Industry Insights

Reducing Energy Costs During The Retail Apocalypse


As brick-and-mortar retailers fight the ongoing “retail apocalypse” by trying to improve their bottom line, many fail to audit their store’s energy consumption. Energy is the fourth largest in-store operating cost for US retailers, according to McKinsey & Company1, which means there is significant opportunity to reduce costs. In order to do so, retailers must adopt the latest building technologies and control systems to make their stores more energy efficient and sustainable.

At SCHEELS, a sporting goods and entertainment chain with 27 stores in 12 states, improving the customer experience and energy performance at its new superstore in Johnstown, Colorado, was a core focus during the design process. SCHEELS’ signature building style features large roof skylights, inviting glazed entrances and punched openings designed to offer plenty of daylight and views for customers and staff. While this type of design takes advantage of the benefits of natural light, it also brings unwanted heat and glare.


A Holistic, System-Level Approach to Energy Savings

SCHEELS turned to smart glass to prevent heat and glare issues and create a more comfortable experience for customers in Johnstown. Smart glass tints automatically in response to the sun and outdoor conditions, allowing building owners to maintain both occupant comfort and unobstructed views of the outdoors. In addition to smart glass, SCHEELS installed better insulation, LED lighting and enhanced building automation HVAC controls to increase building performance and energy savings.

A recent study compared electricity usage at two SCHEELS locations and found that the new Johnstown store consumed 73 percent less electricity than a similar store. As a result, the Johnstown store spent $487,193 less on energy costs in its first year of operation. These results show the power of a taking a holistic, system-level approach to reducing energy consumption to deliver significant savings.

For brick-and-mortar retailers looking for new ways to cut costs during turbulent times, now is the time to audit their energy consumption. An investment in sustainable building materials and advanced controls will reduce energy costs and create a better shopping experience for customers, which can also lead to increased sales.

Interested in learning more about how SCHEELS reduced energy consumption? Read the case study