Vista Market had a problem: a megastore with a supermarket was moving into their territory. Located downtown in an aging building with older lighting and equipment, Vista’s profit margins were tight as it was. How could they compete against a new store?
To complicate matters, the market’s space was leased. Improving a leased space can feel like a risk to a tenant; even long-term tenants like Vista Market. At the same time, many property owners find it hard to justify investments in a space that’s been happily rented for a while.
Fortunately, in this case, both the tenant and owner (Pomerleau Real Estate) saw the challenge the new supermarket presented as a mutually beneficial opportunity. They worked together and, along with guidance and funding from Efficiency Vermont and the Preservation Trust of Vermont, were able to invest in some much-needed upgrades:
- Storewide lighting redesign
The store went from aging fluorescent lighting to bright, energy-efficient LEDs, many of which are controlled by automated sensors for added savings and convenience.
- Refrigeration improvements
All the stores’ refrigerated cases have been upgraded with new, efficient Q-Sync evaporator fan motors, and the enclosed cases have new door-heater controls. They’ve also upgraded all case lighting to LED.
- Outdoor lighting upgrade
Covered walkways and entrances are now lit by LED, and new LED lights were installed throughout the parking lot.
In addition to lowering operating costs, the store upgrades have improved customer experience. Employees are happier, too. Says Store Manager Heath Geoffrey, “The store is brighter, and I haven’t had to change a single light bulb since we did the work. That’s a pretty big difference from before.”
The property manager is also pleased. “We’ve had some really great opportunities to work with Efficiency Vermont that have had an almost immediate payback, and Vista is one of them.” In fact, thanks to financial support from the partners listed above, the total cost of the improvements will be paid off by energy savings in just 2.5 years. That’s great news for everyone.