Dear Mr Loft,
In these times of global warming, recession, and exhortations by Governments to reduce our energy consumption and the carbon footprint, are you aware of the lack of a contribution you and your Homebase stores are making?
You may be aware that some 25% of household energy bills are composed of lighting costs. You may also be aware that there has been something of a revolution in the lighting industry in the last decade, with Compact Fluorescent “energy efficient” bulbs taking over from the traditional wasteful incandescent bulbs, and more recently, with LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs being the successor to CFL, halogen and fluorescent strip lights. LED bulbs use much less energy than other bulbs, do not generate heat, are versatile and come in a variety of shapes and colours… and last up to a quarter of a century.
Why is it then that a number of your stores in South London on a recent visit had next to no LED bulbs, and a whole host of yesterday’s bulbs, strip lights, CFLs and halogen bulbs. There were promotions for halogen bulbs, but nothing at all for the few paltry LED bulbs that hung limply at the bottom hooks at the end of an aisle. There was a large information display about the phasing out of incandescent bulbs, but nothing about the virtues of LED lighting.
It cannot be that you and your fellow executives are unaware of the savings that everyone will achieve by switching to LED lighting- there are enough independent reports around, and on the internet there are detailed comparison charts of all types of bulbs’ energy consumptions. So why are you and your stores not embracing this revolution? Could it be that the thought that a light bulb will last for 25 years sends a shudder up your spine? Can you not bear the thought of people not having to come to your store every month to get their replacement bulbs for the more inefficient types of bulb? Profits before planet, Mr Loft? I think we should be told what your position is.
For my part I complained and asked to speak to the manager of my local Homebase store. He was unavailable, but his assistant told me “there’s hardly any demand for LED bulbs in this area”. Could that perhaps be because you stock so few, because you have a lot of old inefficient bulbs in your warehouse that you need to shift, and that you want to avoid giving people a light bulb that they will need to replace only three or four times in their lifetime?
Please Mr Loft, get switched on, see the light, and start promoting the most efficient and clean type of bulb ever seen on this planet.