STORE SPACES

Delhaize discloses global carbon footprint

BY CSA STAFF

Belgium The Delhaize Group, which operates Food Lion and Hannaford supermarkets in the United States, said Monday it is disclosing its global carbon footprint and developing further plans to lighten its impact on the environment.

According to a report on GreenBiz.com, Delhaize has pegged its CO2e emissions at 2.7 million tonnes, or .59 tonnes per square meter of sales area, for 2008, the firm said in its latest corporate responsibility report.

The range of emissions per square meter of sales area for similar international retailers is .21 tonnes CO2 per square meter to .64 tonnes per square meter, according to the report.

The assessment for Delhaize, conducted by Environmental Resources Management, and its disclosure fulfill a promise made in the company’s initial CR report, which was issued in 2008 and covered corporate responsibility efforts in 2007.

The group’s stores accounted for almost 86% of emissions, with transportation at 8%; distribution centers at 5.6% and offices at .5%.

In terms of source, 63.6% of the emissions resulted from use of electricity, followed by refrigerants at 25%; natural gas at 2.6%, propane at .6% and light fuel at .2%.

The company said it intends to use the measurement to set further environmental goals and benchmark its progress.

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A long, hot summer for Target

BY CSA STAFF

July proved to be another challenging month for Target with same-store sales down 6.5%, as once again the company experienced fewer transactions that were smaller on average than the same month the prior year. August promises to be just as tough, due to ongoing difficult economic conditions combined with a Labor Day holiday which falls a week later this year and will push some seasonal sales into September.

Although the July comps were in line with the company’s guidance, a 6.5% decline is still disappointing, especially since it comes on top of a 1.2% decline last year. But that’s been the trend at Target this year, as the company continues to struggle with the perception that its stores are not price competitive, even as consumers reign in spending on discretionary product categories. The company has numerous merchandising and marketing initiatives in place to better demonstrate and communicate value, but, until those efforts take hold, at least gross margins are improving and expenses are under control. Even the company’s credit card business is looking better as risk trends are said to be improving indicating more people are paying their bills on time and are less likely to default.

As has been the case in past months, Target produced its best results in such categories as health, beauty and food, while such discretionary areas as home and apparel were the worst performers. Same-store sales in apparel declined in the high single-digit range, while home sales declined in the low double digits.

The opening of 23 new stores midway through July boosted Target’s U.S. stores count to 1,719 units.

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An unbeatable battle brewing

BY CSA STAFF

The latest salvo in the ongoing battle for low-price perception has Target this week promising “performance at unbeatable prices” on its C9 by Champion sportswear lane. What makes that simple phrase noteworthy is Target’s use of the word “unbeatable.” Walmart has attempted to make the “unbeatable” proposition its own through a national print and electronic advertising campaign and extensive in-store efforts with hundreds of oranges and white signs with the word unbeatable. The company also offers a price-match guarantee, as long as customers can produce a local competitors’ printed ad showing an identical item. Given Walmart’s high-profile emphasis on unbeatable, Target’s use of the word in its most recent circular appears both conspicuous and intentional and signifies an escalating effort on Target’s part to get more credit for prices it has long contended are as good or better than Walmart’s. An even more aggressive effort involves the new “low price promise,” which began appearing on new and remodeled stores this summer.

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