Serbian design studio reMiks has completed Supermarket, a concept store inspired by the “golden years of communism”. Hosting a bar, restaurant, salon and fashion boutique, the store is located in a former discount supermarket in Belgrade. Found objects including a fridge, hospital screens and a camper van are used as display devices.
The 1400 m2 site of the Supermarket concept store is an actual former discount supermarket, the first one ever to be opened in former communist Yugoslavia. reMiks’ relaxed attitude toward the “Golden years of Communism”, coinciding with the period of brutalism in architecture, was the constant source of inspiration for the reMiks team.
The interior is intentionally raw and seemingly unfinished, so various delicate or luxurious objects or hedonistic activities the take place in an extremely ascetic environment. The installations are visible, concrete floor is cracked, toilet doors were taken off a derelict freight elevator. Retail modules were produced from recycled wood material (OSB). According to the designers, their intention was to create an “imperfect background for the educated consumers’ perfect fetishes”.
The interior is divided into functional areas:
– Bar area is 25 meters long, along the length of the retail area
– Fashion Lounge covers more than 150 m2
– Spa and hair salon covers 350m2
– Restaurant 200m2
– Art & Design Exhibition space intervenes with all these areas
Intentionally raw approach plays an important part in introducing contemporary art and design into commercial, retail spaces. Supermarket is on a fast tract to becoming an arts & culture destination of regional importance. Its first exhibition, Branko Lukic’s Design Fiction was opened on February 17, 2009; Slavimir Stojanovic, the Balkan’s leading graphic designer, just opened its first art show in Supermarket, Berlin-based 032C magazine exhibition planned in collaboration with Joerg Koch for June 2009, etc. Supermarket is one of the locations of the first Mikser Design Expo, another brain child of reMiks / Mikser collective, taking place in last week of May, 2009.
Supermarket concept store improves the existing retail concepts in Belgrade in several ways:
– Slow shopping enriched with various experiences
– Flexible space, perfect for various events
– Cultural content
– Promotion of young designers
– Inventive ways to showcase the products
– Influencing the consumers’ tastes
– More interaction with consumers and more high-quality information about brands
– Eco-friendly High quality/high style merchandise
Improvements in retail experience are achieved by inventive consumer education. Serbia moved from Communism to maket economy during the times of Balkan wars in the 1990s, which followed the prosperous 1970s of Marshall Tito’s Yugoslavia and unstable and declining 1980s, of the post-Tito’s Yugoslavia. Basically, the market is still relatively undeveloped – the mass consumerism is a recent phenomenon, along with the typical obsession with big brands: Nike, Gucci, big flashy brands with large advertising budgets. On the other hand, this is a small market, where even those big budgets don’t sell many pieces.
But, even in a market this small, there are people who have lived abroad, travelled a lot, and are now past the mass consumers’ tastes. These are the people that Supermarket is targeting, offering them a place where they can buy certain things that are a little more suited to their more refined tastes. On the other hand, to the mass brands consumer, Supermarket is offering something else, but they do need to be educated about niche brands. For example, a line of perfumes called Escentric Molecules.
They’re enough of a niche brand to be obscure/sought after by those in the know (depending on your prospective) even in New York, where you can have ANYTHING, but we’ve managed to convince them to sell their merchandise in Serbia, in Supermarket. And those who knew about the brand were ecstatic to be able to buy it without having to travel abroad. For those who didn’t know it took some in-store promotions, PR, product placement etc. to get them to notice it.
reMiks is a Belgrade based design studio providing service in the field of design (interior, architecture, graphic/web, package and industrial design) as well as branding.
reMiks design trio based in Belgrade – Maja Vidakovic Lalic, Marko Basarovski and Mihajlo Juric – is enriched with the branding talent of Nina Babic, former Executive Director of Belgrade Design Week. Recently, reMiks has opened its New York branch led by Aleksandar Macasev, progressive web artist and communication designer.
Together with it’s sister organization Mikser, reMiks was proactive in co-organising Belgrade Design Week and responsible of many cultural events and design promotions such as exhibitions Ghost Project and Young Serbian Designers; lectures by Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Liebeskind, Gaetano Pesce, Karim Rashid, Droog design, etc. reMiks’ clients come from Serbia, US, Japan, China, Norway, Spain…