I like to make my grocery shopping as streamlined as possible, but I’m not a fan of Big Box-type stores. Their monolithic presence lacks all architectural grace and human scale. I prefer the village look, with individual types of shops lined up in a row. I had a random bit of flotsam pop into my head earlier: why not make a larger grocery that was still human scale?
The facade could have multiple planes, with “individual” shop fronts and entrances/exits, each with it’s own style details (roof lines, windows!) within a larger architectural school, that open into a larger, but still semi-divided, store. Small clusters of two or three checkouts placed in each section would speed customer processing, without a long bank of lines blocking off the front of the store and backing lines up into the aisles. One section could be produce and dairy, with an awning out front proclaiming it the Greengrocer. Meats in the next section, under a Butcher sign out front. What about a narrow section for a good, old-fashioned Chemist’s shop? And certainly reserving either an entire section, or portions of other sections, for related deli, cheese, or cafe/coffee/tea shop would enhance the whole thing, I’m sure.
I’d divide the stores with walls running from the back, half-way to the front, with human-height ceilings (say, 15′ or so) throughout, and build office space (with windows overlooking the stores) in the upper backs. Windows in the front of each shop could provide natural lighting (and even ventilation); solar paneled roofing on the entire building (behind the facades) could provide auxilliary power for some portion of the operating overhead.
Of course, my ideal would have the interior of the store stocked by local and regional food growers and artisans… like a grand market, but with cooperative check-outs so I’d only have to make one transaction for the whole lot of it.
So, should some random corporate designer run into this, and decide to make a bold marketing move to appeal to the “old school” hermits like me, I’d really appreciate getting a little cut of the profits. Thinking up all this flotsam is exhausting.