Minneapolis-based Target Corporation has sent out notifications to its suppliers of self-contained refrigeration equipment indicating that its policy is to use only propane as the refrigerant in self-contained units, according to a presentation delivered at the ATMOsphere America conference in June.
“Target asked its suppliers, ‘Where do you stand on that? Do you need help?’,” refrigeration consultant Keilly Witman – owner of Boise, Idaho-based KW Refrigerant Management Strategy – told particpants in the Chicago event.
“The suppliers said that’s already where we’re going, so it’s no problem at all,” she added.
Witman and Paul Anderson, director of engineering for Target – the second-largest discount retailer in the United States after Walmart – gave a joint presentation in September 2015 at the Food Marketing Institute’s Energy & Store Development Conference, where they discussed propane-based refrigerated cases. Back then, Anderson said Target was testing the equipment at smaller Target outlets (see, ‘Hydrocarbons: The Refrigerant of the Future for Supermarkets?’ Accelerate America, October 2015).
The following month, at a White House-hosted meeting, Anderson announced that all of Target’s new stand-alone coolers in stores with a compressor capacity below 2,200 BTU/h will be HFC-free starting in January 2016.
In her ATMOsphere America presentation, Witman also said that Target had talked to contractors who might be working on the propane equipment about the chain’s expectations. “Target said, ‘Here’s where we’re going; we need you to be able to handle that,” she noted. “That gave contractors the signal that they needed to provide any training necessary for their service technicians, which enabled Target to be very comfortable about moving forward.”
In addition to using propane cases on an ad-hoc basis in stores, Target has a few stores opening in the next six to eight months that will use only propane self-contained systems, added Witman.
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