ENERGY/HVAC

Home furnishings giant’s distribution center going solar

BY Marianne Wilson

Ikea continues to expand its use of renewable energy.

The retailer plans to install the largest rooftop solar array in the state on Illinois on its distribution center in Joliet.

Installation of the panels on the roof of the 1.25 million-sq.-ft. center, which is currently under construction, will begin in spring 2017, with completion expected in fall 2017. Combined with arrays atop Ikea’s Chicago-area stores in Bolingbrook and Schaumburg, the new project will make the retailer the owner of three of the state’s largest solar rooftop installations. (Ikea’s renewable energy portfolio Illinois also includes a 49-turbine wind farm in Hoopeston.)

The distribution center’s 470,545-sq.-ft. solar array will consist of a 2.91 MW system, built with 8,966 panels, and will produce approximately 3,411,600 kWh of electricity annually for the facility, the equivalent of reducing 2,398 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 506 cars or providing electricity for 354 homes yearly.

Ikea elected SoCore Energy, a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Edison International, to develop, design and install the facility’s solar power system. Gray Construction is managing the construction of the Joliet distribution center, which will receive and inventory goods sold at Ikea stores worldwide.

“We are excited to further our sustainability commitment with solar panels on our future Midwest distribution center,” said Lars Peterson, Ikea U.S. president. “Installing Illinois’ largest rooftop array advances our vision of creating a better everyday life for the many.”

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SLIDESHOW

The Clinic, Denver

BY CSA STAFF
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Business is booming in the fast-growing business of medical and recreational cannabis. And the shops that specialize in the trade are taking their game up more than a few notches.

In July, The Clinic which operates five locations in Colorado, two in Illinois and one in Las Vegas, opened a flagship that shows just how much the industry has evolved from the sterile, sparsely decorated storefronts of just a couple years back.

Designed by JGA, Southfield, Mich., the new, 2,120-sq.-ft. Clinic offers customers a modern retail experience, with a clean, contemporary environment that is comfortable and easy to explore and personifies the brand’s art-meets-science-meets-nature aesthetic.

Warm, natural light fills the interior. A skylight is secured with custom metal millwork designed in The Clinic’s signature molecule/honeycomb shapes.

The open layout includes a medical area and a recreational area, each with a complementary, yet distinctive feel. Custom cases and display elements create a series of guest “pods” that are arranged organically, assuring each customer a degree of privacy and personal space.

Subtle hints of the company’s branding colors are applied to everything, from the weight scale to the upholstered seating areas to the graphics, and decorative light fixtures. It’s a clean and contemporary environment, with just the right balance of tech and touch

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FINANCE

Off-price giant soars in Q3; raises outlook

BY Marianne Wilson

The TJX Companies topped earnings and sales forecasts for its third quarter as deal-loving consumers flocked to its stores.

The off-price apparel and home goods retailer reported that net sales for its third quarter, ended Oct. 29, rose 7% to $8.3 billion, on top of a 5% increase last year.

Consolidated same-store sales rose 5%, over last year’s 5% increase. At Marmaxx, a division includes Marshall's and T.J. Maxx, same-store sales rose 5% compared to estimates for a 3.4% increase. HomeGoods reported a 6% same-store sales gain, beating estimates for a 5% increase. T.J. Maxx Canada saw sales rise 8%, higher than estimates for a 5.6% gain.

TJX’s net income for the third quarter was $550 million and diluted earnings per share were $.83.

Excluding the impact of a debt extinguishment charge and pension settlement charge, which combined reduced earnings per share by $.08, adjusted diluted earnings per share were $.91. This compares to diluted earnings per share of $.86 in the prior year.

The retailer lifted its full-year earnings outlook to $3.46 to $3.48 a share from a prior projection of $3.39 to $3.43 a share.

“We are extremely pleased that our strong momentum in customer traffic and sales continued in the third quarter,” said Ernie Herrman, CEO and president, The TJX Companies.” We are convinced that we are gaining consumer market share across all of our divisions.”

Herrman said that company has numerous initiatives underway to drive customers to its stores this holiday season and keep them coming back.

“We are on our way to becoming a $40 billion-plus company,” he said.

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