OPERATIONS

Aarons shuffles management

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta – Specialty furniture retailer Aaron’s Inc. is making some changes to its management structure. Steven A. Michaels, VP finance, is being promoted to VP strategic planning and business development.

In addition, Robert W. Kamerschen, senior VP and general counsel, will add corporate secretary to his responsibilities, while Kimberly R. Rivera joins Aaron’s as the VP of learning and development.

"This is an exciting time for all members of Aaron’s as we continue to strengthen our management team and build a platform for sustainable growth," said Ronald W. Allen, Aaron’s chairman, president and CEO.

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Report: Wal-Mart web glitch gives consumers huge deals

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – A glitch on the U.S. website of Wal-Mart reportedly provided consumers with enormous discounts for a short time on the morning of Nov. 6. According to Reuters, treadmills that normally cost hundreds of dollars were selling for $33.16 and widescreen computer monitors were selling for $9.

Wal-Mart has not said how many discounted items were sold before the glitch was discovered. The retailer has also said it will not honor any sales resulting from the glitch, but will give those consumers a $10 gift card.

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Ikea plans to double solar array on Maryland DC

BY Dan Berthiaume

Conshocken, Pa. – Ikea plans to nearly double the solar array completed in April atop its Perryville, Md., distribution center, the state’s largest such solar energy system. Installation of the new panels will begin in November with completion expected in 2014.

The 467,618-sq.-ft. solar addition will consist of a 2.2-MW system, built with 7,337 modules, and will produce 2,695,355 kWh of electricity annually for the facility. Including the existing system, this 1.7 million-sq.-ft. distribution center’s total 4.9-MW solar installation of 25,913 panels soon will generate 6,092,533 kWh of clean electricity yearly, the equivalent of reducing 4,299 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), according to EPA estimates.

For the development, design and installation of the Perryville distribution center’s current and expanded solar power system, Ikea contracted with Inovateus Solar LLC, an industry-leading solar power distributor and integrator specializing in large-scale solar installations.

Ikea owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems, as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement), and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015. Consistent with the goal of being energy independent by 2020, Ikea has installed more than 300,000 solar panels on buildings across the world.

“We are pleased at the opportunity to nearly double the solar energy generated by this facility,” said Steffen Daab, distribution center manager. “This is another example of our commitment to create a more sustainable life for communities where we operate.”

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