PENNY: A successful supermarket transformation with urban art
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PENNY: A successful supermarket transformation with urban art

PENNY: A successful supermarket transformation with urban art

Betty Vanguard

What happens when a supermarket meets some of the best street artists in Berlin?


It’s not every day that we answer the phone and someone says “We want to transform an entire supermarket with urban art.” What’s more, when it did happen, it was particularly exciting and refreshing to see a supermarket with such taste and trust in the artists’ skills. PENNY blew us away with their openness to ideas, letting us bring in four entirely different, yet all stunning artists from Berlin: Vikunia, Vidam, Fabifa, and Innerfields (Holger, Jakob & Veith).



Mission: Possible


The task was challenging: every possible wall above the shelves and the supporting columns was to be designed by the artists. Every wall belonged to a certain section of the supermarket’s assortment. That’s why you’ll see Vidam painting bananas, Innerfields staging salamis and ham, Fabifa taping a chunk of cheese, and Vikunia illustrating a newspaper stand. This theme was extended by an extra twist: the artists were asked to subtly bring the neighborhood’s characteristics into this PENNY market.
 
“With this PENNY market, we intend to dedicate something truly unique to Friedrichshain that visually blends into the neighborhood and reflects the life around it. Of course, this includes the lively street art scene which has found its place in our market through the outstanding artworks of five local artists. The motifs are authentic, vivid, colorful and stand for everything that we want our PENNY BOX80 to express. “ – Sascha Fischer, PENNY
 
For example, Fabifa got inspired by a statue called Sternenwächter (2005-2006, Christine Gersch) installed close to the market, and brought her own tape art interpretation of it to the wall.
 
Christine Gersch’s glittering Sternenwächter statue livens up the neighborhood nearby. Photo by OTFW,


Tape art brings tons of energy and color to the space. Photo by Stefan Wieland.


 

Behind the scenes


Have you ever seen an empty supermarket without shelves and products in it? For us and our artists, it was impressive to see the huge empty white box when we first visited the site. Quickly, paint and tape found their way onto the walls and over a span of a few weeks the walls became way more colorful.


Work in progress: the artists start transforming the supermarket’s interior with graffiti and street art.


Artists in action.

Each artist brought their own vision and techniques to the project.


From the draft on to the wall.



 

A walk through the market


Entering the supermarket from Boxhagener Straße, you spot the first artwork: Innerfield’s tattooed “Friedrichshainer” showing you how you may look when walking back out – carrying a mountain of groceries in your arms. You can see the first section, “Grünzeug”, (“green stuff”) designed by Vidam. Moving on, you’ll find candy, dairy, drinks, and every other possible item a supermarket stocks. Vikunia’s “Tschüss” (“Bye”) bids you farewell, and Fabifa’s depiction of a young woman – maybe a self-portrait? – made entirely out of tape waves as you leave the cash register.

A neon PENNY sign fits perfectly with the street art.


The artwork adds unexpected and fun moments into the everyday.


Vidam’s geometric designs highlight the sweet selection.


You can’t miss the milk thanks to this blue and white sign.


Fabifa’s tape-art, featuring her signature color palette, heats up the frozen section.


Vikunia’s “Tschüss” walls encourage customers to hurry back.

 
None of this would have been possible without the incredible agency TeamWFP, who planned everything from the grand concept to how the artists could access the new supermarket’s construction site. Every artist was clearly allocated their walls and themes, receiving floor plans and clear instructions which gave them the ideal amount of artistic freedom – enabling them to realize their creative visions while staying consistent with PENNY’s identity. 
 
“PENNY BOX80 is a very special project for us. A wild, colorful, modern market, where we were able to translate the lifestyle of such an exceptional city neighborhood as Friedrichshain into a market concept. Everyone involved can be really proud of the result - we definitely are.“ – Thomas Leuschen, TeamWFP


 

The cherry on top


With this new shop, PENNY won the POPAI D-A-CH Award in the category "Visual Merchandising, Retail Design, Shopfitting, Shop in Shop Systems, Flagship Stores". A big prize for PENNY and a huge compliment to our artists. Yet more proof that graffiti advertising is turning heads around the world! See how other brands are incorporating graffiti and street art into marketing activities like out-of-home advertising
 
Also check out the promo video for more insights into the new market:

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