STORE SPACES

Ikea reduces CO2 emissions by 5%

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Ikea has reduced its total CO2 emissions by 5% and CO2 emissions from goods transport by 10% in fiscal year 2009 compared with the previous year, according to the company’s 2009 Sustainability Report. Ninety-five percent of the home-furnishing retailer’s CO2 emissions is attributed to material extraction, suppliers, customer transportation and the use of products.

In 2010, Ikea will participate in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol by road testing a new global framework for measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Ikea also is committed to reducing emissions in its supply chain. A pilot program is in place to help suppliers reduce their energy use by 30% or more by 2011, focusing on the largest suppliers with the highest energy consumption.

To help meet its long-term goal of powering all Ikea buildings with 100% renewable energy, the company has plans for several solar-panel projects in eight countries during the next four years. The solar panels for up to 150 stores and distribution centers are expected to provide about 10% of their electricity need (the figure may be higher in distribution centers since they use less electricity).

Currently, nine Ikea facilities have solar panels installed with the plan to reach 30 to 40 buildings by the end of fiscal year 2011

The company is also working to use alternative energy sources for heating such as ground source heat pumps, air heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar panels, and is progressing on its alternative fuel project for transport service providers.

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Pier 1 Q1 comps up 14.3%

BY CSA STAFF

FORT WORTH, Texas Pier 1 Imports reported that comparable-store sales for the first quarter ended May 29 increased 14.3%. Last year’s comparable-store sales declined 7.5% for the first quarter ended May 30, 2009. Total sales for the quarter improved to $306 million compared with $281 million in the year ago quarter.

Alex Smith, president and CEO said, “We are extremely pleased with our first quarter sales increases. Comp-store sales continue to be driven by consistent increases in conversion rate, average ticket and traffic. As previously reported, March sales benefited from the earlier Easter holiday but business was solid throughout April and May ending with a strong Memorial Day weekend. All major merchandise categories performed well during the quarter and the variations in the performance geographically were much less than last year. We look forward to discussing our first quarter results in detail during our upcoming conference call.”

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Report: Consumer spending slows in Q2

BY CSA STAFF

PURCHASE, N.Y. According to the lates report from MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, this month, more retail sectors showed a respite in year-over-year growth, as slow economic recovery appeared to weigh on the U.S. consumer’s spending behaviors.

Michael McNamara, VP research and analysis for SpendingPulse, observes, “The momentum in consumer spending that was building through the first quarter, seems to be taking a breather in the second quarter of 2010, at least so far.  Financial volatility in the capital markets and ongoing macroeconomic issues could account for this shadow cast over the recovery in consumer spending.  Some sectors seem to be responding to specific disruptive events, such as the expiration of the Federal housing tax credits, where previously we’d noticed a beneficial “echo” effect on housing related categories such as Furniture and Furnishings. In addition, Memorial Day occurring a week later than it did last year, could have pushed some spending into June, 2010.  Nevertheless, we continue to see strength in pricing, and in most categories, we are registering solid increases in the SpendingPulse Price Index, indicating that inventories continue to be aligned to demand, and retailers have not had to return to steep discounting.”

According to the report, May was another strong month for e-commerce, with the channel seeing sales increase 13.7% over May 2009. The best performing sub-categories of e-commerce were children’s apparel and family apparel, growing 30.4% and 26.2% respectively, on a year-over-year basis.

 

Electronics and appliances sales were down 0.7% from last year. Consumer electronics sales fell by 0.8%, while appliance sales were flat. SpendingPulse reported that the appliance category’s flat sales could be explained by expiration of the Federal Housing Credit at the end of April, while the lack of new product launches in the consumer electronics sector could account for any weakness in this usually strong sub-category.

 

In a second month of decline, total U.S. apparel decreased 3.7%, with declines in all sub-categories except children’s apparel, the report found. Steepest declines were in men’s apparel, down 10.4%, the usually strong footwear category, down 7.3%, and women’s apparel, down 6.1% .  However, pricing continued to hold firm for the category as a whole, showing a healthy 5.4% increase in the overall apparel pricing index, on a year-over-year basis, SpendingPulse reported.

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