FACTBOX: Dim the lights: Europe’s retailers scramble to cut energy use

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Nov 25 (Reuters) – Shutting early, switching off the lights and lowering temperatures are among the measures being taken by Europe’s retailers and shopping malls to try and cut energy use and contain a crisis stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The bloc is struggling to contain natural gas prices after Russia slashed supplies.

Below is a summary of these efforts:


Some supermarkets, such as Belgian grocer Colruyt , France’s Carrefour , Leclerc and Auchan and three branches of Commercianti Indipendenti Associati, part of Italian chain Conad, have dimmed lights.

Shopping mall operator Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield URW.AS and Italy’s Coop Alleanza 3.0 lowered lighting by 30% during opening hours.

France’s Casino CASP.PA started switching off lights after hours in stores of its brands Franprix, Casino and Cdiscount from October, a measure Coop Switzerland’s supermarkets and brands are also implementing on a voluntary basis.

Luxury companies including LVMH , Ermenegildo Zegna and Italian fashion house Valentino have started switching off lights in shops earlier at night, while French luxury brand Kering PRTP.PA has switched off lights in unoccupied areas.

Leclerc, French consumer electronics retailer FNAC Darty FNAC.PA, Coop Alleanza 3.0 and shopping mall owner KlepierreLOIM.PA, are turning off outdoor illuminated signs after closing, while the Austrian branch of multinational retail chain SPAR Group and French telecoms group Iliad reduced the hours of outdoor lighting.

The French group also cut the time that advertising screens and shop displays are switched on. Similarly, sportswear maker Adidas has reduced the operation time of LED screens, while fashion group OTB since the spring has turned off window-display lighting at night, and has installed sensors to turn lights on and off in staff rooms.

Spanish discount supermarket chain DIA will automate systems that were previously manual in around 1,000 stores in Spain, 30% of its shops in the country, by adjusting lighting schedules according to sunlight.

In Germany, privately-held MediaMarktSaturn Group restricted the operation of TV sets on sales floors. Stores can additionally switch off escalators and reduce lighting levels.

Many companies, including British retailer Marks & Spencer MKS.L and Germany’s Schwarz group, owner of discount supermarket Lidl and supermarket chain Kaufland, have also converted lights to more efficient LEDs.


Many retailers across the food and fashion industry have reduced heating at their sites by 1-2 degrees Celsius (33.8°F-35.6°F).

French consumer electronics retailer FNAC Darty expects to save an estimated 1.4 Gigawatt (GWh) this winter by lowering temperatures by two degrees in its stores and offices.

Klepierre , which owns more than a hundred malls across Europe, said it will turn on heating and air conditioning systems one hour after opening and shut them off one hour before closing.

Peer Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield said it additionally shut air curtains – artificially created streams of moving air – while OTB, which owns brands such as Diesel, Jil Sander, Maison Margiela, Marni and Viktor&Rolf, limited their use at shop entrances to reduce heat dispersion.


Although Aldi Nord planned to shorten opening hours at numerous branches from November, Leclerc may consider doing so in an emergency and MediaMarktSaturn Group said its stores across Germany can implement the measure on a voluntary basis.


Swedish fashion retailer KappAhl said Christmas decorations in its stores would be stripped down this year, favouring graphics and props it can use again, over lights or gadgets with high-energy consumption.

Coop Switzerland’s stores can limit Christmas lighting to indoors on a voluntary basis, the group said, while the three branches of Commercianti Indipendenti Associati said they would cancel festive lights.


Some retailers, such as Auchan, Marks & Spencer and Schwarz group, were looking at cutting the energy consumption of its refrigerators by adjusting temperatures or putting doors on some chillers to avoid cold loss.

Auchan also said it would halve the use of ovens for its in-store bakeries and catering in an emergency.

Energy crisis dims festive sparkle in Europe’s shops

(Compiled by Elena Vardon, Linda Pasquini, Alessandro Parodi, Matteo Allievi and Diana Mandiá; editing by Josephine Mason and Louise Heavens)

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