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Food Lion unveils first-of-its-kind CO2 cascading system, reduces ozone-depleting refrigerants by 30

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Food Lion and refrigeration manufacturer Kysor//Warren unveiled the grocery industry’s first cascading refrigeration system with naturally occurring carbon dioxide to keep frozen and fresh foods cold. The system is featured in the chain’s new, 35,000-sq.-ft. store in College Park, Ga.

Food Lion demonstrated the system during an event held for industry peers and members of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership, a cooperative alliance working to reduce the use of ozone-depleting gases and curb greenhouse gas refrigerant emissions. The College Park, Ga., location is Food Lion’s fourth GreenChill advanced refrigeration store and its third to incorporate the use of CO2, a natural compound that reduces the amount of refrigerants needed to keep products cool or frozen by more than 30%.

The system in the College Park store is described as Food Lion’s first “cascading” CO2 refrigeration cycle, which uses a single system and just one condensing unit to refrigerate and freeze foods. Before Kysor//Warren developed this system, grocers incorporating CO2 refrigeration systems needed two condensing units as well as a freezer-specific system and a refrigeration (medium temperature) specific system. This is Kysor//Warren’s first CO2 advanced refrigeration system in a retail grocery store setting.

“Food Lion has a long-standing commitment to environmentally friendly operations,” said Wayne Rosa, Food Lion’s energy and maintenance manager. “The advanced refrigeration system in our College Park store offers sustainability-minded grocers like Food Lion another way to dramatically reduce the amount of ozone-depleting refrigerants their coolers and freezers use.”

Food Lion was one of the first grocers to voluntarily commit to the EPA’s GreenChill advanced refrigeration partnership, an initiative where companies pledge to go above and beyond regulatory requirements in protecting the ozone layer and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Food Lion was also one of EPA’s first Energy Star partners and has 892 certified stores, more than half of the Energy Star certified stores in the United States. In addition, Food Lion is the only grocery chain to win eight consecutive EPA Energy Star awards.

Food Lion’s College Park store opened in September. Food Lion, which operates more than 1,300 supermarkets, is a subsidiary of Brussels-based Delhaize Group.

 

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Office retail results indicate weak business climate

BY CSA STAFF

Office Depot and OfficeMax reported a drop in third-quarter sales but eked out profits, thanks to expense control and a focus on sales in profitable categories.

At OfficeMax, same-store sales declined 11.5% and total retail segment sales decreased 11% to $923 million. Operating profits fell slightly to $28.4 million from $29.1 million. However, a reduction in expenses enabled the company to increase its operating margin rate to 3% of sales from 2.8% the prior year. The company ended the quarter with 1,010 stores in its retail division, consisting of 932 units in the United States and 78 stores in Mexico.

“While continued lower sales levels strained our profitability this quarter, we managed to mitigate the impact by reducing costs and improving our operations,” said Sam Duncan, OfficeMax chairman and CEO. “Our relentless focus on implementing disciplined growth initiatives, differentiating our business and increasing our productivity continue to significantly benefit our performance.”

Despite that assertion, the OfficeMax missed analysts’ earning per share expectations by a wide margin, reporting a seven cents a share profit that was half of what analysts were expecting.

Profit were also hard to come by at Office Depot as top line sales growth was weak. Office Depot said sales at its North American retail division declined 18% to $1.3 billion due to 117 fewer stores and a 14% same-store sales decline. Despite the reduced sales volume, the division grew operating profits to $35 million compared to $12 million the prior year due in part to a conscious effort to reduce what it called, “unacceptable margin promotions in select categories.” Reduced expenses, lower asset impairment charges and improved inventory management also contributed to improved profitability.

“We are pleased with both our operating results and cash flow performance in the third quarter,” said Mike Newman, Office Depot’s CFO. “We exceeded our expectations in the quarter as a result of strong execution across the entire enterprise.”

Office Depot reported a loss of eight cents a share, excluding special items, which exceeded analysts’ estimates for a loss of 10 cents a share.

Office Depot ended the quarter with 1,158 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

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Food Lion, Kysor//Warren introduce innovative refrigeration

BY CSA STAFF

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. Food Lion and refrigeration manufacturer Kysor/Warren unveiled the grocery industry’s first cascading refrigeration system with naturally occurring carbon dioxide to keep frozen and fresh foods cold.

Food Lion demonstrated the system during an event held for industry peers and members of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership, a cooperative alliance working to reduce the use of ozone-depleting gases and curb greenhouse gas refrigerant emissions. The College Park store is Food Lion’s fourth GreenChill advanced refrigeration store and its third store to incorporate the use of CO2, which reduces the amount of refrigerants needed to keep products cool or frozen by more than 30%.

The system is Food Lion’s first “cascading” CO2 refrigeration cycle, which uses a single system and just one condensing unit to refrigerate and freeze foods. Before Kysor//Warren developed this system, grocers incorporating CO2 refrigeration systems needed two condensing units as well as a freezer-specific system and a refrigeration, medium temperature, specific system. This is Kysor//Warren’s first CO2 advanced refrigeration system in a retail grocery store setting.

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