Buy cheap, buy twice – How to save money on your retail property

For most retailers, product quality versus cost is still a tenuous balance. For us, as lighting experts, we know that by installing quality lighting products, in the long run, is a cost-saving solution. As the old adage goes Buy Cheap Buy Twice, or originally as author John Ruskin put it 150 years ago: ‘It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little.’ and at PLM while it is something that is open for discussion, if your goal is to cut your costs in the future, quality is a key factor.

That said, lighting is not the only consideration. There are a number of ways businesses can reduce net profit margin by looking at their common costs – without tampering with product quality or preventing your company’s ability to grow and create profit.

Take temperature into consideration

Heating and air conditioning are must-haves in a retail space and are considered as non-negotiable expenses.  With summer and winter providing such a difference in temperature, the temperature of your store is bound to have an effect on consumer buying behaviour. When consumers feel comfortably warm, they tend to be more interested and want to buy products they see. As researchers explain, “exposure to physical warmth activates the concept of emotional warmth.”

The difficulty is that even slight changes in property temperature can have an effect on your employee’s productivity and impact customer satisfaction while shopping.  However, despite this, there are still ways you can save money on air conditioning.

Programmable thermostats can minimise climate control costs without disrupting comfort. Using a programmable thermostat allows you to customise your properties climate control schedule. So, you have the ability to set it the same as a working day, which means increasing the heat or aircon at the beginning of the day and turning it down (or off entirely) in the evening and overnight when out of hours. In more spacious facilities, you will need multiple thermostats to handle climate control needs across all areas of the building.

If your needs are more varying than what a programmable thermostat can provide, a smart thermostat is the answer. Smart thermostat technology remains relatively fresh to the modern world, but when installed, it has the capacity to learn your climate control preferences, measures the overall buildings energy performance, and will then adjust itself to maintain a desirable temperature efficiently.

Go paperless

Just like reducing energy and water, reducing paper waste is not only a good way to save money but also a way to help improve the environment.  There are a number of ways to do so:

  • Invest in cloud software to keep important documents stored on file rather than paper copies.
  • Reuse scrap paper for notes or other uses so it doesn’t go to waste
  • Email staff important documents rather than sending letters
  • Avoid printing out documents such as handouts and training booklets for and instead consider a BYOD policy and alone those that adhere to access these documents online
  • Offer email receipts instead of paper copies

At PLM we have an online interface where we review your lighting performance at any time, meaning there is no need for paper.

Make a conscious effort to review costs

As a retail business, you are likely to pay a chunk of money for essential services to keep your company running smoothly. Services such as cloud storage, insurances and telecommunications are required when running a retail shop. It’s important to keep an eye on your outgoings at least once a year to ensure you’re getting the best deals at the best rates – you might even have the ability to negotiate with some if they are not being utilised.

Power down on lighting and energy consumption

Of course we can’t ignore lighting. After all, it is reported to be 62% of building energy consumption. Becoming mindful of your company’s energy usage is the easiest and most straightforward way to reduce electricity bills without making a dent in your overall business operation. It is simply a matter of changing habits. When leaving for the day, make sure all lights and plugs are off. Leave instructions for after-hours cleaning staff to also do so once they’re done.

In 2017 alone, we saved our retail customers an estimated £2.3 million on their electricity bills. The benefits of switching to LED lighting are endless and go way beyond the obvious financial savings. LED is a great option not only for the retail spaces but also for a retailers warehouse as it provides a long-term and highly energy efficient option.

Not only that but High Efficiency Light Units (HELU) are claimable against ECA as long as the new fittings comply with current lighting legislation, which comes as standard with PLM. LED lighting is also the best choice when it comes to environmentally friendly retail lighting.

Be smart and consider intelligent lighting

Similar to climate control, intelligent (smart) lighting is lighting that you can control from an app, or set up to come on via sensors. Intelligent lighting enables you to change the brightness of the bulbs, and if the bulbs have coloured LEDs you can change their colours too. Some systems also have an schedule from when you want lights to be off or on, all of which help save those wasted pennies!

Although it might be the more expensive option in lighting, with opportunities to reduce energy usage and upping security, the price is worth it in the long run.

PLM looks after an impressive portfolio of retail and business park clients, including nationwide branches of Fat Face, Hobbs, and Majestic Wine. We also provide around-the-clock lighting maintenance for the flagship Selfridges department store on London’s Oxford Street. We worked with them to develop a truly unique maintenance package which ensures that the store stays lit 100% of the time.

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Need a hand to reduce energy and lighting costs? Contact the team at PLM today for more information.

Give us a call on 01256 897510 

Lighting maintenance engineer Liam Chambers became a part of the plm team 2 years ago. 50 years ago, the PLM founder, Roy Sands, set up a lighting business from his garage, alongside his two business associates. Your company's' bottom line is key. Our LED lighting projects mean that you get the right products installed the first time. Click to find out more.

PLANNED LIGHTING MAINTENANCE

Roystan House, Andover Road Whitchurch, Hampshire, RG28 7RL

TEL | 01256 897510

EMAIL | hello@plannedlighting.co.uk

Lighting maintenance engineer Liam Chambers became a part of the plm team 2 years ago. 50 years ago, the PLM founder, Roy Sands, set up a lighting business from his garage, alongside his two business associates. Click to read more.

PLANNED LIGHTING

MAINTENANCE

 

Roystan House, Andover Road
Whitchurch, Hampshire, RG28 7RL

TEL | 01256 897510

EMAIL | hello@plannedlighting.co.uk

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