Shop Till You Drop (And Don't Worry About Buying More Bulbs!)
> Skylights were found to be positively and significantly correlated to higher sales. All other things being equal, an average non-skylit store in the chain would be likely to have 40% higher sales with the addition of skylights, with a probable range somewhere between 31% to 49%. This was found with 99% statistical certainty. After the number of hours open per week, the presence of skylights was the best predictor of the sales per store of all the variables that we considered. Thus, if a typical non-skylit store were averaging sales of $2/sf, then its sales might be expected to increase to somewhere between $2.61 to $2.98 with the addition of a skylighting system. The skylights are seen to have a major impact on the overall operation of the chain. Were the chain to add the skylighting system to the remaining 33% of their stores, their yearly gross sales are predicted to increase by 11%. The difference between having none of their stores skylit and all their stores skylit is a 40% increase in gross sales for the retail chain.
(Heschong Mahone Group, Inc. www.h-m-g.com, 2005)
> Wal-Mart's experienced great benefits by daylighting its store in Lawrence, Kansas. Sales were significantly higher in the side of the store that utilized skylights than the same products at other Wal-Mart stores. To test the correlation, products were swapped from the artificially lit to the daylit sections and those located ╬under the skylights again had significantly higher sales while those shifted to the artificial lights returned to their national sales average.
(Portland Business Journal, July 19, 1999)
> A 1999 Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) daylighting study analyzed a retail chain of 108 stores where two-thirds of the stores were lit with skylights and one-third was not. All other things being equal, the study found that the daylighted stores had 40 percent higher sales than those without.
(Heschong Mahone Group "Skylighting and Retail Sales" report at www.h-m-g.com, 1999)
> In relation to the PG&E study, the link between high consumer activity and skylighting occurs despite the fact that many of the customers interviewed state that they were unaware of the presence of skylights. Rather, the customers responded that they frequent the skylit stores because of non-specific positive environmental feelings, such as that the stores feel cleaner, more spacious, more open or brighter. The authors of the study offer several hypotheses concerning why the skylights encourage these sentiments, including
Customer Loyalty: Although they are unaware of the skylights, customers may routinely travel a little farther to shop at a skylit store because it seems cleaner or brighter.
More Relaxed Customers: The skylights may impact customers in a manner similar to piped music, which has been found effective at relaxing customers and encouraging them to spend more time shopping in the store.
Better Visibility: It may be easier for customers to find products and/or discriminate between alternatives with daylight illumination.
More Attractive Products: it is possible that visual quality provided by daylighting, with high color rendition and three-dimensional modeling, may make products more appealing.
Employee Morale: It could be that employees working under natural light have higher morale and provide better service as a result.
(Houston Business Journal, September22, 2000)