News

Giant Goes Green

BY Marianne Wilson

Giant Food Stores’ supermarket in Harrisburg, Pa., was designed green from the ground up. At 97,000 sq. ft., the Giant Super Food Store is the company’s largest and most eco-friendly location yet.

One of the key elements contributing to the store’s energy savings and reduced carbon footprint is the use of cutting-edge refrigeration technology in the medium-temperature display cases and walk-in coolers.

The technology—Second Nature refrigeration systems, from Hill Phoenix, Conyers, Ga.—is designed to keep refrigerated foods at optimum temperatures. It replaces R404A, a halogenated fluorocarbon (HFC) and contributor to greenhouse gases, with a 35% aqueous propylene glycol fluid and R407A, a non-halogenated refrigerant with less than half the global-warming potential of traditional HFC refrigerants.

The system uses a low-pressure chilled-water loop to circulate the refrigerant. This eliminates the circulation of high-pressure refrigerant throughout the store floor, allowing the system to achieve a 50% reduction in refrigerant charge.

“The Second Nature technology lets us contain refrigerant charge within the machine room and condenser circuit where it’s exposed to substantially fewer pipe joints and potential leaks,” said Tharon Gilreath, manager of energy and mechanical design, Giant Food Stores, Carlisle, Pa., a division of Ahold USA.

Less piping, fewer joints and the elimination of subsequent leaks that normally occur over time not only reduce the store’s refrigerant charge, Gilreath explained, but will also lower costs due to fewer maintenance calls.

Also, temperature control is more stable with the Second Nature system because it uses the warm-fluid side for defrost, which makes the defrost time shorter and eliminates large temperature swings. Plus, there is reduced recovery time. All of this will result in improved product quality for customers, Gilreath said.

“With the warm-fluid defrost, there is less shock to the product as compared with electric or hot-gas defrost systems,” he added.

According to Hill Phoenix, the Second Nature system will provide Giant with a number of environmental benefits, including a reduction in its annual carbon footprint on 29,125,999 lbs. of CO2. The reduced refrigerant charge and leak rate will lead to a carbon emissions savings of more than 14,653 tons of CO2 over a 10-year period.

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FINANCE

Tiffany’s Q1 profit sparkles

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Tiffany & Co.’s net income more than doubled in the first quarter as its revenue rose in the United States and soared 50% in Asia, the company said Thursday.

The jeweler said it earned $64.4 million in the three months ended April 30. That compares with $24.3 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 22% to $633.6 million.

Revenue in the Americas increased 22% to $315.3 million, versus a 31% drop in the year-ago period. Adjusted for currency fluctuations, revenue rose 20%, and same-store sales rose 15%, led by the flagship on New York’s Fifth Avenue, where the figure rose 26%.

In the Asia-Pacific region, which doesn’t include Japan, Tiffany’s revenue soared 50% to $122.3 million. During the first quarter, the company opened its third store in Shanghai; by the end of the period, it operated 11 stores in China. Company officials said that they plan to have a total of 30 stores in China within the next five years.

In Japan, revenue slipped 2% to $115 million. Business in Europe rose 25% to $68.6 million.

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Best Buy Mobile enhances Web site

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy Mobile has annouced the re-launch of BestBuy.com/Mobile. According to the company, the new Web site will include such new features as online purchasing and Instant Ship, the new online hub offers convenient, customer-focused solutions for on-the-go gadget shoppers.

Through the new Web site, customers can now purchase a mobile phone online and have it shipped to their home or they can pick it up in-store. For customers needing assistance while choosing their phone online, Best Buy Mobile has a dedicated call center to respond.

 

“The capabilities within the enhanced site in combination with our in-store experience give Best Buy something completely and totally unique in the mobile phone marketplace,” said Shawn Score, president of Best Buy Mobile. “Now, we are truly a multi-channel mobile phone retailer supporting customers when and where they choose to engage us.”

 

Best Buy’s Mobile Web site provides customers with a larger range of functions, which include:

    * Online purchases: Customers can purchase a mobile phone with a contract using online channels. Customers place their order, and can then choose to pick up in store or have their new phone shipped directly to their home.    * Instant Ship: With Instant Ship, if a customer comes in and is qualified for a device that is not available in-store, the device can be ordered and shipped directly from the Web site. Instant Ship online improves the options of phones and colors for customers, and allows customers to have their new handset delivered right to their home.

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