RETROFITTING EXEMPLARS

Dynamic retail lighting results in more sales than traditional static installations, according to a pilot study on the behaviour of supermarket customers. Mark Faithfull reports

A21-week field research project in the Netherlands, carried out by the 270-store Dutch co-operative supermarket group PLUS and Philips Lighting, has determined how consumers respond to different in-store lighting scenarios. The study, which used different LED- based lighting schemes, was designed to measure the impact of light on the buying behaviours of customers.

In setting up the pilot study, Philips and PLUS, which runs an estate of largely independently- owned stores, set out to create an inspiring retail experience, making customers feel comfortable and at ease in the shopping environment. To achieve this, they used Philips’ AmbiScene lighting system to create specific atmospheres around the store.

Tracking customers

Philips Lighting enlisted CQM as an external market research agency and the Retail Design Research Lab of the PHL University of Hasselt to evaluate the return on investment for retailers that instal LED lighting. A tracking system was installed in shoppers’ grocery baskets to trace shopping habits – including the time spent in certain parts of the supermarket, the route taken around the store and any parts of the shop they were drawn to specifically.

AmbiScene-controlled lighting was fitted on the left-hand side of the store, illuminating more than 8,500 products, and the right-hand area of the supermarket was lit with conventional retail lighting. Different lighting scenarios were applied over alternating days of the week during the study period and included various settings for colour temperature and luminance, as well as a dynamic LED wall. The intention was to compare how warmer, cooler and different coloured lighting influences shoppers’ purchasing decisions.

Research revelations

The independently collated results from CQM revealed that the introduction of the lighting system increased basket sales, with average sales per customer up by 1.93 per cent because of the dynamic lighting installation. Further analysis of the results also showed that customers spent more time in the areas lit with warmer light settings than those with cooler ones.

The system, which is still installed at the supermarket, can be changed by PLUS staff at the touch of a button to alter colour, intensity, tones of white or direction.

Ruud Versteegen, owner of the PLUS supermarket in Heerleheide, says: ‘As a new store, we wanted to add something really innovative to the shop floor. The LED-based solution was easy to implement and the installation demonstrated that lighting can have a real impact on our bottom line by significantly increasing our sales.’

CLIENT PLUS Heerlerheide
LOCATION Heerlen, The Netherlands
CONTRACTOR Sweegers, Veldhoven
LIGHTING SUPPLIER Philips Lighting
EQUIPMENT iwCove, iColorCove, LED Freezer, MAXOS
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