M&S makes 'connected lighting' IoT play

Marks & Spencer (M&S) is working with lighting systems provider Signify to find ways of centrally managing its store lights which could lead to several operational and environmental benefits.

Describing the move as a “further step in the Retail IoT [Internet of Things] space”, the supplier unveiled its Interact Retail multisite management system at the Euroshop trade show in Germany, on Tuesday (18 February).

The technology, which allows users to manage lighting scenes and schedules for stores and distribution centres from a central platform, and gives facility managers a central view of energy consumption across a retail estate, has been vetted by M&S.

The retailer has just finished a pilot using the technology at its Bristol, Cribbs Causeway store, and is currently assessing how many stores it wants to link up to the system. Encompassing all of its shop formats, the new lighting platform could potentially be rolled out to 300 stores.

Other stated benefits of the cloud-based lighting platform, according to Signify, include its ability to enable store maintenance teams to gain immediate insight into current faults and flag potential future defects before they occur, while reducing operational costs.

Signify said the previous iteration of its Interact Retail tool has more than 2,000 deployments across the retail industry.

Alan Chisholm, head of standards & innovation for property & store development at M&S, said: “Compared to sites with conventional lighting controls, the new system enables us to be much more responsive.

“We can now adapt the light settings within the same day and deploy this to any number of stores connected to the Interact Retail multisite system. This will help us to reduce our operational expenses and meet our sustainability targets.”

Interact Retail said its newly launched multisite technology can provide a platform for the general illumination of the sales floor and back-of-house space, as well as for refrigeration and display lighting, soft pastel up-lighting, and outdoor lighting for parking and shop façades.