Store boosts sales 49% in LED lighting upgrade

Sales have soared at Cancer Research UK stores across the UK following a refit to LED to achieve higher-quality light output and lower energy bills. The Armley store to the west of Leeds saw sales rise 49% during the first year after the refit was completed.

The charity has embarked on an initiative designed to ensure its shops are of a look and feel comparable to that of other enduring high street brands. The aim is to enhance perceptions of the charity’s shops, and in particular guarantee the interest of a younger generation of consumers. The result is a big increase in sales.

The initiative incorporated a comprehensive review of redecoration, including the lighting installations. Cancer Research UK’s retail estates manager Nigel Wighton has overseen the specification of lighting for new shops, plus a review and upgrade of the lighting to the rest of the estate – some 600 outlets across the UK.

From the very start of the refit scheme, Wighton has been acutely aware of the transformative possibilities of next-generation lighting. “In retail, effective lighting design is a vital link to the overall environment and has improved sales,” he says. “If visitors feel comfortable in the environment, it makes sense that they are more likely to linger and ultimately purchase something. Then there are the benefits of the greater lifecycle – meaning fewer failures and a lower number of maintenance call-outs – as well as significantly lower energy consumption. A win-win.”

Cancer Research UK’s has trialled the new design approach at its first superstore at the Cromwell Retail Park in the Cambridgeshire market town of Wisbech. The charity had already deployed LED solutions from Tamlite during the refit project for the whole estate, completed this summer, with subsequent results indicating that average weekly incomes rose significantly post-refurbishment. Percentage uplift at the Armley store to the west of Leeds was 49% during the first year after the refit was completed. The company has opted to stick with Tamlite on new stores.

It is over the long-term that Cancer Research UK will really register the benefits of its next-generation lighting fit-out. With an expected lifespan of 50,000 hours, the charity is poised to achieve a significant reduction in maintenance costs – no small consideration in shops such as Wisbech, where the high ceilings mean that cherry pickers and closure are a necessity to access and change any failed fixtures. Energy bills are expected to drop by between 40% and 60%.

The low-heat output of the Tamlite LEDs also promises to be hugely advantageous. “Our stores are glass-fronted and can obviously become very hot during the summer period,” says Nigel Wighton. “Older-style light fittings would inevitably have intensified the problem, but with the Tamlite LED equipment we would expect these replacements to assist and reduce the problem of heat in the shops.”