Why Do Grocery Stores Need Generators?

Grocery stores and supermarkets have become a one-stop-shop for most of the things you need on a daily basis. Many customers choose their supermarket based on how close and convenient it is to them when they need something. As consumers, we inadvertently become loyal to a grocery store over time, because it’s always there when we need it. We become familiar with it, so we know how to find what we need quickly. However, that loyalty can shift rather quickly when severe weather hits.

When severe weather causes power outages, people rush to stores to stock up on things like non-perishable foods and water. However, if they pull up to your store and see that you are closed because your store does not have power, they will look elsewhere to get what they need. Although there may be some store loyalty built over time, it only takes one incident to drive a customer to another store, providing your competitors with a chance to woo your customer.

Having a standby generator in place to protect your business will not only keep your store up and operating when your customers need it most, but can help prevent financial loss.  Aside from lost business, there are other risks involved should your store lose power for an extended period of time. Being a supermarket, chances are that you will have a store full of food and probably more than 50 percent of that food will need to be frozen or refrigerated. In the event of a power outage, the fridges and freezers will turn off, frozen products will begin to thaw, and refrigerated products will begin to spoil. If the problem is not fixed immediately, your store could lose thousands of dollars worth of food.

Most grocery store operators will have insurance for things like this, however; check the fine print in your policy.  Some business insurance policies do not cover food losses within the first 72 hours of a power outage. If frozen or refrigerated food is left at room temperature for 24 hours, there’s a good chance that it will be spoiled already and not covered by the policy, leaving you on the hook for its replacement. As with downtime, the solution here is the same, a standby generator with an automatic transfer switch.  Standby generator systems start working as soon as your main power supply is cut, which means that your store’s refrigerators and freezers won’t skip a beat, saving all your investment in frozen and refrigerated foods.

Another issue to consider when the power goes out is losing your lighting and security. When your power supply shuts off, it’s not just the refrigerators and freezers that will be affected. The lighting in the supermarket, door alarms, and security cameras will also be turned off. This puts your store at risk of theft or vandalism with no way to track activity in the store. It also increases the risk of a customer or employee getting hurt due to low visibility.  Having a standby generator in your supermarket will ensure that all lighting, security equipment, refrigerators, and freezers are kept on so you can carry on with business as usual to serve your customers.

Don’t just take our word for it, major grocery store chains in areas that are prone to hurricanes are making large investments in standby generators for their stores. Successful grocery store chain, Publix, invested over $100 million dollars in 2013 on standby generators for all of their Florida locations deemed “hurricane-prone” which totaled to over 500 of their 787 stores in Florida. This huge investment came after some hard lessons during the very active 2004 hurricane season when four storms walloped the state in close sequence. The 4 major storms that hit Florida that year turned most of the Florida Publix locations into dark stores full of rotting food when thousands of customers were out looking for food and supplies in the aftermath. In that 2004 season alone, Publix lost $60 million worth of food. This number isn’t factoring in the business Publix also lost from not being able to be open, helping the recovery efforts. Publix has stated that their goal is to have a standby generator at every Publix location which is a total of almost 1200 stores along the Southeastern Coast.  

So, take a page out of Publix playbook and protect your store and your community with a standby generator. Contact our team of generator experts to review your options.