The architect Louis Sullivan coined the well-known expression “form follows function,” and today’s supermarkets are a reflection of this mantra, albeit with the caveat that if the architecture dictates how the business actually operates, it runs the risks of inflexibility and an inability to adapt to change. Bradley Anderson, owner and operator of Anderson’s Market, in Glenn Arbor, Mich., says of a complete store remodel in 2014, “We began by tailoring the layout toward functionality, with an eye on each department being its own profit center, giving it individuality as well as flow.”
According to Anderson, the remodel was designed to provide better customer interaction through lower-profile merchandising and open-air employee work areas. “An emphasis was put on lighting, with a centerpiece skylight to allow natural sunlight to flood customer gathering areas,” he explains. “We also added a ‘Michigan Made’ section next to our deli to showcase our in-state products.” Anderson collaborated with design professionals and used trade magazines like Progressive Grocer to help spot trends and make things more efficient for both customers and employees.