Jean-Baptiste Auvray has just delivered the first store of the Sherpa distribution chain in Tignes. Those who go to the mountains, who live there or who go there to practice winter sports cannot ignore the shops where you pass exhausted at the end of the day to get who the beer, who the bread, who the soup or the chocolate . It is an essential point of service and the owners of the shops are proud to be part of this cooperative brand created in 1988.
Jean-Baptiste Auvray redid the store concept – the visual identity of the entire brand from two renovated Sherpa show stores, on an updated old concept which will be developed in the 120 stores in France in the Alps, the Jura and the Pyrenees. The first plastic-free shop, entirely in larch wood, linoleum (Forbo) and galvanized steel, it covers 400 m 2 in Tignes and follows the principles set out in the 180 pages of the guideline, the bookconcept.
“I start from the constraints before drawing and I use my network of craftsmen to design according to their know-how. The gondola head is very simple, dark green… I need elements, constraints, to transform the project. Sherpa’s constraint is the wear and tear of the shop and the humidity. People come home in ski boots and the owners must first and foremost deal with the enormous problems of wear and tear due to the frequentation of tourists. In Tignes, which has 30,000 beds, only the Sherpa Val Claret fulfills its role as a cooperative associated with Casino for supply. Each member is the owner of his shop. Sherpa has been around since 1988. The old concept is twelve years old. It had to be renewed for the next 10 years. The head office is in Aix-les-Bains, near Chambéry. »
“The principle of fitting out with local materials was chosen, but each shop owner has the choice whether or not to redo their space and the concept must inspire. The problem is different from with a large group where it is imposed. We played on floors that are in a gray not too different from the old concept, in porcelain stoneware, a little gravel, not quite Terrazzo. Galvanized steel, the mountain code is integrated to stay local. All cut tops are made of yellow climbing rope and wood. The gondolas are dark gray or fir green in an interesting contrast. »
The challenge of seasonality
The other challenge was seasonality. “They make 60% of their turnover over two months. The shop is very busy during peak periods and not very busy during off-peak seasons. However, you have to give the impression that the shop is always full and offer the possibility of changing the display by adding or removing a shelf.” A wooden display sledge concept offers four baskets for pastries and breads. All plastic has been removed. For the logo, the letters Sherpa on a background of architecture are sufficient to signal the entrance, the mayors of the stations returning to the original colors. Plastic shopping carts and baskets have been replaced by metal models. The basket sledge is a communication object, a real design object that can be identified thanks to its base. On the facade and in the shop, it expresses service, the mountains, availability. The typeface is made to measure, it’s Blue Blood, reinterpreted on a case-by-case basis by Patrick Parquet.
Visibility to entrants
The challenge was to make a market garden arrangement to make a market stall. In the mountains, at 4 p.m., it is dark, the transparency of the shop is essential. A flat LED makes the luminosity. In Les Arcs 1800 they redid all the buildings in royal blue. “The shop overlooks a large square and we play on the scale of the vegetables so that we can see them full frame. On the gondolas, electronic labels are clipped thanks to the work of a carpenter from Chambéry, 100% local. We wanted a fairly nested shop with gondolas where nothing is lined up. But it gives a bazaar side, a lively side for those who stay a week. » At the back, they have high gondola shelves, classic and reassuring for the customer who finds himself perfectly in the layout of a food store. All the services are in the lower part near the cash desks below 1.40m… charging area, cards, telephone… just after dropping off the skis. Visibility reserved for entrants.