Kohl’s activates 100th solar location
Monomonee Falls, Wis. Kohl’s Department Stores said Thursday that it activated the solar panels at its 100th solar location in Mays Landing, N.J. earlier this month. Kohl’s also announced plans to expand its solar program into Pennsylvania.
The company currently has solar panels at select stores and distribution centers in California, Wisconsin, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Oregon and Colorado.
Solar is an integral component of the company’s energy management efforts and commitment to be carbon neutral by the end of 2010. The company estimates that energy management programs have helped prevent nearly $50 million in electricity costs. Over the last four years, accounting for rate variations, proactive energy management initiatives have translated into an improvement in energy efficiency of more than 20%, primarily in stores.
“We are pleased to have reached this milestone within three years of activating our first solar powered location in 2007,” said Ken Bonning, Kohl’s executive VP of store planning and logistics. “Our 100 solar locations, commitment to build 73 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified locations and 500 ENERGY STAR stores demonstrate our ongoing commitment to sustainability with meaningful results. We will continue to strive toward advancing environmental solutions that will lead to a cleaner, healthier environment for our communities and ensure we are doing business in a way that makes sense for our associates and customers.”
Kohl’s said that construction of solar arrays on the rooftops of seven Pennsylvania stores began in August and is expected to be completed by March 2011. The eight locations combined are expected to generate more than 2.3 megawatts of power annually.
Ebay improves user experience for blind Americans
SAN JOSE, Calif. Ebay has announced a partnership with the National Federation of the Blind to create more opportunities for blind Americans to access Ebay as buyers and sellers.
According to the company, Ebay.com now includes enhanced features for users to buy, bid and sell using the keyboard alone, as well as improved ways to navigate content using assistive technologies such as screen access software.
“We have great respect for the advocacy role the NFB plays in creating employment opportunities for the blind,” said John Donahoe, president and CEO of Ebay Inc. “Ebay has built a reputation as a driver of job creation by helping entrepreneurs start up and grow their businesses. We are excited about connecting with an even wider audience through this partnership and providing blind Americans with easier access to our marketplace for both buying and selling.”
Sears launches collection with French Connection UK
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears announced that it is partnering with French Connection UK and LF USA’s Regatta division, to launch UK Style by French Connection.
According to the company, the collaboration will bring in-store, branded boutiques to 500 Sears locations throughout the United States starting in the first quarter of 2011, just in time for the spring shopping season. Simultaneously, the collection will be available on Sears.com.
“French Connection is a world leader in contemporary fashion,” said John Goodman, EVP apparel and home Sears Holdings. “This addition to our brand portfolio will significantly increase our relevance among younger customers while strengthening our effort to re-energize our fashion offerings at Sears. The launch of UK Style by French Connection signifies our continued commitment to compelling fashion and great value. We are thrilled with this major opportunity to work with a company whose vibrant, cutting-edge fashion and avant-garde marketing have made waves in the fashion industry for almost forty years.”
The women’s collection offers floral leggings and striped tanks (from $9.90) along with patterned minis, sequined and animal-print shifts (starting at $29.90), designed to capture French Connection’s joie de vivre, Sears noted. Inspired by street and runway fashions in international capitals, the men’s collection offers dark-washed jeans ($24.90), button-down Oxford shirts ($24.90), and V-neck tees ($12.90).