Ikea ups solar presence to more than 50% of U.S. stores
Conshohocken, Pa. — Ikea announced on Wednesday plans to install solar energy panels at three additional U.S. locations, bringing the number of Ikea U.S. stores with a solar program to 23 – more than half of the home-furnishing retailer’s domestic presence.
The newest stores to come on line with solar are in Draper, Utah; New Haven, Conn.; and Portland, Ore. Pending governmental permits, rooftop installation of the nearly 10,000 total panels will begin next year, with completion slated for spring 2012, and will generate 3,156 MWh of electricity yearly.
Ikea will own and operate each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or power purchase agreement.
The Draper store’s program will encompass 4,311 panels generating 1,487,080 kWh/year; New Haven will feature 3,920 panels generating 1,099,800 kWh/year, and Portland’s program will encompass 2,072 panels generating 568,900 kWh/year.
“This initiative, part of the company’s never-ending list of sustainable activities, will lower the carbon intensity of the electric grid and the U.S. carbon footprint of Ikea,” said Mike Ward, Ikea U.S. president.
For the Draper and Portland projects, Ikea contracted with REC Solar; Gehrlicher Solar USA, part of Gehrlicher AG, was awarded the contract for Ikea New Haven.
Macy’s to invest $400 million to renovate Herald Square flagship
New York City — Macy’s announced it plans to spend about $400 million over the next four years to remodel and update its legendary store at Herald Square in Manhattan.
As part of the project, the store’s space will be expanded by 100,000-sq.-ft., giving it a total of 1.2 million sq. ft. of selling space. The additional space will result from opening up space currently used for stock and offices and extending the mezzanine level in the Broadway Building.
Work will begin in early spring 2012 and continue in phases through the fall of 2015. The majority of every floor, every department and the exterior of the building will be improved over the life of the project.
Macy’s said the store will remain open and operating during construction, with the location of some departments shifting temporarily as work progresses.
“The excitement, size and scale of this remodel reinforces our conviction that Macy’s Herald Square is and will remain a retail store in a class by itself,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s president and CEO.
“It is our company’s most productive store, and experience shows that improvements in this location consistently result in higher customer traffic and sales volume.”
Lundgren added that, although Macy’s will be modernizing the space, the company will “be careful to preserve and restore the historical integrity of this landmark building.”
Key elements of the remodel project include:
- A new hall of luxury brands, a series of two- and three-level shops in the Broadway Building. The current Louis Vuitton shop will be updated and enlarged to multiple floors. Other new shops to be announced will be added to expand the luxury shopping experience, including handbags and shoes.
- Creating the world’s largest women’s shoe department – a total of 39,000 sq. ft. of continuous selling space (63,000 sq. ft. including stockrooms) on the second floor. Part of the footwear space will be an all-new concept for a coffee/wine/chocolate bar.
- Restoring the first floor “great hall” with an all-new presentation of cosmetics, fragrances and fine jewelry that will incorporate the most advanced thinking on merchandising.
- Creating an entirely new Impulse presentation of contemporary apparel and accessories for the millennial customer.
- Creating an entirely new “mstylelab” presentation of juniors and young men’s in the Lower Level. Also incorporated into the Lower Level will be a complex of casual dining experiences, including concepts created by Macy’s Culinary Council of celebrity chefs and a brew pub that will remain open beyond normal store hours.
- A significant expansion and enhancement of men’s merchandise, which will grow to cover about 200,000 sq. ft. of selling space over seven floors of the Seventh Avenue Building.
- Infusing technology and new media into the shopping experience throughout the store, including interactive store directories, a system to stream live video feeds of Macy’s events nationwide, digital product information, an enhanced shoe locator system, new wayfinding signage and a new mobile app to guide customers as they shop.
- A restoration of the store’s exterior to re-capture its original grandeur and take full advantage of foot traffic along America’s top retailing block.
- Expanding and upgrading amenities. Nearly 300 additional fitting rooms will be added over the next four years. Restroom facilities will be added and improved.
- Operating systems to improve environmental sustainability, including a new state-of-the-art energy management system and expanded use of LED lighting, that is expected to reduce annual energy use by 15% to 20%.
New Walmart Neighborhood Market to feature only LED lighting
New York City — Walmart will open its first store in the United States that utilizes all-LED lighting on the interior. The store, a Walmart Neighborhood Market, is located at 2111 N. Amidon, Wichita, Kan.
The company said it expects to see a 40% savings on the energy-efficient lights, which also last at least six years beyond conventional lighting, reducing maintenance costs.
"We are delighted to have all LED interior lighting in our newest Wichita store," said market manager Michael Overton. "This is part of Walmart’s commitment to be a good steward of the environment, and we will be closely monitoring our savings in Wichita to gather more measurable data about the benefits of sustainability."
The all-LED store is one of three new Neighborhood Market locations that Walmart will open in Wichita on Nov. 2. The stores range from 30,000 sq. ft. to 40,000 sq. ft. each.