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Grocery stores rely heavily on the appeal of visual merchandising. Every facet, from the signage to the fi xtures, should support the brand image. So, when Balls Food Stores remodeled their 60,000 square foot Hen House Market supermarket at the Tremont Shopping Center in Kansas City, they insisted on interior design refl ecting Hen House’s recently refreshed, high-end brand identity. Armstrong NATURAL CREATIONS Mystix Luxury Flooring formed the foundation for the desired look. Jeff Maple, the project’s interior designer, says, “Flooring and lighting are about the only tools a designer has for creating an environment in a supermarket grocery aisle. The NATURAL CREATIONS Luxury Flooring product line creates an exclusive look for Hen House that compliments their brand and establishes a casual, upscale climate.” The remodel project is not only a winner in the eyes of Balls Food Stores and Hen House Market customers, it’s also the 2012 retail award winner in the prestigious Starnet Design Competition.
One Good Remodel Deserves Another
Balls Food Stores operates 12 Hen House Markets. The Tremont location is actually the second store remodeled in concert with Hen House’s “New Generation Décor Package”. The Lenexa, Kan. store was the prototype for the new design. Armstrong NATURAL CREATIONS was installed in the Lenexa project, and based on the overwhelming success of that first installation in 2010, Balls decided to expand and implement the new design approach in their Tremont Hen House Market in 2012. Maple explains, “The NATURAL CREATIONS Luxury Flooring product lines, patterns and colors used in the prototype remodeling were very well received. For example, the aisle widths in the prototype store were perceived as being wider than they actually are because the floor pattern ran perpendicular to the grocery aisles. Customers were thanking the store director for the wider aisles. So, we selected these floors again for use at the Tremont location.”
Maple says the flooring helps create a memorable shopping experience. “NATURAL CREATIONS Luxury Flooring offers tile sizes unique in scale and proportion with graphic, non-representational patterns. The combination of sizes and consistent colorways between patterns allowed the creation of a multi textured, almost monochromatic floor design punctuated with contrasting accents that energize the floor and highlight specific store departments. When you walk into the store, it is really easy to see the high quality of flooring that was used in lieu of other types of flooring. This instantly makes the shopper feel like they are receiving a better quality product,” Maple explains.
Seven colors of NATURAL CREATIONS Mystix Luxury Flooring are used throughout the project. The inspired collection of more than 60 contemporary colors and patterns make mixing and matching fun and easy for designers. These fashionable floors combine the best of design and technology in one product, with their stunning, unexpected visuals, their durability for commercial use and their flexibility for practically foolproof installations.
Customer Relations Rule the Roost
Maple says it is gratifying to know Balls Food Stores and consumers shopping at Hen House Markets are happy with the interior design. He also emphasizes that his good working relationship with Armstrong helped make this project a reality. “Armstrong has high quality products and professional, helpful Sales Representatives. When help was needed, Armstrong resources were available to promptly keep this project on track.”
Starnet Design Award Winner
Starnet selected the Tremont Hen House Market remodel as the 2012 “Retail” category winner in their annual Design Awards, a contest that celebrates the creativity and talent of professionals in commercial flooring and interiors. Award winners are chosen based on their creative use of flooring, the integration of flooring into the overall design concept and the successful achievement of client objectives.
Every year, a team of independent judges select projects worthy of special recognition. This year, Judge Gregory Bishop, president of Accolate Interiors, said there was a fi eld of several excellent projects, but in the end, the Hen House project “shined above the others for its stylish use of a predominately neutral palette. We were all impressed by the strategic use of shape and color in the flooring, and how it defi ned the space and contributed to the overall character of each department. We liked the way that the floors tied together with architectural elements, and how the neutral colors kept the focus on signage and splashes of color to help people navigate through the space.”
Fred Williamson, Starnet vice president, Operations, adds, “The NATURAL CREATIONS floors are a key design feature, along with the lighting. The flooring helps defi ne areas like the pharmacy and the bank by using a range of color and texture to transition from one space to another. Also, the floor design picks up the curve and flow of the ceiling soffits, which also helps defi ne areas within the store. There is an overall feeling of freshness, openness and comfort throughout the store, and the flooring helps create that atmosphere.”
The Top of the Pecking Order
Everyone associated with the Hen House Market remodel project takes great pride in this award-winning project. Maple says, “Having an opportunity to install such a unique flooring in an atypical grocery store has served to create more opportunities and ideas for future design/build projects. Balls takes pride in the space and highly recommends using the same flooring in other projects.”
Armstrong has been helping designers like Jeff Maple create stunning interiors for retail, hospitality, offi ce, education, healthcare and other commercial spaces for more than 150 years. Armstrong World Industries, Inc., is a global leader in flooring design and manufacture, with a focus on innovation, quality, value and environmental sustainability. The company’s commercial flooring portfolio includes hundreds of colors and dozens of product lines designed to dazzle and produced to perform.