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Grocery Mustard Seed
Prismatic lighting sells "health" to customers

Customers at Mustard Seed Market in Montrose, Ohio, tend to examine product labels as carefully as a book enthusiast reads the jacket on a best selling novel. Mustard Seed Market, located in suburban Akron, is selling "health" and the foods and products that promote good health.

Because customers are so discriminating in their choices, good visibility is especially important for the 9, 000-square foot store, which was recently voted the "best in the nation" by Health Foods Business magazine. Stores in the competition were judged on profitability, traffic, name recognition, design, service, attractiveness, merchandising strategy, and community and charitable activities.

"The store is a new breed, modern and nicely laid out, " said Joe Bassetti, president- elect of the National Nutritional Foods Association, and judge for the Health Foods Business competition.

Before owners Phillip and Margaret Nabors began construction of the retail space that replaced their storefront operation in the nearby Merriman Valley, they travelled and inspected stores across the nation, and particularly in California, to determine what worked best.

According to Phillip Nabors, who designed the store and served as the general contractor, good lighting and an attractive layout are essential."You have to make customers want to buy your products, " he said. "They have to feel good about shopping in your store."

Customers do feel good when they enter Mustard Seed Market, which joins the flavor of a New York deli with the open feeling of the outdoors. Amid live trees and hanging plants, shoppermay choose from organic fruits and vegetables, frozen foods, packaged and bulk goods, and vitamins and personal care products, as well as environmentally sound cleansers and paper towels.

The store also offers a delicatessen, bakery, and meat shop, plus a cosmetic counter offering natural products that have not been tested on animals.

This variety of products is illuminated with a combination of Holophane PrismGlo prismatic glass fixtures and natural light provided by four skylights installed above the center of the 6, 000- square -foot sales floor. The PrismGlo luminaires utilize 400 watt metal halide lamps. Track lighting highlights messages and artwork displayed on the side walls.

"When we were selecting the lighting system, we wanted industrial-type fixtures that would provide the light levels needed without calling attention to themselves. We considered several high bay fixtures, but found that none adequately illuminated the ceiling, " Phillip said.

The ceiling in the store is 18 feet, with the PrismGlo fixtures mounted at 16 feet. Twelve fixtures are installed, spaced ll l/2' x 15'. The PrismGlo luminaires provide 40 percent uplight on the off-white metal deck ceiling, and 60 percent downward illumination.
"The uplight is especially important because of the mezzanine where the restaurant is located at the rear of the store. We wanted the ceiling to appear bright and open so customers would be attracted to the restaurant, and would feel secure climbing the stairs, " Phillip explained.

Illumination levels are l00 at three feet above the black tile floor."The lighting is very uniforrn," said Phillip. "Various retailers have commented on the quality of the lighting and expressed interest in using the Holophane fixtures in their stores. "The PrismGlo fixtures also invite customers into the store at night. Located in a strip shopping center, Mustard Seed Market is the only structure with a two- story ceiling.

"With the PrismGlo fixtures, the store seems to sparkle. Shoppers are attracted by the radiant, airy feeling, "Phillip said.

Mustard Seed Market is illuminated 70 hours per week, with the PrismGlo fixtures controlled by a switch.
The store employs 50 people.


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