Sweetbay Unveils New Prototype

In a bid to reposition its brand toward a slightly younger food- and price-conscious customer, Sweetbay Supermarket’s newest location in Palm Harbor, Fla., features a new interior design package showcasing a contemporary palette of food-inspired colors and highly finished modern materials - woods, glass tile, ceramics and stainless steel - to create the backdrop for displaying foods and featuring services in a warm, soothing envelope.

API(+), the Florida-based multidisciplinary design firm specializing in retail and offering architecture, interior, and graphic design, conducted the project for the Tampa, Fla.-based Sweetbay’s 105th store location at 3400 East Lake Rd. in Palm Harbor.

“Today’s Sweetbay is more on target with its core customer and their need for a straightforward shopping experience,” said Juan F. Romero, API(+) president and CEO, noting that the new design for the meat and seafood service areas, for instance, not only lowers operational costs, but also provides an "open market" atmosphere. The pairing of rich dark wood with brushed metal set against walls featuring glass and stainless-steel inserts, Romero explained, creates a strong backdrop to the department that communicates transparency and professionalism for an overall result that is a modern commercial grade kitchen aesthetic .

The pharmacy design, meanwhile, takes its cues from the hospitality industry. Wood finishes are spa-inspired, while the department’s color balance is welcoming and open to allow customers direct visual contact with the pharmacist. Large scale light tubes above the pharmacists’ work area mimic natural illumination and provide a dramatic punctuation, making it easily recognizable from any location in the store. Soft lighting and comfortable seating placed outside the traffic pattern further enhance the customer experience with a pleasant waiting area.

The balance of the store supports the signature fresh and service departments with a consistent usage of graphic pattern appliqués and lighthearted messaging. API(+) collaborated with Sweetbay to develop this series of department-specific messages. For example, in the dairy department, shoppers are encouraged to “take your cookie for a dip.”

Owned by Delhaize America and formerly badged as Kash n’ Karry, Sweetbay Supermarket operates 105 Florida stores from Gainesville south to Naples.

Founded in 1990, API(+)has developed some of the industry’s top food retail environments, including award-winning prototypes for Carnival Supermarket, Bloom, Whole Foods Market, Walmart, ThreeSixty and Morton’s Gourmet.

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