Back to the roots - with fresh light
Everyone would like to have a supermarket like this around the corner: manageable, but well-stocked, with a modern, pleasantly light atmosphere. The name EDEKA Hieber stands for first-class quality of goods and advice, known and awarded many times as an innovator in the food trade.
The Hieber Frischemarkt in Steinen, which opened in October 2020, does not shine with superlatives in terms of sales area and assortment quantity, but by exemplifying how high-quality supply can be provided in the area today - and how well-designed and managed stores can successfully position themselves against the uniform world of discounters. It fits in with the picture that the Hieber family is returning to its roots, so to speak, with the takeover of the 1,000 m² store in the center of Steinen: on the other bank of the Wiese river, in the Höllstein district, founder Jörg Hieber opened his first small grocery store in 1966, from which a regional retail empire developed with 15 stores and over 1,000 employees. With his fresh food centers in the Markgräfler Land region, Hieber caused a sensation throughout Germany. He set the trends in terms of the conception, design and technology of today's supermarkets - and has already received many awards for this, including the "Golden Sugar Loaf", which is considered the "Oscar" of the food industry.
With this know-how, the company set about redesigning the building, which was built in 1990 and, with its unusual architecture, required customized solutions for shopfitting and lighting. With its tent-like roof, the polygonal main hall of the store forms a pavilion whose uncovered, curved wooden trusses rest on a central concrete column: a space with an organic character that suggested the theme of naturalness as a leitmotif to the retail designers from Redsquare in Kolbermoor, Bavaria. Typical of Hieber is the generous air space above the shelves, which gives customers an overview of the entire store, which, together with the clear signage of the departments, facilitates orientation. The furnishings are dominated by warm wood surfaces and filigree white metal structures. The pastel colors of the exterior walls are coordinated with the respective product segment, so refrigerated shelves stand in front of light blue walls, pink tiling was used behind the butcher's counter, and light blue again behind the fish counter.
The right spectrum makes colors shine
The lighting also supports this subtle zoning of the self-service sales area and the service counters. With the support of the lighting experts at BÄRO, the retail designers decided to dispense completely with conventional, uniform ambient lighting. Instead, compact Ontero XR LED spotlights with medium reflectors provide powerful, brilliant accents directly on the product shelves. The white spotlights are installed with elegant In-Track-Adapters on likewise white conductor rails suspended from the ceiling, the arrangement of which follows the aisles. A special feature is the PearlWhite light color used. The color-intensifying spectrum with very good CRI >95 color rendering makes all colors appear natural, fresh and rich at the same time.
This is where BÄRO's expertise in product-specific light spectra comes into play - the designers used no less than seven different light colors or light color combinations throughout the store to achieve the exact reproduction of the typical product colors. An effort that pays off: "You see the brilliance and high quality of the special light colors and realize why you invest more in them than in standard," says Karsten Pabst, Managing Director of Hieber KG.
In the case of meat, the planners combined the classic among the product-specific light colors SpecialMeat with the color-intensifying light color BeColor, which offers a CRI> 96 and a most similar color temperature of 3,500 K. The result is a very attractive product. At the cheese counter, the application-neutral light color 927 with 2700 K and a CRI >95 together with the product-specific light color Sun gives an optimal impression. The light color combination also emphasizes the freshness and colorfulness of the fruit and vegetables on offer. Finally, the fish and seafood sector is illuminated by Meat&Fish plus BeColor. Compared with exclusively product-specific light colors, the effect of such combinations is more subtle and natural; the correspondingly illuminated zones also blend more gently into their surroundings. In the area of frozen goods, on the other hand, the decidedly cool-looking, color-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 color balance of the lighting design. While the spotlights of the XR series impress with their particularly compact and reduced form, BÄRO supplied special versions of the EC pendant luminaires with shades of copper-colored metal for the lighting of the counters. In addition to their role as decorative accents in the room, these luminaires also fulfill technical lighting tasks, as they can also be equipped with the manufacturer's various goods-specific light sources.
For the illumination of the rear walls, the designers opted for a technique of high-quality architectural lighting with uniform wallwashing, which gives the room a sense of spaciousness. Intara SX recessed luminaires are ideal tools for this purpose: Their high-precision wallwash optics, developed by Bartenbach lighting engineers, allow for a particularly compact, flush ceiling design. It creates an asymmetrical light distribution that starts directly below the ceiling and, thanks to its horizontal components, also illuminates the workstations behind the counters.
For the checkout area, where both customers and staff want stronger but glare-free lighting, the BÄRO experts suggested the Base H light profile, which offers particularly high visual comfort with the Drop Line 35° LED insert. The overall impression of the new store benefits greatly from the harmonious appearance offered by the lighting solution from a single source, despite all the differentiation in detail. This also impressed Jörg Hieber: "An all-round successful lighting concept that puts the goods in the foreground in the best possible way," commented the founder and senior boss. This should set the standard in terms of lighting for future stores in this size category - both in the Hieber Group and among the competition.