Convening In Aisle 6

Shook Kelley designs a lot of grocery store innovations. And many people might ask: How could a grocery store convene people? To be sure, it doesn’t happen in the same way that a big event space or an urban community convenes. 

On July 1, Save Mart opened a new concept store called “Lucky California” in Daly City, California. Shook Kelley is proud to have contributed to the new brand and store experience direction. The store’s grand re-opening drew a massive crowd, mostly from the local community, breaking sales records for a single week in the chain.

But convening happens on many different levels, among crowds gathering and in more personal moments. 

At the grocery store, one of the areas notoriously recognized as a place where people don’t want to be and can’t seem to relate with are the aisle after aisle in the middle of the store. One of the big innovations at Lucky California, prompted by the new brand direction, was to tackle a massive rearrangement and editing of product categories in center store to better communicate the brand’s core values and meaning.

As a multicultural California brand, Lucky California is all about breaking down cultural boundaries and exploring the diverse worlds of food that intersect in the Bay area. On a related side note, you may have heard that census counts officially confirmed that Latinos are the largest ethnic group in California—which is just one more reason why a “Hispanic Foods Aisle” is an obsolete and outdated concept.

So, how to convene in the center store? How about this: get rid of the so-called “ethnic aisle” and bring together product brands in a unique way. In doing so, the store promotes a sense of inclusiveness for all shoppers and provides a sign of respect for all cultures. It also inspires people to meld flavors and products in new ways that taste good to them.

It’s just a simple act of finding common identity in a grocery store shelf, but it’s a small symbol that speaks to a bigger issue.


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