A greener machine

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Cutting energy costs has become especially urgent in 2009. NOVUM refrigeration solutions offer a way to do this while also driving sales and reducing operating costs.



11 December 2009

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In today’s environment where multi-tasking is now a requirement expected of us all on a daily basis, businesses are looking for equipment that can also perform multiple functions, and preferably add value at the same time. What’s more, there has never been a greater need to reduce energy usage, so now is the time to invest.

Novum refrigeration cabinets are designed for maximum efficiency. Carefully integrating lighting, insulation, temperature control, and the refrigeration system, Novum freezer and chill solutions perform multiple tasks on the lowest possible energy consumption, making them some of the most efficient units available.

Novum is a wholly Irish-owned company, founded in Ireland in 1955, and specialising in high quality refrigeration for the retail sector. A market leading refrigeration technology supplier in Europe, the company has just recently embarked on a significant period of investment, including moving to new headquarters in the Clonshaugh Business Park, Dublin. It has also expanded its portfolio of products to offer the full compliment of store fixtures from delis to chill walls to distributors and shopfitting operators in Ireland.

Distribution opportunities

Ailbe Allen Refrigeration is the exclusive distributor of Novum products in the Munster-South Leinster region. Working as a subcontractor in the trade for many years, managing director Ailbe Allen recently developed his operation to offer effective solutions for the needs of businesses today.

“Energy costs have been one of the main problems for businesses over the last number of years. They can’t afford to add any more to their electricity bills because their costs are so high,” he comments. In recognition of this serious need, Allen introduced the Novum range of fridges and freezers which are designed to deliver efficiency in terms of operating and maintenance cost, as well as practical advantages to help increase sales.

“There were a number of things that attracted me to Novum products,” says Allen, “first and foremost that they’re an Irish company, based in Ireland, and that’s a big factor at the moment, with the recession making cost a key issue. Secondly, the appearance of the units themselves; they are very attractive and greatly enhance the look of a store. And thirdly, they are very efficient. The cost savings are very significant and that is a major selling point in today’s climate.”

Since becoming a Novum distributor only a couple of months ago, the company was contracted to refit an 8,000 sq ft Spar store in Skibbereen, West Cork, replacing its old, inefficient 13-metre open top cabinet with some new Aran 805/806 model units from Novum. According to Allen, cost was “a big factor” in the decision to install Novum units, but there were other reasons in addition to cost.

“There are LED lights inside these cabinets which show the products to their best,” he says, illustrating the joint advantage of lowering costs and simultaneously enhancing the display to drive sales. LEDs reduce energy consumption by 60% and also incur a much lower maintenance cost.

“Since the units were installed they’ve seen their energy costs decrease rapidly. The first month in operation, their bill dropped between €1,500 and €2,000,” says Allen.

In addition, Novum’s covered units create a more pleasant ambient temperature in-store, improving the shopping experience and encouraging customers to spend more time in the relevant departments. Product visibility is also improved by the design of the cabinets’ angled, curved top, which is also so easy to access that “even a small child could open them.”

“The other benefit of these cabinets is that if there is ever a problem with one of them, it’s very easy just to take it out and you can work outside the shop. This is a terrific advantage because in this day and age you can’t really be working on shop floors anymore. Likewise, if you need to defrost the unit, it’s so easy, you just unplug it and take it out and defrost it in a couple of hours.”

Furthermore, with ‘Automatic Defrost’ technology, the Novum system significantly reduces the number of defrosts required and eliminates the use of an unsightly wire cage to protect product from heating up during a defrost. The Novum system can defrost when the store is closed, and also reduces energy consumption by 60%, lessening the load on the compressor during a defrost and improving compressor life.

“I couldn’t say enough about them,” says Allen, “they will reduce your costs but will add to your sales.”

Currently, there are opportunities for retail equipment providers in the rest of Ireland to become distributors of Novum products. With companies such as Musgrave committing to reduce energy use by 30% across all new SuperValu stores and refurbishments by 2012, and with many others looking to bring down their energy costs and reduce carbon footprint, Novum cabinets are well-placed to become market leaders in Ireland, as they are elsewhere in the EU.

End user testimonial

Martin O’Mahony is training manager with Drinagh Co-op, owner of the newly refitted Spar in Skibbereen, West Cork. In June, he consulted with Ailbe Allen Refrigeration about how best to revamp the store’s frozen department and significantly bring down its energy consumption and cost. After careful consideration, it was decided Novum’s Aran 805 and 806 freezer cabinets were the best solution for the small supermarket, although the units have been tailored to equally suit a convenience store.
“So far we are very pleased with their performance,” says O’Mahony, who reveals that since the cabinets’ installation the energy bill for the store has decreased by 25% as a direct result of the Novum freezers, and by around 33% including new energy efficient lighting installed at the same time.

Furthermore, with the covered units which improve product visibility and the ambient temperature in-store, the Spar has begun to see an increase in frozen sales. “We’re now seeing an increase in sales in that department on a weekly basis,” affirms O’Mahony. “I would absolutely recommend Novum fridges to other retailers.”



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