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Fewer Accidents, Better Aesthetics

BY CSA STAFF

By Donald Landin

If you’ve ever slipped and fallen on a wet surface, you’re not alone. Each year, poorly maintained floors are responsible for more than 2 million customer and employee fall injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The result: billions of dollars in medical, insurance and litigation costs for businesses.

How can these falls and the resulting costs be prevented? While regular sweeping and mopping is beneficial, a comprehensive floor maintenance system can be helpful in preventing these slips and falls.

A key to fewer fall accidents, and better-looking floors, depends on implementing a quality, comprehensive floor maintenance system. The right combination of the right products gives you optimal results, ensuring floors not only look great, but are in great condition as well.

Finding the best floor care system doesn’t have to be difficult. Start by following these steps and you too can have shinier, safer surfaces:

• Research your options.

If you want the most reliable method, look for companies that offer complete floor care systems. In a complete system, products are designed to work together to deliver quality, effective results.

• Review product safety.

Another important factor in choosing a maintenance system is whether its products meet the ANSI B101 floor safety standards. Under wet conditions, some flooring products can lead to more accidental falls, rather than helping to prevent them.

Choose products that have received a “high traction” certification by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), meaning they’re linked with the lowest probability of slipping.

According to the NFSI, “high traction” walkways, which have a wet SCOF value of 0.60 or greater, have been proven to reduce slip-and-fall claims by as much as 90%.

• Prepare and protect your floor.

All floor maintenance systems, from the easy-to-use to the most complicated, must begin with the same basic steps. First, dust and mop the floor to remove any dry debris. Then, scrub the floor with either a neutral or solvent-based cleaner to cut through dirt and grime.

After basic cleaning, you must select products to prepare and protect your floor’s surface — the final, and arguably most important, step.

There are a variety of floor care products available, each with its own pros and cons, so take time to evaluate your options. Here’s a brief overview:

Densifiers strengthen concrete floors by filling in pores and increasing surface density. However, they do not provide a nice aesthetic and often leave floors susceptible to dirt.

Impregnators penetrate below the surface to strengthen and seal stone floors. While the treatment deters water, oil and dirt from entering the stone, it does not completely repel it.

Topicals, also known as finishes, only affect a floor’s surface. To achieve a shiny gloss look, most floors require four to six applications of a topical. However, the treatments tend to scratch easily and require regular burnishing.

Protectors combine the benefits of densifiers, impregnators and thin topicals all in one. Generally speaking, this is a good option for floor maintenance. After a quick burnish, the best products can restore a floor’s luster in two thin coats. Hydrophobic protectors are ideal because of their ability to repel water, leaving a less slippery walking surface.

Slips and falls happen. Take a step in the right direction toward safer walkways and implement a smart floor care system today.

Donald Landin, Ph.D., is a senior technical service specialist with 3M.

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R.Costa says:
Mar-09-2013 10:12 am

floor management and other remedies
The benefits of good flooring is to prevent from the slipping injuries and accidents. What is important is to check the flooring system management and that's too with the help of the good company which can provide the total safety of the people while walking. Low traction may lead to higher dangers , these are some of the important requisites to see the safety concerns perfectly. Virginia personal injury attorney

R.Costa says:
Mar-09-2013 10:12 am

The benefits of good flooring is to prevent from the slipping injuries and accidents. What is important is to check the flooring system management and that's too with the help of the good company which can provide the total safety of the people while walking. Low traction may lead to higher dangers , these are some of the important requisites to see the safety concerns perfectly. Virginia personal injury attorney

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Focus on: Energy Management

BY CSA STAFF

By Sam Khalilieh

Study after study has concluded that adding doors to medium temperature coolers (MTC) is a great solution for a variety of issues that plague retailers. Whether looking at energy use, operational costs, product safety or consumer comfort, there is no downside to adding doors. So why do so many overlook this very basic approach?

Supermarkets have some of the most operationally complex and expensive building systems of all retailers. U.S. grocery retailers spend an average of $4.10 on electricity and 26 cents on natural gas per square foot annually. As much as 60% of the $4.10 goes toward refrigeration alone. Energy costs, especially those related to refrigeration, take a chunk out of their profits! (Consider this: Since energy expenditure is the same as profit margin for a typical grocery store — about 1% to 2% — a 10% reduction in energy cost can boost profit margins by as much as 6% to 7%!)

An open display case consumes about 30% more energy than a doored display case. But everyone continues to value-engineer their refrigeration systems and reduce their refrigerant charge, leaks and carbon footprint, as they neglect a pretty basic solution to the problem.

The industry has dithered about adding doors to dairy, beer, lunch meat and bagged salad and other medium temperature coolers for years. Some say that open cases are necessary to convey the “fresh” concept. However, most shoppers know that the first item in the case is never as cold or fresh as the one behind it, and you often see shoppers choosing an item from farther back in the case. With a doored cooler, shoppers feel completely comfortable grabbing the first item.

Another argument says that adding doors negatively impacts sales. Here, there are plenty of retailers that have experimented with doors, as well as quantitative research that supports making the change to doored coolers. Indeed, some grocery chains are adding doors to all their MTC in all their new stores and are also retrofitting existing one to add doors to their MTCs. An ASHRAE study entitled “Comparison of Vertical Display Cases: Energy and Productivity Impacts of Glass Doors Versus Open Vertical Display Cases” found that replacing an open refrigerated case lineup with a doored case lineup did not appear to negatively affect sales.

Doored cases also eliminate one of the biggest shopper turnoffs in supermarkets — freezing cold aisles created by cold air spillage from the cases. It’s common sense that shoppers spend more time shopping the aisle when they are comfortable, and the longer they spend shopping the aisle, the more they buy.

Another ASHRAE study, “Supermarkets, Indoor Climate and Energy Efficiency —Field Measurements Before and After Installation of Doors on Refrigerated Cases,” analyzed the impact of doors on the customer experience in the supermarket. Customers found the store environment to be more comfortable after the doors were installed. The study also notes that doored cases improve food safety by reducing large variations in product temperatures that can be found in open cases.

The idea of adding doors on MTCs may or may not be applicable to every product and every store. With the proper door selection (using a minimal frame), LED lighting, electronically commutated motors (ECM), tax incentives, the right product behind these doors and the proper messaging to consumers, it is a win-win for everyone. And for those retailers pursuing LEED certification, they will be handsomely rewarded with LEED points. But most importantly, they will be able to back up their sustainability message with actions that truly make a difference.

Sam Khalilieh, PE, LEED AP, is senior VP architecture and engineering, WD Partners, Dublin, Ohio.

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P.Lopez says:
Apr-01-2013 08:01 pm

ChatRandom
The industry has dithered about adding doors to dairy, beer, lunch meat and bagged salad and other medium temperature coolers for years. ChatRandom

J.Hams says:
Mar-30-2013 06:47 am

. But most importantly, they
. But most importantly, they will be able to back up their sustainability message with actions that truly make a difference. AodhfionnAonghus

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’Tis the Season

BY CSA STAFF

By Mark Putman

Perhaps no time of year epitomizes the evolving trend of the integrated consumer buying experience more than the holiday season. Buyers are quickly realizing that rather than spending hundreds on gifts destined to be quietly returned come January 2013, the most efficient use of their money centers on gift cards and other prepaid methods that offer the recipients flexibility and choice.

According to First Data’s 2011 “U.S. Prepaid Consumer Insights Study,” the average amount spent per closed-loop card grew significantly in 2011, increasing by more than 23% compared with 2010. The average total amount consumers spent on closed loop gift cards increased to $211 from $161 last year. At a time when 71% of gift card recipients spend more than the amount on their card, the benefits are clear for merchants this holiday season.

Established merchants already know that the prepaid trend will continue to grow. The challenge for smart retailers is to find the best way to take advantage of gift cards and implement prepaid programs that cater to a higher rate of spending and store traffic during the holiday season. By answering this challenge, retailers may find the most direct route to the highest yield on their bottom line at the end of December.

The altered payments ecosystem clearly presents both challenges and opportunities for merchants — especially in the prepaid space. In addition to helping build a customer base during the crucial holiday stretch, gift cards create additional foot traffic (both by the purchaser and the receiver), generate brand awareness and increase same-store sales. When holiday stress gets to a breaking point, consumers are increasingly looking for a seamless online experience for customizing and purchasing prepaid cards that includes sending virtual gifts through social media, email, mobile vouchers, and reloading and managing their cards using mobile and online applications.

While gift cards continue to grow in popularity, it is vital for merchants to take the time to stay on top of industry trends. There are a few rules for the holiday season that every forward-looking merchant should keep in mind:

1 Reloading closed loop gift cards is still a niche application. Retailers must incentivize reloads. Adding “bonus bucks” to a reload would encourage nearly two-thirds of consumers to consider reloading.

2 Gift cards are highly valued by receivers. For more than half of gift card recipients, a gift card valued at $25 is nearly equal in value to a gift valued at $50. Gift cards benefit the recipient by allowing them to select a gift of their own choosing, as well as treat themselves by purchasing an item they did not plan to purchase with their own money.

3 E-gift cards are not yet mainstream. Retailers would be wise to market e-gift cards to the subset of consumers who have an interest. Overall, more consumers (47%) are interested in receiving a gift card than in actually sending one (22%), indicating an opportunity to educate consumers on the convenience of e-gift cards.

While payment systems continue to evolve with new technology, so do gift card programs. As the mobile payments revolution continues to grow and take hold, demands for the inherent benefits will follow. The future lies in offering the technology to support both physical and virtual gift cards, while the on-demand convenience of virtual gift card products will sway purchasing behavior and new channel opportunities for businesses.

The ability to store gift card information on a mobile phone appeals to 43% of consumers, helping eliminate burdens such as always carrying the card, not knowing the remaining balance and worrying about losing the gift card. For those dedicating their entire days to shopping on Black Friday (or even Christmas Eve!), a store’s gift card strategy can be the difference between hundreds of dollars in purchases versus storming out in frustration.

Enhancements to prepaid programs won’t take years to develop; the market has already started to grow. For merchants who want to take full advantage of this channel opportunity, the time to get in the game is now.

Mark Putnam is senior VP and division manager, prepaid solutions, of First Data.

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