OPERATIONS

First Data issues report on gift card usage

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — The average gift card dollar volume growth on a year-over-year basis increased 10% during the last six months of 2011, with consumers shopping earlier in the holiday season for prepaid cards and adding more value to their purchases than in 2010, according to a study by First Data Corp.

“The state of the economy in the U.S. led to a significant increase in the average consumer’s usage of prepaid cards,” said Silvio Tavares, SVP and division manager of First Data Global Information and Analytics Solutions. “Consumers were more willing to reload gift cards in order to earn discounts and rewards in everyday spending categories of grocery, discount, and gasoline.”

The report shows that grocery, discount, and gasoline retailers aligned their prepaid strategy to respond to the painful reality of higher fuel prices on the every-day spending needs of families. According to industry reports, the typical U.S. household spent a record $4,155 on gasoline in 2011 — about $1,300 more than the 10-year average. By leveraging prepaid reloadable cards in new and existing fuel rewards programs, best-in-class retailers gained a greater share of consumer spending, more repeat visits, and improved customer loyalty.

The report, “2011 Year-End Prepaid Gift Card Market Analysis,” is one of a series of research analyses from First Data Advisors, the custom analytics and consulting unit of First Data Global Information and Analytics Solutions.

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STORE SPACES

Bluestone Energy wins award for Stop & Shop energy-efficiency project

BY Staff Writer

Norwell, Mass. — An energy project undertaken for The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. by Bluestone Energy Services has been recognized as the Best Multi-Site Retail Energy Program in New England by the Association of Energy Engineers New England (AEENE).

The project included a range of energy improvements, including installing electronically commutated motors (ECMs) and replacing lighting fixtures with energy-efficient LEDs , at multiple Stop & Stop stores and distribution warehouses. Over a four-year period, the updates saved 46 million kilowatt hours while securing four million dollars in local utility incentives. On average, each improvement’s energy savings paid back its investment in less than two years.

Additionally, in 2011 Bluestone Energy completed two parking lot lighting retrofits for Stop & Shop. The first retrofit consisted of installing new LED heads. The second retrofit included the installation of high-efficiency electronic metal-halide ballasts and lamps that are configured to dim automatically during the off hours of the night.

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STORE SPACES

Kohl’s honored by EPA for long-term commitment to environment

BY Marianne Wilson

Menomonee Falls, Wis. — Kohl’s Department Stores was honored with the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2012 Energy Star Award for Sustained Excellence at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes Kohl’s long-term commitment to protecting the environment through energy efficiency initiatives. Kohl’s was recognized by EPA in 2010 and 2011 as an Energy Star Partner of the Year, and in 2011 also became the first retailer to be named an EPA Green Power Partner of the Year for three consecutive years.

“Kohl’s continues to make strides in energy efficiency every year, and we are pleased to share that more than 60% of Kohl’s stores nationwide – 700 locations – have earned the Energy Star label,” said John Worthington, Kohl’s chief administrative officer. “But, we’re not stopping there. Our teams collaborate daily to review current projects and discuss new opportunities for energy management and cost savings. We continue to add new solar locations, grow our green power purchases and educate our associates and business partners about the importance of being good environmental stewards. We strive toward new goals each year and look forward to achieving and surpassing our goal of 800 Energy Star-labeled locations by 2015.”

With 590 Energy Star-labeled locations at the end of 2010, Kohl’s began 2011 with a goal of expanding the number of labeled locations to 650. By conducting detailed energy audits throughout the year, an additional 86 Kohl’s stores were awarded the Energy Star label last year.

According to EPA, on average, commercial buildings that earn the Energy Star label use 35% less energy and generate one-third less carbon dioxide than similar buildings. As of 2011, all newly constructed Kohl’s stores pursue Energy Star’s “Designed to Earn” designation with the intent of earning the Energy Star label once built. These stores are eligible to earn the Energy Star label after maintaining superior energy performance for one year in operation.

In 2011, Kohl’s also furthered its commitment to the use and support of renewable energy by purchasing more than 1.4 billion kWh of green power, enough to offset more than 100 percent of the company’s purchased electricity use. Kohl’s is also one of the largest single hosts of solar electricity production in North America with more than 120 solar locations in nine states, including California, Wisconsin, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Oregon, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Arizona. Also in 2011, Kohl’s launched its first wind locations at its Corpus Christi, Texas store and Findlay, Ohio, distribution center and installed electric vehicle charging stations at 38 stores across 13 states.

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C.Floz says:
Nov-30-2012 11:09 am

Such a great news knowing
Such a great news knowing that a business is really concerned with the environment. Doing business without hurting the environment is possible after all. - Markus Lattner

C.Floz says:
Nov-30-2012 11:09 am

Such a great news knowing that a business is really concerned with the environment. Doing business without hurting the environment is possible after all. - Markus Lattner

A.Philips says:
Mar-19-2012 04:10 pm

It is always very nice to
It is always very nice to read about a department store as big and well known as Kohl's becoming an example for others when it comes to the environment. I hope they continue to do well.

 

Departments stores and their customer support always seem to do what they can for the environment but there are a few stand outs that tend to do more than others.

A.Philips says:
Mar-19-2012 04:10 pm

It is always very nice to read about a department store as big and well known as Kohl's becoming an example for others when it comes to the environment. I hope they continue to do well.

 

Departments stores and their customer support always seem to do what they can for the environment but there are a few stand outs that tend to do more than others.

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