Modern grocery retail points of sale are generally built according more to rationale of functionality and efficiency, than of enchantment and emotional and sensorial involvement of the customers. Store design literature too devotes greater attention to non grocery retail settings. Our work aims at illustrating the very experience of MPreis, an Austrian supermarkets retail chain, characterized by the great value it poses on store design, particularly on architecture, in order to create identity and competitive differentiation in the territories it operates in. Drawing on a qualitative case study research design, our data indicate that diversity courage, aesthetical research commitment and gift culture act as key-elements in this company’s behavior. This said, the paper makes it possible, on the one hand, to properly insert store design among the competitive paths a grocery retail firm can make use of and, on the other, to show that gift culture and an adequate company ethos are among the most necessary requisites a company must possess in the future.
Keywords: Grocery retail, store design, strategy of differentiation, territorial identity, gift culture, company ethos