Nualight and Cross Group win Europe’s first Convenience Sector LED Retrofit

In the first phase of a landmark project for LED lighting, over 130 Spar stores in Northern Ireland and Scotland are converting their fluorescent lighting to Nualight’s Blaze LED fixture, it has been announced.

This is the first major LED retrofit in the convenience sector in Europe and will yield a minimum of 60% energy savings for lighting in these stores.

The project is a turning point for the convenience retail industry in its journey to sustainability and is the result of a partnership between the Cross Group (specialists in refrigeration, air-conditioning and energy efficient technologies) and Nualight (specialists in LED lighting for food retail). The deal was agreed with the Henderson Group and CJ Lang & Son Limited, who between them own and operate the Spar franchises for Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Nualight’s Blaze fitting was selected after a competitive tender process to source the best LED lighting system for the Spar stores. Cross Group is the exclusive distributor of Nualight LED fixtures in Ireland (both North and South) and the UK.

Dr Glen Crumley, Energy Manager at Henderson Group, said the attractive lifetime cost and visual benefits of Blaze were key drivers in the agreement. “Henderson Group is delighted to be rolling out the Blaze LED lighting fixture across our stores. We selected the Blaze fitting after a comprehensive investigation into the most appropriate LED lighting system for our Spar stores.”

“The Blaze product offers clear energy efficiency and cost benefits, as well as a soft, natural lighting that results in a very pleasant shopping experience for our customers,” said John Rough, Property Controller at CJ Lang & Son Limited. “The bottom line is we opted for the Cross Group/Nualight offering because it will help us meet both our business and environmental objectives.”

In a further development, A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd, a family-owned group of businesses with in excess of 1100 Spar stores across England and Wales, has also committed to rolling out the Blaze solution across its store network following successful pilot trials. A.F. Blakemore & Son is one of the largest businesses in the UK employing more than 7,500 people with a turnover in excess of £1.1 billion. The Blaze LED sustainable lighting programme will be offered to independent store owners in the Blakemore network through its shop-fitting company Blakemore Design & Shop Fitting.

The maintenance-free Blaze 600 fitting delivers 67% energy savings, a five times longer lifetime than traditional store fluorescent lamps, superb colour vibrancy, and a unique optical design for a bright and natural ambience. The Blaze is designed and manufactured in Europe by Nualight.

For a typical Spar store, annual savings of approximately £3,500 can be achieved in energy, bulbs and maintenance over each year of the 8.5 year average lifetime of the installation (based on 16-hr operation per day). This offers clear business benefits, particularly when the “refresh effect” is factored in. Upgrading old fluorescent fixtures to Blaze also gives each store an instant facelift, making stores feel fresher, brighter and more modern.

Andrew Cronin, Head of Product Management, Nualight said: “Blaze is a very unique solution with a distinctive aesthetic. Its unique indirect optical design was developed for minimal glare and very high energy-efficiency. Blaze’s superb quality control for colour consistency trumps traditional, inferior lighting where colour can change from fixture to fixture.”

Joe Conway, Commercial Director, Cross Group, said: “In what is the first convenience store LED retrofit roll-out in Europe, we are extremely happy to have fought off very stiff competition to land this deal. The Cross Group / Nualight partnership strives to offer lighting flexibility, vibrant colour displays and lower costs to retailers. However Nualight’s Blaze LED fitting brings this to a new level, creating such a bright and fresh atmosphere that the stores feel as if they have been completely refreshed.”