By Jonathan Tan, VP Energy Services
The AMS Group, Hillphoenix
We’ve all heard it: Doors on refrigerated cases are good for energy but not so much for business. Yet we know shoppers perceive food in closed cases as colder, fresher, even safer, and they find the warmer aisles more inviting. Plus, in convenience stores most beverages are merchandised behind doors and sales continue to grow. So, where does this idea come from?
First impressions can last a while, and yesterday’s energy-efficiency solutions were geared toward just that: saving energy, not merchandising. The fact is that technology, design, and installation of case doors and other solutions have come a long way, and retailers like Walmart and Whole Foods have embraced aggressive energy upgrade projects while keeping the customer experience a top priority.
Time to Revisit Retrofits
If it’s been a while since you’ve considered case-door retrofits, it’s a good time to take a look at Close The Case – the solution for medium-temperature cases that enhances merchandising and the customer experience.
Better Visibility: A big concern for retailers is that door frames reduce product visibility. New designs offer a variety of styles with slender frames, showing off more of what’s behind the door and creating a sleek, clean, updated look for refrigerated aisles.
Better Merchandising: Close The Case customers tell us the first thing shoppers notice is how comfortable the aisles are; we also hear reports of increased basket size. When shoppers aren’t rushing to escape the cold, they spend more time looking at products – an essential for impulse buys and a great opportunity to cross merchandise. For instance, displays of olive oil, artisanal vinegar, and even nuts and dried fruit are the perfect complement alongside a closed case of packaged salad greens, whose sales are expected to continue growing.
More Appealing, Longer-Lasting Products: Food merchandised in closed cases remain saleable longer than in open cases due to better temperature stability. For food in clear packaging, that’s freshness shoppers can actually see. For example, beef stays bright red and leafy greens crisp and colorful – thus more appealing – longer. It’s also savings grocers can see, with reduced shrink due to spoilage.
The Products Shoppers Want: As consumer demand for whole and fresh foods increases, so will the need for more refrigeration. Close The Case can reduce refrigeration load by 80 percent, creating the capacity for additional cases and more of the products today’s shoppers are looking for.
Along with all the customer-experience and merchandising benefits, retrofitting open cases with energy-efficient doors comes with significant savings on the electric bill. And the U.S. Department of Energy reports that each dollar saved in electricity is equivalent to increasing sales by $18.* Close The Case cuts electricity consumption by as much as 70 percent in multi-deck cases and 50 percent in island cases – for savings that go directly to enhancing your store’s bottom line.
*It’s often cited that saving $1 in energy is equivalent to increasing sales by $59. While the DOE has reported that equivalency in the past (see the ENERGY STAR Building Manual), the value has recently been revised to an $18 increase in sales.