Wednesday, May 9, 2018

LED Lighting Can Help Grocery Stores Make (and Save) More Money

There’s no doubt that grocery store lighting, like the lighting in any other commercial setting, makes an impact on customers. But just how big of an impact can it have, and is it a worthwhile investment? Because of the additional cost, switching to LED lighting in particular is an investment, and can be a hard sell in an industry like grocery with such tight margins, but it’s an investment that pays dividends in a number of ways. In some instances, LED lighting can pay for that cost difference in terms of maintenance and energy savings in just a few years. LED lighting requires 90 percent less energy than incandescent lights and is 50 percent more efficient than fluorescent T8 tubes, and they typically last more than 10 years.

Not only does a switch to LED lighting deliver well-documented savings in the form of energy use, research has shown that in supermarkets where half of the store was lit with LED lighting and the other half with fluorescent lighting, the LED-lit portion of the store sold 2% more products per customer over the 21-week study period.

Research shows that younger generations of shoppers tend to do most of their shopping in the fresh and prepared food sections, forcing grocers to look for ways to place more emphasis on foods from the center store aisles. Especially in these center aisles, grocery stores have a specific challenge in making sure lighting is bright and even vertically so that products on each shelf, top to bottom, are well-lit. Brighter, more even lighting makes products look more attractive and easier to read—especially for older shoppers.

More advanced LED lighting solutions can also unobtrusively collect data using customer’s phones. By downloading the retailer’s app, the lights can send signals to shoppers’ smartphones, tracking their location in the store. If users enable location services, the app can help them locate their position in the store and find products they’re looking for, increasing sales. The app can also push coupons to shoppers’ phones to incentivize purchases when they’re in certain aisles or departments. This data collection also lets managers to more closely monitor the store’s occupancy and traffic patterns, allowing them to better schedule staff.

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