Retail Refrigeration Guide

From convenience stores to supermarkets and butchers to bakers it is amazing how many retail outlets rely on refrigeration. It is only when you stop and really think about it that you realise almost every store on the high street will have at least one chiller or freezer.

The other thing that will amaze you is just how many different brands and types of retail refrigeration are out there – it is easy to see how business owners can get confused when looking at all the options.

Here at Capital Cooling we pride ourselves on providing support to our customers, helping them to choose the best item to suit their needs and budget. We work with all of the main refrigeration manufacturers, and have done so for the last 20 years, which enables us to offer clear, unbiased guidance.

Types of Retail Refrigeration

The main type of refrigeration found in retail outlets would be display chillers and freezers. Many stores will have backup storage in the stock room too but the display units out on the shop floor are where the real benefits can be found.

Open Front Chillers

Typically found in high footfall sites where capturing impulse purchases is key open front chillers (also known as multidecks, display chillers or refrigerated shelving) come in a wide range of widths, depths, heights, colours and styles. These can display a large amount of produce (anything from cans of juice to sandwiches and snacks, beers and wine or even fresh meat).

You can get two types of refrigeration system, integral and remote;

Integral: Integral refrigeration equipment has the full refrigeration system built into the chiller/freezer – this means it is very much “plug and play” and is the easiest way to get a refrigerated display in your store. These systems can also be flexible and allows you to easily re-position the equipment in the store should you decide to change the layout at any point.  

Remote: Remote refrigeration equipment consists of two parts – the display element within the store and the refrigeration system which is outside the store. These two parts are connected by professionally installed pipework. This can be a more expensive route but does have its benefits – such as reduced noise and heat in store. 

Glass Door Display Fridge

A hugely popular type of retail refrigeration glass door display fridges are a great, cost effective way to introduce chilled food and drinks to your store. There are many models and sizes to choose from such as single door or double door and they can be hinged or sliding doors. Smaller units include the Under Counter Back Bar Fridge & the Upright Bar Fridge

You can now get glass doors fitted to large multidecks too which can save you loads when it comes to your energy bills.

Glass Door Freezer

Just like a glass door fridge, the freezer version is a great way to start selling frozen items in your store. Again, they come in a wide range of sizes – different number of doors, depths and heights – which allows you to pick the perfect model for your store.

You can also get both remote and integral glass door freezers, with remotes being more suited to large outlets.

Display Chest Freezer

Commonly found in specialist freezer shops or for the display of pre-packaged ice cream glass sliding lid chest freezers are perfect for storing and displaying large amounts of frozen food. Unlike the standard Chest freezers these units provide functionality and style. 

You get two different styles – smaller sliding lid freezer and jumbo island freezers – with the latter measuring up to 2.5 metres long they are perfect for larger stores.

Top Tips for Retail Refrigeration Maintenance

One of the most important things you can do once you have chosen your new retail refrigeration is to maintain it. By doing so you will ensure that you get the very best performance and reduce the likelihood of any problems.

Think of it like a car, you will always service it to keep it running well and a commercial fridge or freezer is no different.

Check out a Planned Preventative Maintenance contract where an engineer will visit and carry out a full inspection, clean and test every year.

You can also carry out basic maintenance yourself such as checking that the condenser (part that looks like a radiator) is free from dust and debris. A blocked condenser is the number one cause of refrigeration failure so hoover this out every few months, or use a soft bristled brush, and you will greatly reduce the risk of any failures.

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