Leading UK convenience retailer looks to make big energy savings
James Graven, a leading UK convenience retailer, is investing in energy-saving measures at its Budgens and Spar stores as part of its commitment to ‘going green’.
The retailer has just completed a refit of its Ely forecourt, which features a new livery Budgens convenience store. It has introduced doors on its chiller cabinets and has invested in a bore hole for car valeting.
According to Jonathan James, James Graven operations director and NACS international committee member, the measures will produce significant savings on energy costs.
In a recent project undertaken for the Carbon Trust for its new build Littleport store, due to open later this year, James Graven has compared the cost of operating 1,600sq ft of chiller space with and without doors, for example.
James said operating chillers without doors would cost £13,600 for 12 months but £5,400 pounds with doors, saving more than £8,000 per year.
“The figures are staggering,” said James. “My peers think I’m mad as, over the years, there has been ‘proof’ that doors act as a barrier and prevent people from purchasing. My philosophy is that open chillers blast the customer with cold air thus causing them to swiftly make a choice without really browsing the shelves. The doors will, however, save a significant amount of electricity.”
Similarly, the retailer’s £11,000 investment in a bore hole will pay for itself in 12 months.
James said he was also exploring harvesting rain water at the Ely site and planned to develop the remaining land at the new Littleport location as a carbon neutral industrial estate, targeting smaller businesses.
“It will be heavily landscaped and carbon neutral,” he said.
Other energy efficient measures at Ely include a switch to LED lights, while a web-based system, which allows the retailer to monitor energy usage, will be rolled out across the store estate following a trial at its Soham store.
Ely and Littleport will also benefit from investment in units which reclaim energy from refrigeration to heat the shop floor, after another successful trial at James Graven’s Budgens store in Dersingham, Norfolk.
James said shoppers were eagerly anticipating the changes.
“There is an air of excitement, people are looking forward to see what is coming and the new ranges etc. We have also had incredibly positive feedback from the staff, they are really behind it.”
James said the Ely store would also be promoting its independent and family-owned heritage with plenty of archive photographs featured across the store.
Jonathan James: staggering numbers
April 2010 Issue