OPERATIONS

Kohl’s receives EPA’s highest Energy Star award

BY Marianne Wilson

Menomonee Falls, Wis. — Kohl’s Department Stores will be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a recipient of the 2013 Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for the company’s continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency initiatives.

The 2013 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Awards are given to a select group of organizations that have exhibited outstanding leadership year after year. Award recipients have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by setting and achieving aggressive goals and employing innovative energy efficiency approaches. Award winners are selected from the nearly 20,000 organizations that participate in the Energy Star program. Kohl’s also received a Sustained Excellence Award in 2012 and Partner of the Year Awards in 2011 and 2010.

“As a major retailer with stores and corporate facilities nationwide, it is our responsibility to carefully manage our use of resources and strive to reduce our carbon footprint,” said John Worthington, Kohl’s chief administrative officer. “Our partnership with Energy Star has been instrumental in providing tools to assess the performance of our buildings, set strategy and develop action plans.”

Since joining the program in 1998, Kohl’s has been able to Energy Star-certify nearly two-thirds of its stores, which translates to both cost savings and more efficient operations, Worthington added.

Kohl’s uses the Energy Star portfolio manager to track energy performance of all facilities, assess opportunities for enhanced energy performance and implement best practices. To date, the company has more than 750 Energy Star-certified locations and constructs all new Kohl’s stores with the intent to pursue the program’s “Designed to Earn” designation. These stores are eligible to earn Energy Star certification after maintaining superior energy performance for one year in operation. (According to EPA, on average, commercial buildings that earn Energy Star certification use 35% less energy and generate one-third less carbon dioxide than similar buildings.)

In 2012, Kohl’s furthered its commitment to energy efficiency and the use and support of renewable energy through initiatives including:

Re-Commissioning: Kohl’s improved the energy management of 47 stores that were identified through a re-commissioning program that evaluates all controls, lighting and temperature equipment to maximize energy efficiency.

LED Lighting: In more than 70 new and remodeled Kohl’s stores, the company upgraded to LED accent lighting that has a longer lifespan and uses 46% less energy than traditional spot lighting solutions. Additionally, more than 300 stores received LED jewelry showcase lighting.

LED Retrofit: More than 600 Kohl’s stores were retrofitted for a screw-in LED lamp program that uses existing spot-light fixtures with a lamp that has a longer lifespan and lower wattage.

Wattage Reduction: Kohl’s rolled out an ambient wattage reduction package in more than 200 stores that replaced lighting throughout the store with a lower-wattage lamp that saves more than 72,000 kWh of energy per year and provides an enhanced merchandise display.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: Kohl’s continued to expand its EV charging station initiative. Customers may now charge for free while they shop at 60 locations across 16 states.

Department of Energy Better Buildings Challenge: Kohl’s has set a goal through the Better Buildings Challenge to reduce its use of energy in more than 112 million sq. ft. of occupied building space by at least 20% by 2020.

Solar Energy: Kohl’s expanded its solar program by installing panels at 16 new locations and activating its largest array of solar panels at its million-sq.-ft., e-commerce distribution center in Maryland. To date, Kohl’s has more than 130 solar locations in 12 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and is one of the largest single hosts of solar electricity production in North America.

Renewable Energy Credits: Kohl’s purchased more than 1.5 billion kWh of green power, enough to offset more than 100% of the company’s purchased electricity use for the third consecutive year. The company ranks first in retail and second overall on EPA’s quarterly rankings of top green power purchasers.

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Gordmans sales soft in Q4

BY CSA STAFF

Regional department store operator Gordmans Stores reported disappointing fourth quarter sales and indicated 2013 is of to a slow start.

Sales for the 14 week fourth quarter ended February 2 increased 9.4% to $202.5 million, but the gain was driven entirely by an additional week in the reporting period and the opening of nine new stores in four new markets and two new states. Same stores sales declined 4.1%.

Earnings per share of 41 cents exceeded guidance the company revised in mid-January that lowered expectations to a range of 35 cents to 37 cents from an earlier estimate of 58 cents to 61 cents provided at the end of the third quarter.

Same store sales that were much weaker than expected caused key metrics to suffer. Gross margins fell to 38.7% of sales from 40.1% and expenses increased to 32.4% of sales from 31.3% of sales.

Full year sales increased 10.2% to $607.7 million compared to $551.5 million in fiscal year 2011. Net income decreased 6.5% to $23.5 million, or $1.21 per share, compared to net income of $25.2 million, or $1.30 per share in fiscal 2011.

"While we are disappointed with our recent results, including a slow start to fiscal 2013, we believe that the strategic initiatives that we have put in place, in concert with the change in our senior leadership team, will produce improved comparable sales as the year progresses," said Jeff Gordman, president and CEO of the 86 unit department store chain. "In addition, we will continue our expansion strategy with the opening of 10 new stores in a combination of new and existing markets."

The change Gordman referenced involved the February 11 appointment of Michael Morand as EVP and chief merchandising officer. Morand previously served as the company’s EVP of planning, allocation and analysis since 2008. He joined the Omaha-based retailer in 2007 after holding senior level positions at May Department Stores and other department stores.

"His merchandising acumen, strategic planning proficiency and inventory management expertise make him the perfect choice to lead the combined merchandising and planning team, serving in a critical role necessary to achieve our strategic objectives and drive Gordmans’ continued expansion in both new and existing markets," Gordman said at the time of Morand’s promotion.

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CVS/pharmacy launches new iPad app

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Woonsocket, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy announced Monday the launch of a first-of-its-kind interactive iPad app, delivering a virtual 3-D digital drugstore experience for Apple iPad users.

With the new app, CVS customers can explore a virtual 3-D CVS/pharmacy and access services from the pharmacy, ExtraCare, photo center and MinuteClinic, as well as browse departments to shop.

"Our app makes it unbelievably easy for customers to shop, fill prescriptions, manage their ExtraCare accounts and more through a highly personalized experience and 3-D realism," said Brian Tilzer, SVP and chief digital officer for CVS/pharmacy.

Available for free on iTunes, the CVS iPad app incorporates an interactive, user-friendly, virtual CVS/pharmacy interface that relies on gesture-based movements that are native to touch-screen tablet environments. Tapping on popular areas of the store from the home screen will launch mini apps for different parts of the store, including:

  • Pharmacy services with enhanced prescription management;
  • ExtraCare with coupon center that allows shoppers to sign in for savings and rewards;
  • Catalog-style shopping;
  • A photo center that allows app users can upload photos from their tablet camera roll to be printed for pickup that very same day at a local CVS/pharmacy; and
  • MinuteClinic location and informational services.
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