Efficiency Upgrades Could Provide a Competitive Edge

Green InitiativesEfficiency upgrades could have more of an effect on your bottom line results than you think. And while some green initiatives may have a higher price tag than you would like, the cost savings and consumer interest gained will make up for the initial out of pocket expenses. Many big box retail and chain stores have made it a habit to invest in Green activities and materials in an effort to continue their plans for expansion. However, independent retailers will benefit most from their Green initiatives. Money saved will not be going towards bigger and better store expansion plans, but rather used to purchase unique products not found on chain store shelves or to promote a buy local campaign. As Stephen Denny, author of Killing Giants, would undoubtedly support, fight unfairly. Learn how you as the underdog can turn the tables on big box retail by implementing the same Green ideas and strategies to save money for the fight ahead in saving Main Street USA.

What Are They Doing That We Should

Lighting: Staples, Inc., has become known as one of the retail industry’s leading green stars. The company’s commitment to  reducing its impact on the environment has been equally as good for its business. An upgrade from first-generation T8 fluorescent lamps to a high efficiency T8 lamp and ballast system for nearly 700 retail locations has been estimated to save Staples a combined 10,193,770 kilowatt-hours annually. The result is a smaller carbon footprint by 15,647,437 pounds of CO2 emissions annually and fewer maintenance needs. Here’s the real kicker, according to Chain Store Age magazine, “The project resulted in more than a million dollars in annual energy savings.” Staples hasn’t stopped there as it is also replacing the existing 400 watt metal-halide fixtures throughout its parking lots, beginning with its headquarters. A 42 watt modular LED lighting system is expected to use roughly one-tenth the energy of the previous metal-halide lamps.

Metering: Part of joining the Green campaign is managing energy consumption, focusing on energy conservation, generation, and distribution. As Deneice Marshall, director of retail services for Brookshire Brothers Food & Pharmacy, tells Chain Store Age magazine, “You get what you inspect, not what you expect, meaning that energy needs to be monitored.” Utilizing installed sub-meters Brookshire receives detailed data by system such as lighting load, refrigeration load and more. Part of the reporting from the sub-meter data includes an annual consumption comparison per store, “showing how a site is currently performing, and how it stacks up against the previous year,” according to Chain Store Age. Having this type of data allows Brookshire to identify stores operating outside the expected standards, so that they may be brought back into compliance for energy and cost saving purposes.

Building: While some of you may not have the choice in selecting building materials as your storefront is rented space in a plaza, for those of you who are constructing your own shop or are in need for repairs building materials is where the Green movement starts. Blain’s Farm & Fleet stores are well versed in conventional construction versus construction with a metal building system. Simply stated, “Steel, the primary material in a metal building, is the most recycled building material. Plus, the array of available choices for walls and ceilings means that insulating values can soar with a metal building,” according to Chain Store Age.  It’s about thinking outside the box, or in this case the store. Metal building systems can last 60 years or more, cutting on costs on maintenance and structural upkeep.

As Stephen Denny, author of Killing Giants, would undoubtedly support, fight unfairly. Learn how you, the independent retailer, as the underdog can turn the tables on big box retail by implementing the same Green ideas and strategies to gain a competitive edge.


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