Incorporating Freshness Into the Discount Retail Mix
|Andre Patenaude | Director, Food Retail Marketing & Growth Strategy, Cold Chain
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions
Our work with a leading discount retailer helped them boost energy savings, facility efficiency and more. Read the full article here.
As is the case throughout most of our industry, discount-oriented retailers are adapting to rapidly evolving and dynamic consumer preferences. To become more competitive, some operators are introducing fresh food options and produce. But adding food to the retail mix also potentially creates a new set of challenges for retailers related to food quality, safety and preservation.
One leading discount retailer with thousands of stores across the U.S. is helping drive the fresh food trend by facing these challenges head-on. Building upon a period of strong growth, this operator has plans for further expansion into the food retail space that includes:
- Annual remodels in nearly 10 percent of its stores to improve shopping environments
- Increasing the number of stores with fresh food and perishable offerings
- Remodeling and updating refrigeration capabilities of nearly 30 percent of its stores
- Offering more produce in food-equipped stores
- Increasing the number of stores featuring more groceries than dry goods
With a national network of store sizes ranging from 6,000 to 16,000 square feet, the operator’s next step was to put a plan in place that addressed new refrigeration requirements and ways to optimize operations across their enterprise. This approach would call not only for a more proactive approach to help ensure food freshness, quality and safety, but also automate the management of HVAC, refrigeration and lighting systems for maximum reliability and energy efficiency.
Emerson, in conjunction with partner OEMs, proposed a plan that introduced a combination of reliable compression technologies, advanced facility controls and remote monitoring capabilities through ProAct™ software, Alarm Management and Resolution services.
The results? Through significant upgrades to their existing refrigeration system and the addition of robust facility management capabilities, the retailer exceeded its desired goals:
- Setting temperatures back during non-shopping hours delivered 30 percent savings over manual (or non-controlled) methods
- Monitoring of refrigerated case temperatures kept perishables within optimal ranges and preserved food safety
- Facility management controls and ProAct software helped prioritize critical issues and allowed the limited staff (typically around eight to 10 employees per day) to focus more on customer service matters and improve the shopping experience
This is just a glimpse into what Emerson products and solutions can do for your operations. As the industry incorporates more fresh food offerings, we’ll continue to develop ways in which our customers can optimize their facilities and ensure food quality and safety. For more information, read the full article here.