STORE SPACES

Ikea goes solar in Houston; installation makes chain largest solar owner in Texas

BY Marianne Wilson

Houston — Ikea on Monday officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its store in Houston. The installation, when combined with Ikea solar projects atop stores in Frisco and Round Rock, will make the home furnishings retailer the state’s largest solar owner.

Ikea contracted with REC Solar for the development, design and installation of the Houston store’s customized solar power system. The store’s 116,400-sq-.ft. photovoltaic array consists of a 813-kW system, built with 3,388 panels. The program will produce approximately 1,152,464 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 795 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 156 cars or powering 99 homes yearly.

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). The Houston installation represents the 19th completed solar energy project for Ikea in the United States, with 20 more installations underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of Ikea nearly 89% with a total generation of 38 MW.

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Fresh Market closing in on first California stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Greensboro, N.C. — High-end grocer The Fresh Market is making a stand in California, as it prepares to open its first three stores in the state.

According to a Tuesday report by Investor’s Business Daily, Fresh Market has signed leases and begun construction on one store in Santa Barbara, one in Palo Alto and a third in Roseville. The grocer said it expects to open its first store in the state either late this year or early 2013.

The stores measure about 21,000 sq. ft., feature upscale design elements and typically compete with Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s, both of which have a substantial presence in California.

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Conversion underway for Genuardi’s stores in Philadelphia area

BY Allison Cerra

Carlisle, Pa. — Ahold subsidiary Giant Food said it has commenced its conversion of 15 former Genuardi’s stores. The announcement follows FTC approval of Giant Food’s plan to acquire 15 Genuardi’s stores, located in the greater Philadelphia area, from Safeway.

During the conversion process, five stores at a time will temporarily close for about a week. The three-phase staggered approach is expected to be completed on July 22.

"During the three weeks of conversion, we will strive to minimize the amount of disruption to our customers," Giant Food Stores president Rick Herring said. "Giant is committed to this multi-million dollar investment to improve the overall shopping experience in these 15 stores to meet the quality, selection and savings that customers have come to expect from Giant."

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