Albert Heijn is the largest grocery retailer in the Netherlands with 930 stores and XL is their largest supermarket concept with more than 30 stores. Recently, Albert Heijn unveiled an innovative, revamped store by transforming their Eindhoven XL location from a supermarket into a foodie-oriented destination.
The stunning new store concept was designed by Dutch Architects Claessens Erdman in collaboration with Swedish agency Blink. Their newly developed formula places food itself in the spotlight, with architecture taking a less prominent role.
Eindhoven XL features a series of island stalls with produce and interactive displays at the forefront, with preparation stations featuring for example pizza and sushi chefs. In combination with clear sightlines between the different departments, a warm and simple palette of materials is used, including the clean and elegant Mosa Terra Maestricht tiles surfacing the expansive floors. In addition, a subtle lighting strategy in different colour temperatures from Philips ensures the different food stands and islands stand out. The resulting design creates a clear and powerful balance between product and store.
There is a current trend in supermarket design towards romantic, nostalgic retail expressions derived from more traditional farmer’s markets, which is in contrast to this store concept. As a brand, Albert Heijn strives towards rational, fresh and modern design concepts. In this sense, the design and materials used in this store design align with the brand’s vision for a contemporary, forward-looking food market hall.