French supermarket E Leclerc has taken inspiration from the building its Bordeaux store is based in, giving its store design Art Deco flair.
The best retailers try to fit in with their surroundings – it’s part of being local. This tends to work in the fashion business, but it is less straightforward in large-format grocery stores where things tend to be rather less flexible and deviation from the norm may be actively discouraged.
It is refreshing therefore to see what E Leclerc, one of France’s largest supermarket operators, has done in Bordeaux. This 55,000 sq ft store, designed by Paris-based agency Malherbe Design and opened at the end of 2014, takes a 1930s Art Deco building and uses it as the departure point for the design of the interior, from lights to mid-shop columns.
It is the many distinctive elements that really set it apart, from the Art Deco-style signage to the fresh produce display units that have an echo of black lacquered Chinoiserie.
It all goes to show that there is more to grocery retail than making everything look identical.