UDF Convenience Store Redesign

recreating the neighborhood store

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UDF’s store design needed to move into the future.

Founded in 1939, United Dairy Farmers was a growing family-owned business operating over 185 stores. With competition introducing new features and opportunities, UDF needed to better differentiate, own, and communicate their position. They asked us to design the store of the future to evolve their prototype store and drive key categories of growth.

Appeal to every regular.

The target audience for UDF’s stores was varied so we needed the design to appeal to everyone from a mom taking her kids for ice cream after soccer to a truck driver picking up cigarettes and beer on his way home. We conducted ethnographies and watched people shopping in UDF to understand their needs.

Make the store's layout more convenient.

After observing how shoppers and store operators behaved, we discovered that we needed to rebuild the layout from scratch. We put the main counter in an elevated spot at the back of the store, allowing workers to greet regulars as they walked in while making the entire store and gas pumps visible. This created a welcoming and safe environment for everyone.

Hand-Dipped Ice Cream

Elevate and differentiate everyone's favorites.

Hand-dipped ice cream, good coffee, and beverages were core trip drivers, while fresh sandwiches and snacks were new offerings that needed to be showcased. To draw attention to these key categories and make it easier for shoppers to find what they needed, we set up colorful zones for each one within the store.

Our design grew key categories.

The first three test stores UDF opened in Cincinnati delivered on their objectives, so they started rolling out the design in all their new stores. The look/tone/feel, architecture, and layout we created has also inspired future iterations of their store design.

Fresh Foods