With Expansion Comes a Greater Need to Manage Key Assets
While the retail industry experienced a slowdown throughout 2021, it began to rebound throughout 2022 and has continued to grow stronger since. Don’t mistake a slowdown in 2021 for overall worse performance, either — in fact, total retail sales in 2021 grew 14% over 2020 (which itself saw a nearly 8% increase over 2019 despite store closures). Things aren’t slowing down now, either. The National Retail Federation (NRF) forecasted that retail sales in 2023 will grow between 4% and 6% over 2022 figures.
With this growth comes new locations, and yet retailers cannot lose sight of current facilities and the assets that make them usable, enjoyable, and comfortable. Lighting assets are some of the most important ones here — they influence everything from how safe and comfortable customers and employees feel to how well retail products sell.
The impact of lighting in retail environments is a science in itself, but so is the impact of that lighting on facility management budgets. Brands with older locations must ensure that those assets are not only working well for their customers and employees but also for their bottom line. Here, we’ll explore several reasons why retailers should consider a retail lighting audit at each of their locations, particularly older stores.
First, What is a Retail Lighting Audit?
A retail lighting audit is a comprehensive survey of all facility lighting (interior and exterior) at all locations in question. The output is a detailed analysis of lighting that provides energy consumption data, asset inventories, maintenance costs, rebate opportunities and tax incentives, recycling and equipment costs, sustainability improvements, and warranty opportunities. This information allows facility managers to identify and prioritize locations that could benefit from LED retrofits, lighting maintenance programs, and other cost-saving solutions. Go deeper into the benefits and processes of a commercial lighting audit here.
Strategic Benefits of a Retail Lighting Audit
With the end of the year rapidly approaching, there’s never been a better time to take a more proactive approach to managing lighting assets in your facilities. With a retail lighting audit, your retail organization benefits from:
- Improved Sustainability — The heat is on for retailers to demonstrate their efforts to reduce their impact on the environment. Whether as part of a larger ESG strategy or an effort to connect with consumers, the opportunities for improving sustainability in facility management are many. A retail lighting audit is a strategic way to identify the best, most impactful energy-saving opportunities such as LED retrofits, and implement an action plan. Learn more about the environmental impact of solutions such as LED retrofits here.
- Elimination of Ballasts — A retail lighting audit identifies lighting assets that may benefit from direct-wiring versus using ballasts. While not a newer concept, ballast elimination significantly reduces overall asset and maintenance costs. By not having to replace or maintain ballasts, companies save on equipment costs such as lifts, overinvestment in unnecessary assets, work crew labor, and much more. And because LED lighting offers much longer “burn hours,” facility leaders benefit from further maintenance and asset cost savings.
- Stronger Financial Planning — All too often, facility leaders are simply struggling to keep up, and those who do LED surveys end up doing so too late in the game. With a retail lighting audit, leaders receive all of the information needed to make more proactive decisions on improvement, resource allocation, forecasting, and budgeting. Proactive solutions such as these allow facility leaders to develop stronger approaches to paying for facility management as well.
Implementation is Just as Important as Identification
A retail lighting audit is just one component of a larger facility asset maintenance program. Facility leaders will know how challenging managing multiple locations can be, which is why partnering with a facility management aggregator is the way to go. Rather than connecting with separate self-performing maintenance vendors across countless cities and states, facility leaders benefit from working with a single partner that uses established relationships with vendors and manages maintenance work on their behalf.
CLS Facility Services has supported countless retail brands across the country with retail lighting audits and broad-scale preventive maintenance programs for more than 50 years. As an aggregator, we lean on partnerships with thousands of proven vendors nationwide. Our relationships with these vendors have an average tenure of more than 12 years, ensuring that the experts doing the maintenance work at your locations are truly experts and have proven themselves to us time and time again.
Are you a lighting systems vendor looking to grow your business? Learn how we can help.