GHQ EQUIPMENT, DESIGN & OPERATIONS
“retrofit” to be a change in refrigerant, not a
change in equipment.
A good understanding of these definitions
and the concept of when a system becomes
“operational” are essential to retailer compliance of these new regulations. Timing of system changes is also critical in terms of when
soon-to-be banned R404a or R507a refrigerants can or cannot be used, or if and when they
must be replaced.
According to a 2015 FMI report, most retailers indicated they are devoting more space to
perimeter and specialty departments such as
produce, deli and prepared foods compared
to just two years ago. Officials at Hussmann
Corp. note that this movement within the
store layout matches up with consumer trends
looking for fresh, customizable and convenient food choices when making their shopping decisions. Retailers also say they are
using these departments to help differentiate
themselves from their competition.
“The food retail industry is very competitive
and the average profit margin for traditional
grocery stores continues to hover at about 1 to
2 percent,” says Jessica Moore, senior product
leader for Bridgeton, Mo.-based Hussmann
Corp. According to Moore, Hussmann works
closely with its customers to understand the
pain points about their business so that the
company can develop solutions that have the
greatest impact on their success.
To achieve this, Moore says Hussmann takes
into account how merchandising attributes
such as case design and built-in features can
improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.
“At Hussmann we think about the refrigerated
display case as the centerpiece to helping food
retailers increase sales and improve operating
performance of their brick-and-mortar store
assets,” says Moore. “We are always looking for
new ways to lower energy consumption, make
the display case easier to clean and service and
improve overall performance which will help
the food retailer reduce their operating costs.”
Industry observers say food quality and
safety are two of the top trends driving food-
temperature monitoring—both at the case and
remotely. With the Food Safety Modernization
Act retailers are not only being tasked with
managing fresh foods throughout the cold
chain, but are also looking to authenticate
their food quality story.
“With more data available to help substanti-
ate how foods remain fresh along the journey
from ‘farm-to-fork,’ retailers can create a com-
petitive advantage and build brand authen-
ticity with a transparent message for their
shoppers,” says John Wallace, director of inno-
vation, retail solutions for Emerson Climate
Technologies based in Sidney, Ohio.
The convergence of food retail concepts,
driven by consumer demand for convenience
and fresh products, is another trend impacting
cold cases, notes Wallace. “Consumers expect
retailers to fit more into one location,” he says.