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Energy costs are a major concern for supermarket operators, since they typically represent the third largest operating expense after the cost-of-goods sold and labor. Supermarkets may also be some of the largest customers of electricity in an area and have a high "base load" (stable) demand. In September 2001, a supplemental energy management survey was sent to stores participating in the 2001 Supermarket Panel to gain insights into how grocery retailers are addressing the energy challenge. There are significant differences in energy management and energy costs across stores grouped by ownership group size, store format and region. Larger stores and those with higher sales per square foot are typically more advanced in energy management. In particular, the results identify the characteristics of stores that are most receptive to energy management and cost conservation initiatives.


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