OPERATIONS

Kroger sustains environmental efforts

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cincinnati —The Kroger Co. is sustaining efforts to be more environmentally sound and humane in its business practices.

The grocery giant released its 2015 sustainability report, which included 33,000 tons of waste recycled at 1.061 stores in 2015, a 12% year-over-year increase.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Kroger has recycled 200 million pounds of plastic since 2008, a 125% increase.
  • Energy and carbon consumption has fallen 35% since 2000.
  • Fleet productivity has improved more than 41% since 2008.
  • Since 2009, Kroger has achieved 100% best aquaculture practice rating, 100% ISSF certification for canned tuna and 86% sustainability for sourcing of wild-caught fish.
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REAL ESTATE

Woodfield Mall adds stores, updates interior

BY Dan Berthiaume

Schaumburg, Ill. —Woodfield Mall, a Simon-owned and operated center with nearly 300 retail, dining and entertainment options, is adding new stores and updating its interior.

New retailers added in 2015 include Flight 23 at Footaction, Fly Zone at Kids Foot Locker, rue21 and the first-in-state location for SIX:02.

The center also announced the future addition of ivivva athletica, coming this summer, as well as Zara and Timberland, both scheduled to open this fall.

The ongoing project, which includes a contemporary and streamlined facelift of the Grand Court and the surrounding department store wings, is underway for a fall 2015 completion. New elevated plush seating areas and cosmetic finishes such as new carpeting and ceramic tile have been added. Heavy brick planters have been removed from the Grand Court and several areas on the upper level have been filled-in to create more walkable shopping space.

Once the transformation is complete, it will become easier to navigate the various elevations of the mall with the addition of a new large capacity elevator and escalator, as well as the replacement of two existing elevators and improved interior and exterior directional signage.

“Momentum continues to build as we work toward completion of our exciting style evolution,” said David Gott, general manager at Woodfield Mall. “We’re committed to providing our fashion-forward shoppers with the best possible shopping experience and are confident that these significant updates and new stores will further position Woodfield Mall as the leading retail destination for local shoppers and visitors to the Chicagoland area.”

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REAL ESTATE

Mall of America to unwrap big new attraction

BY Marianne Wilson

Bloomington, Minn. — Mall of America is adding a big experiential retail destination.

Crayola plans to open an interactive attraction that combines retail and entertainment in the nation’s largest shopping mall. The 60,000-sq.-ft. Crayola Experience is slated to open at the Bloomington, Minnesota, mega-mall in the summer of 2016. It will be the third location for the format, which recently opened in the Florida Mall, in Orlando, Florida. (The original Crayola Experience is in the company’s home town of Easton, Pennsylvania.)

Although best known for its iconic crayons and markers, the 112-year-old company now has more than 1,500 proprietary products and technologies, many of which serve as the inspiration for the Crayola Experience format.

"Mall of America is known as a family destination, and Crayola is a family brand loved by both parents and kids," said senior VP of attractions and retail Victoria Lozano. "But beyond that, Crayola Experience is a family attraction that engages families in hands-on creative experiences, and we are really excited to bring this unique concept to this new, dynamic region."

Similar to the existing locations, the Mall of America’s Crayola Experience will have a retail store along with some 25 hands-on activities. Patrons will be able to name and wrap their own Crayola crayon, star in their own coloring page, paint with melted wax, and bring their coloring page to life in 4-D. They will also be able to learn how crayons are made in the live Factory Show.

In addition, the space will host private events, field trips and birthday parties.

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