book that describes the identity of the brand. To translate this identity to a store design, we organised different workshops and visited 'competitor colleagues' in Belgium and abroad for inspiration", says retail designer Nele De Mets.

To keep an overview, the project team divided the store into a dozen areas (bread, service counter, checkout, etc.), each with their own work package. Per work package, the designers worked with experts during workshops to come up with a design that not only looks good but is also functional.

Innovating together

A nice example of such a work package is the new bread bake-off. "The store in Braine-l'Alleud is the first store where the store employees bake off the bread and breakfast rolls. As designers, we looked for the right place to do this in our design and the project engineers examined how we could provide the installation of the right connections", Nele says.

In addition, the buyers looked for a supplier for the dough, the store staff needed training to work with the appliances and time had to be provided for this new task on the staff planning. "It's a huge advantage that we all work for the same group. It doesn't take long for all the parties involved to (digitally) meet and find solutions together."

More room for fresh products

When you walk around the store in Braine-l'Alleud, you will see a lot of new elements. For example, the refrigerated area was expanded to give all fruit and vegetables a place. "The design of this extra space looks somewhat like a greenhouse. This allows us to make the link with the place where the fruit and vegetables are grown", Nele explains.

The 'health & beauty' department also stands out. "We chose a different colour for the shelves in that part of the store, to create a shop-in-shop feeling. You will also find the inspiration aisle, with on one side tables with seasonal products and on the other side, at the end of the shelves, the current promotions."

Good-looking and functional

The top shelves of the racks were also given a new look. "We store the additional store stock on these shelves. We wanted to visually hide these products in the new design, without losing efficiency. Because our colleagues at the stores need to stock the shelves or move this store stock several times a day", says retail designer Jirko Van Lierde.

"After a lot of thinking and several prototypes (which we tested extensively in our show labs) we came up with the panels that are installed now. Not only do they hide the stock, but they also offer customers more information about the products on the shelves below. A win-win!"

Natural elements

The new design brings nature inside even more. "The moss panels on the ceiling immediately draw your attention, but natural elements are used on several locations throughout the store. We introduce birch wood as a new material and use boards of recycled wood in our furniture."

"We also work with the Belgian start-up Circular Matters. They process local waste streams - think of residual streams from agriculture and the food industry for example - into biodegradable boards. Especially for us, they developed boards with a new colour and composition. The organic look and sustainable character of these boards fit in perfectly with the new Bio-Planet concept", Nele decides.

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