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Hot Topic, Santa Monica, Calif.

BY CSA STAFF

Hot Topic has always strived to reflect the tastes, interests and attitudes of its customers and the newest evolution of its prototype is no exception. The store, in Santa Monica, Calif., and designed in collaboration with JGA, Southfield, Mich., is sleek and transparent. It mirrors the world of Hot Topic’s tech-savvy customers by seamlessly blending social and technological components into the shopping experience. The end result is a highly interactive environment; from access to online music-listening to stations where shoppers can co-create their own designs for t-shirts. The space can also be modified to accommodate live music performances — all fixtures, including cashwraps, are on casters allowing the entire store to be transformed into a music venue.

Among the store’s highlights:

  • Microsoft surface tables: These tables, in a custom designed enclosure, give shoppers a unique way to digitally access content in the store. The intuitive and easy-to-use multi-touch computer allows shoppers access to multiple features and programs, including Hot Topic’s loyalty program.
  • Cashwrap: The design utilizes a “pod” approach to the cashwrap, with two pods within the store. The pods are wireless, so they can be relocated anywhere there is access to power.
  • Media wall ceiling panels, a series of “clouds,” carry the eye toward the large media wall in the rear of the store. The wall provides a changeable background for performing bands, and also accommodates social and media elements. It also can serve as a window into various activities that are happening in-store or at theatrical venues.

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L.Jandayan says:
Mar-06-2013 10:47 am

Employees should be well trained to online music entertainment for alterations and adaptation to different devices. They are hired in this company because of their personalities not without any experiences. - Scott Sohr

L.Jandayan says:
Mar-06-2013 10:47 am

Employees should be well trained to online music entertainment for alterations and adaptation to different devices. They are hired in this company because of their personalities not without any experiences. - Scott Sohr

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Restructuring accelerates Gap’s global growth

BY CSA STAFF

Gap Inc. wants international and online sales to account for 30% of its revenues within two years and a restructuring announced this week is expected to play a role in facilitating that growth.

The company said it would consolidate four existing international business units into one under the leadership of Stephen Sunnucks, a 30-year retail veteran who joined Gap five years ago.

“Our successful openings in China and Italy have given us further evidence that we have a strong game plan for entering and expanding into international markets through a unique combination of online, specialty retail, outlet and franchise stores,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO of Gap. “Bringing our four international business units under the leadership of a proven global retail executive like Stephen Sunnucks allows us to leverage resources, operate consistently, and grow the business at an accelerated rate.”

Sunnucks is credited with successfully guiding the growth of Gap and Banana Republic in Europe as well as overseeing the company’s rapidly-expanding franchise operations. With the decision to consolidate international businesses under Sunnuck’s leadership he will be responsible for company’s brands outside North America consisting of about 530 stores in 30 countries.

“As we’ve expanded into new countries and introduced additional brands from our portfolio, our distinctively American aesthetic has resonated very well, everywhere from Milan to Shanghai to Sydney. We have the flexibility to adapt our formats for each market so that we can gain a larger share of the $1.4 trillion global apparel retail market,” Sunnucks said.

Most of the limited growth Gap has experienced in recent years is due to its international expansion and online efforts. Just five years ago, Gap operated in only eight countries and its products were sold online in only the United States. Today, the company operates stores in 32 countries and sells online in a total of 90 countries.

Towards the end of 2010, the company opened its first Gap and Banana Republic flagship stores in Italy, and its first Gap stores and an online retail site in China. The new stores in Milan and China have been among the company’s top 10 percent performing stores in the world since their openings. The company expects to open its first Old Navy unit in Japan in 2012.

In the year ahead, the company plans to open about 190 stores worldwide, including about 10 stores each in China and Italy. It plans to double the number of franchise stores to 400 by 2015. Gap ended last year with sales of $14.6 billion.

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Ill. governor tours nearby green Walgreens

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. — As part of Earth Month in Illinois, Gov. Patrick Quinn Tuesday morning toured a Walgreens drug store in Oak Park, Ill., that features the first geothermal energy system used in a chain drug store in the country, Walgreens stated in a release.

The system, which went live when the store opened last October, has reduced the store’s expected energy usage by 60%.

"We are proud to showcase our commitment to the environment here in Oak Park with Gov. Quinn," Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson said, who accompanied the governor on the store tour. "Geothermal energy is an important way we can reduce our carbon footprint, and through the innovative, sustainable design of this store, we have made it a reality."

The store also features a Level 2 electric vehicle charging station, which can add up to 25 miles of range per hour of charge. Working with 350Green, Walgreens plans to install charging stations at about 30 additional Chicago-area stores beginning this summer. The company has already initiated charging station installments across the Houston and Dallas markets.

"For our customers with electric vehicles, we will offer some of the area’s best corners to help give people the confidence to drive longer distances while having access to charging stations," Wasson said.

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