Award-winning local supply: Small, Smart, Simple, Social, Sustainable.
For many places, teo marks the return of a shopping experience that has not been available for years: shopping right on your doorstep. You can find all your everyday essentials just a few steps away from home. Always close, always there.
The extraordinary architecture, innovative store design and holistic brand design are certainly the most striking features of our work for tegut … teo. With this new small-space format, the food retailer and pioneer of organic products Tegut is expanding its 280-store supermarket network in Hesse and southern Germany.
tegut…teo is the answer to changes in our lifestyles. With more flexible daily routines, more conscious consumption, digital shopping services and a more sensitive attitude to mobility, new needs are emerging. The increasingly articulated desire for good local supply options is becoming ever more apparent, as well as the effects of the withdrawal of many food suppliers from urban neighborhoods and rural areas.
Tegut as a trendsetter
The company tegut…, known for its high organic and sustainable quality standards, acknowledges this need. tegut… is a trendsetter. Naturalness, regionality, fairness, transparency, responsibility and high ecological standards characterize the company’s cosmos of values.
With the idea of an innovative 24/7 retail format, the company initiates a new local supply offer. The aim is to get closer to people again, to fill the spaces in between, and to be where the supply gaps are.
Our task was to bring the business philosophy to life in a tiny space: The new format should create an immediate presence, offer the potential product range of a typical grocery shop for the week, digitalize the entire shopping process and offer social gathering point quality. All of this on 50 square meters of retail space and around the clock – a stationary answer to online shopping.
Designing space as a being
Already in our first workshops with tegut… the feeling for the new shopping experience developed: less is more if the less is more natural, more human and more helpful. It is also closer, more accessible and more approachable if it is simply there where, when and how you need it. We wanted to create a new space around people and out of the tegut… brand to form a new place, an entity that combines the company’s values, attitude and products with the needs of future customers in a sustainable and modern way.
The design concept creates the “teoform”, which derives its structure, appearance, and behavior from the spatial use of an existing brand element, the super-ellipse. It becomes the defining feature of the entire building, which gently curves outwards like a spatial sculpture and smoothly opens up inwards, radiating a warmth, softness and openness. It looks like a friendly being that welcomes people, that you like to be friends with, and that you always want to have close to you.
During the year long lab phase, the concept was transferred into a constantly evolving life-sized mock-up in our hall. The new retail format is a completely new developed architecture that’s enriched by technical components from partners. The structural advantage of the modular timber frame construction became immediately apparent when looking at the maximum flexibility for all ideas it provided – the design of the shop interior and the exterior façade. At the same time, a specialist timber construction company started building the first prototype. The constant alignment between the progress of the life-sized mock-up in the lab and its realization accelerated tegut…teo’s process.
The entire building is imprinted with sustainability: The supporting structure is made of local wood, has a green roof with biodiverse planting and the walk-in cooler focuses on high energy efficiency. The transportable building can be set up in just a few hours. It does not seal the ground and only requires a power and internet connection. Locations can therefore be prepared quickly and easily.
The gestalt influences the assortment
The modular, lamelliform design enables a highly variable and highly efficient arrangement of products. The number of product categories corresponds to that of a full-range retailer. There is space for 950 products. Much more than originally thought at the start of the project. Through the staggering of the product displays and the all-round overview in the space, the entire product presentation appears transparent and easy to navigate. The result is an intuitive shopping environment for essential and high-quality everyday products ranging from fresh fruit and vegetables, bread and baked goods, frozen foods and drinks to household and drugstore goods.
tegut…teo is based on the intuitive human use of technological presence. The entire access, shopping and payment process is digitalized and enables 24/7 access to the entire store without staff. The teo scanning app and self-checkouts are a key part of the new convenience concept. The number of people in the store can be controlled which contributes to the quality of the shopping experience.
tegut…teo wants to be a trustworthy and reliable partner. Every customer should feel like many people are working constantly and competently in the background to look after the assortment and the shop so that people feel good and safe at all times. tegut…teo is counting on this feeling developing into a feeling of reciprocity and that people enjoy meeting at and with tegut…teo.
To underline tegut…teo’s commitment to sustainable and social interaction, parts of the buildings façade are reserved for free services. The services range from information boards, swap meets, bike repair stations, e-bike charging stations and storage stations, seating and dog rest areas to seasonal themes such as providing free snow shovels or bird food in winter. tegut…teo enlivens spaces and creates new places for social exchange. It moves closer to people in order to be close to them.
An ideal design pattern
teo is as short, fast and simple as the route to the future shopping location. This is precisely why we decided on its likeable and memorable name. It is the ideal carrier of all emotional and factual messages. The logo is just as simple as its name. A subtle, friendly typography to not make itself too important, but that integrates itself discreetly into the brand and building. The aim is not to stand out, but to mark something special.
The superellipse and logo are the essential building blocks for the entire tegut…teo design world. They characterize the spatial architecture of the new retail format as well as the corporate identity and branding as a guideline for communication. They are the ideal design pattern for future duplication.
Store of the year 2021
The effective presence of the shape, the modular principle, the sustainable design, the digital shopping experience and the holistic social integration of tegut…teo into its environment stand for a uniquely innovative approach in the German food retail sector. Shortly after opening the first store in Fulda in November 2020, tegut…teo was awarded the Retail Innovation Prize. In February 2021, the German Retail Association (HDE) awarded tegut…teo the Store of the Year 2021 price. The jury was particularly impressed by the combination of sustainable architecture, neighborhood concept and technology. In December 2021, tegut…teo received the German Sustainability Award in Design, awarded by the German Sustainability Award Foundation in cooperation with the federal government, municipal organizations, business associations, civil society organizations, and research institutions.