Zensho of Japan has a wide array of grocery and restaurant concepts in their portfolio. They recently acquired four local grocery chains, and partnered with WD to develop an umbrella mass-market/value-brand that would rise above the sea of local grocery stores. Zensho and WD worked to create a fresh, Western-inspired and more relevant concept that would elevate the customer experience. WD created a modular kit-of-parts that could be adapted to all the acquired chains for a cohesive look and feel.
One of Zensho’s restaurant brands Sukiya is a well-established fast casual restaurant headquartered in Japan with many other locations across the globe. WD was asked to refresh a well-loved, but dated fast casual brand experience and showcase the true Tokyo and Japanese culture to the world. The changes were made to the brand and experience, with the goal to increase sales, increase guest traffic, and shift the brand perception from QSR to Fast Casual.
- Created a warmer, brighter, modern shopping experience, creating a better customer journey.
- Incorporated natural materials for a familiar “Japanese design language” that speaks to the heritage, but with a modern twist which separated the brand from the competition.
- Developed a wayfinding system to better organize the space.
- Designed ceiling fixtures to highlight the best in category items using LED lighting to increase efficiency.
- Added overhead isle signs, not typical in Eastern grocery stores, as well as simplified the signage with the use of icons and standard fonts and colors throughout.
- Designed the new store concept to live the brand promise of “commitment to quality, respect for heritage, and a hunger for inspiration”.
- Updated the wayfinding system to inspire and educate simultaneously.
- Improved queuing has been an imperative enhancement to the customer journey through optimization of flow and traffic though the ordering process.
- Simplified the queuing to make ordering easier and faster
- Graphic elements were now illustrative and culturally relevant
- Created more concise ‘food stories’ that are shared with the guest along the queuing process; food stories are meant to educate and inspire the customer, which in turn fosters a better relationship with the brand.