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Marks and Spencer and Scotmid Co-operative adopt aerofoil cooling

Both retailers have announced plans to adopt cooling technology based around Formula One engineering principles for their stores with aim to improve energy efficiency

Marks and Spencer has announced it will be adopting aerofoil technology in its stores to help curb the energy requirements of open-front retail fridges.

The retailer is one of two grocery shop brands in the UK to announce this month they will be adopting several technologies developed by Aerofoil Energy in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering - a company with experience in Formula One racing.

The new technology is designed to prevent the cold air in fridge units from escaping into the aisles of stores. It works by making use of aerofoils to steer cold directly back into the unit based on principles from race car engineering, the developer has claimed.

Marks and Spencer said that its open-fronted fridges are the largest consumer of power in its stores.

The company has opted therefore to introduce aerofoils after trials both in-store and within a laboratory environment reported significant energy savings, as well as ensuring a more comfortable environment for customers.

An estimated 500 Marks and Spencer stores will be adopting the technologies. However, an additional 200 sites and franchise partners in the form of SSP and WH Smiths will also be using aerofoils, according to the retailer.

A statement on the agreement said, “Results from existing client adoption of aerofoils prove that customers can save up to 30 per cent on refrigeration energy costs through this straightforward, cost-effective and retrofittable solution.”

Marks and Spencer store development head Ian Moore said the company’s collaboration with Aerofoil Energy had been focused on improving the environmental footprint of its stores.

He added, “This technology will also help us offer a better shopping experience for customers by improving the temperature in our aisles.”

Aerofoil Energy chief executive Paul McAndrew said its work with the iconic retailer required a close partnership due to the bespoke nature of refrigeration cabinets used in Marks and Spencer stores.

He said, “The whole design process required collaboration from the Aerofoil team with M&S to arrive at the most favourable and energy-efficient solution.”

“As a result of this relationship, M&S will deploy three new technologies, taken from our Vortex project, that together have enhanced the performance and aesthetics of aerofoils.”

Scotmid Co-operative deal

Aerofoil technology has also been adopted by community retailer Scotmid Co-operative in an attempt to transform its chilled food cabinets in stores.

David Greenshields, development project manager for the retailer, said that the technology from Aerofoil Energy had become a major part of Scotmid’s overall environmental strategy.

“By lowering our energy consumption, Aerofoils will make a significant contribution to our target reduction in gross emissions of 30 per cent by 2020.”

Impact Shopfitting specified the technology following store trials and has been chosen to help install the technology in Scotmid’s 186 convenience stores based in Scotland and northern England.

Impact Shopfitting operations director Derek Wilson said the cooling technology had been chosen based on the retailer’s previous experience of using aerofoils in several of its locations.

He added, “We were impressed by their robustness and customer-friendly aesthetics, in addition to their energy performance.”

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