STORE SPACES

Ikea announces 40th solar project

BY Marianne Wilson

Conshohocken, Pa. — Ikea announced solar energy is planned for its store under construction in Sweetwater, Fla., which is in the Miami-metro area. Pending permits, installation of solar panels on the store’s roof will begin in several months, with completion by grand opening in summer 2014. Ikea contracted with REC Solar for the development, design and installation of the 416,000-sq.-ft. store’s customized solar power system.

The array will be the largest such installation in South Florida. Combined with rooftop arrays in Orlando, Tampa and Sunrise, this fourth solar project will keep Ikea as the state’s largest non-utility solar owner. The 178,000-sq.-ft. solar array will consist of a 1,178-kW system, built with 4,620 panels, and will produce approximately 1,738,876 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent to reducing 1,227 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 256 cars or providing electricity for 169 homes yearly.

This installation will represent the 40th solar project for Ikea in the U.S, contributing to the Ikea goal of a solar presence on nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation goal of 38 MW. The retailer owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015.

This investment reinforces the long-term commitment of Ikea to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. Consistent with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, Ikea has installed more than 250,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operates approximately 110 wind turbines in Europe.

“This array allows us to continue rolling-out solar panels atop 90% of our U.S. locations,” said Mike Ward, Ikea U.S. president. “Ikea is committed to creating a more sustainable life for communities where we operate, so we are proud of investing in four Florida solar projects.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: U.S. Hispanic shoppers make more grocery trips

BY Marianne Wilson

Jacksonville, Fla. — Hispanic shoppers in the United States make more grocery trips and spend more across grocery trip types than total U.S. shoppers, according to AMG Strategic Advisors, the growth strategy consultancy of Acosta Sales & Marketing, a full-service sales and marketing agency in the consumer packaged goods industry. On average, U.S. Hispanic shoppers make 4.1 routine grocery trips per month and spend $110 on each trip, compared to total U.S. shoppers who make 3.8 routine grocery trips per month and spend $95 on each trip.

The report, The Why? Behind The Buy Hispanic Edition, highlights the latest U.S. Hispanic shopper trends, found that U.S. Hispanic shoppers use digital tools more frequently than total U.S. shoppers as part of their shopping strategy. Sixty-nine percent of U.S. Hispanics report using technology devices in their grocery shopping planning compared to 61% of the total U.S. population.

In other findings:

  • Facebook plays an important role for U.S. Hispanics, with 83% of Hispanic users “liking” or following brands compared to 79% of the total U.S. Population.
  • U.S. Hispanics often follow brands that support similar causes and help tell a story of products they like while total U.S. shoppers primarily follow brands for coupons and special offers.
  • U.S. Hispanic shoppers are more loyal to national brands and are more likely to include specific brand names on their grocery lists.

“Already, U.S. Hispanics typically spend more time and more money on their grocery trips, and by 2015, their buying power is projected to reach $1.5 trillion — a 50% increase from just a few years ago — making the U.S. Hispanic population an even more important constituency of shoppers. And while most CPG companies realize that the U.S. Hispanic market presents a key growth area, many are still struggling with how best to capitalize on the opportunity,” said Graciela Eleta, one of Acosta’s senior Hispanic advisors.


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OPERATIONS

Dollar General announces changes to board

BY Staff Writer

Goodlettsville, Tenn. — Dollar General Corporation announced the resignations of Raj Agrawal and Adrian Jones as members of its board of directors effective Dec. 5. Agrawal, a member of KKR & Co. (LP), and Jones, a managing director at Goldman, Sachs & Co., have served as directors of Dollar General since 2007.

The entity controlled by KKR and Goldman Sachs, which purchased the company in 2007, now owns less than 2% of the company’s outstanding common stock. Based on this reduced level of ownership, KKR and Goldman Sachs have determined to reduce or eliminate, as applicable, their representation on the company’s board of directors. Mike Calbert, a member of KKR, will continue to serve as the lead director.

“Raj and Adrian have made substantial contributions to the success of Dollar General. Their judgment and financial acumen have benefited both Dollar General employees and shareholders, and I appreciate their support over the years. On behalf of the entire board of directors, I thank them for their service to Dollar General,” said Rick Dreiling, chairman and chief executive officer.

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