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68% of retailers have energy resilience problems – why you can’t afford to join them

How an energy strategy designed for resilience can provide better experiences for customers – and increased profits for you

Your retail or distribution business relies on technology throughout every aspect of the supply chain, with POS terminals, in-store video, automated stock-picking and just-in-time delivery models. This means that a reduction in power due to an outage, fluctuation or capacity issue can have a disastrous effect on customer experience, stock on your shelves – and on your sales figures1. You cannot afford interruptions or downtime.

This can mean closed stores, empty shelves, long checkout lines and cancelled deliveries. In the cold chain market, where energy provides refrigeration, it means waste and consumer food safety concerns. Retailers and distributors must have an energy strategy that delivers a resilient operation and a reliable, scalable energy supply. 78% of retailer and wholesaler respondents agreed that the cost of being energy resilient is far less than the impact of an energy failure2. But despite this, 68% had energy resilience problems in the past 12 months2.

Resilient energy supply mean better customer experiences

A power outage that closes a store or delays a delivery means lost sales. Customers forced to shop elsewhere may never return. But a reliable energy supply does more than simply let you stay open. It is critical to enable you to create distinctive and enjoyable in-store customer experiences that encourage customers to stay longer and spend more.

In a survey by Centrica Business Solutions, energy security and resilience were ranked as second only to cybercrime as a risk to the organization2. Building resilience into every part of your operation has become vital to safeguard its future - read our resilience report.

Energy solutions that deliver resilience for retailers and distributors

Your first step may be to ensure the impact of power outages or equipment failures on customer experience and sales performance is understood across your organization. Your second may be to share awareness of the new technologies and approaches to managing energy that can deliver energy resilience.

These include on-site generation technologies, such as cogeneration and back-up generators. These technologies can reduce your dependency on the grid and cut energy costs.  In addition, solar power and battery storage can ensure a secure and scalable supply to your retail store or distribution center, helping you get the most out of your generated solar energy. This integration can deliver a consistent source of power during a power outage, keeping key systems functioning and protecting your resources.

Managing your energy usage is also important. Sensors can spot anomalies in energy usage and give early warning of equipment failures. Together with innovative new energy insight, analytics and energy management systems, this means that remedial action can be taken before any downtime occurs. This safeguards against degraded product quality – which inevitably impacts the customer experience.  

Cost and a lack of expertise mean many retailers and distributors struggle to deploy these new solutions themselves. Outsourcing can be the best way to deliver a coordinated energy strategy, especially if you have a widely dispersed store network. Our experience working with leading retailers and distribution companies allows us to provide the solution, with full operational and maintenance support for your energy assets. We can help ensure the reliability of your on-site infrastructure and deliver the resilience you need – and we can even help you avoid upfront costs.

We implemented targeted energy solutions for a leading US supermarket, which helped the customer increase resilience and save over $1M/year in direct costs from power disruptions. We can also help your retail business succeed.

Download our article to discover more about how new energy solutions, coupled with the right energy strategy, can help you give your business the energy resilience you need, and your customers the experience you want.

Learn more about our approach for retail and distribution businesses.

1Empty shelves? The result: lost sales and dissatisfied customers, Athena Retail Consulting, 2Energy Advantage Research, Centrica Business Solutions. Statistics based on a six country survey of more than 1,000 energy decision-makers in large organizations