lightIn our ‘Express Yourself’ column that we run in Retail Express, we offer retailers the chance to comment on issues that might be affecting people up and down the country. In a recent issue, we set about seeing what retailers thought about a new campaign from DEFRA encouraging retail businesses to cut down on waste and reduce energy.

One of the most striking comments that I saw on this particular issue was from a retailer who said that they had decided to switch off their ice cream fridge until Easter, as it was costing more to leave on than the store was making from sales.

This makes a degree of sense, but raises one or two further questions. Is there not now a huge area of space in the store not being used? And in a time when retailers are being urged to ‘sweat’ every available inch of their displays to make the most out of them, isn’t having six or seven square feet of store completely out of action costing even MORE money?

Saving money is obviously important to smaller stores – as indeed is saving energy by turning off unused appliances. But having unused space in your store is a cardinal sin. Using the freezer to store other frozen goods is an option, but as Christmas approaches surely it would be far better to do a little moving around to find somewhere to store the freezer out of sight, and use the space to stock lines that could bring in extra revenue over the busy festive period?