“In Search of Excellence” competition saw Adrian Breckenridge of SPAR for Eagle Canyon SUPERSPAR win in the Client Category.

Polyflor South Africa’s biennial “In Search of Excellence” competition saw Adrian Breckenridge of SPAR for SUPERSPAR Eagle Canyon win in the Client Category. The entire project was based on individualism, which included the retailer’s personality, the consumers that the store is targeting, and the specific market requirements.

“SPAR, a retailer who is always willing to experiment and test boundaries, took the initiative to introduce vinyl floorcoverings back into the SPAR supermarket arena in partnership with Renico, a great developer and landlord and Polyflor” enthuses Adrian. “Eagle Canyon was designed around a very unique retailer, with a distinctly vibrant character. Unlike our competitors, it is the inherent nature of SPAR to celebrate this differentiation while still acknowledging our brand and our consumers.”

For this reason, they decided on two major products on the floor and a third as a burst of colour to highlight a specific area, thereby creating a point of differentiation within the store. The two major finishes have very contrasting looks – the one being natural, warm and engaging, which was used in the service department areas to create more of a “market” feel, and the other with more of a slick, clean look, providing an uncomplicated look and experience in the dry goods areas.

The flooring products specified were Pearlazzo PUR Chalk Burst; Expona Commercial PUR Blue Recycled Wood; Prestige PUR Lavender Mist; and 2000 PUR Stream. They also made use of Gradus wall guards. The total floor coverage was 2 800m2. The interior designers on this project were AA Papageorgiou Architects; Combined Flooring the selected flooring contractor; Renico the building contractor; and Nelia Woodland the Polyflor agent.

When questioned on what led to the partnership with Polyflor, Adrian highlights that in order to keep ahead of local retail trends and ensure that SPAR is at the forefront of retail store design, they are always looking at international markets and stores. Within the global retail design sector, there have been several new innovations – from equipment, lighting and flooring to display methods and product offerings themselves.

“When this project came about, being in a prime retail environment with the right SPAR retailer and a progressive developer, it was the perfect opportunity to introduce the Polyflor products into the design and ultimately re-introduce vinyl into their retail stores,” says Adrian.

“Initially, we encountered some resistance to the product from some parties involved in the project because when vinyl was mentioned they immediately thought of the old 300mm x 300mm tiles that had to be stripped and sealed on a regular basis. A huge part of the process was to dismiss these perceptions and, all credit to the Polyflor Sales Agent, we finally got the process going. SPAR believes that this project is a milestone and will set the standard for future SPAR projects. We also believe that, although we are not the only group to be using vinyl in the FMCG sector, we will be setting a trend and leading in the retail design industry.”

He goes on to say that when they started to develop SUPERSPAR Eagle Canyon all the right conditions were in place to create something exceptional and different for the consumers. “This was the project to introduce Polyflor’s flooring range to the SPAR retailers and consumers,” Adrian continues. “For SPAR, we believe that this is just the start. We are now looking at various sites and applications for Polyflor’s products.”

He concludes by saying that, as a designer, he was privileged to be involved in this project. “From start to finish, the retailer, developer, professional team, contractors and suppliers all contributed to achieving an exceptional result.”