Solar panels now sold at mall store

Syndicated Solar consultant Mike Noble, left, uses a Google satellite image of a Grand Junction neighborhood to explain to customer Gary Bell of Grand Junction how a tree would affect the placement of a solar power system. The new store is located at Mesa Mall.

You can buy sneakers, get your nails done and shop for toys at Mesa Mall.

But did you ever expect to buy a solar panel at a mall?

According to Syndicated Solar, which now has a storefront near Cabela’s, it is the first solar company to operate from a retail location. The business is celebrating its grand opening today.

The company with roots in Grand Junction said having a storefront makes sense for selling solar power in an attempt to dispel myths that solar power is unattainable for all but the rich, officials said.

Also, having a storefront allows people to ask questions of a live person.

Stores selling solar power products exist in Japan, but Syndicated Solar is the first in this country to operate a storefront location, marketing coordinator Walter Rumpf said about his research.

“People say, ‘I want to go and talk to someone face to face,’ ” he said about one reason for the new location.

Rumpf said there’s a misconception that people think they have to spend a lot of money to purchase solar panels before reaping benefits of reduced power bills. However, like other solar power companies, Syndicated Solar offers leasing options.

The problem historically has been explaining options to customers over the phone or attempting to lure customers through other kinds of marketing. At the store, customers can use computers to locate their homes and work with a representative to see whether solar power would work for their location. It also gives representatives a chance to evaluate how a customer’s power bill could benefit from installing solar power, Rumpf said.

Mike Noble, a business development representative with Syndicated Solar, was busy explaining solar power options to Grand Junction resident Gary Bell. Bell said he appreciated the sales model and liked that he could come to the mall and talk to someone about solar power for his home. The company keeps a solar panel on one wall along with the power boxes, a visual to explain how the sun’s rays are converted to energy.

Having a storefront is a first step to luring people toward going solar who might otherwise be hesitant to ask questions, Noble said.

“Not everybody wants a salesperson to come to their house,” he said. “If they like it, then we can come to their house.”


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