In competitive industries like retail, store owners are constantly looking for ways to gain an edge with consumers. Whether expanding product offerings, marketing to targeted audiences, or providing top-tier service, retailers must stay one step ahead of trends and consumer’s expectations. But there’s one way to take a giant leap forward that many haven’t yet considered.
Adding solar power to your retail store comes with a variety of benefits and incentives. Smaller local operations and big-box stores alike can save money, increase profitability, and gain the support of consumers by transitioning to alternative energy sources.
Solar Benefits for Retail Stores
The team at Solar Design Studio recently finished installing a 150 kW solar array for a new hardware store in Smithville, MO - Porter’s Lumber and Ace Hardware. We were so pleased to work on our second project for this forward-thinking retail owner and provide access to solar power and its additional advantages. Retail establishments that convert to solar power can expect benefits like these:
Reduced Operating Costs
“Energy is the fourth largest in-store operating cost for US retailers (after labor, rent and marketing),” McKinsey discovered in an analysis of retail costs across the country. Lighting and temperature regulation are the largest contributors to this cost for most retailers - and those that rely on refrigeration (like grocery stores) have even higher monthly energy bills. While going solar requires an initial investment, solar arrays continuously save retail owners money which can eventually pay off those costs and more.
Reduced operating costs lead to increased profitability. Not only does the bottom line get larger as major expenses like energy bills decrease, adopting solar power has other benefits that lead to greater profitability as well!
“Nearly 70% of consumers in the U.S. and Canada think it’s important that a brand is sustainable or eco-friendly,” Barron’s reports, younger customers in particular “are increasingly demanding higher ethical standards from companies in a variety of issues such as environmental concerns.” Retailers looking to boost their marketing efforts can get a lot of mileage out of their sustainability efforts and increase the loyalty of new and established customers.
New Potential Product Lines
Some retailers have the opportunity to take this marketing impact even further with the inclusion of new product lines that tie into their commitment to going green. From solar-powered products like outdoor lighting or battery-charging systems to other eco-friendly product lines, a store that walks the walk with alternative energy can expect consumer enthusiasm to extend beyond their marketing efforts.
Added Building Value
Adding solar capabilities to any building, whether commercial or residential, is a great way to improve that property’s value. But for retail stores, especially those in larger buildings with substantial rooftop space, the property value is only the beginning. Solar Builder Magazine notes that “large retailers, typically with significant roof space, have the opportunity to generate additional revenue by selling excess energy to the community via a community solar program,” and building owners with tenants can provide discounted power and still earn extra money.
Solar-Powered Retail on the Rise
With benefits like these, it’s no wonder that major retail chains are adopting solar power for their retail buildings. Companies including Target, Amazon, IKEA, and Walmart are adding solar installations to their stores and distribution centers in order to harness the financial benefits of alternative energy and impress consumers with their commitment to the environment. If you’re a commercial space or retail store owner and are looking to gain a competitive edge, consider investing in solar power to gain access to all of the benefits described above.
The team at Solar Design Studio has extensive experience consulting on, creating, and installing custom solar arrays that are designed to achieve the results you desire. Our familiarity with financing options and available incentives means that our clients’ investment in solar energy earns the greatest possible return. Contact us today to learn more!