Husky Complete Solutions is making inroads into a lucrative niche market that is tipped to become the next big thing in retail refrigeration.
Philip Kelly, who runs the company, based in Newry, Northern Ireland, reports a marked increase in sales of glass door ‘remote’ chillers.
They are already commonplace in large supermarket chains, but Mr Kelly detects a growing trend among larger independent stores to jump on the ‘remote’ bandwagon.
“This is a relatively new market for us, but we are shaking things up a little, and making an impact,” Mr Kelly said.
Remote units are so called because the motors that drive the refrigeration cabinets are mounted on an outside wall – freeing up space in the shopping area and doing away with the non-stop noise nuisance that some equipment can create.
“Conventional remotes are simply open refrigerated cabinets, which trap the cold inside with an ‘air curtain,’ and they work very well and very efficiently,” said Mr Kelly.
“Glass-fronted units have doors or lids and create a lot more visual impact with a display of the goods on sale. They also keep more cold air inside and therefore cost less to run.”
Energy efficient units that are approved by the Carbon Trust can qualify for interest free loans, significantly reducing the pay-back period for the initial investment.
“Loans of up to £150,000 are available – but retailers have to show in advance where the money will be spent, and that they will be buying energy efficient equipment,” said Mr Kelly.
“There seems to be a big push to persuade shopkeepers to invest in energy-saving equipment at the moment,” he added. “Conventional remotes are still our biggest sellers, and will remain so for some time to come, but the future lies in the glass door versions.
“It’s true that there is a price difference, but retailers can recoup the additional cost through reduced running costs over the life of the equipment,” said Mr Kelly.
“At the same time our engineers are constantly working to increase efficiency and cut costs – evidence of which can be seen in the new Intelligenzia range of chillers and freezers which can reduce electricity usage by as much as 40 per cent.”