Spectacular shopping experience

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Wanzl joins forces with Aichinger to create Sharjah Cooperative hypermarket in the newly opened Rahmania Mall (UAE)

The Rahmania Mall was opened in the Emirate of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) in mid-March 2021. The new shopping centre comprises more than 70 retail units consisting of entertainment facilities, restaurants, cafes and event spaces.

Shopping experience in Sharjah

It covers 60,000 square metres and was built for 400 million dirham (around 91.5 million euros) to become the first port of call for a first-class shopping experience in Sharjah – both for local and international visitors.

One of the mall’s key features is the Sharjah Cooperative’s first hypermarket in Rahmania. As a complete solution provider, shopfitting expert Wanzl planned and implemented this impressive hypermarket in cooperation with Aichinger among others. With a retail area of 7,200 square metres, the store offers almost everything shoppers could want.

“Sharjah Cooperative is an existing customer of Wanzl Middle East and we pitched our ideas for the hypermarket in a tender to not only do the design but to undertake the project as full turnkey. We won the project based on our creative design, our knowledge and approach to the project”, explains Mohit Ahuja, General Manager for Wanzl Middle East FZE.

Customer Experience

This showstopping project in the new mall took 6 months to plan and design, followed by 10 months of implementation. The customer experience is the key to Wanzl’s design concept, which characterises the main areas of the store with product-specific themes.

This creates a unique atmosphere that piques customers’ interest. In line with this approach, the lighting concept is based on separating different areas using different CCT (Correlated Colour Temperature) and lighting levels. The product areas are labelled in Arabic and English.

Ahuja summarises the idea behind the design concept as follows: “For many customers in this region the fundamental reason for shopping at a physical store is to see and experience the products in person whilst enjoying the pleasant and engaging ambiance of the store environment”.

Diverse assortment with eye-catching design

The fresh goods area of the hypermarket, which contains local and international delicacies, is particularly striking thanks to its area covering over 1,000 square metres and the unique product range.

Wanzl as prime contractor had the lead in terms of the design and relied on the expertise of its premium partner Aichinger for the fresh food counters. A clear colour scheme and creative design elements characterise the individual sectors and thus facilitate orientation.

With its rich red tones, the meat department stands out with large images of the goods on offer presented on elegant wooden decor. The white 3D lettering “Butchery” appears in the middle a stylised butcher’s knife on black bricks. Products are presented in eye-catching display cabinets and counters stretching over a remarkable length of 17.40 metres.

The meandering arrangement of the counter line encourages shoppers to stay longer in the fresh area and supports impulse buys, while the semicircular elements integrated in the line of counters draw particular attention to special offers and deals.

Alternating between self-service shelving and service counters makes it possible to react flexibly to customer footfall, while still being able to offer fresh goods at all times.

Blue tones as the main design colour point towards the fish market, with maritime accents such as anchors, nets, lifebelts and a marine planking design as the background for the fish department signage.

In the vegetable department, customers immediately notice the blue truck and the smaller brown market carts, fully loaded with fruit and vegetables.

Customers feel like they are in a city market where the most delicious goods are traded fresh from the harvest every day. The bakery also attracts visitors with fresh crepes, French-style waffles and sweet Arabian delicacies such as baklava from the patisserie.

Design highlight

Strong green tones on the bar with grasses beneath the counters and ivy trailing above the station give the customer an idea of the naturalness of the goods on offer. Anyone looking for even more healthy food is sure to find something in the wide selection of products in the organic department next door.

This area of the hypermarket also has its own hydroponic system, where all kinds of crops grow and thrive in water-filled containers. One of the hypermarket’s design highlights is the display of olives, pickled vegetables and olive oil on a round presentation stand shaped like a large turntable for spices.

An impressive olive tree rises majestically in the middle. A tribute to local customs: before meals or on special occasions, hosts like to offer specialities with olives and pickled vegetables.

Complete solution from Wanzl

The spectacular hypermarket in Rahmania Mall is not the first collaboration between Wanzl and Sharjah Cooperative. The trust in Wanzl as a total solution provider, who handed over the project on a turnkey basis, was correspondingly high.

Much of the equipment was sourced directly from the United Arab Emirates, partly because of Corona. The pandemic presented Wanzl with some challenges, but they were all overcome.

Ahuja reports, “The shop was constructed during the COVID-19 pandemic and we were only allowed to let a limited number of people into the store and moreover, only ever with multiple checks for fever and symptoms. Also, one of the biggest challenges was delivering items in time with long lead times as factories and offices were closed. But we managed to organise and coordinate everything in the end.”

The final store is something to behold. “We are very happy with the great collaboration with Sharjah Cooperative. It is a highlight project for us with a unique design concept,” says Ahuja.


Photos: Wanzl GmbH & Co. KGaA)