- LED lighting manufacturers told Grocery Headquarters that they’re seeing more and more retailers invest in their solutions, but many still prefer fluorescent lighting.
- Store lighting makes an immediate impression upon customers, and when used properly can increase consumer interest in certain departments and products, according to sources interviewed by GH.
- Recent LED innovations include built-in sensors that allow retailers to track store traffic, lighting that can further accentuate the color of certain products and fixtures that are easier to move.
Naturally, all the LED suppliers interviewed by Grocery Headquarters recommended retailers upgrade their lighting fixtures. That’s not necessary for every grocer out there, but it’s probably worthwhile for companies to evaluate their in-store lighting scheme to make sure it’s helping store products look the best they can.
It’s well-established that LED lighting, while more expensive than fluorescent lighting, can save retailers money on their energy bills. But do LED lights really deliver higher sales? Research seems to indicate so. In 2010, Dutch researchers lit half of a supermarket with LED lights, the other half with traditional fluorescent lights, and then tracked sales over 21 weeks. The researchers found that the LED-lit portion of the store sold 2% more products per customer over the study period.
It’s common sense, really: High-quality lighting can make products appear fresher and more attractive. LED lights, which used to give off a pallid glow, now offer warmer, more vibrant shades of light. Recent innovations have made them cheaper, more energy efficient and easier to install and remove.
They’re also appearing in more places. Freezer cases, which account for around half of supermarkets’ energy usage, are now incorporating LED lights. In addition to saving money, research shows LEDs provide more stable lighting in cold environments. According to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’ Lighting Research Center, which has studied supermarket lighting for years, fluorescent lighting loses 25% of its output in cold cases, whereas LEDs maintain a consistent output.
Supermarkets should consider hiring a design consultant to optimize their lighting. Or, if they trust their lighting supplier, they could look to them. Not every retailer needs to upgrade their lighting, but they can still evaluate whether their customers are seeing their stores in the best light.