"I believe, in general, that the influence of aesthetic sensation on the state of mind is severely underestimated. I am certain that things perceived by the eye can depress just as much as they can create huge feelings of wellbeing". It is in these words that Hansjoerg Molk, CEO and owner of the Austrian MPreis supermarket chain explains the reasons which led them to work with 30 architects, famous or not, to design their stores in the Austrian Tyrol.
The result is breathtaking (the complete set of pictures can be viewed here): this is the best example of what a functional and aesthetic vision can bring to commercial architecture. This choice is really a commercial "world vision":
- the choice of price positioning: the integration of the word "preis" in the name of the company vouches for it;
- the choice of strong regional integration, calling upon local producers and developing responsible positioning;
- the choice to offer what is "beautiful" in a commercial environment that traditionally is absolutely bleak;
- the choice of architects (such as Dominique Perrault) to work on commercial projects they often avoid;
- the choice to convey the functional "best practices" from one architect to the other - to ensure the optimal design of stores from a commercial point of view: to this end, MPreis set up an architecture cell that allows this transmission from one site to another.
I invite the management of our shopping centers and distribution brands to go for more than a "study tour" in the Tyrol: I invite them to make the strategic choice of what is beautiful. It is in times of crisis that the real strategies come to the fore: stop competing on the question of prices! Give hope to the consumers by offering them a vision modern and aesthetic of commercial life! Copy the MPreis approach!