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Gander Mountain Cuts Energy Costs

BY Deena Amato-mccoy

Alighting retrofit has resulted in significant energy savings for Gander Mountain’s store in Rothschild, Wis. The project involved a switch from industry-standard metal-halide light fixtures to a high-intensity fluorescent lighting platform.

“These [metal-halide] lamps output a high level of energy, which was becoming increasingly costly in the tightening economy,” said Matt Sansone, energy manager, Gander Mountain, St. Paul, Minn., which operates 115 outdoor specialty stores in 32 states.

The Rothschild location had 140 450-watt metal-halide light fixtures in place, consuming a total of 465 kilowatts of energy per hour. The retailer replaced the fixtures with 140 high-intensity fluorescent fixtures (Compact Modular, from Orion Energy Systems, Manitowoc, Wis.).These six-lamp fixtures, equipped with T8 lamps from GE, consume 220 kilowatts of energy per hour.

In addition to a 50%-plus reduction in electricity costs, the Orion fixtures and T8 lamps run at a cooler temperature than the previous metal-halide lamps.

“The fixtures run approximately 1,000 degrees cooler than metal-halide lights,” Sansone said. “This means we use less HVAC power, which has provided slightly lower cooling costs, especially during the summer months.”

The retrofit has provided Gander Mountain with several key advantages, starting with lower utility bills. The cost savings are estimated at $9,363 annually. But when the lowered cooling costs are factored into the equation, the savings jump to $12,566.

Based on the savings, Sansone expects a payback time of 18 months. The quick payback time was critical. Before Sansone joined Gander Mountain, the company had upgraded 50 locations to a different fluorescent solution. Once on board, however, the energy manager decided to look for more cost-efficient options as more stores became eligible for a retrofit.

“We were ready to extend the lighting upgrade, and it was time to look for more cost-efficient options. The cost of the new fixture was a main driver,” he explained. “In the past, a three-year return on investment was acceptable. These days, however, we are concerned with getting the best ROI possible, and we are tightening up time frames on returns to be under two years.”

A reduced environmental impact goes hand in hand with the energy savings. It’s estimated that the switch to the new system will result in a 140-ton reduction in carbon dioxide.

The retrofit has provided Gander Mountain with other benefits as well. The new fixtures feature aluminum housing made of 95% reflective material, which offers the highest distribution of light compared to the other options Gander Mountain considered, according to Sansone.

“Since making the transition to Orion’s fixtures, we have experienced not only an approximately 50% reduction in our lighting costs, but our footcandle rating, or the amount of light produced one foot away, has increased by 60%,” he added.

To date, two Gander Mountain stores have installed the Orion high-intensity system. Approximately five more locations are slated to come on board in 2009.

HID fixtures were replaced with Orion’s Compact Modular high-intensity fluorescent fixtures equipped with T8 lamps from GE.

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Kohl’s, Forever 21 win bid for 46 former Mervyn’s stores

BY CSA STAFF

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. Kohl’s and Forever 21 won a joint bid for the leaseholds of 46 former Mervyn’s locations valued at approximately $6.25 million.

Kohl’s will assume 31 of the locations while Forever 21 will assume 15, pending approval by the court overseeing Mervyns bankruptcy proceedings.

“We are pleased with the results of the auction,” said Kevin Mansell, president and ceo for Kohl’s Department Stores. “With over 1,000 stores from coast to coast, these locations provide increased presence in under penetrated markets. We will continue to be opportunistic and prudent in our discussions with the owners of select Mervyns real estate as we continue to position Kohl’s to grow market share.”

In fiscal 2009, the Kohl’s said it continues to expect to open approximately 50 stores, including the majority of the 31 former Mervyns’ locations.

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Bazaarvoice appoints new CFO

BY CSA STAFF

AUSTIN, Texas Bazaarvoice, which provides social commerce applications that drive sales, announced that Ken Saunders has joined the company as CFO. Saunders has over 25 years of experience as a senior financial executive at companies including Open Solutions, Peregrine Systems, Fair Isaac Corp. and Arthur Andersen. In his new role at Bazaarvoice, Saunders will guide all aspects of the company’s financial operations, as well as lead the team responsible for day-to-day finance, IT and human operations.

“Bazaarvoice is not only the most innovative social commerce company in the industry, it’s the fastest growing, serving hundreds of major brands worldwide and adding more at a very rapid clip,” said Saunders. “As CFO, I look forward to working with Bazaarvoice’s executive team to drive the company’s growth now and into the future, as they continue to transform the way people interact and shop online.”

“Ken has a wealth of world-class financial experience at both private and public companies, and we’re thrilled to welcome him to the executive team as Bazaarvoice continues to cement its market leadership in the social commerce space,” said Brett Hurt, founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice. “As more and more retailers worldwide embrace the customer voice as a key brand and marketing tool, Bazaarvoice is poised for rapid growth – and Ken is the perfect person to lead our company’s financial strategy.”

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