Retail – Some Things Never Make Sense

Posted by on Aug 2, 2013 in Opinion | Comments Off on Retail – Some Things Never Make Sense

Retail – Some Things Never Make Sense
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Some things just don’t make sense; it doesn’t matter which way you look at them; how many times you do – they don’t make sense!

For me, open refrigerated and freezer display cabinets in supermarkets have always fitted into this category.  It’s like “we have done this for 100 years, it’s how we do it” is the possible defence to such absurdity.

Just think about this.  It’s mid-winter and cold, and these open cabinets are actually cooling the supermarket while the store is being heated to counteract the additional cooling load being generated because the refrigerated cabinets don’t have doors.

To my surprise today, walking through the Woolworths in Balwyn, I noticed that a major refit was taking place… and some open cabinets were being replaced with ones with doors. Impressed/surprised I asked one of the attendants if all the fridges were being done, he replied “oh yes, all new with doors… except the freezer counters”.   As I said, some things never make sense.

About 3 or 4 years ago at an FMI Energy conference in Atlanta, I listened to a very interesting case study presented by Steve Hagen (of then Fresh and Easy Supermarkets) about how they managed to satisfy both the merchandiser requirements while also substantially reducing store energy (he also mentioned that the Muller 3C condenser had a big impact – but that’s an old story now!).

Open display cases are very much like heating or cooling your house with all the doors open – I wonder how long it will be until attitudes force supermarkets to review this.

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