Refrigeration / Display Cases

Display Cases Wide Open No Longer

Refrigerated Cases with Doors Are What Customers Want, Consultant Said

December 9, 2013
closed-door refrigeration cases
The trend is heading toward closed-door refrigeration cases in supermarkets.
For five months in 2013, The NEWS’ FROSTlines eNewsletter ran a series on retrofitting open display cases with doors in supermarkets. It proved to be prophetic because shortly after the series ended in September, closed-door display cases became a hot topic at the Food Marketing Institute Energy and Store Design Conference in Baltimore.

For example, the topic comprised a portion of a talk called “The Art and Science Behind Compelling Fresh Food Formats” by Terry Roberts, president of Merchandising by Design. She said, “Customers know refrigeration works better with doors, and it is still good merchandising.”

It was an interesting observation because it runs counterintuitive to the long-standing argument that customers don’t care about how cold is created, they just want to see the product clearly and not deal with doors in order to get to the product.

The current trend toward closed doors on cases is not the final word, according to Roberts. The nonengineer told an audience of engineers that they should be able to come up with even better mousetraps such as cases that don’t have so much metal, have doors that never fog, and have really attractive lighting.

So two thoughts for service contractors and technicians: First, figure cases with doors are here to stay; but, second, consider that they won’t stay the same for years to come.

Publication date: 12/9/2013

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