STORE SPACES

Ikea completes South Florida’s largest solar project

BY Marianne Wilson

Sweetwater, Fla. — Ikea announced it had completed the installation of South Florida’s largest solar array, which will be plugged-in officially atop the future Miami-Dade Ikea store opening this summer in Sweetwater, 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 consists 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 of reducing 1,227 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). Ikea contracted with REC Solar for the development, design and installation of the customized solar power system.

This installation will represent the 40th solar project for the home furnishings retailer in the U.S, contributing to the Ikea solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, and a total generation of 38 MW.

Ikea 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.

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OPERATIONS

Vera Bradley names Saks exec as executive VP, retail and wholesale sales

BY Staff Writer

Fort Wayne, Ind. — Vera Bradley announced that Karen Peters has been named executive VP, retail and wholesale sales.

Peters has 25 years of retail experience including multi-store management and merchandising. Between February 2005 and March 2014, she served as senior VP, director of stores for Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th. Prior to that, she held key management positions with Sears, Target, and Kohl’s.

In her new role with Vera Bradley, Peters will oversee the company’s full-line and factory outlet stores, the indirect channel (including the gift channel, the company’s department store relationships and other current and emerging indirect channels), store visual and store real estate. As key member of the executive team, she will be responsible for developing and executing strategies to drive revenue growth and improved business results.

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News

Anna’s Linens selects EarthLink managed network service, voice connectivity

BY Marianne Wilson

Atlanta — EarthLink Holdings Corp., a managed network and cloud services provider, announced that Anna’s Linens have selected the company to provide a comprehensive managed network solution and SIP Trunking for voice over IP for its more than three hundred stores and 3,200 employees.

To accommodate their rapid growth, increasingly centralized IT model, and need to run more applications, Anna’s IT leaders worked in collaboration with EarthLink partner Grauman Communications to transition to an EarthLink MPLS network and SIP Trunking.

EarthLink also prioritized their network traffic with class of service to ensure that voice and point-of-sale traffic take precedence.

"As a result of a more robust MPLS network from EarthLink, we have the security, reliability and bandwidth to run both our voice communications and critical in-store applications to support the growth of the business," said Joe Evango, director, technology services, Anna’s Linens. "Moving forward with EarthLink, we have quite a few future projects with the potential for significant additional cost savings."

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