Solar power helps reduce operating costs at Staples’ DC in Killingly, Conn.

Solar Energy Helps Power Staples DC

The largest solar-power installation in New England has been installed at Staples’ 300,000-sq.-ft. retail distribution center (DC) in Killingly, Conn. The 433-kilowatt commercial solar photovoltaic system has the capacity to produce enough clean energy to power 14% of the DC. It is one-and-a-half times the size of a football field and covers nearly 74,000 sq. ft. of roof space. The system is part of Staples’ integrated strategy for achieving a 7% reduction in its U.S. carbon emissions by 2010 on an absolute basis. It was built at no cost to the retailer. Instead, it was made possible through the collaborative effort of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), which provided a $1.7 million grant for the project, and SunEdison, Baltimore, which financed the remaining costs of the project and designed and installed the system. “Through our relationship with solar-services provider SunEdison, we’re able to purchase solar energy off our rooftop at a rate below or equal to the cost of electricity off the grid,” said Mark Buckley, VP of environmental affairs, Staples, Framingham, Mass. “This reduces our operating costs while freeing up more electricity during peak times for use by local homes and businesses.

Shopping Carts De-Germed With Spray

Festival Foods’ stores in Oshkosh and De Pere, Wis., are among the first in the country to test an innovative purifying system designed to eliminate germs on shopping carts. The system, from PureCart, Wis., sanitizes grocery carts by spraying them with a peroxide-based chemical solution approved by the Food and Drug Administration as being safe for contact with food and people. The no-rinse, lemon-scented solution, which dries in a few minutes, has been proven to kill more than 99% of the bacteria and common viruses found on shopping carts. “Shopping carts are exposed to bacteria and germs from sources like meat products in leaky packages, infants with dirty diapers and illnesses from the general population,” said Jim Kratowicz, president, PureCart, Green Bay, Wis. “Our intent is to limit consumer’s exposure to germs by helping to provide a healthy shopping environment.” The PureCart system consists of a compact spray booth and a separate control unit. Carts are purified as they pass through the booth, which is portable and operates remotely. The booth is equipped with casters that make it easy to place according to store logistics. Child seats and baskets can be purified via an auxiliary spray wand. For retailers, the biggest advantage of the purifying system is the “buzz marketing” it creates, according to Kratowicz. “In exit surveys conducted after the system had been up and running for two months at the Festival Foods locations, 90% of the customers said they had told a friend or family member about PureCart being offered at the store,” he said. And 61% said it now factored into where.

Fixtures Columbus Show Case, Columbus, Ohio, has changed its name to CSC Worldwide. The change reflects the company’s expanded product and service offerings.

In-Store Media PlayNetwork, Redmond, Wash., is providing custom music to Taco Cabana’s 130-plus restaurants. The music is programmed to accommodate various dining dayparts throughout the day.

Doors Chase Industries (DBA Chase Doors), Cincinnati, has acquired Staples & Stevens, Tampa, Fla., a subsidiary of the Burch Corp. Staples & Stevensmakes a complete range of swinging, sliding, sectional and vertical-lift cooler and freezer doors under the ColdGuard brand name.

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