REAL ESTATE

JLL signs new VP for Florida retail leasing group

BY Michael Fickes

Orlando, Fla. — Jones Lang LaSalle has announced the appointment of Justin Greider to its Florida retail leasing business. Greider joins as a VP to oversee the firm’s retail leasing portfolio. Greider will work with Florida retail market lead John Lambert and senior VP Sean McConnell to provide strategic planning and execution of merchandising plans for the firm’s neighborhood, community and premier shopping centers throughout Florida.

Greider comes to JLL from Crossman & Company where he served as director of leasing. He was responsible for the firm’s 20 million sq.-ft. retail portfolio.

Greider was recognized as a Co-Star Power Broker for six of the past seven years.

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OPERATIONS

Challenger details holiday hiring trends

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Shaky consumer confidence and increased efficiencies among retailers may put a damper on retailers’ holiday hiring plans, according to global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

In its annual holiday hiring forecast, Challenger estimated that seasonal job gains will not see a significant decline from last year’s robust numbers, but they are likely to at best match the level of hiring that occurred in October, November, and December 2012.

“There are several factors that could keep holiday hiring from reaching last year’s level. While, the economy and job market are improving, it has now been four years since the recession officially ended and millions of Americans are still unemployed or underemployed. As a result, consumers remain uneasy, which is evidenced by wide monthly mood swings in confidence surveys,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

In 2012, retail employment increased by a non-seasonally-adjusted 751,800 between Oc. 1 and Dec. 31, making it the heaviest holiday hiring binge since 2000, when retailers added 788,200 to their payrolls during the final three months of the year. The 2012 holiday hiring total was up 11% from the previous year, when 679,300 extra seasonal workers were hired.

The latest forecast from retail research firm ShopperTrak predicts that sales at U.S. stores will climb rise only 2.4% in November and December compared with increases of 3% in 2012, 4% in 2011 and 3.8% in 2010. Store visits are expected to fall 1.4% during those months. However, consulting firm Deloitte on Monday forecast a 4% to 4.5% increase in holiday sales, on par with last year’s gains.

“Price conscious consumers are doing more and more of their holiday shopping online, where they often find the best deals and can typically enjoy free delivery and no sales tax. The ongoing shift to Internet shopping could see some seasonal hiring in this area, but the numbers will never match the employment gains seen in traditional brick-and-mortar establishments,” said Challenger.

For example, this year, eBay has announced plans to add 2,000 workers and Eddie Bauer plans to add 1,200 workers to an Ohio distribution and customer service center. While these numbers are nothing to scoff at, they pale in comparison to the 53,000 seasonal workers to be added by Kohl’s Department Store this year and the 70,000 that Target plans to hire, according to recent announcements

It’s worth noting that the 70,000 holiday workers expected to be added by Target is down from 88,000 a year ago, a decline the company attributed to increased efficiencies and a desire among its permanent, full-time staff to reap the rewards of extra holiday hours.

“The fact is that retailers are getting smarter about staffing. The era of Big Data has armed everyone with the information they need to more accurately predict the ebbs and flows in sales activity and adjust hiring accordingly,” said Challenger.

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STORE SPACES

Kohl’s honored by EPA with Sustained Excellence in Green Power Award

BY Marianne Wilson

Menomonee Falls, Wis. — Kohl’s Department Stores announced its goal to achieve net zero emissions each year through 2015. The company also announced that it has been recognized with a 2013 Sustained Excellence in Green Power Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (The annual Green Power Leadership Awards recognize the country’s leading green power users for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market.)

“This recognition from EPA comes at a time when we are furthering our commitment to achieving carbon neutrality through a continued investment in the use and support of green power, as well as our sustainable operations strategies companywide,” said Ken Bonning, Kohl’s senior executive VP. “In 2012, we were pleased to achieve our initial goal to achieve net zero emissions from 2010-2012 and are proud to extend that goal for three more years through 2015.”

Kohl’s is currently purchasing 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) green power annually and generates an additional 37 million kWh of on-site green power annually, which is enough to meet 105% of the company’s total U.S.-based electricity use.

The company is also one of the largest hosts of solar electricity in North America with 140 solar locations across 14 states and a goal to reach 200 solar locations by 2015. Kohl’s has two wind locations – its Findlay, Ohio, distribution center and Corpus Christi, Texas store.

According to EPA, Kohl’s combined current green power use from renewable energy certificates (RECs) and on-site generation is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions of more than 222,000 passenger vehicles per year, or the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power nearly 160,000 average American homes annually.

The foundation of Kohl’s efforts is the expansion of its longstanding leadership in operational efficiency, including waste reduction, building design and operation, transportation, supply chain and energy management. More than two-thirds of the company’s locations have earned EPA’s Energy Star’s certification, and more than a quarter have earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Kohl’s is also an active participant in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, through which has committed to reduce its energy use in more than 112 million sq. ft. of occupied building space by at least 20% by 2020.

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