First ever physical store for online wine retailer

Amsterdam, August 18, 2011… Storeage, the Amsterdam-based international retail design agency, has helped online wine retailer develop its first ever physical store with the Grapy Store.

Capitalising on the inseparable pairing of food and wine, the Grapy Store is housed in the same space as the Het Verborgen Rijk bookstore, right next to its cooking section. The two stores, located at the Passage mall in Roosendaal, share the same shop front and compliment each other with a crossover in merchandising. Cooking, food and wine books are displayed within the Grapy Store, right next to relevant wine displays.

Storeage’s task was to develop a ‘shop in shop’ with completely flexible fixtures, with the idea that the concept could be rolled out into additional bookstores, or other complimentary retailers like gourmet delis or music shops.

“Grapy wants to bring consumers closer to the physical experience of enjoying wine by aligning it directly with cooking and cookbooks, and other potential areas of enjoyment,” said Jan Baltussen of Grapy. “This store highlights our unique selling point – the ability to help the customer discover personal wine and taste combinations.”

The 25 square meter store features a modular system of arrow-shaped stackable, changeable wine and book units. The stacks of colourful units differ in height, mimicking the digital sommelier flavor charts available on the Grapy website.

A centrally placed unit features an interactive touch screen allowing customers to type in their food choices and find complimentary wines available to purchase in the store.

“With this store, Storeage has helped Grapy enhance its well-established position in the online world with a physical presence,” said Leendert Tange, partner and co-founder at Storeage. ‘Our design translates features that work well online – such as Grapy’s food and wine pairing advice – to a traditional retail environment.”

The stackable system features a top unit with an adaptable display area that allows wine bottles to be shown as if presented by a sommelier. Lower units are used to store large amounts of wine, eliminating the need for a stock room.

“Each unit can easily be altered depending on the function - whether that’s to display wine, books or related accessories – or to fit the space available,” said Joăo Carneiro, Storeage’s lead designer on the project.

The units are made from wood painted in fresh, modern colours ranging from light, yellowish green to deep aubergine, creating a feeling of warmth and enjoyment. Chalkboard paint was used, allowing pricing and other details to be written directly on the units and easily updated. Wine categories are punctuated with bold white 3-D block letters.

Large graphic illustrations of fresh food – fish, asparagus, and pasta – cover the walls. Grapy Store signage is front and center, in bold 3-D lettering. Sarah Napier of Storeage handled graphic design on the project. Storeage managed the entire project, from inception to installation.