Walgreen’s® furthers its mission of sustainability by installing Cree® LED lighting in their new Goodyear, Arizona store — reducing total cost of ownership and the carbon footprint, while providing a more inviting shopping experience for customers.
According to company history, in 1901 when Charles Walgreen opened the first Walgreen’s drugstore in Chicago, “new, bright lights were installed to create a cheerful, warm ambiance,” a marked departure from the cramped, dimly-lit stores of Walgreen’s competitors.
Today, lighting continues to be a key element through PURE (People Using Resources Efficiently) — Walgreen’s corporate sustainability program. As Walgreen’s undertook construction planning for three new stores, including the Goodyear, Arizona location, they looked to Cree, an industry leader in LED lighting technology, for opportunities to reduce energy and carbon footprints while also lowering the total cost of ownership.
According to Jamie Meyers, Manager of Sustainability for Walgreen’s, “PURE Walgreens is about driving down our carbon footprints primarily by controlling energy. We had been looking at LED for quite a while. And it’s really the Goodyear store that told us it’s time to roll this out on a larger level. So we are rolling out LED lighting to all our new stores moving forward.”
Meyers says of the Goodyear project: “The Cree® products really fit into what we were trying to do. What’s really differentiating Cree is the efficacy of the fixture — the lumen output per watt. Total cost of ownership — that’s really the driver and where LEDs can make their mark.”
The Goodyear store includes a sales floor lit with the Cree CS18™ and CS14™ LED linear luminaires, CR14™ and CR22™ LED architectural troffers in the pharmacy, and SR6™ LED downlights in the waiting and outdoor canopy areas — all backed by Cree’s industry-leading 10-year limited warranty.
Powered by Cree TrueWhite® Technology, the Cree fixtures deliver 90+ CRI, providing exceptional color rendering. These products deliver some of the best light levels in the industry, offering significant energy savings since less power is needed to illuminate the items on all levels of the shelves. And since the Cree LED luminaires are fully dimmable for additional energy management, the store benefits from even greater energy savings.
The previous spec called for 32-watt T8 fluorescents on the sales floor, with 100-watt metal halide fixtures for the outdoor canopy. According to Meyers, “We typically use 25-watt, but we had to jump up to 32 watts in the fluorescent solution so we wouldn’t get any striation when dimmed.”
Adds Meyers: “Especially if you’re introducing daylighting, as we did, the Cree® LED lights work well because they’re already made to dim. You don’t have to put a different piece of equipment on or increase your wattage like you do with fluorescents.”
A pleasant surprise for Meyers was the light output: “The biggest thing I’ve been impressed with is that the performance Cree says they’ll provide, they’ve always met or exceeded. The fixture performed much better than anticipated. Because of that, we are actually able to go with a fixture with less light output and energy usage. Because the engine to drive that didn’t cost as much, we’re able to save money and still get the same lighting levels we wanted. That was a big win for us.”
From a retail lighting perspective, the vertical light distribution was outstanding. According to Meyers, “The vertical illumination is much more even and we had no issues with getting the same amount of light from top to bottom.”
As for light quality, Meyers states: “One of the first things we noticed at Goodyear was how much the product really popped. LED lighting really brings out the vibrant colors in our products and just makes them look better.”
It’s not just the Walgreen’s sustainability team who are satisfied. According to Brandi Elenes, the Goodyear store manager, “The staff likes the new lighting and how much brighter the store feels.”
The customer experience has improved as well. “The colors of the products pop more. Customers can easily see and find items on the bottom shelves. They’ve also commented on how much brighter and open the store feels,” says Elenes. “It’s a different shopping experience overall.”