Ukrainian C-store nixes bright colors in style-forward redesign
Sim23 | Lutsk, Ukraine
completed September 2019
photos Dmytro Zhakun
Contributing Shop! member: Modern-Expo Group
Open metal shelving, a black-and-white color palette, and statement lighting dramatically modernize the look and feel of this Sim23 convenience store in Lutsk, Ukraine. The pilot location of a redesign that can be rolled out across the chain, the project is the result of months of development that resulted in a new floor plan with standard elements for easy implementation in existing stores.
The redesign encompasses a huge shift in the C-store chain’s color scheme from splashy, bright colors to a more restrained look characterized by dark walls, white trim, and stylish details. A key feature is the store’s ready-to-eat section, which is atypical for most stores of this format in Ukraine. A to-go area enables customers to buy food and drinks without going to the store, while a counter with seating offers a panoramic view of the city center, inviting shoppers to linger and enjoy a meal prepared in-store.
From a design perspective, a focal point is in the self-service area in the center of the store. Oversized bright red pendants are suspended over a multi-toned, light-wood-look station equipped with a microwave, to-go breakfast offerings, napkin dispensers, and integrated trash receptacles. All equipment is professional-grade, including a coffee machine that brews 17 varieties from freshly ground beans and fresh milk.
A prepared food counter and glass-fronted bakery case feature the same light-wood aesthetic. These areas are tied together with white beveled subway tile affixed with charcoal grout on the backsplash and surrounding columns.
Refrigerated cases framed in matte black metal are transparent at the front and on the sides, allowing product to be seen from multiple angles. Shelving along the store’s perimeter and endcaps continues visibility of product from the sides, thanks to its metal-grid construction.
Largely neutral-colored graphics with wayfinding stretch from shelving up to the ceiling. Other signage throughout the store is black with white printing or handwriting.
Thin bar style lighting contributes to the redesign’s modern vibe. Black track lighting adds additional illumination without taking away from statement lighting.
In contrast to the many black elements within the store, woodgrain details appear in bins within the aisles and open boxes showcasing fresh produce.