SCHOTT solutions no. 1/2016 > Commercial refrigeration

Commercial refrigeration
Photo: SCHOTT/M. von Aulock

Buying with Your Eyes

SCHOTT’s invisible Glass Door System creates a stand-out shopping experience for consumers, enabling food retail stores to create a stimulating presentation in their chilled areas.

Maren Michel

Grocery stores, discount stores, supermarkets: today’s consumers have tremendous options in food shopping. For grocery store managers, it’s the competition that is a main concern. On top of that, according to a recent survey by the Nielsen Company, more than half of today’s consumers are willing to buy groceries online. More than ever, retail grocery managers have to make every aspect of their customers’ shopping experience stand out. This includes an area of a grocery store that had once been the least appealing: the refrigerated foods section. In the past, this section of a grocery store was dull, at best, and sometimes unpleasant; temperatures were hard to control and even left customers shivering. Perhaps most of all, it was not easy for consumers to see all of the products: Door frames on display cases limited the visibility of products, or there was a distracting glare from reflections on glass doors.
Commercial refrigeration
Thanks to transparent spacers, double-glazed doors remain crystal-clear at the edges, with no opaque areas. This new sealing solution has the same superior thermal insulation values as previous SCHOTT glass doors. Photo: SCHOTT/M. von Aulock
Lack of product visibility is a major problem for any retailer, and today more than ever the ’eyes are buying’: Consumers are more likely to buy when there is a strong visual display. As Professor Lars Perner, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, notes, ”Visibility is the most important factor when it comes to sales.” Someone who knows the power of presentation is Thierry Barbier, store manager of Carrefour’s branch in Villepreux, France. ”Carrefour offers a wide variety of products and works with many leading manufacturers. At the same time, we have to respond carefully to the needs and expectations of our customers, as well as the sales flow. The challenge is to guarantee a clear display in the refrigerated section, making the doors of cooling cabinets seemingly transparent, so customers can easily find the products they want. For us, it has to be simple to refill the shelves and be aware at all times of what is needed on the shelves.” Since July 2015, Barbier’s Carrefour store has been using SCHOTT’s Termofrost® T.AGD 3, an energy-free glass door system for refrigerated foods in retail stores. The doors are designed with transparent vertical edges that allow full product visibility. ”The customers are now spending more time in the store and the refrigerated aisles.” In addition, he reports that planned as well as impulse purchases have grown since the T.AGD 3 system was implemented. Furthermore, temperature control is another aspect of full product visibility. The doors feature insulating glass panes, which help to maintain the required temperatures for the different food categories. The system also utilizes interior LED lights that come in a variety of color temperatures, complementing the products being displayed as well as the cabinet location. As a bonus, LED light systems also emit less heat and use considerably less energy than traditional florescent lighting. ”There is no glare or vertical frame that could obscure the customer’s view of the products,” says Barbier. ”This means customers do not need to open the display door to make their selections. Customers see all of the products,” says Barbier, ”as if there are no doors.” Moreover, the system has ”light and solid” doors with a door stop function to control opening and closing, keeping the door movements secure and smooth.

Barbier can also attest to a number of unseen benefits. The doors have led to more comfortable temperatures inside the store aisles and noticeable energy savings: ”Overall, power consumption for refrigerated goods has already been reduced by more than 30%,” says Barbier. <