STORE SPACES

Kohl’s announces a ‘green’ first

BY Marianne Wilson

Menomonee Falls, Wis. — Kohl’s Department Stores’ new store prototype has achieved LEED Gold precertification using the LEED for Retail: New Construction rating system, making Kohl’s the first U.S. company to achieve this designation in the LEED Volume Program. The program, administered by the United States Green Building Council, launched in November 2010.

Beginning in spring 2012, all new Kohl’s stores will be designed and constructed using the LEED Gold pre-certified prototype and will pursue LEED certification post construction. The Gold pre-certified prototype will replace the company’s current new store prototype from the LEED Volume Pilot Program, which is pre-certified LEED Silver and has been utilized to construct new stores since fall 2008.

To date, more than 90 newly constructed Kohl’s stores nationwide built to the pilot prototype have earned LEED certification at the Silver or Certified level, with nearly 20 more expected to receive certification in the coming months.

Environmentally responsible building design, construction and operation is a significant consideration and focus area for Kohl’s, said the chain’s chief administrative officer John Worthington.

“Not only do we want to ensure that our stores and facilities provide a convenient, fresh and exciting destination for our customers and partners, we want to do so in a way that demonstrates sustainable practices and principles of leadership for our communities, business partners and industry,” he said. “We have implemented aggressive efforts to LEED certify our stores and aim to reach 300 total LEED certifications by the end of next year and more than 500 by 2015.”

In addition to new store construction, Kohl’s integrates sustainable practices into its existing stores through the LEED Volume Pilot Program for Operations and Maintenance. Under this program, Kohl’s existing store prototype was pre-certified at the Gold level in 2011. Compared with new construction projects, these stores are LEED certified based on their sustainable operations and maintenance policies such as energy- and water-use efficiency and performance, sustainable cleaning, purchasing, recycling and more.

To date, more than 100 existing Kohl’s stores nationwide have received LEED certification under LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance with more than 60 locations registered and in a performance period.

Additional information about Kohl’s environmental efforts is available at www.KohlsGreenScene.com.

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FINANCE

American Express survey finds some small business owners believe U.S. still in recession

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York City — Research results released Tuesday by American Express found that more than a third (38%) of small business owners believe that the U.S. is still in the throes of a recession.

According to the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, a semi-annual survey in its 10th year, concerns about the economy are weighing heavily on entrepreneurs. Twenty-seven percent say they do not plan to grow in the next six months (up from 21% in the spring) and just 77% describe themselves as glass-half-full optimists (down from 85% a year ago).

Despite those concerns, however, there are some positive signs. The survey showed that cash flow is more under control, as 55% expressed cash-flow concerns, down from 66% in the spring. On the capex side, 48% plan investments, up from 44% in the spring.

On the hiring front, 31% say they will hire over the next six months, down slightly from the spring (35%), but at levels still higher than the four surveys spanning spring 2009 to fall 2010.

Social media remains an emphasis. Of the businesses that identified themselves as having grown despite the economy, 58% said they will use social media to attract new customers. Among the entrepreneurs using social media, Facebook is the most popular way to reach new customers (33%). And 28% of business owners say social media has helped their business survive in a challenging economy.

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OPERATIONS

Golfsmith partners with South African retailer

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Austin, Texas — Golfsmith International said Tuesday that it has established a partnership with The MoreGolf Group – South Africa’s largest golf retailer – as part of a global strategy toward growth.

At 78 stores, Golfsmith is the largest golf specialty retailer in the United States. It said it will reinvest the income generated from the just-announced partnership into its core U.S. business.

In the past year, Golfsmith has formed new partnerships for its proprietary brands in Europe, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and now South Africa.

MoreGolf banners include The Pro Shop’s retail chain and World of Golf experiences, two of the best known names in South African golf.

The partnership will allow both retailers to share best practices in merchandising, operations, club fitting, sourcing, sales and marketing. Additionally MoreGolf will have an exclusive agreement to sell MacGregor golf products as well as Golfsmith’s other proprietary brands throughout the entire MoreGolf group that includes The Pro Shop’s 18 stores, its World of Golf facility and three World of Golf villages.

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