Dexretail and Southern Co-op partner up once again to achieve sustainability goals

Southern Co-op partnership continues – After the success of a highly co-ordinated LED rollout for 56 funeral homes last year, Dexretail was approached again by the independent regional co-operative to design, manufacture and deliver a bespoke LED system for a new Co-op food store in Abbotswood, Romsey. The design concept was extremely well received and will be adopted for all new stores and refurbishments moving forward.


Southern Co-op is a large, independent co-operative society with its roots in the south of England. Their main business is food – with a network of over 200 food stores but they also offer end of life services including funeral homes, crematoria and a natural burial ground. They’ve been owned and traded by people across the region for over 140 years and their values reflect a fair, fresh, for all approach to business.

Southern Co-op believes in purpose before profit and they strive to manage their business in a sustainable manner to ensure long term success for its customers, colleagues, members and stakeholders alike. Southern Co-op are committed to

working with local suppliers across their trading area enriching the commerce in the region and reducing carbon miles of its supply chain.

As one of the leading manufacturers of energy-efficient lighting in the UK based in Gillingham Dorset, Dextra Group was a great match for Southern Co-op’s values and principles; fully equipped to offer bespoke sustainable lighting designs, unrivalled delivery times, a comprehensive range of ECA (Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme) compliant low-energy LED products, and WEEE compliant recycling of end of life products.


Last year, Southern Co-op entrusted Dexretail to provide high-quality energy-efficient lighting for its funeral care estate. The project involved a high degree of planning and co-ordination to complete within the 3 month time frame. The success of this extensive renovation project has led Dextra Group to become Southern Co-op’s sole lighting supplier and recycling service provider across all their business areas and has since delivered bespoke solutions to a further 24 stores across the south.

The launch of Southern Co-op’s Abbotswood store marked the introduction of a new design concept for the future; serving as an example for upcoming refurbishments and new stores. A future-proof lighting design was required that could be customised to meet the brand’s new aesthetic whilst abiding to the Southern Co-op’s sustainability policy by minimising energy use and delivering both value for money and a high return on investment for its members and stakeholders.

“Sensor and dimming controls would also help reduce overall energy savings by an average of 30% in addition to the predicted energy savings for further ROI”


Dexretail’s design and specification teams worked closely with Southern Co-op to bring the preliminary sketches of the design to life. The objective was to create a bespoke lighting solution that would meet specific criteria regarding environmental and financial sustainability, brand consistency, health and safety, comfort, functionality and aesthetic appeal whilst integrating with the store’s architecture/infrastructure.

In addition to being compliant to statutory building regulations, the new system would help boost productivity and sales by highlighting products more effectively and offering bright, yet comfortable lux and uniformity levels, colour temperature and rendition to suit the purposes of both front and back of house areas. The challenge therefore was to design a versatile lighting system for both a vibrant shopping environment and comfortable workplace simultaneously.

As with most retail spaces, product displays and store layout are subject to constant change; keeping the sales environment fresh, up-to-date and effective. The new lighting system would provide staff with the flexibility to accommodate these changes, offering appropriate lighting controls and versatile luminaire design. Sensor and dimming controls would also help reduce overall energy savings by an average of 30% in addition to the predicted energy savings for further ROI.

Handpicked ECA compliant, LED products were to be used throughout the store to ensure the installation would keep energy usage and maintenance to a minimum whilst deducting 100% of the cost of the new equipment against Southern Co-op’s taxable profits for the year of purchase. The new system would also help boost the business’s performance in the CRC league table for improved ROIs and green credentials.

The advantages of opting for LED instead of fluorescent and HID alternatives include a 60% average reduction in energy consumption; they don’t shatter and are often electrically safer due to relatively low voltage required for their operation are more amenable to dynamic digital control; they have low heat emission helping the store manage HVAC systems more cost-effectively and are manufactured without harmful material such as mercury – making them ideal for food safe environments. As LED chips have no fragile filament or glass tube they are also more resistant to cold temperatures and shock compared to fluorescent lamps.

As Dexretail’s LED products are manufactured using the latest high-quality 3535 Lumileds sources, the new installation is set to minimise maintenance in the long-term, as unlike even the most efficient fluorescent lamps which require frequent replacement, these LM80-verified chips offer 90% lumen maintenance over the first 60,000 hours of operation and increased reliability when paired with efficient Philips or Tridonic drivers.

All products supplied are covered by Dextra Group’s comprehensive 5-year warranty.