Urban Food Retail


Urban Food Retailing in the 21st Century

The challenge of providing a solution for air-conditioning and refrigeration for supermarkets in densely populated, urban areas, reflects a growing need for localize shopping and a connection to the neighborhood

Athens is one of the greatest cities in the world. Full of culture and vibrant colours, a city the virtually never sleeps, home of more than 5 million people. However, in terms of urban planning Athens can be a bit of a nightmare. Densely packed neighbourhoods and an abundance of condominium type buildings, translate into residential and commercial areas blending with each other. Although car usage is quite high, people prefer to shop locally, where a number of smaller, more traditional shop still thrive and compete with the larger supermarket chains. Every neighbourhood has the need for one, or more stores. More than three major companies are already in competition for this space and who ever combines a correct business model with an aggressive growth is going to dominate.

Our challenge? Provide a portfolio of adaptive commercial and technical solutions for every situation possible, when it comes to commercial refrigeration and air-conditioning in small (100-200m2) stores in densely populated areas of the city.

Our strategy? Flexibility. We set out a list of design principles that we could not, under any circumstance, violate and treat each case as a different scenario. No “discount store”, one size-fits-all solutions. Back to the drawing board with every particular case. Our principles:

  • Maximum refrigerated display and storage area
  • Temperature stability for the products and the store interior
  • No noise problems with neighbours
  • Energy efficiency of the store

To achieve all of the four aforementioned goals at the same time we relied on our partner’s portfolio of products EXKAL, PASTORFRIGOR and DAIKIN. For the low temperature cabinets we went two solutions, one with a plug-in cabinet and one with a remote. Our plug-in solution came from PASTORFRIGOR, utilizing the GENOVA plug-in cabinet. The advantage of the this cabinet is that although it is in a plug-in range the front height of the cabinet is very low and the display and storage area are comparable to the remote cabinets. Also aesthetically the cabinets does not share the clunky image of usual plug in freezers. We gain: No outdoor unit required Low noise and thermal output, since we are only installing around 3m of plug-in cabinets High commercial value of the cabinet High utilization of retail space For all remote cabinets in low and medium temperature, we utilized the extremely versatile range of EXKAL. As a company that controls every aspect of each refrigeration cabinet, from design to manufacturing of all components, we have found that this is truly the most efficient product solution in the market. We only selected cabinets in the Sustainable range of EXKAL, with specially designed airflow, evaporators and glass packages on doors and covers. The result was an extremely low cooling demand of the installation that pays off in low energy consumption and also lets us design and use really small sized units and compressors. Finally in terms of cooling equipment we decided to go with the Daikin Refrigeration range. The 2 solutions we utilized were: Zeas R410 inverter condensing unit for MT and Booster inverter unit for LT (when we opted for remote cabinets for LT) Convenipack inverter condensing unit for MT and Booster inverter unit for LT (when we opted for remote cabinets for LT) The benefits were: Footprint - The Daikin convenipack solution enabled us to combine refrigeration and air-conditioning in a single, low noise packaged unit. This reduced the footprint of our solution massively. Indoor installation option. Utilizing the high static condense fans we were able to install the units in some indoor spaces and bypass building problems. Low-noise. The units are extremely low noise, even under full load conditions. Refrigerant suitability. R410A and the capacities of the Daikin units are 100% in-line with the F-gas EU laws. Energy efficiency. ZEAS and Convenipack units have some of the highest part-load efficiency ratings in the market. Especially covenipack units, utilize condenser heat rejection to heat the sales area, thus providing even more savings. By mixing and matching all the above products, according to the individual requirements of each case (no indoor machinery room, no outdoor place to install units, low ceiling space, very crowded neighbourhood around store and many more) we are able to boast a 100% success rate for our customers. Every store is a new challenge!