All food retailers that do well have a few things in common. They provide an impeccable quality of food and service and their outlets have something about the ambience that makes customers feel at home (and of course, the longer a customer spends at a store, the greater the chances of him/her making a purchase. However, the important question is how do you to make customers stick around for longer increasing the likelihood of a multiple purchase?
While the attire and hospitality of your employees servicing the customers plays a large role in this, how your customers “feel” at the store is determined by other factors as well. The right kind of an air conditioning system can do wonders in creating a welcoming feel for your customers. In simple terms, a well temperature controlled store makes customers feel at ease encouraging them to stick around for longer without breaking a sweat; literally! However, there are more reasons why an air conditioning is a must for any food retailer.
Effects of heat on individuals
When your customers walk into your store they are in a certain state of mind, a mood and the better this is, the more your chances of making a sale to them. While you may be tempted to think that there isn’t much that can be done about the mood of consumers at any given time, there are actually some things you can in fact do.
Something as simple as setting your air conditioner to a comfortable cool temperature can be instrumental in helping your potential shoppers enter a better ‘purchase’ state of mind. In fact, heat is proven to increase lethargy and lower productivity all of which can have a negative impact on your sales figures.
Here are some of the effects of heat and temperature changes on human mood cycles:
- The most obvious effect of heat is aggression and irritation. A hot and sweaty atmosphere is bound to make your customers irritable and this will make them want to leave your store quicker. An air conditioner can help you get the temperature in your store just right
- Whilst having a crowded store means you are doing something right, it also means an increase in carbon dioxide levels within the store which can work against you. Air conditioning is an effective way to constantly recycle the air in your store improving the air quality which will make your customers as well as employees feel more relaxed
- Another obvious result of heat is that it brings down activity levels. This can lead to customers not wanting to walk through various sections of your store due to tiredness or lethargy which can reduce changes of a cross-sale
All these effects of heat and humidity in the context of a retail business can be countered with ease with the help of air conditioners. A/Cs can help create a cool and relaxed atmosphere in your food retail store and set the right tone for customers.
Extreme temperatures and food products
The negative effects of excess heat are not just restricted to your mood. They also determine the quality of food being sold at your store. Whether you are looking to store vegetables, meats or other food products at your store, high temperatures can have a rather detrimental effect on the quality of your stock. In fact, high and/or incorrect environmental temperatures is one of the leading causes behind food spoilage.
Here are some of the reasons why having an effective air conditioning system is critical if you are in the retail food business:
- Each time there is an increase of -7.7 degree Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit) in temperature of foods stored at moderate temperatures; chemical reaction rates are almost doubled. This leads to an increase in enzymatic reactions in your food products which will lead to spoilage. Apart from this, emulsions are broken and foods will lose the much needed moisture and some useful vitamins (resulting in lowering of the nutritional quality) will also be lost in the process. This is also going to impact the odor, flavor and color of many food products.
- Similarly, if the temperature is too low, it can lead to spoilage of foods as well. Freezing certain fruits and vegetables to the excess will lead their surface to crack leaving them vulnerable to contamination by microbes. Many other foods such as mayonnaise when frozen are subjected to a breakage of emulsion leading to a separation of its components (which is why you find items stating that they aren’t suitable for freezing).
- Heat leads to increased activity of bacteria, microbes, yeasts and molds that also lead to food spoilage. Air can play a detrimental role in the transmission of these spoilers.
Not only does air conditioning help regulate and maintain the right temperature within your retail outlet but it also improves the quality of air by a great degree, so to speak. Sure, food refrigeration and freezing are a must to preserve foods and maintain quality standards. However, the overall quality and temperature of the air in the atmosphere (within your store) are also important to maintain your food products.
Whether you look at the food retail business from the perspective of food quality or customer satisfaction, a well air conditioned store can certainly help your business grow.
Koolit offers some of the largest range of air conditioning systems suitable for businesses and budgets of all sizes. For more on how we can help, please get in touch.