Lighting control rebates going strong
Lighting rebates hit a record of sorts in 2016.
Commercial lighting rebates covered 79% of the United States, according to BriteSwitch, which is a record high since the rebate processing company began measuring rebate coverage nine years ago.
The company cited several reasons for the historic high, including that many programs replenished their rebate funds in January. Also, some large programs that ran out of money years ago have come back such as FirstEnergy in Ohio and Duquesne Light in Pennsylvania.
In 2016, many rebate programs began to focus more heavily on LED products, a trend that is continuing in 2017. Last year, only 10 utilities were providing prescriptive rebates for LED lamps meant to replace HID screw-in bulbs, which are frequently used in high bay or outdoor lighting applications. This year, the number of utilities jumped to 116.
The rebate amounts for these bulbs can be significant, according to BriteSwitch.
“On average the prescriptive rebate is currently $110 per bulb, the company said. “That amount does not take into account though the various cost caps that programs often have to limit the overall rebate at a percentage of material or project cost.”
To read more on lighting rebate trends and average rebate amounts, click here.
Fine jeweler to launch discount model
The nation’s largest family-owned and operated retail jewelry chain is opening its first-ever outlet stores.
Rogers & Hollands Jewelers will launch a discount store prototype, Rogers & Hollands Outlet, this April. Two Rogers & Hollands stores in the Chicago area, one at North Riverside Park Mall and one at Golf Mill Shopping Center, will be rebranded, remodeled and reopened under the new banner.
“We feel that the Outlet concept is a very good fit and will better meet the needs of our customers in these areas," said Amber Willmer, director of social & digital marketing, Rogers Enterprises, which operates 81 stores under the names of Rogers & Hollands Jewelers and Ashcroft & Oak Jewelers across 10 states.
The company noted that any warranties previously purchased at these stores will remain valid and can continue to be maintained there.
Rogers & Hollands Outlet stores will feature jewelry from across a wide range of categories, including engagement rings, wedding bands, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, watches and more. All merchandise will be discounted at least 50% off regular retail prices, and watches — including designer-named timepieces — will be priced at a minimum of 35% off retail.
The merchandise offered at Rogers & Hollands Outlet will be unique to it and not available other Rogers & Hollands' stores.
Women’s apparel chain looks to close stores and focus online
Four years of losses are catching up with Bebe Stores Inc.
The fashion retailer is hoping to turn its brand around by closing its stores and putting all its focus on e-commerce, according to Bloomberg. Bebe currently operates about 170 stores.
Although Bebe has no significant debt, it has lost about $200 million over the past four years, the report said, and negotiating with landlords to get out of leases may prove challenging.
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