Where the primary focus is to phase down the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons, dangerously potent greenhouse gases widely used in refrigeration, another widely adopted initiative is closing open chillers with glass doors. In France, supermarkets have signed up to a voluntary agreement to put glass doors on three-quarters of their 720km of fridge aisles by 2020. The measure is expected to reduce the country's electricity bill by 1%.
This is a trend which has been widely picked up in the UK and France, which sees major supermarket and hypermarket brands replacing or retrofitting glass doors to their open refrigeration display cases. Auchan, the second largest French food retailer in the world, has recently embarked on an energy initiative for all their hypermarkets throughout France. The aim is to close all open vertical chillers in a bid to massively reduce energy wastage.
This is a bold step from the traditional and many supermarkets and hypermarkets have feared that the action will result in a drop in chilled sales. It is well known that the addition of doors can create dark spots across the face of the products on display. However, to counteract this, many retailers have utilised the low-energy and temperature benefits of LEDs to create vibrant, eye-catching chiller displays that cannot be missed by shoppers. They have also opted for more appealing glass door designs, including frameless styles. Auchan saw their refrigeration refurbishment as an opportunity to install LED lighting to their vertical chillers.
After extensive testing, trials and a competitive tender period they chose the ‘Perfino Vivace’ range from Nualight to add sparkle and interest to their new low energy closed refrigerators. For the glass doors, they chose Schott who worked closely with Nualight to execute the roll-out. Nualight’s sales consultant Anthony Giles of Cool Solutions (Ire) explains
“Auchan were specifically looking for a premium, non-spotty LED solution with high CRI values and uniformly high lux levels from the top to the bottom of their chillers. The Perfino Vivace range from Nualight ticked all these boxes.”
Perfino Vivace LEDs produce an exceptionally smooth and uniform light, eliminating dark spots and giving food displays freshness and colour. The luminaire profile is ultra-slim so that the light source is barely visible. Perfino optical technology eliminates visible LED dots from behind the door mullions and reflective glare from packaging. This combination of optical design and high CRI unique to Perfino Vivace enriches the natural colour of fresh produce and offers maximum merchandising effect.
After the high impact results of the first Auchan hypermarkets were witnessed, Nualight were awarded preferred supplier status allowing 50+ French hypermarkets to use the Perfino Vivace solution for their chiller and freezer cases. This equates to over 20km of LED in one year. With low energy costs and minimal maintenance, Auchan will see a return on their initial investment within 2 years. Following the successful roll-out to 50+ hypermarkets, Auchan are now looking at their LED retrofit requirements across Europe where Nualight is the preferred supplier. Edwige Guillon, Schott, Sales Director Food Display comments,
“Schott Termofrost is proud to integrate Perfino with their new insulated transparent doors. Consumers can now enjoy an enhanced presentation of the food, thanks to the total transparency of the doors and a nice illumination. Auchan have found the ideal solution for saving energy and magnifying their food presentation.”