Marks & Spencer debuts natural Food Hall experience at Olympic site

Retail Times Exclusive

Marks & Spencer: new natural-look Food Hall

Marks & Spencer: new natural-look Food Hall

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has unveiled a new natural look for its Food Hall in a new store at the centre of London’s Olympic retail centre in Stratford, East London.

It is the first of 16 M&S stores in the UK, which are currently re-fitting their Food Halls to the new look.

According to M&S, the new Food Hall customer experience is designed to be warmer, more inviting to the touch and will suggest a closer relationship with the environment. 

Teresa Clark, head of design for M&S, said the look will also subtly associate with M&S’s stated Plan A commitment to ethical and sustainable product sourcing – achieved within a more visually interesting and engaging retail experience.

“The use of timber display structures and detailing will accent the quality and natural origins of both packaged and fresh produce, conveying a sense of the market fresh, wholesome goodness of foods on offer,” said Clark.

“Working with supplier Wanzl, we have been able to continue using its proven wire-based Food Hall display solution; introducing retro-fit timber elements, which lend a far warmer, more natural appearance to the retail space,” she said.

Continental boulangerie experience

Continental boulangerie experience

Clive Jury, manager of the project for Wanzl UK, said the new artisan suite of solutions created a more irregular and less engineered appearance, which has help impart a rustic authenticity and convey a sense of wholesome country goodness within the Food Hall.

“This replicates in many ways the continental retail experience, which places a strong emphasis on the natural presentation of foods, underlining their freshness and quality,” said Jury.

Jury said the visual transformation of the main ambient shelving units had been achieved through the use of natural timber nosing and back panels throughout the Food Hall.

“In addition, we have also demonstrated Wanzl’s scope and versatility in developing and supplying a number of entirely new stand-alone bespoke display solutions, which sustain the concept of bringing uniquely outdoor shopping experiences, indoors,” he said.

These include :

Natural timber creates an artisan feel

Natural timber creates an artisan feel

  • A stepped flower and plant display solution, which is lower to the floor, using natural timber planking on a black steel frame, with galvanised flower buckets
  • A growing herbs display featuring natural wooden apple box produce crates with rustic screen-print wording, on a stepped black frame – creating a garden shop experience
  • Bakery elements, which suggest a continental boulangerie experience, achieved through the use of a variety of natural wooden trays and woven baskets, presenting artisan breads on greaseproof paper
  • Chalkboard-style pricing and product messages are a further visual detail, which help convey the sense of market fresh produce
Galvanised buckets feature on the stepped flower and plant display

Galvanised buckets feature on the stepped flower and plant display

Jury said cues from the new M&S Food Hall in Stratford will be used in the other store re-fits.

“The other 15 stores will use a hybrid, which will borrow from the key visual elements of the artisan specification so that customers can look forward to a familiar natural environment when shopping in any of these stores,” he said.

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