STORE SPACES

Ikea powers up solar panels at Orlando store

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Orlando, Fla. — Ikea said Wednesday that it has officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its store in Orlando, Fla.

The 120,900-sq.-ft. PV array consists of a 967-kW system, built with 4,115 panels. The retailer said the program will produce approximately 1,421,500 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 1,080 tons of carbon dioxide, eliminating the emissions of 192 cars or powering 122 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 this Orlando installation represents the 18th completed solar energy project for Ikea in the United States, with 21 more locations underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of Ikea nearly 89% with a total generation of 38 MW.

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

The 309,000-sq.-ft. Ikea Orlando store opened in November 2007.

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Denny’s makes Dominican Republic, airport debuts

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Spartanburg, S.C. — Denny’s Corp. said Wednesday that it has opened its first restaurant in the Dominican Republic as part of a development agreement with Grupo Nahas, which owns and operates the Intercontinental Hotel and Holiday Inn, among others, in Santo Domingo.

Located in the Food Court of the Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo, the new restaurant represents Denny’s first airport location worldwide.

Denny’s currently operates restaurants in Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, Guam, Curaçao, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and New Zealand, in addition to its U.S. presence.

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Best Buy launches Best Buy Mobile in Five Star stores in China

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Minneapolis — Best Buy announced Tuesday it is expanding the Best Buy Mobile brand and store-within-a-store concept into 14 Five Star stores throughout Nanjing, China, this summer.

The expansion of Best Buy Mobile into the Chinese market is the first evolution of Global Connect, a partnership that was formed in November 2011 between Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse.

"The launch of Best Buy Mobile in China is a true global effort,” said Shari Ballard, president, international for Best Buy. The launch follows a similar model that led to the development of Best Buy Mobile in the United States in 2006. Just as Carphone Warehouse did with Best Buy five years ago, the Global Connect team is working closely with its Five Star partners to develop a mobile sales strategy that is designed for the Chinese market, said the company.

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