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Crate and Barrel employs robotic order-fulfillment system at DC

BY CSA STAFF

Woburn, Mass. Kiva Systems, a developer of mobile-robotic solutions that automate order fulfillment and warehouse operations, announced that Crate and Barrel has purchased a Kiva system for its distribution complex in Tracy, Calif. The center, which will fulfill direct-to-consumer orders and improve service levels in 13 western states, is the largest industrial facility in the country to achieve Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program.

“Our customers expect to get great value and service from Crate and Barrel, but they also care about our carbon footprint,” said John Ling, VP supply chain management and logistics, Crate and Barrel, Chicago. “This played a role in our selection of Kiva Systems. “Kiva’s mobile robotic approach is not only the most cost-effective way to automate pick, pack and ship operations, but also the greenest. The robots themselves are energy efficient, plus the entire robot zone can be operated with almost no lighting.”

Kiva’s order-fulfillment system uses hundreds of mobile robotic drive units that bring inventory directly to workers, which allows efficient access to available inventory items at all times. Elimination of walking and waiting enables worker productivity that is two-to-four times higher than with other automated systems, according to Kiva.

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B&N named top specialty retailer by customer satisfaction survey

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Barnes & Noble announced that it took the top spot among specialty retailers in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), research conducted in the fourth quarter, 2009. According to the company, Barnes & Noble earned a score of 84, above the specialty retail category average of 77.

“We are delighted to receive an industry leading score in the fourth-quarter survey, and we owe it all to our customers. Our customers want and deserve the highest quality customer service, which is what our booksellers strive to deliver every single day,” said Steve Riggio, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble. “People consider Barnes & Noble the ultimate specialty retail destination where they can shop and browse, visit our cafe and enjoy complimentary WiFi, enjoy exclusive in-store content on nook our new eReader device, and meet favorite authors and performers at one of our many community events.”

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Office Depot looks to green up retail stores

BY CSA STAFF

BOCA RATON, Fla. Office Depot announced that the company will pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Commercial Interiors (CI) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for all new Office Depot retail stores, beginning in June. LEED CI is the recognized system for certifying high-performance green interiors that are healthy, productive places to work; are less costly to operate and maintain; and have a reduced environmental footprint.

“As a retailer with store locations opening around the country, we have a great opportunity to make a difference on the overall environmental footprint of today’s businesses,” said Chuck Rubin, president of North American Retail for Office Depot. “Office Depot takes that role very seriously and have therefore decided to LEED CI certify all of our new store locations going forward. We are confident that this initiative will benefit our customers, associates, suppliers and other stakeholders.”

 

According to Rubin, 14 new Office Depot store locations will be LEED CI certified, starting with the company’s newest location in Austin, Texas, which is scheduled to open in June.

 

Office Depot’s LEED CI certified stores will include such sustainable features as skylights for harvesting daylight for 90% of the store, a reflective roof, which features a membrane that helps to prevent absorption of the heat from the sun and keeps the interior of the store much cooler and an in-store recycling center, the company reported.

Yalmaz Siddiqui, director of environmental strategy for Office Depot added, “Office Depot has an environmental strategy to increasingly buy green, be green and sell green. By incorporating a leading green building commitment to this strategy, we will continue to lead our industry, and deliver environmental and economic benefits to our company.”

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