M&M Meat Shops is Canada's largest retail chain of specialty frozen foods, offering high-quality flash-frozen products and friendly customer service at its 430 franchise locations coast-to-coast. As part of a store improvement project that would enhance customer experience and build the bottom line, M&M Meat Shops found one cost-cutting answer in GE's energy-efficient Immersion RV40 LED refrigerated display lighting for reach in cases in place of T10 fluorescent lights.
M&M Meat Shops conducted an evaluation of three competitive LED products for vertical cases and preferred GE's Immersion RV40 LED system:
“The new GE LED system with its 5000-degree Kelvin temperature creates beautiful, bright, white light. It brings out the crispness of our signature white boxes, making them really pop in the freezer cases and impact the visual appeal of the entire store,” said Dianne Chalmers, senior manager, construction at M&M Meat Shops. “Franchisees don't want their stores looking dark, dingy and tired, and you can see such a difference with these lights. Some stores look 20 years younger. It shows our customers we're bright, clean and modern. It's all about the ‘wow' factor.”
M&M Meat Shops worked with Canadian distributor HD Supply Litemor to develop the program and source the lighting systems. As part of a multi-year renovation cycle that mandates LED lighting updates be made at the time of each store renovation, franchises will replace T10 fluorescent lights with Immersion RV40 LED technology.
Results & Benefits
A typical M&M Meat Shops location containing 15 glass freezer doors will reduce direct energy consumption by nearly 6,000 kilowatt hours (kWhs) a year, while further decreasing indirect energy expense as the result of fewer freezer compressor cycles by an additional 2,700 kWhs. At a $.10 kWh rate and 12 hours of operation a day, the average M&M Meat Shops location will save about $870 a year in lighting energy costs alone.
GE's ecomagination℠ LED solution is also offsetting the ongoing maintenance cost of replacement ballasts and high-output fluorescent lamps. With Immersion RV40 LED lighting carrying an expected five-year service life, M&M Meat Shops anticipates annual upkeep expense will be reduced by 97 percent—an approximate $525 savings per store.
This brings combined energy and maintenance savings to nearly $1,400 for each franchisee to take advantage of the lighting upgrade program. To date, more than 150 stores have made the switch to energy-efficient LED lighting for combined energy and maintenance savings of $210,000 for these locations.
These savings will grow to about $600,000 a year across 430 stores when the renovation cycle is complete.
Some franchisees are applying their energy cost savings toward financing the new LED lighting, and then once the financing period has ended, the savings will convert to positive cash flow. Provincial and local power rebates also help shorten each store's payback. For example, in Nova Scotia the rebate savings are up to 80 percent.
“The rebates have really helped us get a jump on the renovations and encouraged some franchises to make updates before their mandated time,” Chalmers said. “The money franchises are saving on energy costs are helping to pay for the renovations themselves. Plus, the updates are making the stores more valuable and giving them more worth. We're really happy with this program.”