News

Chili’s to install tabletop tablets from Ziosk

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dallas — Chili’s Grill & Bar will bring tabletop tablets from Ziosk to all company-owned restaurants nationwide by the first half of 2014.

With the primary purpose of enhancing the guest experience, the Ziosk seven-inch tablet will be displayed on each table in the restaurant, giving patrons the ability to interactively peruse menu items and specials as well as order beverages and desserts. Customers can also use the tablets to play games together, share their real-time feedback with the brand and pay the check right at the table

"Results from a multi-market test of Ziosk prove this next step in Chili’s innovation is a win for our guests, team members and the brand as a whole," said Wyman Roberts, CEO and president of Brinker International and president of Chili’s Grill & Bar. "Embraced as a tool to help team members create an even better dining experience, we saw improvements in guest satisfaction and engagement from many different touch points within the restaurant, including Chili’s guest feedback surveys and Email Club."

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ECOMMERCE

Foot Locker launches e-commerce site for its women’s fitness retail brand, Six.02

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Foot Locker, Inc. is introducing Six02.com, the e-retail extension of its Six:02 stores aimed at women. In addition to offering a full assortment of women’s athletic apparel and products, the site features the Get Fit Guide, a custom online tool to lead customers through the product offerings to find the perfect fit, style, and product based on preferred workout activity and body shape.

Launched in 2012, SIX:02’s offer women a broad choice of athletic brands. The stores feature dedicated fit zones and fitting lounge areas. To date, SIX:02 has opened stores in Stamford Town Center (Stamford, Conn.), North Star Mall (San Antonio, Texas), Willowbrook Mall (Wayne, N.J.), Brandon Town Center (Brandon, Fla.), and Florida Mall (Orlando, Fla). Two additional stores are scheduled to open by yearend.

"Six:02 has been well-received in the local communities where we have opened stores," said Natalie Ellis, VP, GM, Six:02. "We are excited to now offer Six.02.com, so that women across the country can experience the brand and find premium fitness and athletic gear that fits her personality, versatility and individual style."

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STORE SPACES

Ikea planning Kansas’ largest geothermal heating and cooling system

BY Marianne Wilson

Conshohocken, Pa. — Ikea plans to incorporate the largest geothermal heating and cooling system in the state of Kansas (and neighboring Missouri) in its upcoming store in Merriam, Kan. The 359,000-sq.-ft. store is now under construction.

The related drilling and underground work should be complete by winter, with the system operational when the building opens in fall 2014. The Ikea Merriam will be the second U.S. Ikea location with geothermal technology. (In 2011, Ikea opened a store Centennial, Col., that uses geothermal technology.)

“Using geothermal in our Kansas City-area store reflects our commitment to sustainable building practices whenever feasible,” said Mike Ward, Ikea U.S. president. “Fortunately, this location provides an opportunity to maximize Ikea Merriam’s renewable energy potential.”

This closed-loop ground source heat pump system involves drilling 180 boreholes – six inches in diameter and 600 ft. deep – into the earth across part of the 19-acre Ikea parcel. Pipes placed into these boreholes will form an underground network of loops for circulating 36,000 gallons of heat-transferring liquid (a water-based, anti-freeze solution) connected to 64 forced-air heat pumps to cool and heat the store. This system also includes five hot-water heat pumps to provide potable hot water needed for the store’s lavatory and restaurant operations.

Ikea contracted with Colorado-based Major Geothermal, a leading integrator of geothermal heat pump system design and installation, for the development, design and installation of the Merriam store’s customized geothermal project.

Consistent with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, Ikea globally has installed more than 300,000 solar panels, owns/operates approximately 137 wind turbines in Europe, and has geothermal systems at approximately 50 locations. Ikea U.S. has solar arrays atop 90% of its location, and the Merriam store also is being evaluated for solar potential.

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