Morrisons, the fourth largest supermarket chain in the UK are always looking for ways to reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint, as well as new ways to improve customer comfort.
Supermarket operators and their HVAC consultants have been trying to resolve the age old problem of cold chiller aisles and uncomfortably warm clothing aisles for many years. Yet costly and inefficient ducting systems, under cabinet heaters and heat retrieval systems have failed to solve the problem.
Mitton Mechanical, a Morrisons contractor, approached Airius in late 2007 to conduct a trial of the Airius destratification system in the Morrisons Knottingley store in Wakefield. Airius units were placed at 4 metre intervals in three chiller aisles in the hope of reducing their stratification problem from 6-8°C to 1-2°C, thus making the chiller aisles more comfortable (without adversely affecting the chiller units).
More comfortable chiller aisles increase aisle spend, as shoppers tend to rush through uncomfortably cold areas and do not browse for long.
The trial was hugely successful and over 400 Morrisons stores have now been retrofitted with the Airius units. An additional side benefit from the Airius system’s silent air circulation in their chilled and frozen aisles is that it eliminated freezer/cabinet “fogging”. The Airius units are now on the standard specification list for all new stores and will be retrofitted as part of the normal refurbishment program.
Morrisons and Mitton Mechanical are a pleasure to work with. Their eagerness to reduce energy consumption and increase the comfort levels for customers puts them at the very top of the Green supermarket list, which is why they were the first supermarket in the UK to be awarded the prestigious Carbon Trust Standard for making real reductions in their carbon emissions and energy usage.