STORE SPACES

Ikea completes solar installation at Cincinnati-area store

BY Katherine Boccaccio

West Chester, Ohio — Ikea said Tuesday that it has officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its Cincinnati-area store in West Chester, Ohio.

The 128,000-sq.-ft. PV array consists of a 1,026-kW system, built with 4,186 panels. Ikea West Chester’s program will produce approximately 1,334,300 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 1,014 tons of carbon dioxide, eliminating the emissions of 180 cars or powering 115 homes yearly.

Ikea owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or power purchase agreement – and the West Chester installation represents the 14th completed solar energy project for Ikea in the United States, with 23 more locations underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of Ikea nearly 85% and a total generation of 30.8 MW.

For the development, design and installation of the West Chester store’s customized solar power system, Ikea contracted with REC Solar.

The 344,000-sq.-ft. West Chester Ikea store opened in March 2008.

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OPERATIONS

Collective Brands names head of Keds division

BY Staff Writer

Lexington, Mass. — Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group announced on Tuesday the appointment of Rick Blackshaw as president of the Keds brand, effective immediately.

Blackshaw, who most recently served as VP and general manager for the Chuck Taylor All Star Division of Converse, succeeds Kristin Kohler Burrows, who left to pursue other opportunities.

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OPERATIONS

Town Shoes selects PeopleAnswers for HR solution

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Dallas — HR solution-provider PeopleAnswers and Canada-based Town Shoes, which sells under Town Shoes and The Shoe Co., announced Tuesday that Town Shoes will use the PeopleAnswers pre-employment and employee selection solution in its 124 stores across Canada.

“As a growing retailer in a very competitive industry, it’s critical to have a standard – and efficient – hiring process across all of our stores to improve the quality of our hires and maintain our unique store brands,” said Yvonne Faulkner, VP sales and operations, Town Shoes.

Town Shoes will use the PeopleAnswers assessment test to prescreen and hire manager and associate job candidates who share many of the same behavioral traits with its current strong performers. With candidates taking the assessment test, Town Shoes expects to see higher employee retention and sales. Hiring managers will also use PeopleAnswers as a guide for interview content and employee development.

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