Little B convenience store in China’s Xintiandi breaks mould
Nestled in an alleyway in Shanghai’s historic Xintiandi district, a high-end convenience store like none other has opened its doors.
Little B was designed by Chinese studio Neri&Hu, which mixed curved white-glazed tiles with stainless steel to create what resembles more of a science fiction movie set than a conventional cluttered c-store.
Unlike the usual stores, each item in Little B is sourced from various high-end brands that, according to its owner, lifestyle brand The Beast, have been curated to suit the “culturally astute and increasingly discerning taste of Chinese consumers”.
Online design magazine Dezeen reports that Neri&Hu wanted to preserve the store’s light grey concrete exterior, given the area comprised reconstructed mid-19th Century Shikumen – stonegate – houses.
Neri&Hu wanted their design to reflect this exclusivity of the store, and took inspiration from the aesthetic of pop-up shops to give the space a “spontaneous” feel by leaving the entrance relatively empty.
Similarly, they avoided cluttered shelves and crowded aisles to truly set the concept – and its stock – apart.
“We encouraged the client to not just fill the entire space with products, but instead to leave some undefined space as an extension of the public realm,” Neri&Hu told Dezeen.
“This area is left raw with concrete floors, in the spirit of the temporary nature of pop-ups. It’s a blank space that allows for any possibility,” they said.
In the retail area of the store, display and shelving fixtures made from stainless steel wrap around the perimeter.
“Stainless steel, a rather sterile material, is brought to life by the layering various finishes: including brushed and polished, perforated and bump textured,” said the designers.
“The vibrant packaging of the products, the colours and shapes from the feature artwork, as well as the signage lighting begin to reflect off of each other, blur boundaries, and activate the space,” they continued.
Read more about the designers’ approach and see more images on Dezeen.
- Images Neri&Hu, via Dezeen.