A New High-Tech, Drive-Thru Grocer

In an effort to pull in new customers and communicate to regulars, technology came into play in this building's new design

Swiss Valley challenged Chute Gerdeman Retail to take on its brand transformation, including a new prototype drive-through. The challenge: How do you tell customers what’s inside the store when it’s a drive-thru?


The new identity features sunrise imagery and new color palette. The curved horizon line gives the feeling of a landscape and speaks to the speed of the shopping process.


Under the new site plan, traffic is routed in opposite directions on each side of the building so that drivers are always next to the employee serving them, because face-to-face contact is an important part of the shopping experience. More service locations increase throughput and decreases wait time.


The new exterior was designed to include fresh queues from European barn architecture, combined with a sleek shape and metal accents to communicate the speed of process. The result is an architectural icon that not only attracts the eye and draws customers, but also quickly communicates Swiss Farms’ truly unique proposition.


In an effort to pull in new customers and communicate to regulars, technology came into play. A pylon LED sign increases visibility from the street, and a series of 46-inch screens inside the store communicate to customers during the ordering process and to passersby.


The addition of a bypass lane on either side of the building allows for a second car in line to leave once a transaction is complete. Shopping is easier for customers in their cars, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows and the use of visual merchandising, with strategically placed product displays. Thanks to advanced technology that links the stores to a meteorological website, customers will also find display screens suggesting products appropriate for the current time of day as well as the weather conditions.


With a new brand identity, iconic architecture, and an integrated digital communication system, Swiss Farms hit America’s suburbs with the speediest and most efficient drive through yet in Ridley Township, PA. The prototype is Swiss Farms’ 13th location. The design helps keep neighbors happily on the move with a faster, friendlier shopping experience. Swiss Farms has plans to retrofit all of the 12 Delaware County Swiss Farms locations over the next 3 years. In an effort to expand, Swiss Farms is branching out through franchising, with plans to open 100 new units in the next 5 years.


The visual merchandising and menu boards are working: Items per transaction are higher than those of a legacy store.