FINANCE

IKEA to Invest in Green Companies

BY CSA STAFF

New York City IKEA plans to invest $77 million in start-up companies producing eco-friendly products with an eye to eventually adding solar panels and other green goods to its inventory.

The news was reported by Cleantech Group, which said Ikea plans to focus on five areas: solar panels, alternative light sources, product materials, energy efficiency, and water saving and purification. The investments will be made in companies that offer commercial prospects within a four-to-five year horizon, according to Cleantech.

Over the next two years, IKEA plans to work with five or six companies, with a target of bringing the first round of products to market within three to four years, helping the start-ups reduce their prices and develop better products.

IKEA expects to invest in five to 10 companies overall, keeping the portfolio relatively small so it spend a lot of time with the start-ups.

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PacSun July sales down 3%

BY CSA STAFF

ANAHEIM, Calif. Pacific Sunwear of California posted July sales of $99.1 million for the four-week period ended Aug. 2, a decrease of 3% from $102.4 million during the same period last year. Same-store sales decreased 4%.

Sales for the 13-week second quarter were $312.7 million, a slight increase over last year’s $311.8 million. Same-store sales decreased 1%.

The company now expects to report earnings from continuing operations for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 in the range of five cents to six cents per diluted share.

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Survey says Home Depot top DIY retailer

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio Home Depot is still the top destination for do-it-yourself shoppers but is losing ground to the competition, according to a July retail survey from BIGresearch.

The report found that 28.5% of consumers surveyed chose Home Depot most often when shopping for home improvement products, with Lowe’s second at 22.9%. But Home Depot’s numbers were down from July 2007 when it was chosen by 31.6% of consumers, with Lowe’s up slightly from 22.2%. Wal-Mart was chosen by 6% of consumers, up from 5.4% during the same period last year.

The numbers reflect at trend that began six years ago for Home Depot. “Home Depot’s consumer share has declined since posting a high of 40.9% in July 2002,” said Pam Goodfellow, senior analyst at BIGresearch.  

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