The NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) annual trade show is not primarily an equipment show — it’s a somewhat terrifying exposition featuring the amazing variety of processed foods, sugary drinks, alcohol and tobacco products and varied knick-knacks that are found in convenience stores throughout the land.
That being said, the Freeaire crew returned from the recent NACS show in Chicago feeling upbeat and positive about the experience. We went to this event with the specific goal of forging new connections with small to mid-sized chains of convenience stores that would be good potential users of Freeaire systems, and in this goal we were successful. We also had the opportunity to speak with several journalists covering the event for various industry publications.
Freeaire was quite unique at NACS in that while there were other equipment manufacturers present, no others were devoted to solely to economization and energy efficiency. Attendees did appreciate our approach to reducing costs and energy consumption. Many visitors also commented favorably on the durability and quality build of the Freeaire system.
Here is a quick synopsis of some of the feedback and questions from visitors to the Freeaire booth during the show:
Booth visitor: ‘Wow, I knew somebody would eventually do this (use outside air for cooling)!’
Booth visitor: ‘I’ve seen this type of thing before, but never this nice, never this polished and refined looking.’
Booth visitor: ‘So, your Cooler Controller reduces evaporator fan run times, compressor run times, door heater run times, cooler lighting and what else?’
Freeaire: ‘It can also control electric defrost and it controls our Polar Power outside air system.’
Booth visitor (possibly a competitor): [Speaking to a colleague] ‘Their one box does it all, we can’t touch that.’
Booth visitor: ‘So this isn’t just about outside air – your controller actually saves energy in the summer too, huh?’
Freeaire: ‘Yes, it does.’
Booth visitor: “’Fantastic, that’s great, a year round solution with the ability to make use of winter’s cold too, perfect! I’ll be in touch!’
Booth visitor: So how long have you guys been doing this?’
Freeaire: ‘Well, Richard started this in 1978.’
Booth visitor: ‘That’s longer than I’ve been alive!’
Booth visitor: ‘It seems that you have thought of everything with this system. I’ve seen these before, but nothing this complete’.
Booth visitor: ‘The last time I saw anything like this, it was a simple fan hooked to a light switch. This is real now, isn’t it?’
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