It’s all there: the wine, the cheese, the cute little crackers that look like mini pieces of toast. The flowers and chocolates look lovely. The lights are dim — in fact, most of them are off. The corny elevator music is playing and the smell of roasted chicken and freshly baked bread wafts by me as I look around expectantly. Where is he? I know he is here somewhere… Where is the meat counter guy? Oh, forgive me — did you think this was a date with my husband? No, I am here to see the meat man.
Here in Southern California, we have had a uniquely hot October and just last week, I took this photo of the dairy section at my local grocery store. As you can see, the “ambiance” is one of reduced lighting. During our heatwaves, businesses help out by turning off most of their lights to conserve energy and try to help us avoid a brown out.
At first, I found it a bit uncomfortable walking into a store that already looks like it is in a brown out, but as I walked around, it really didn’t cause me any difficulties while shopping. I actually think that I was a bit more conservative in my purchasing as I wasn’t drawn in by the big displays with bright lights — you know, the Vegas marketing effect.
I think that we probably could do with about 50% of the amount of lighting that we see on any normal day in our stores. And if they would have the entire roof of these stores covered with solar panels, I would think that we could cut power consumption substantially here in Southern California. In the meantime, I will be sure to dress up a bit more next time I hit the market during a heatwave.