Ikea plugs-in Maryland’s largest rooftop solar energy system
Perryville, Md. — Ikea said Tuesday it has plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its distribution center in Perryville, Md.
The 768,972-sq.-ft. PV array consists of a 2,674.9-kW system, built with 18,576 panels, and is the state’s largest rooftop array.
The Ikea distribution center will produce approximately 3,397,178 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 2,397 tons of carbon dioxide, eliminating the emissions of 499 cars or powering 359 homes yearly.
The installation represents the Swedish furniture retailer’s 36th completed solar project in the United States, with three more locations underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of Ikea nearly 90% of its U.S. locations with 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 power purchase agreement — and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015.
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.
For the development, design and installation of the Perryville DC’s customized solar power system, Ikea contracted with Inovateus Solar.
Crabtree & Evelyn positions itself on cloud for global expansion
BURLINGTON, Mass. — Crabtree & Evelyn, an international luxury brand known for its bath, body and home fragrance products, turned to Demandware to re-launch its U.S. e-commerce site, crabtree-evelyn.com.
Demandware, a leading provider of enterprise cloud commerce solutions, will help the luxury brand deliver a seamless digital commerce shopping experience across all channels. In addition to re-launching its U.S. site on the Demandware Commerce platform, Crabtree & Evelyn will use the cloud commerce solutions company to offer its customers online shopping via smartphones and tablets. Demandware’s cloud-based digital commerce platform will also be the foundation for Crabtree & Evelyn’s global expansion. The luxury brand has more than 500 stores across 60 countries.
“As a global brand focused on growth, we needed a flexible solution, a platform that will enable us to rapidly expand our business and create highly customized, personalized brand experiences across channels and geographies. We chose Demandware’s cloud solution for its continual innovation and platform extensibility. Demandware Commerce will accelerate our time to market and enable us to grow our strategic digital channel,” said Kevin Coen, Crabtree & Evelyn president of the Americas.
Crabtree & Evelyn worked with Demandware Link Solution Partner, SapientNitro, on the development and system integration of its new site.
“Crabtree & Evelyn understands that staying ahead of the accelerating pace of change in technology, retail trends and consumer expectations is critical for success in digital commerce,” said Jeffrey Barnett, COO, Demandware. “By choosing Demandware, they not only benefit from a comprehensive digital commerce platform that enables them to move quickly in the changing face of retail, they also gain a partner committed to their success. We look forward to working closely with Crabtree & Evelyn to support their ongoing growth initiatives.”
Demandware adds Crabtree & Evelyn to a list of clients that includes Pier 1, Avenue Stores, Jo-Ann Stores, Pacific Sunwear and Ecco. Its enterprise cloud platform minimizes the costs and complexities of running global, omni-channel commerce operations and empowers retailers to respond with speed and agility to new market opportunities and continually evolving consumer expectations.
Deloitte: Despite improving economy, shoppers keep belts tight
NEW YORK — According to survey results by Deloitte, 94% of Americans indicate they will remain cautious and keep their spending for food, beverage and household goods at its current level, despite an improving economy.
Deloitte’s 2013 American Pantry Study found that 92% of Americans said they have become more resourceful, and 86% say they are getting more precise in what they buy — attitudes that have remained consistent in the three years Deloitte has conducted the study, and across income levels.
Despite enduring frugal attitudes, few consumers feel they are making any compromise: More than seven in 10 (72%) said that, even though they are spending less on household and grocery items, it doesn’t feel like they are sacrificing much, a seven percentage point increase in two years.
Nearly nine in 10 (88%) reported they have found several store brands that they feel are just as good as national brands, and few consumers plan to switch back to national brands: Only 27% plan to do so as the economy rebounds, an eight percentage point decline from the previous year.
"One of the most notable year-over-year trends in the study is how embedded frugality has become due to the recession," said Pat Conroy, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and consumer products sector leader. "Prudent consumers and improving perceptions about store brands are squeezing national brands’ position. The gap between the few ‘must have’ brands on shoppers’ lists and others on the shelf may be widening.”
The survey found that as store brands become more entrenched in the pantry, brand loyalty continues to slide; however, consumers appear to be selectively loyal to certain brands.
Shoppers are also selective about the retail channels where they are willing to purchase certain items. Consumers surveyed shop an average of 2.5 channels in each product category, compared with an average of 5.5 channels (including grocery, mass merchandise, club, drug, convenience, dollar, neighborhood market and online) for all of their food, beverage and personal goods combined.
Loyalty cards’ importance in consumers’ cross-channel shopping has increased, as the number of consumers with three or more grocery loyalty cards has grown from 28% in 2010 to 39% in the most recent survey.
Additionally, 58% of shoppers surveyed use shopper loyalty cards in grocery stores every time they shop, up 14 percentage points in two years, and 30% participate in a loyalty program via their smartphone while shopping in a store.
While 14% of shoppers surveyed currently buy consumer products online and pick them up in the store, 43% indicate they would like to do so, with strongest demand appearing in food and beverage categories for in-store pickup.
Eleven percent purchase online with home delivery, and the number rises to 34% among those who would like to do so.
"Consumer product companies can use mobile and online channels to strengthen the functional and experiential brand attributes that translate into conversion and loyalty,” said Conroy. “They should consider aligning their digital efforts with consumers’ location and context to reach shoppers online and on their phones, blending into their list-making, meal planning, product and price-checking, family activities and health and beauty routines.”
Nearly one-quarter (23%) of respondents age 45 to 70 indicated they are interested in using mobile coupons they can scan at the checkout, up from 12% in last year’s survey, compared with a six percentage point increase among respondents age 21 to 29.