REAL ESTATE

Build-A-Bear Workshop to open 20-25 stores in 2013

BY Katherine Boccaccio

St. Louis — Build-A-Bear Workshop said Monday that it will open 20 to 25 stores in 2013, all under the newly introduced store design.

The retailer opened six stores under the new design in fall 2012, and said the success of the stores prompted an escalated rollout.

The first three stores to open in 2013 are at the Mall of Georgia in Atlanta on April 26; at Orland Square in Chicago on May 3; and at Northshore Mall in Peabody, Mass. on May 10.

The new store design is highly focused on technology, adding an interactive storefront enabled by Microsoft’s Kinect technology and interactive touch elements, along with a Love Me station that allows shoppers to customize bears on an interactive table, and a Hear Me station to add sound effects.

Other interactive elements include a Fluff Me station and a Name Me station.

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OPERATIONS

Stater Bros. names former Supervalu exec as new president and COO

BY Katherine Boccaccio

San Bernardino, Calif. — Stater Bros. Markets said Tuesday it has named that Peter Van Helden as president and COO, succeeding the retiring Jim Lee.

Van Helden was previously EVP retail operations for Supervalu.

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News

Ikea’s U.S. solar presence brightens

BY CSA STAFF

PERRYVILLE, Md. — Ikea has plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its distribution center in Perryville, Md.

The 768,972-sq.-ft. PV array consists of a 2,674.9-kW system, built with 18,576 panels, and is the state’s largest rooftop array. The Ikea distribution center will produce approximately 3,397,178 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 2,397 tons of carbon dioxide, eliminating the emissions of 499 cars or powering 359 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).

This installation represents the furniture retailer’s 36th completed solar project in the United States, with three more locations underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of Ikea nearly 90% of its U.S. locations with a total generation of 38 MW. Ikea owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings — as opposed to a solar lease or power purchase agreement — and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015. This investment reinforces the long-term commitment of Ikea to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic technology. Consistent with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, Ikea has installed more than 250,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operates approximately 110 wind turbines in Europe.

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

“As one of the largest rooftop arrays in the country, this installation will ensure that the Ikea Perryville distribution center consumes very little power from the electric grid,” said Ed Morris, Perryville distribution center manager. “Ikea is thrilled at this opportunity to further our investment in this community while also continuing our commitment of incorporating sustainability into our supply chain operations. We appreciate the continued support of the City of Perryville, Cecil County, Delmarva Power and Inovateus Solar, our partners in this project.”

Ikea, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, Ikea evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include recycling waste material; incorporating environmental measures into the actual buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs. Ikea has installed electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the Western U.S., and by 2016 will go L.E.D. by selling and using lightbulbs that are only L.E.D.

Constructed on 278 acres in the community of Perryville, in Northern Md.’s Cecil County, this 1.7 million-sq.-ft. Ikea distribution center began operations in 2002, employs approximately 550 coworkers and currently helps provide inventory to many U.S. Ikea stores.

Founded in 1943 in Sweden, Ikea currently operates more than 330 stores in 40 countries, including 38 in the United States, as well as six distribution centers in North America. Ikea incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives benefiting children and the environment.

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