You know how when you were a teenager (or a 20-something living on your parents’ couch) and you stood around with the refrigerator door hanging open, and your mom would be all “hey, I’m not paying to cool the whole neighborhood”? Well, when supermarkets leave the produce and meat and dairy sitting out in the open, they are paying to cool the whole store, because those veggies are essentially sitting in an open refrigerator. That costs a lot, first of all, and second of all it wastes a lot of energy and precious resources. U.K. supermarket chain the Co-operative has decided to put an end to this rather silly practice, and has equipped 100 of its stores with produce refrigerators that have doors. The Co-operative estimates it will save about $80 million a year with this practice.
Other stores, however, are afraid to do the same. They think that if these items are not laid out exactly the way customers have always expected to see them, people will shy away from making purchases. This was a concern at the Co-operative as well, so they equipped the refrigerators with LED lights to better highlight the items, and customers seem to find this a satisfactory exchange. There has been no decline in sales.