Experience Ulm at EDEKA Dörflinger
Wanzl designs the branch in the new Sedelhöfe shopping mall
In and around Ulm and all about Ulm – at the EDEKA Dörflinger branch, newly opened in July, customers can experience a multi-faceted interpretation of their home town when shopping. On a total sales floor of 2,000 sqm, Ulm’s flair, history and landmarks are just waiting to be experienced, seen and tasted. The shopping mall in the Sedelhöfe, located between the pedestrian zone and the main railway station, promises a holistic shopping experience. The expert in innovative shopfitting, Wanzl Shop Solutions, combines regional tradition with urban modernity in a unique way.
As a newly built complex of buildings on the Albert-Einstein-Platz in the heart of the city, the Sedelhöfe, steeped in history, symbolise the urban fusion of living, working and shopping – a showcase for Ulm and gateway to the "city of short distances". EDEKA Dörflinger has one of the largest shop floors in the Sedelhöfe and is the family’s third branch after the stores in Gerstetten and Langenau. "The BEST from the region" seal of quality is proudly displayed in all the stores. "We have incorporated the Dörflinger family's emphasis on regional produce as a promise of quality into our shopfitting concept,” explains Tino Pilharcz, Head of Key Account Management EDEKA National at Wanzl.
“Many items in our product range come from the surroundings of Ulm. Our goal was to integrate this local character into the shop’s design. The customer should experience a piece of home when shopping". The design has a distinct look, and materials made of wood, natural stone and brick create a calm atmosphere, while the typical black and white city colours and landmarks of Ulm, such as the famous Ulm Cathedral, are integrated into the décor at regular intervals.
In the style of the weekly market on Münsterplatz, the fruit and vegetable section focuses on the local origin of the products. The freshly harvested fruit and vegetables are presented under green and white awnings and in rustic wooden crates in an appetising way and invite customers to reach out and buy them. This is ensured by a flexible, customised solution in the style of a market stall from Wanzl. Stacked wooden crates and raffia baskets set rural accents. The walls are finished in red brick, giving the impression of an ancient city wall.
Large glass panes create an open, bright sense of space. Freshness also sets the tone in the integrated sushi area, where kimchi, sashimi and maki are prepared live and on site according to the motto "Fresh. Sushi. Asian”. With its counter front made of solid wood and black steel, it also fits harmoniously into the overall concept.
Customers then follow the path of the Danube River to the fish counter. Tino Pilharcz explains: "For the design of the counter we took our inspiration from the famous Ulmer Schachtel, which is a traditional wooden boat that was often used as a mode of transport on the Danube in medieval Ulm.
Typical for the Ulmer Schachtel boats are the black and white stripes in the bow, which can also be found on the counter front. To perfect the nautical character, we added wooden paddles and old ship's lanterns to the wall". Another motif that defines the identity of the city has been integrated on the brightly lit, white ceiling that links the fish, meat, sausage and cheese counters. “The sparrow is part of Ulm. Legend has it that it played an instrumental role in the construction of Ulm Cathedral by flying through the city gate with a twig in its beak, right under the workers' noses. Everything else is history," Pilharcz smiles.
“So of course we didn't want to leave out the Ulm sparrow. We hung sparrow figurines from the ceiling and made them look as if they were flying through the room." Another urban landmark has also been adapted for the transition from the cheese to the sausage counter: at full ceiling height with a white background, a black pictogram of the Ulm butcher's tower adorns the wall.
In the adjoining "Bistro", black pendant lights successfully accentuate the light wood on the counter and wall. To the side of the counter, a solid wood table and elegant bistro chairs invite customers to linger. Discreet green tiles create spatial separation and set a cosy colour accent. The "Bistro" exudes a homely flair with its warm décor and the large, inscribed slate board featuring drawings of espressos, café lattes and so on. Two large floor elements representing rustic spirit barrels mark the transition to the world of beverages like emblems.
The extensive wine assortment is presented to EDEKA Dörflinger's customers in a special way. Wooden wine barrels are mounted on large wire tech shelves made of black steel, evoking the atmosphere of a traditional wine cellar, while the bottles seem to literally float on the filigree shelving system by Wanzl. In the centre of the room, a column made of natural stone with the pictogram of the Ulm butcher's tower attracts all the attention thanks to its almost three-dimensional appearance – a fitting backdrop for the fine wines presented on a stage around the tower on large crates and wooden shelves.
“This type of goods presentation is called “staging””, explains Pilharcz. “The butcher’s tower is an eye-catcher in itself and the wines simply have a very special effect placed in the centre of the space on platforms”. In the background, the continuous red of the brick wall then merges into a beige background on which Ulm's landmarks have once again been depicted.
The “Loose produce” section is a highlight in the truest sense of the word – the white lettering on the red brick wall is easy to see and is indirectly lit by a spotlight. This subtle lighting concept is also used in other sections at EDEKA Dörflinger. In the package-free segment, regional produce meets the modern zeitgeist and sustainability. Cereals, nuts, muesli and sweets are lined up next to each other in large, transparent dispensers and are filled in-store to avoid plastic waste.
The empties department finally takes customers to the modern age. The brick wall is given a modern touch by brightly coloured graffiti. In this environment, even the fire emergency box becomes a decorative element that, together with the graffiti, breaks the rustic charm of the brick wall thereby bringing the city's history into the present. The spray-painted wording "urban" says it all, while colourful arrows in the graffiti point the way to the empties collection point. The cosmetics department also has a contemporary look and is designed in the typical Ulm colours. The white-panelled columns and pendant lights are reminiscent of an elegant room in one of Ulm's townhouses. The portrait of a lady looks out from a make-up mirror framed with illuminated spheres – a serene setting for the colourful jars, creams and tubes.
And, finally, the checkout area also reflects the colours of the modern look: large pipes, lattice elements and black steel in an industrial design generate an atmosphere of urban life, which is further enhanced by the futuristic lighting concept. Hanging, round lighting fixtures provide cool light and appear almost spherical against the backdrop of the ceiling. The always highly frequented, hectic POS area is, in turn, calmed by the block-like design of the individual checkout counters, wide aisles and clear routing. Finally, Ulm Cathedral is once again immortalised on the checkout fronts in white on a black background.
In the self-check-out area, the city's most famous son greets you: Albert Einstein. He was born in the Sedelhöfe and the square is named after him. His portrait is reproduced on a large black slate plaque together with his famous theory of relativity.
Customers at EDEKA Dörflinger thus experience a unique shop format in which Wanzl adapts city history with a modern flair – a successful tribute to Ulm and its many faces, which finds a worthy place in the Sedelhöfe as the new gateway to the city.