I just got back from the Food Marketing Institute Energy Conference, this year in Minneapolis. This is an annual event that I’ve been attending most years for more than 20 years.

This year for the first time, the Energy Conference was combined with the Store Development Conference. So in addition to learning about energy efficiencies in regards to HVACR as well as lighting, we more mechanical-minded people got a good overview of what goes into the layout of stores, and how to attract customers and ways to make the shopping experience enjoyable. The most daunting aspect relates to layouts that may look good, but may not be best for the mechanicals. That not only has to do with refrigerant lines, but airflow and the maintaining of even temperatures.

If it wasn’t enough that supermarkets have to carry thousands of perishable products, and be labor intensive, and be subject to the whims and opinions of the general public, they also have to do that in an environmentally correct and energy efficient way.

The fact that so many stores do it so well is a credit to all those involved in planning, building, and maintaining the stores, including the HVACR contractors.