STORE SPACES

Giant Eagle unveils first two compressed natural gas fueling stations

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Pittsburgh — Giant Eagle on Thursday unveiled its first two compressed natural gas fueling stations in the Pittsburgh area at its Beechnut Drive retail support and distribution center, according to a report by Drug Store News.

"We are dedicated to doing business in the most sustainable manner possible across all of our business operations," said Giant Eagle executive VP and COO John Lucot. "Our efforts have been greatly advanced with the help of others, and we give thanks to the local and state officials here today, as well as to our allies at Volvo Trucks and EQT who partnered with us to make these facilities possible."

Lucot added, "This project delivers improved air quality for the region through emissions reductions, reduces dependence on traditional fuels, and serves as a regional catalyst for southwestern Pennsylvania in adopting and understanding alternative fuels and clean transportation technology."

According to data from the International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles, CNG typically is priced one-third below the cost of gasoline and diesel. In addition to cost savings, CNG reduces particulate matter emissions by 94%, carbon monoxide emissions by 75%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 49% and carbon dioxide emissions by 25%.

"Until now, there have been no viable alternative fuel options for heavy-duty delivery trucks with the necessary level of power required to navigate the region’s hilly and mountainous terrain," said Giant Eagle VP logistics Bill Parry. "To continue evolving our environmentally friendly fleet, Giant Eagle worked closely with Volvo to design the 10 new CNG vehicles here today with an 8.9-liter Cummins engine as the first of their kind in the commercial transportation industry."

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STORE SPACES

7-Eleven remodels 1,000-plus stores in four months

BY Marianne Wilson

Dallas — 7-Eleven has completed upgrades in more than 1,000 of its stores in the greater New York City, Northern and Central New Jersey, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas. The company also is considering store-remodel programs in other parts of the United States.

The East Coast remodeling program ramped up in March, when the convenience retailer started adding revamped coffee bars, hot-foods equipment and, in some cases, updating stores’ interiors with new walls, floors, ceilings, lighting and fixtures. The initiative is part of chain’s campaign to present a consistent and fresh customer experience in each of its stores.

7-Elevan described the four-month construction schedule as being “somewhat of a logistical marvel.” Most stores remained open during the remodeling process, with each store upgrade taking no more than five days, actually nights, to avoid the heavier customer-traffic periods during the day. The schedule called for 60 stores to be renovated each week. In addition to various equipment improvements at 1,000-plus stores, 7-Eleven replaced floors, repaved parking lots or upgraded the exteriors of another 550 stores. Each renovation was planned to ensure continuity in look, product offering and convenience store-to-store.

While the construction project was underway, 7-Eleven employees in the affected stores received additional customer-service training to enhance their guests’ overall experience. The chain is promoting its new store upgrades with a media blitz that includes television and radio spots, outdoor and online advertising, and newspaper ads for free or fresh and hot foods offerings.

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Old Navy closing in on 300th remodel; new design driving higher customer transaction

BY Marianne Wilson

San Francisco — Old Navy will complete its 300th remodeled store in mid-July as it continues to overhaul its entire chain. The design has a racetrack layout and features improved visual merchandising with light wood and white shelving, walls and backdrops that spotlight the core Old Navy product categories. For more photos, click here.

“With almost a third of our fleet remodeled, we are well on our way to completing our vision of transforming Old Navy into what our customers want more of – a fun, convenient shopping experience that showcases our compelling products, all at great prices,” said Tom Wyatt, president of Old Navy. “These store designs more boldly reflect our personality; more clearly delineate our product categories and consistently outperform the rest of our fleet in sales, with higher customer experience scores in each new community driving her to spend $1-$2 extra per store visit.”

Other updated store features include moving the dressing rooms to center of store from the back, and closer to the cash wrap for more energy, ‘quick fit pods;’ additional associates for the fitting rooms and greeters during peak hours. The new stores also have an interactive play area for kids.

Old Navy integrated sustainable practices and features into each design, including low-wattage fluorescent lighting, low VOC paints, low water consumption plumbing fixtures, and recycled materials. The brand is also piloting a construction waste program to divert waste from landfills this year, with plans for this to be standard in most stores by 2012. To date, Old Navy has saved around $2 million a year by implementing low wattage fluorescent lighting in all remodeled stores.

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