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Companies Need Green IT Plan, Study Reveals

BY CSA STAFF

Despite retailers’ growing awareness that environmental concerns will impact their future IT operations, many companies have not yet established “green IT” requirements encompassing how they buy and use technology. These points were revealed in a new report, “Tapping Buyers’ Growing Interest In Green IT,” released by Forrester Research, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.

While 85% of 124 IT operations and procurement executives in North America and Europe said environmental factors are important in planning IT operations, only 25% actually have written green criteria into their firms’ purchasing processes.

“Two reasons why green matters are efficiency and corporate responsibility,” said Christopher Mines, senior VP, Forrester Research. “Most IT decision-makers told us that a green purchase would only happen in the context of cost reduction. These are hard-headed, ROI-driven business decisions.”

Companies eager to see cost savings for green-driven initiatives expect their technology partners to educate them about environmentally responsible products and services. But some technology vendors need to step up their efforts in this regard.

Some companies, including Advanced Micro Devices, Cisco, Dell, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel and Sun Microsystems, are making significant investments in green initiatives, such as energy-efficient servers, data-center power and cooling solutions, cleaner manufacturing, and device-recycling programs. Yet, only 15% of participants said they have a high-level of awareness of vendors’ green initiatives. Worse, most said they hear “little to nothing” from top-tier vendors about their green-solution offerings.

“Technology marketers today will find increasingly receptive audiences for green evangelism,” said Mines. “Slowly, that receptivity will translate into action on the part of enterprise IT organizations.”

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Winn-Dixie team honored for turnaround

BY CSA STAFF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The team that lead Winn-Dixie Stores’ successful turnaround initiative is being honored by the Turnaround Management Association for the best ‘Mega Company Turnaround’ for 2007. Comprised of financial experts from The Blackstone Group, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Smith Hulsey & Busey, the team helped Winn-Dixie regain the market share and profits it started to lose in the mid 1990s and early 2000s to competitors Publix and Wal-Mart.

Winn-Dixie filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2005 after reporting  year-to-date losses of $552.8 million or $3.93 per share of common stock and a decline of 4.9% in identical-store sales in its second fiscal quarter over the same period in 2004.

 

Despite the difficulty of achieving a succesful turnaround, Winn-Dixie began its reorganization effort, while still continuing to operate its core business and preserving jobs. According to the Turnaround Management Association, it created new common stock for five classes of unsecured creditors, with recoveries ranging from about 96% to 53%. The company emerged from bankruptcy on Nov. 21, 2006.

For its fiscal year ended June 27, Winn-Dixie reported adjusted EBITDA of  $85.9 million compared to a loss of $27.8 million last year and an identical-store sales increase of 1.6% 

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Sears ends deal with maternity retailer

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA Sears and Mothers Work, the world’s leading maternity apparel retailer, will not be renewing their agreement, Mothers Work announced today. Under their current agreement, Mothers Works operates the maternity apparel department in 502 Sears stores through the sale of its Two Hearts Maternity branded merchandise.

Mothers Work said it expects its partnership with Sears to end on June 20, 2008, when it current deal with the company is expected to expire.

Rebecca Matthias, president and ceo of Mothers Work, noted, “While we are disappointed about the end of our relationship with Sears, we feel the decision not to proceed with a renewal is in the best interest of our stockholders since we were unable to reach terms on a renewal which would be favorable for Mothers Work and our stockholders. “

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