Freezer Display Merchandisers Buyers' Guide
The right freezer display merchandiser can visibly display your frozen products in order to increase impulse buys and overall sales. These merchandisers feature glass doors that allow customers to see the products without opening the doors, saving you money in energy costs.
The first thing you will need to take into consideration when purchasing a freezer display merchandiser is what size you will need. This will be based on the amount of room you have, and the amount of merchandise you plan on keeping in the freezer. Freezer display merchandisers start at sizes small enough to sit on a countertop, and go all the way up to full-sized, stand-up freezers, which can have one to three sections.
These units are typically sold by cubic footage, but shelf capacity is just as important. Take note of the number and type of shelves included with each unit, and consider how they will work with the products you plan to display. Keep in mind that air flow is important in a freezer, so packing it too full will result in an overworked compressor that struggles to keep the food at the proper holding temperature.
Merchandiser Design Considerations
There are two main kinds of doors available on freezer display merchandisers. Swing doors swing open from one side, which brings the possibility of blocking aisle space, but are very convenient for stocking, since they open all the way out. Most swing doors are self-closing and have a magnetic latching mechanism to ensure they close securely when customers are done. Sliding doors are only available on freezers with two or more sections, but are great for locations where the aisle may be too narrow to comfortably accommodate a swinging door. Both of these door types can be heated, which prevents fogging and condensation so that the view of the products inside is never obscured.
As with any freezer, choosing the right compressor location is important. Most freezer compressors are either top or bottom mounted. Bottom-mounted compressors collect more dust and dirt due to their location near the floor, but they are also easier to access for service. There is marginally less room overall in the freezer when the compressor is mounted on the bottom, due to refrigerant lines having to run through the back of the cabinet. That consideration may be offset by the fact the bottom shelf is higher, meaning more visibility for your product and keeping your customers from having to stoop.
Top-mounted compressors may be more difficult to service, but due to their location on top of the machine away from the debris of the floor, they draw in much less dirt. Because hot air rises, the top-mounted compressors are sometimes less energy efficient, but having the entire refrigeration system in on place equals more storage space.
Some smaller freezers may also have their compressors mounted on one side or the other, or in the rear, each of which brings with it different clearance considerations. Side-mounted compressors cannot be located too near walls or other equipment, which may not be viable for crowded lineups or countertops. Rear-mounted condensers require ample clearance from the back of the equipment to the wall or other solid items behind them.
Other Features to Consider
Finding a freezer that displays your products in the most attractive way possible can increase your sales. Many freezer display merchandisers offer features specifically for merchandising, such as lit signage that can be customized for your store, or included by the manufacturer to label what you will be selling. All freezer display merchandisers are lighted, but some include LED lights instead of fluorescent, creating a brighter, more energy-efficient light to showcase your products. Many freezers also offer various exterior finish options, so you can select a freezer that will match your store's décor.
Another option that some freezer display merchandisers offer is a bottom drain; this makes spill and routine cleaning easy. However, regulations state that this type of freezer cannot be used for storing open food. Be aware of what you will be selling, and the ideal holding temperature for those items. Some freezers allow you to adjust the holding temperature within a certain range, while others have a set holding temperature, so be sure yours can hold the temperature you need. To help keep energy costs down, look for freezers that are ENERGY STAR™ certified, as they have been put through rigorous testing to ensure their energy efficiency.