On Spec

Construction Technology

Quick-service restaurant operator Quiznos has selected a Web-based project-management software from Evoco ,Calgary, Alberta. The chain chose the Evoco Workshop platform for its ability to engage franchise owners early in the build cycle and provide sufficient visibility into project status as well as its online collaboration, document, print and bid-management capabilities.


Win-Holt Equipment, Garden City, N.Y., a manufacturer of material-handling and foodservice equipment, opened a new manufacturing and distribution facility in Allentown, Pa., to better serve customers in the growing Northeastern market.


A Carl’s Jr. franchise location in Corona, Calif., is among the first retail test applications of a high-tech, high-style commercial hand dryer from Dyson, the upstart British company whose upright vacuum cleaner is a top seller in the United States. The new Airblade dries hands in about six seconds with high-velocity air, and uses about one-fourth the energy of conventional hand dryers.


Royal Philips Electronics, Boston, is acquiring Color Kinetics Inc., Boston, a leader in the design and marketing of innovative LED lighting systems and controls. The acquisition strengthens Philips’ position in the fast-growing solid-state lighting (SSL) market.

Going Above and Beyond for Stride Rite

Custom Surroundings, Valley City, Ohio, was honored with the National Store Fixture Manufacturers (NASFM) annual Above & Beyond Award for its work with Stride Rite. Jim Harte, director of store design and construction for Boston-based Stride Rite, nominated the supplier for the award. Custom Surroundings played a crucial role when Harte was charged with designing a new visual concept for children’s apparel in 60 Stride Rite stores.

“It was a completely new direction for Stride Rite, and we had to figure out how to make it happen in only six weeks,” Harte said.

Custom Surroundings helped Harte meet the deadline, meeting a series of design changes and challenges head on. Along with reworking the fixtures from fixed shelving to slatwall, the company accommodated last-minute changes in details and colors. The supplier, according to Harte, didn’t miss a beat and the fixtures arrived on time on the requested date, making for a smooth, timely rollout.

“The fixtures integrated into the stores beautifully,” Harte said.

Retailers are encouraged to nominate vendors for the award that have gone “above and beyond” on a store-fixture project (the vendor must be an NASFM member).

For more information, visit www.retailfix.com.

Wal-Mart Canada Lowers Lighting for Summer

Wal-Mart Canada has reduced lighting in 240 of its 284 stores by one-third. The summer-long move is designed to help the retailer meet its plan of reducing carbon emissions by a minimum of 19,000 tons this year. The chain expects the lowered lighting to cut carbon emissions by more than 4,500 tons, aid in the stability of power grids and reduce its energy consumption.

“There are many ways we can benefit our environment while benefiting our business,” said Mario Pilozzi, president and CEO, Wal-Mart Canada Corp., Mississauga, Ontario. “The effect of our lighting reductions is a great example: Less lighting means we save more than a million dollars in energy costs while also taking the equivalent of 500 cars off the road for the year.”

The participating stores posted signs alerting customers to the lighting change. The reduced lighting program was piloted in Wal-Mart stores throughout Ontario in the summers of 2006 and 2005, originally initiated in response to energy concerns in the area.

The expansion of the program is part of Wal-Mart Canada’s long-term sustainability goals. In related news, the retailer entered into a three-year agreement to purchase 31,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy from Bullfrog Power to green the electricity of three stores in Alberta. Combined with ongoing alternative-energy contracts already in place, the Alberta purchase makes the discounter the largest commercial purchaser of green power in Canada.

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