Who wouldn't like a supermarket like this round the corner? Modest in size, but well-stocked and with a modern, pleasantly light atmosphere. The name EDEKA Hieber stands for top product quality and service and is a well-known and multiple award-winning innovator in the field of food retail.
The Hieber supermarket in Steinen in the state of Baden-Württemberg opened in October 2020. Not only does it boast a superlative product assortment and salesroom; it is also a shining example of how a local supermarket that is well designed and managed can succeed in asserting itself against the uniform world of discount supermarket chains. When the Hieber family took over the 1000 square metre store in the centre of Steinen they returned to their roots as it were: it was on the other side of the little river Wiese, in the district of Höllstein, that founder Jörg Hieber opened his first little grocery store in 1966 – and it grew into a regional grocery empire with 15 stores and more than 1000 employees. Hieber caused quite a stir in Germany with his supermarkets in the Markgräfler Land region. He set trends in the conception, design and technology of today's supermarkets – and he has already received many awards for this, including the "Goldener Zuckerhut", which is regarded as the "Oscar" of the food industry.
With this know-how, the company set about redesigning the building which was constructed in 1990 and featured unusual architecture that called for tailor-made shopfitting and lighting solutions. With its tent-like roof, the polygonal main sales area of the supermarket has the appearance of a pavilion with exposed, curved timber beams resting on a central concrete column. The salesroom, designed by the retail designers from redsquare from Kolbermoor in Bavaria, has an organic character which lent itself to naturalness as a guiding theme. Typical of Hieber supermarkets is the generous space above the shelves which gives customers a good overview of the whole store and facilitates orientation together with the clear signage of the departments. The shop fittings are dominated by warm wooden surfaces and filigree white metal structures. The pastel colours of the outer walls are matched to the respective product category with refrigerated shelves against light blue walls, pink tiles behind the butcher's counter and light blue tiles behind the fish counter.
The right spectrum makes colours shine
The lighting also supports this subtle zoning of the self-service sales area and the serving counters. With the support of the lighting experts from BÄRO, the retail designers decided to completely dispense with conventional, uniform general lighting. Instead, compact Ontero XR LED spotlights with medium reflectors provide powerful, brilliant accents directly on the shelves. The white spotlights with elegant in-track adapters are fitted on white tracks suspended from the ceiling which follow the arrangement of the aisles. The special light colour PearlWhite is used. The colour-intensifying spectrum with very good colour rendering of CRI >95 makes all colours appear natural, fresh and rich.
In contrast, the lighting for the meat, sausage, cheese and fish counters is more specific: this is where BARO's expertise in product-specific light spectrums comes to bear – the planners used no less than seven different light colours and light colour combinations throughout the store in order to achieve the precise desired rendering of the typical product colours. This effort has paid off. "You can see the brilliance and high quality of the special light colours and the effect justifies the greater investment compared with standard lighting", says Karsten Pabst, Managing Director of Hieber KG.
For meat, the planners combined the classic product-specific light colour SpecialMeat with the colour-intensifying light colour BeColor with a CRI > 96 and a correlated colour temperature of 3,500 K. At the cheese counter, the application-neutral light colour 927 with 2700 K and a CRI >95 combined with the product-specific light colour Sun shows the products to best advantage. The light colour combination also emphasises the freshness and colours of the fruit and vegetables on display. And finally, the fish and seafood counter is illuminated by a combination of Meat&Fish and BeColor. Compared with areas illuminated exclusively with product-specific light colours, the effect of such combinations is more subtle and natural; the zones illuminated in this way also blend more gently into their surroundings. In the frozen goods department, on the other hand, the decidedly cool, colour-intensifying BeCool light spectrum creates the right atmosphere.
Individual solutions for light and design
The design of the luminaires used is just as individual as the colour balance of the lighting design. While the spotlights of the XR series feature a particularly compact and minimalist design, for the illumination of the counters BÄRO supplied special variants of the EC suspended luminaires with shades made of copper-coloured metal. In addition to adding decorative highlights to the salesroom, these luminaires also perform technical lighting tasks, as they can be fitted with various product-specific light sources from the manufacturer.
To illuminate the rear walls, the designers opted for uniform wallwashing, a technique used in high-quality architectural lighting, which lends the premises a feeling of spaciousness. Intara SX recessed luminaires are the ideal tools for this. Their high-precision wallwash optics, developed by Bartenbach lighting engineers, allow a particularly compact design flush with the ceiling. They produce asymmetric light distribution that starts directly below the ceiling and also illuminates the workplaces behind the counters with horizontal components.
For the checkout area, where more powerful yet glare-free lighting is expedient for customers and staff, the BÄRO experts recommended the Base H lighting profile, which offers particularly high visual comfort with the Drop Line 35° LED insert. The nuanced, yet harmonious look created by the lighting solution from a single supplier greatly enhances the overall impression of the new store. This also impressed Jörg Hieber: "A truly successful lighting concept that puts the spotlight on the merchandise and shows it to best advantage," says the founder and senior boss. It sets new standards for lighting in stores of this size in future – in the Hieber Group and among the competition.
EDEKA Hieber, Mühlenweg 2, 79585 Steinen
Shop fitter: redsquare GmbH & Co. KG, Kolbermoor
Electrical planning: Krebs Elektrotechnik e. K., Efringen-Kirchen
BÄRO is a leading specialist in the fields of retail lighting and clean air technologies with global operations. The medium-sized family business based in Leichlingen is managed by the married couple Dr Sandra von Möller and J. Manuel von Möller. With the slogan "Fresh Light for Fresh Products" BÄRO offers professional lighting solutions for all formats in the retail world. Furthermore, in 1994 BÄRO launched its Clean Air Technologies division and offers integrated solutions for the restaurant and catering industry, canteens and the food industry. The careful use of energy and social responsibility are important to BÄRO here. As a signatory of the "Diversity Charter" the company is committed to diversity and cultivates a culture of respect for every individual. In addition, BÄRO supports the charity KIDsmiling that was founded in 2003 as a private initiative by Dr Sandra von Möller to help socially disadvantaged children.