Supermarket chain Waitrose has worked with Seymour Manufacturing International to develop and refine a new innovation which provides food stores with an instant chilled space, wherever and whenever they need it.

Cold-Korner is the brainchild of Seymour Manufacturing International, which manufacturers and supplies thermal insulation systems using its celebrated lightweight energy-saving material, Tempro®.

Waitrose funded the development and placed Cold-Korner units in two of its busy London stores, allowing SMI to test the product in real-life situations.

After a year of trials, SMI was ready to roll out the product to a host of other retailers.

“We are grateful to Waitrose for their co-operation,” said SMI managing director Brian Seymour. “We have supplied Waitrose for more than 35 years with a variety of our products, and appreciate their unbiased opinion and professional business-like observations.

“So they were a natural choice for Cold-Korner. We undertake significant trials for years with all of our new products, but field use is always the most valuable.”

Cold-Korner is an easy-to-install flexible enclosure which can turn an area of a store room into an instant chill space, only when needed.

It can create a 2°C temperature in under 15 minutes from a 13 amp evaporator with fast draw down, and takes on average just four hours to install.

SMI’s Track-Rack® shelving inside the chill zone ensures maximum storage and protection of produce, and the system requires little service or maintenance.

Waitrose has been using Cold-Korner in its store at Highbury since March of last year, and in its Clapham Common branch since last August.

Mr Seymour said: “There is no doubt that Cold-Korner can increase a company’s sales and reduce delivery costs, with minimal capital outlay.

“It can be designed on a bespoke basis, extended, adapted, or relocated, and all parts can be repaired, replaced or recycled.

“The Waitrose partnership has allowed us to carry out continuous monitoring of Cold-Korner’s performance during its day-to-day use, and we now plan to introduce the product in different sizes to other groups and uses.”

Jemma Williams, Convenience Operations Manager at Waitrose, said: “We approached SMI to support us developing an instant chilled space when we need it.

“The Cold-Korner is a flexible refrigeration solution which has helped us to maximise space in our smaller formats. We will look to utilise the solution in future stores and formats where suitable.”