Grocery stores across Estonia are struggling to cope with rising energy bills and some are introducing crisis measures to keep costs down.
Lowering temperatures, reducing opening hours and turning off lights are just some of the ways supermarkets are trying to save money this autumn, Tuesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported.
Rimi, Prisma, Maxima and Coop are all introducing new measures.
"in Rimi's case, I can say that the increase in our electricity bills this year will probably be in the order of €7 million compared to last year," Vaido Padumäe, CEO of Rimi Estonia, told AK.
He said the company is trying to act as economically as possible, reducing lighting and heating to cut costs. Prisma and Maxima have turned down their thermostats as well.
Meanwhile, Coop has installed solar panels on 30 of its store's roofs over the past few years.
"And if you take, for example, our logistics center next to Tallinn, we have a solar park there, which on the best days provides up to 40 percent of the center's energy consumption," said Martin Miido, Coop Eesti's communications manager.
Rimi is also planning to review its opening hours and the company is not ruling out closing stores.
"Firstly, we will look at early morning opening times and late evenings and will then evaluate the costs in these specific hours, what are the sales in during these periods versus the costs. Then, by location, we will see if and in which stores it would be worthwhile to shorten opening hours," Padumäe said.
Coop has not decided if it will reduce its operations yet.
"We have a lot of small local stores that are the only stores in their area. We also have to make sure that communities have a place to shop even after work," said Miido.
Rimi will not make redundancies but is considering reducing the amount of overtime on offer. Maxima and Prisma are not planning to alter their opening hours or make redundancies.
"We have the opposite strategy, our goal is to grow in the Estonian market in the future and we will continue to implement this strategy and in the future we will open new units," said Teemu Kilpiä, Prisma Peremarketite Country Manager for Estonia.
Editor: Marko Tooming, Helen Wright