Wilko, one of the UK’s fastest growing retailers, enlisted the expertise of Zumtobel Group to create a £22m turnkey lighting solution, with a focus on environmental sustainability and energy efficiency. Claire Fletcher looks at the finer details of the project and what both companies make of this latest collaboration.
By delivering massive reductions in energy and maintenance costs, Zumtobel Group has confirmed one of its largest turnkey lighting solutions, for homewares and household goods retail giant Wilko. Following trials in two stores, Wilko’s independent energy calculations and site readings proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Zumtobel Group could provide a lighting scheme that met all of the criteria for the company’s stringent requirements and strict environmental ethos, whilst delivering improved illumination levels using Thorn and Zumtobel luminaires.
Wilko is one of the UK’s fastest growing high street retailers with over 380 stores that greet more than 4 million customers every week. Offering a wide range of household products, from housewares and garden furniture to stationery and batteries, the company started to rebrand as Wilko in 2013 to reflect its new mission of ‘where there’s a Wilko, there’s a way’. This enterprise is known for procuring vacant or decommissioned shops for new Wilko sites wherever possible instead of new builds, with the aim of creating a greener footprint. Sustainability and energy efficiency are high on its list of priorities, as is the aim of building a sustainable business culture which takes responsibility for its actions and supports a more sustainable solution for everyone they deal with and everything it touches.
Zumtobel Group came up with a concept product specifically designed for use across the Wilko estate which, after discussion, became a CAD drawing and an engineering sample was constructed. With agreement over the luminaire, Zumtobel Group and Wilko expanded the proposal into a full turnkey lighting solution comprising lighting design, installation, extended warranty and maintenance, in a project that would become Zumtobel Group’s largest single order worth over £22m.
The project was broadened even further to encompass lighting the shop windows, entrance areas, back of house staff support areas, Wilko’s two distribution centres in Manton Woods and Magor and the company’s headquarters in Worksop.
The existing surface mounted luminaires in front of house were removed, along with the necessary wiring alterations, and have been replaced with Thorn’s 46W recessed fittings, to create a uniform illumination with an average 800 Lux. Shop window illumination is provided by luminaires from Zumtobel’s Onico family, entrance areas are illuminated by high performance Craft high bay luminaires from Zumtobel and the storage areas are lit by the robust moisture proof Thorn ForceLED luminaire. Emergency lighting is also included throughout the store and, where required, updated to meet current regulations using a variety of products from the range. Data loggers were installed in a selection of stores’ sales floors post and pre-LED installation, with the purpose of obtaining real time figures.
Unprecedented energy savings of up to 60% have been achieved on the sales floor rising to 70% when including back of house and savings in excess of 9,802kWs. Over 150,000 lighting products and controls have been used which will increase to 230,000 across the full estate, including the new stores, on completion. The project has been totally managed by Zumtobel Group, including the surveys, design, installation, commissioning and ongoing maintenance.
Charlotte Whitmore, CSR manager from Wilko, states: “Energy reduction is one of our environmental priorities within our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy. That’s why we are investing in a LED lighting solution which saves up to 70% energy. As a family business we recognise the long term effect of climate change and this investment will help contribute towards reducing our overall carbon emissions. We are pleased to have Zumtobel Group as our lighting partner. The new LED lighting will enhance the customer experience in store and require virtually no maintenance for several years. Zumtobel Group will provide an effective solution for all our stores so that we can focus on our core business helping people to achieve their ‘to dos’.”
Paul Coggins, SVP Northern Europe Sales Region with the Zumtobel Group, echoes this sentiment, stating: “We are delighted about this order and proud to be the lighting partner of choice for Wilko. With our multi-brand approach we can offer the customer a broad portfolio of products with Tridonic components manufactured in-house. As a group we are capable of handling a project of this scale for Wilko and offering extensive services, enabling the customer to focus on its own core business without having to worry about the topic of lighting. As I see it, these turnkey solutions are a growing trend in the lighting industry. We are witnessing rising demand for services, which we provide together with our partners.”
Perfect for the task
The broad product portfolio of the Zumtobel Group brands meant that the company could supply each area with the perfect luminaire for the task, which enabled Zumtobel Group to effectively project manage the whole scheme, right down to the supply of contractors. Zumtobel Group was responsible for the surveys, design, manufacture, delivery, installation, commissioning and maintenance across the whole project. An extended warranty for 7.5 years (parts and labour) was also provided by Zumtobel Group, in addition to assistance with putting finance in place.
Moving to a recessed solution has enhanced the sales experience, as well as reducing glare, in accordance with the company’s new brand image and there has been no disruption to trading as the refurbishment has been done outside stores opening hours.