Grocery Outlet

At a Glance


Retail and Apparel

Project Types

Commercial Energy Efficiency, Data Analysis, Engagement and Behavior Change




Emeryville, CA


Inspired by Grocery Outlet’s strategic sourcing initiatives, Ruojuan Yu developed a proactive energy management framework for the company.


As Grocery Outlet, an extreme value retailer of quality, name-brand consumables & fresh products, continues to expand its store base rapidly, it starts exploring opportunities to improve its new store design. Ruojuan Yu, a 2020 EDFCC Fellow, was tasked with developing future store design ideas that consider many important factors, including cost saving, sales performance, customer experience, and operations and energy efficiency.


Ruojuan approached the challenge with a three-part solution:

  • Improve Energy Efficiency through Strategic Sourcing Initiatives: Ruojuan contributed to Grocery Outlet’s procurement initiatives by paying special attention to energy efficiency and sustainability of the LED lighting designs and materials (for both retrofits and new stores).

  • Incorporate a cross-functional and iterative approach to update future efficient store designs with multi-stakeholder input: examining frozen case types used in stores and sales performance, Ruojuan emphasized not only the valuable input from customer insights, but also the importance of meeting regulations by engineering modeling.

Establish a proactive Energy Management Strategy: Ruojuan provided a pilot test of creating 79 Grocery Outlet stores in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and demonstrated a framework to initiate energy efficiency projects.



After conducting Request for Proposals (RFPs) for the LED Lighting components, Grocery Outlet will be able to achieve cost and energy savings from its LED lighting repair & replacement program, retrofits, and new store development:

  • LED retrofit: potential to save each store (about 100 stores currently with fluorescent lamps) 26 to 61MWh on electricity each year;

  • New design: potential to have a significant cost reduction and save each store (about 40 new stores / year) 11MWh on electricity each year.

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