Insights

Lighting Rebate Trends

BY Marianne Wilson

Rebates for lighting upgrades are alive and well, with rebate organizations having updated their rebate and incentive programs for 2014. Currently, 71% of the country is covered by an active commercial lighting rebate, according to BriteSwitch, Princeton, New Jersey, which helps large national companies take advantage of rebate and incentive programs that exist across the United States and Canada.

Here is a review of major rebate trends from BriteSwitch:

There are more prescriptive rebates for LEDs.

More organizations are now offering prescriptive rebates for a larger variety of LED solutions, such as LED high-bay fixtures, LED outdoor pole lights, TL fixture replacements and even some LED T8 replacements.

In 2014, LED rebates have continued to expand with 16% more prescriptive rebates than last year. Also, the dollar amounts have remained relatively stable compared with last year, which is surprising given the falling prices of LEDs.

Depending on the location, an operator may be eligible for a sizeable rebate when installing LED solutions in an existing facility or new construction project. Rebates may be available for a variety of LED replacements, including:

• LED lamps (PAR, MR, A-shaped, globe)

• High-bay LED fixtures

• Street and parking lot lighting

• Fluorescent replacements

T12 rebates continue to decline.

As expected, T12 to T8 rebates took a tumble this year compared with 2013. Because it is becoming harder to find replacement T12 lamps and ballasts, many rebate programs feel they no longer need to offer incentives for people to upgrade. Between this year and last, the number of rebates available for T8 installations decreased by 18%.

While the dollar amount of the rebate remains relatively stable from last year, many programs are requiring the use of high-performance or reduced-wattage T8 lamps. In fact, 60% of T8 rebates require lamps and ballasts that satisfy CEE specifications.

It can be more difficult to get these rebates than it was in the past. Previously, standard T8 lamps and ballasts would qualify for incentives in many programs. Today, however, the remaining programs may have more stringent requirements, such as a reduced-wattage lamp, low ballast factor or use of a reflector. And over 60% of prescriptive T8 rebates require the use of a CEE-approved lamp and ballast combination. It’s important to fully understand the program’s requirements before making any decision on equipment.

Between 2013 and 2014, the number of rebates for T12 to T8 upgrades decreased by 18%. For T12 fixtures that will need to be upgraded to T8 fixtures, you should act soon in order to take advantage of rebates. In the future, BriteSwitch expects the rebates for this category to continue to decrease and possibly disappear as rebate and incentive programs are revised.

Programs are getting more funding.

In 2013, quite a few rebate programs, such as Consumers Energy in Michigan and SureBet Nevada, exceeded their budget, ending the programs earlier than planned. This year, they have new funding again and are accepting applications for 2014 projects.

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OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart shuffles merchandising leadership

BY Mike Troy

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Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart has shuffled its merchandising leadership with a broad reassignment of roles among merchandising executives aimed at improving customer service.

The changes affected executives throughout the merchandising organization and included areas such as consumables, food, general merchandise, softlines, health and wellness, shopper insights and merchandising operations. In an internal memo, chief merchandising and marketing officer Duncan Mac Naughton said he was pleased to announce, “a few changes which will help accelerate our growth and efficiency as a world-class merchant organization. Additionally, these moves provide a more specialized service to our customers, while also creating better alignment and a greater visibility across our business.”

Among the most significant moves was the elevation of Scott Huff to the role of executive VP of merchandising operations from his prior position as senior VP of consumables. In his new role, Huff is responsible for merchandising execution, replenishment, store layout, supplier diversity, planning, pricing, modular development and joint business planning. Working closely with Huff will be Scott Pleiman who was named senior VP of planning, pricing, modular development and joint business planning.

Assuming Huff’s prior responsibilities as senior VP of consumables, but in an executive VP capacity is Michelle Gloeckler. She was named executive VP of consumables and U.S. manufacturing after previously serving as senior VP of home and overseeing the retailer’s expanding domestic sourcing initiative.

Another key EVP move involved John Aden to the newly created role of executive VP of sales innovation. He is tasked with identifying new and disruptive service and product offerings, according to Mac Naughton. Aden had previously served as executive VP of merchandise services and executive VP of general merchandise prior to that.

Walmart’s Global Customer and Insights and Analytics group, led by executive VP Cindy Davis, appointed Matt Kistler to the new role of senior VP of Walmart U.S. consumer insights. He will report to Davis and Walmart U.S. chief marketing officer Stephen Quinn.

Other key changes included the following:

• In the grocery area, Ashley Buchanan was appointed senior VP of dry grocery after previously leading Walmart’s sizable snacks and beverage division and prior to that Walmart’s innovations team. Promoted to Buchanan’s role was Latriece Watkins who was named senior VP of snacks and beverages after previously serving as VP of adult beverages, a category that experienced dramatic growth under her leadership. Reporting to Watkins in a new role as VP of adult beverages is Silvia Azrai Kawas. The group will report to Jack Sinclair, Walmart’s executive VP of food.

• In the softline area, the promotion of Gloecker resulted in the promotion of Marybeth Cornwell to the role of senior VP reporting to Andy Barron, executive VP of softlines for Walmart U.S. Cornwell previously served as senior VP of home and apparel for Sam’s Club. In a related softlines move, Deanah Baker was named senior VP of apparel and ladieswear, intimates, jewelry and accessories. Diana Marshall was named VP of baby, a huge business at Walmart, after previously holding merchandising roles in the housewares, home, hardware and paint businesses.

• In the hardlines and health-and-wellness areas, Walmart named former Lowe’s and Hechinger Co., merchant to the role of VP of hardware and paint. In health and wellness, Mark Phillips was named VP of pharmaceutical merchandising after previously serving as senior director of merchandising for small formats.

The changes come as Walmart strives to restore same store sales growth at its U.S. stores during the back half of the year after a challenging first quarter and difficult 2013.

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OPERATIONS

Demoulas names co-CEOs

BY Dan Berthiaume

Tewksbury, Mass. – Following the dismissal of former president and CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, the board of directors of Demoulas Super Markets Inc. has elected retail executives Felicia Thornton as COO and Jim Gooch as chief administrative officer, and the two will serve as co-CEOs. Both Thornton and Gooch had recently been serving as consultants to the company.

Thornton’s past experience includes serving as CFO of Albertsons and group VP and member of the executive team at Kroger. Gooch has previously served as president and CEO of RadioShack Corp., and has also held financial positions at Kmart and Sears Holding Corp.

Arthur T. Demoulas, who was not re-elected president and will not retain any management responsibilities moving forward, remains a shareholder of the company.

In addition, the board re-elected Don Mulligan as VP, CFO and treasurer, and Jim Miamis as VP of Market Basket. Joseph Rockwell was not re-elected VP and is no longer with the company. William Marsden, former director of operations, is no longer with the company.

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