Equipment upgrade

Grocery Headquarters takes a look at some of the latest developments in design, refrigeration, lighting, displays and all of the other equipment that keeps a store humming.

By Kim Ann Zimmermann

The pace of new store construction and redesigns is not at the same speed it was just a decade ago. Still, more than half (51.9%) of grocers had a major remodel on the books for 2011 and 37% planned to embark on new store construction this year. This according to the Food Marketing Institute’s The Food Retailing Industry Speaks 2011 report.

The good news is that relatively few retailers—19.8%—planned to close stores in 2011, so there will be a need for all types of equipment and design services going forward.

According to the FMI report, the size of the average retail food store in the U.S. remained essentially the same for the third year in a row, following a rapid expansion during the 1990s. In 2010, the median grocery store measured 46,000 square feet. When constructing new stores, grocers are experimenting with both smaller footprint stores and larger floor plans.

As to the average new store size, 28.6% of retailers that constructed at least one new store in the past five years reported that the new stores are smaller than previously built stores. About the same number of respondents (26.2%) said that the stores they built in the past few years are larger than the ones built more than five years ago, with the largest reported footprint measuring 97,600 square feet. In all, the median new store measures 45,500 square feet.

Here is a look at some of the products and services available for grocers aiming to open new stores or spruce up existing locations.

AHT
AHT is a global manufacturer of highly energy efficient, environmentally friendly plug-in refrigeration and freezing concepts. AHT’s solutions are adjustable to customer needs and focused on cost savings, high quality, minimum heat emissions, low sound, high food quality and excellent product presentation, say company officials. Many U.S. customers have reported increases in sales and significant cost savings through the use of AHT’s Paris wide island, Athens jumbo island, Malta shop-around model and Manhattan narrow island. The Hanahan, S.C.-based U.S. division will soon be introducing the Vento line, which is a plug-in modular refrigerated multi-deck.

For more information, visit www.ahtusainc.net.

api (+)
Sweetbay’s latest pharmacy design, developed by Tampa, Fla.-based api (+), takes its cues from the hospitality industry. The open, inviting design allows customers direct visual contact with the pharmacist. Wood finishes are spa-inspired and the department’s color balance is both uplifting and calming, say officials for the design firm. Large-scale light tubes above the pharmacist’s work area mimic natural illumination and provide a dramatic punctuation to this department, making it easily recognizable from any location in the store. Soft lighting and comfortable seating, placed outside the traffic pattern, allow customers a pleasant respite while waiting for prescriptions.

For more information, visit www.apiplus.com.

Assembled Products Corp.
Store managers trust Mart Cart to provide safe, sturdy, reliable, electric shopping carts for worry-free customer service, say company officials. With the daily need to provide service to seniors, disabled customers and people with medical conditions, officials for Rogers, Ark.-based Assembled Products Corp. add that Mart Cart is the perfect way for retailers to treat their shoppers to a good store experience. They say Mart Cart is the No. 1 selling electric shopping cart in the world and the Model ’63 is now the industry’s first truly 100% recyclable electric cart.

For more information, visit www.martcart.com.

Baero North America
With roots in the fresh markets of Europe, Baero North America has always been focused on providing quality lighting options for supermarket owners across the U.S and Canada. This fall, officials for the St. Louis-based company say they will be furthering Baero’s focus on grocery and fresh food illumination, including the introduction of a new logo and message that clearly state this commitment. For decades, customers around the globe have seen the Baero Perfect Retail Lighting logo. As autumn turns, Baero North America’s new look and greater focus will be revealed with its Baero Fresh Market Illumination logo, say company officials.

For more information, visit www.baerousa.com.

Big Ass Fans
The 8- to 10-foot diameter Isis by Big Ass Fans is designed to move large volumes of air in retail spaces, reduce energy costs, improve personal comfort and minimize waste caused by spoilage. Working with HVAC systems, Isis can reduce energy costs by evenly distributing cool air and alleviating the load on high-energy air handling systems. In the winter, it recirculates warm air trapped at the ceiling, potentially reducing heating costs by as much as 30%. Gearless, direct drive technology and onboard electronics provide silent operation while preventing electromagnetic interference. With a variety of colors and finishes available, the Isis can be customized to complement a retailer’s décor or create a “wow” effect, say officials for the Lexington, Ky.-based manufacturer.

For more information, visit www.bigassfans.com.

Cummins-Allison
Cummins-Allison’s Money Machine self-service coin kiosks are the only in the industry to immediately dispense cash right on the spot, say company officials. Patrons get cash dispensed at the kiosk, immediately putting money in customers’ hands, which increases their potential to spend money inside the store. This enables employees to focus on more valuable tasks instead of redeeming, tracking and balancing customer receipts or maintaining the machine, say officials for the Mount Prospect, Ill.-based firm. With a 99.995% accuracy rate, Cummins-Allison officials say the high-quality self-service coin machines are the global standard for speed, accuracy and dependability.

For more information, visit www.cumminsallison.com/ssc1.

Cartveyor
Cartveyor Shopping Cart Conveyors provide an efficient and convenient way to move shoppers and shopping carts between floors in multi-level retail facilities, say company officials. Popular in dense urban markets, Cartveyors can be installed alongside escalators in new construction or existing facilities, allowing customers to ride the escalator next to theirs carts, add officials for Milwaukee-based manufacturer Pflow Industries, a provider of vertical conveying equipment for more than 30 years. With smaller footprints than moving walkways, Cartveyors can handle more traffic than elevators. Company officials say the equipment also incorporates many safety features, requires minimal maintenance and is designed for years of trouble-free operation.

For more information, visit www.cartveyor.com.

D|fab
SoffitLite from D|fab can be a time-saving solution for interior drop partitions and ceiling features. According to officials for the Madison Heights, Mich.-based design firm, the lightweight, modular panel system produces the illusion of architectural bulkheads, defines feature areas and draws focus to departments without the dust, time and trades involved in standard framing and drywall construction. SoffitLite can feature a graphic, laminate or painted finishes and is available in custom shapes and sizes.

For more information, visit www.dfabdesign.com, or call 800-968-9440.

ElectraLED
ElectraLED’s new EFDS series Eclipse is a great solution for retro fitting a variety of areas in the grocery store, say company officials, including medium-temp cases, island displays, dairy and meat cases. EFDS is UL listed and NSF certified and available in a wide range of color options that will enhance any product type with a CRI of 85+, low heat signature and long life, according to officials for the Largo, Fla.-based firm.

For more information, visit www.electraled.com.

Emerson Climate Technologies
Copeland Discus with CoreSense Protection is an advancement to Emerson Climate Technology’s semi-hermetic compressor line that uses the compressor as a sensor to monitor operating conditions. Building on its compressor electronics strategy, Emerson now integrates CoreSense technology across the entire Copeland Discus compressor line up to six-cylinder capacity, say officials for the Sidney, Ohio-based manufacturer. Copeland Discus with CoreSense Protection alerts commercial refrigeration technicians to the most serious faults first so they can accurately and rapidly correct problems and prevent compressor failures that could generate product spoilage.

For more information, visit www.emersonclimate.com.

FFR-DSI
Retailers can wash and sanitize containers and utensils from any department with FFR-DSI’s Pot, Pan and Utensil Washer. Compact and easy-to-install, it is designed for containers commonly found in the bakery, meat, poultry, candy and food service industries, say officials for the Twinsburg, Ohio-based company, adding that the washer is powerfully efficient, quick and economical. A split door accommodates sheet pans, cake pans, meat lugs, candy molds, trays, utensils, buckets, machine parts and mixing bowls up to 140 quarts. The machine is 37 1/2” W x 87 3/8” H x 36” D, minimizing floor space needed, yet allows for a 10-pan capacity. A heavy-duty 5 HP pump re-circulates wash water through high velocity and stainless steel “V” jets cut through stubborn soils. The average wash/rinse cycle is just five minutes, company officials say, making clean-up quick and economical. The washer is available with electric, infrared, gas or steam heating options and is NSF approved.

For more information, visit www.ffr-dsi.com.

Globe Food Equipment Co.
The SP5 from Globe Food Equipment Co. is the strongest mixer in its class for mixing dough and other applications, presenting the perfect blend of power and performance, according to company officials. The SP5 mixer from the Dayton, Ohio-based company offers the versatility to mix the most delicate items or the toughest dough with ease, along with quality workmanship that is synonymous with the Globe name. Company officials say the SP5 has many outstanding features including: rigid cast aluminum body, high-torque gear drive, 10 variable speeds, 800-watt motor, #10 attachment hub, heavy-duty stainless steel bowl, flat beater, wire whip & dough hook and polycarbonate splash cover with ingredient chute.

For more information, visit www.globeslicers.com.

Hydro ICS
The Hydro Integrated Cleaning System (ICS 8900) provides portable, battery-operated, low-pressure, low-flow touchless cleaning technology. The ICS can significantly reduce labor hours, chemical and water usage (by up to 67%) and can distribute up to four chemicals, according to officials for the Cincinnati-based manufacturer. They also say the ICS’ superior cleaning technology is ideal for disinfecting and sanitizing refrigeration cases, shopping carts, floors and restrooms.

For more information, visit www.hydro-ics.com, or call 513-271-8800.

Kold-Draft
Kold-Draft’s T-270 GB Series Ice Crusher is made to operate in conjunction with the GB Series Classic Cubers, resulting in a half-and-half machine that makes and stores—in side-by-side bins—half cubes or full cubes in one side of the bin and crushed ice in the other. Officials for the Erie, Pa.-based company explain that an external knob allows the operator to “order” cubes or crushed ice, which can be separated in the bin with an optional bin divider. The half-and-half crusher/cuber saves floor space and yet allows convenient storage of two kinds of pure ice.

For more information, visit www.kold-draft.com, or call 800-840-9577.

Lingo Manufacturing
Every display project is different—different customer, market, product, size, shape and color. According to officials for Florence, Ky.-based Lingo Manufacturing, the company’s experience and expertise assist in providing creative solutions that will help to get products in front of more customers. They say the company’s goal is to design displays that meet the needs of its clients and free design consultations are available.

For more information, visit www.lingomfg.com, or call 800-354-9771 or 859-371-2662.

Mehmert Store Services
The objective of Mehmert Store Services is to provide retailers with the opportunity to capture the market share they need through innovative design, energy efficient facilities and equipment that is cost effective to own and operate. The Sussex, Wis.-based design firm specializes in grocery store and supermarket fixture planning, interior design/décor, architectural design, equipment procurement, project management  and construction supervision. According to company officials, the firm manages every step in the growth process, from the seed of an idea through the completion of the store’s interior and exterior transformation.

For more information, visit www.mehmert.com, or call 800-273-0755.

Metro
Metro is introducing Super Erecta Pro. Officials for the Wilkes-Barre, Pa.-based firm say the shelving is designed for the rigors of food preparation and storage. Super Erecta Pro features corrosion-proof, lift-off, polymer shelf mats and microban antimicrobial product protection is built into every unit. The system features Metroseal 3, Metro’s patented, corrosion-resistant epoxy finish that is guaranteed for 12 years against corrosion. Super Erecta Pro shelving systems are available in a wide range of sizes.

For more information, visit www.metro.com/grocerysolutions.

Nestaway
Nestaway, a Leggett & Platt company, offers the antimicrobial Nestaglide family of carts. The entire cart line is embedded with SilverShell, a germ-neutralizing agent that kills bacteria. Since SilverShell is embedded throughout the material it is always working and does not wash or wear off over time, explain officials for the Cleveland-based manufacturer. The carts are designed to be lighter with easier drivability and Nestaway owns the entire value chain, from the steel mill through assembly.

For more information, visit www.nestawaywire.com.

Orbis Corp.
Orbis Corp.’s 40” x 48” reusable plastic Grocery Distribution Pallet increases space utilization per truckload for greater shipping efficiency, say company officials. “The nestable Grocery Pallet optimizes space utilization for return trips, reducing costs and increasing profits,” says Mike Ludka, pallet product manager for the Oconomowoc, Wis.-based manufacturer. “It’s built for a long service life to withstand the rigors of the grocery industry.” Features include: anti-skid surface to hold cases/boxes in place; contoured corners; smooth surfaces to allow easy handling; smooth/non-porous surface that avoids moisture and odors; easy-to-clean/lightweight plastic construction for dimensional consistency and repeatable performance; and versatile handling, four-way hand and fork truck entry.

For more information, visit www.orbiscorporation.com.

Pan-Oston
The Pan-Oston Utopia Cash Handling Lane provides the cash handling ability of a human cashier, but with increased security and cash management benefits, say company officials. The lane, which includes MEI’s Bank Note Recycler (BNR), accepts cash and dispenses change quickly, reducing transaction times. The BNR detects counterfeit currency, reduces employee theft and lowers start-up float by up to 90%. According to officials for the Bowling Green, Ky.-based manufacturer, grocers can also realize labor savings as routine cash pickups are eliminated and less time is required for till reconciliation and till preparation. They also explain that the quantity of notes handled in the cash room is lowered by up to 50%.

For more information, visit www.panoston.com.

Remis America
Remis America offers retro-fit refrigeration doors and freezer covers to grocery retailers and OEM case manufacturers that cut energy costs up to 80%, say company officials. The Elkhart, Ind.-based company’s full range of insulated glass doors and bunker covers suit any supermarket style. Remis America officials say these proven, eco-friendly systems are unrivalled in keeping energy consumption low and are in use in over 10,000 retail stores throughout Europe, via its joint venture partner, Remis GmbH, based in Cologne, Germany. Remis America maintains complete control of the entire retrofit process, from custom engineering and manufacturing to transportation, installation and follow-up service.

For more information, visit www.remisamerica.com.

Safestrap
When shoppers are relaxed they stay longer and buy more. The Shop-Along III from Wharton, N.J.-based Safestrap offers a comfortable and secure seating area that can accommodate adults and children. Company officials say the large storage area under the seat is perfect for bulk merchandise such as paper products and soft drinks. The Shop-Along Mini was specifically designed for small-format stores and provides the convenience of the Shop-Along III with a smaller footprint. Both units attach easily to existing shopping carts and accommodate from two-years old to adult.

For more information, visit www.safestrap.com, or call 800-356-7796.

Zero Zone
Zero Zone offers state-of-the-art glycol refrigeration through its innovative new ColdLoop Secondary Systems, say company officials. With more than 20 years of glycol experience in industrial cold storage and ice rink applications, the North Prairie, Wis.-based manufacturer is now providing that same expertise to retailers, and officials say the results have been exceptional. They also say that Zero Zone ColdLoop Secondary Systems might be the right fit for retailers who are looking to drastically reduce their refrigerant use and leak potential by substituting glycol cooling.

For more information, visit www.zero-zone.com.

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