Bigger in size, warmer in welcome
Macedonian supermarket chain Tinex has come a long way since it was founded in the 1990s. When the first Tinex Market opened in 1994, the nations of the old Soviet block were enjoying an economic boom that radically changed the way in which people did their shopping. In just a few years, the political revolution of 1989 led to the opening of many new stores in the region’s major towns, including gigantic, foreign-owned hypermarkets. The Republic of Macedonia also saw the arrival of local businesses like Tinex, a company that now employs a workforce of around 1000 and operates some fifty stores in the country’s main towns and cities. Tinex stores come in a variety of sizes and formats, from community markets to discount stores and hypermarkets (Super Tinex), which first appeared in 2008. There are almost a dozen Super Tinex shopping centres today, with food courts, laundries, kids’ games and car washes in addition to shopping facilities.
The newest Tinex supermarket was completed in 2017 in the capital, Skopje, and opened to an advertising campaign promoting Italian food and wine. The interior, by the architect Margarita Milevska, features an orderly, linear design that forms a simple grid, delimiting the display areas and reducing the visual confusion typical of large supermarkets. This same objective guided the choice of materials, furnishings and colours, which alternate between beige, brown and grey.
The project revolves around the balance between two contrasting aspects: the industrial floor and ceiling and the almost homely wood walls and furnishings. Designed to imitate domestic shelving and fruit and veg crates, the furnishings create a reassuring impression of familiarity and domesticity in an otherwise disconcertingly large environment.
The floor is finished in an Italian material that offers excellent technical specifications: porcelain tiles from Cipa Gres’ High-Tech collection, in the Graniti, Granati and Colourstyle variants. These tiles are the perfect choice for industrial and public environments as they include trim pieces for applications like ventilated walls and raised floors. Made to satisfy a broad range di stylistic and practical requirements, they come in a large number of colours, nine sizes, ten thicknesses and eleven surface finishes. The natural-finish Cefalù tiles that cover the entire floor of the supermarket come from the Graniti collection. Firing at 1300°C creates a compact body with a fully vitrified structure, closed micropores and uniform colour. The surface resists acids and bases, is non-toxic, fire-proof (and does not release fumes or pollutants of any kind), scratch resistant, compression resistant, and amazingly strong — fundamental characteristics for a modern supermarket floor.
Cipa Gres, Hi-Tech - Cefalù collection
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0.05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 140mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 50N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant