Cinematic style transports shoppers with travel theme
PK MARKET | Wiyre, South Korea
size 35,000 sf
Contributing Shop! member: Thread Collaborative
int. architecture, environmental & millwork design, furniture
The PK Market store in Wirye, South Korea, is the third store for the South Korean high-end grocery chain launched in 2016 to sell “the best food from around the world.” Thread Collaborative, a studio with offices in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, employed filmmaking and storytelling principles to create three distinct PK Market concepts that are as immersive and engaging as a cinematic adventure.
PK Market offers premium local and imported food items, prepared foods, and snacks in an environment that feels familiar to South Korean shoppers. When the first PK Market opened in the basement level of a shopping center in Hanam, an up-and-coming city southeast of Seoul, it was Korea’s first-ever Western-style grocery store with fresh food departments, grocery, and prepared foods. An in-store café, tempura bar, and teppanyaki grill, brewpub, and street “alley” of freshly prepared foods offer entertainment, community, and experiences to the shoppers already spending hours at the shopping center.
The second store, opened in 2017 in Goyang, conceptually transports shoppers to the location of the “food experts” for each major department. The produce department, for example, is reminiscent of traditional market halls. Seafood evokes an Asian wet market, while the meat department recalls a Texas ranch.
The Wirye store elaborated on the themes of transportation and travel introduced in the first two stores. The interior is organized around the imagined travels and postcards of the youngest daughter of a fictional family. This envisioned “Grand Tour of Europe” results in vistas, colors, materials, and activities that bring to life each of the store’s major departments. Holiday outings—such as shopping for flowers in Rome’s Campo de Fiori, picnicking in Tuscany, fishing in the Mediterranean, buying jamón in a Spanish butcher shop, enjoying a coffee and pastry in a Parisian Left-Bank café, and lodging in a Swiss chalet—were foundational concepts for curating and crafting in-store messaging, graphics, color palette, material selections, lighting, soundscapes, props, functional equipment, uniforms, and architectural detailing and sequencing.
Thus fresh lemons, oranges, rosemary, and other Mediterranean produce in wooden crates and woven baskets are displayed around an actual three-wheeled Piaggio Ape imported from Italy. Nuts and grains are housed in an area resembling a farmhouse shed. Seafood is organized around a simple blue wooden boat with rope netting, while whimsical LED fish outlines blink to attract attention to the “Fishmonger” fresh catch counter. A Parisian café setting, complete with tall storefront windows, offers breads and pastries from white counters, baskets, and bakers racks. And to draw shoppers to the craft beer department, which carries brews imported from around the world, a craft brewery style tank has been painted and perched above the shelving fixtures to encourage shoppers to “Drink Craft Beer.”