A concept of a radically different supermarket.
A response to the abundance.
The world of consumer goods supply is characterized by unprecedented variety: 50 different toothpastes, 80 types of cheese, 25 brands of toilet paper, 60 different sorts of yogurt. The choices seem to leave nothing to be desired. But the agony of choice drains energy and time to live. We pay dearly for the apparent variety of possibilities.
The more the options, the more we are showered with information - what principally could increase the freedom of choice - the more we have to put in the effort to rate the excess of availability, to come to opinions and decisions.
In ever more gigantic hypermarkets of uniform ugliness we cover involuntarily more vast and vacant distances to pick from the gorges of shelves the relatively few items we really want to purchase. A big proportion of people coming out of these megastores are under a great deal nervous tension.
The 'too-many' options can be a drag. It evidently did not make us happier in the previous decades. The psychological branch of happiness research has already carefully analyzed it and drew clear connections to the rise of depression in modern industrial societies.
Struggling mass sales-volume led to shrinking profit margins and to devaluations of the products themselves. Milk price battles are but one striking example.
The organizational consequences of this variety of consumer goods are continuously inflating national and international transport costs with predictable social and ecological outcomes. The production process of apparently simple products is split up into single steps at different locations so that local storage has been replaced by narrowly clocked supply logistics.
A counterculture is as meaningful as it is socially required. The chances for realization are consierable – culturally and economically.
The time is ripe for alternatives.
Supermarkets and stores that carry just1 brand of each item:
1 sort of flower
1 sort of coffee
1 dish detergent etc.
Lower supply quantities will be offset by higher quality goods. The decision between different brands of the same item is rendered obsolete. Just1 is offering the service of a responsible pre-selection of goods.
Customers will now have the possibility to do their shopping in a short, relaxed interval. They will have, in every store, the option to be served or to pick up the items they need by themselves.
The concept is based on the confidence of the customers. That's why just1 reveals the producer and supplier, quality, origin and production process of each item. It obligates itself to comply with every quality control organization from the outset. The selection of the consumer items supports a healthy lifestyle and a responsible diet. It emphasizes healthy products and real tastes. The supply of fruit and vegetables only includes what is tasteful, in place of what may be purely visually attractive. It derives its products primarily from local suppliers. The concept also allows different, more creative pricing by rendering value to the goods and reducing distribution and transportion costs. It also allows a price level that is affordable for most social groups.
Packaging of the commodities is clear, simple and elegant and does not dish up more information than absolutely necessary. Since similar products do not have to compete with each other anymore, no aggressive visual marketing strategies are needed. These will be replaced by fact-based information at the highest levels of visual design. Advertising on packaging will merely refer to the aesthetics of the contents itself and refrain from make-believe and from generating new illusory needs. The packing also promotes a high recall value associated with the just1 brand. As many packages as possible are created as reusable and are directly recyclable as they can be refilled and reused in the same function or in a different one in the household. The energy intensive procedures of conventional recycling are sidestepped. The atmosphere inside the store will be tasteful without being snobbish or elitist. A pleasantly discreet and cheerful colorfulness predominate. There will be no sales-promoting music and a natural noise of human conversation will fill the space.
The radical reduction of variety makes much smaller stores with reduced rents possible. Economized costs from space and logistics can be used to create additional work places for sales personal. The shopping procedure is re-personalized as the communication of people meeting in the store is an important factor. Sales do not happen anonymous from the shelf, but human-to-human. This new shopping experience reestablishes the interaction between customer and vendor. The result is stores where people like to go because they feel appreciated.
If possible, the store is joined by a small coffee shop with a display of newspapers. Every store provides free Internet access and email service for those that need technical help.
A catering service will drive to nearby locations during set time periods to provide previously ordered grocery boxes to their clients, creating an everyday relief service for those who have a hard time shopping on their own. The ordering procedure will be simple with the manageable assortment of goods.
Different stores will be managed de-centrally with a high level of personal responsibility. Cooperatives are also a possible management concept, which could make contact with local farmers. In the countryside just1 can reanimate social life by creating new meeting points.
True shopping quality
A new responsibility for what we consume
A different way of life
Why does it work – A different shopping experience as a cultural movement.
At first glance, the concept seems to be lacking doomed to failure, a radical departure to offer just one brand of a product.
Is economic success possible without conditioning clients to a non-culture of make-believe needs? If they are not fed with the cheapest ingredients, flavor enhancers and visual embellishments? If they are not geared for fictitious savings or to buy the cheapest available in each case?
just1 says: Yes.
Many people are ready for a paradigm shift. There is a real need for clarity instead of profusion, a measured and responsible handling of available resources.
The concept responds to contemporary discussions of globally sustainable lifestyles and to people that are multipliers. It meets a broad public interest, needs less advertising nor aggressive bargain campaigns.
just1 employs artistic strategies.
It merges art, democracy and economics. It simultaneously backs cultural initiatives and evokes free media attention. It's not about entering a totally supersaturated market. It's also not about filling an economic niche.
The idea is much more radical.
In times when economics and an exclusive thinking in economical terms has taken over all parts of life as a dominant power – we want to recapture a part of life that is only apparently an original part of economy: For the people, for life, creativity and communication.
An artproject to infiltrate the world of economics
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