STORE SPACES

Lord & Taylor in wind energy agreement with Green Mountain Energy

BY Marianne Wilson

Austin, Texas — Green Mountain Energy announced that Lord & Taylor is purchasing 100% wind energy for seven of its stores in New Jersey. With this purchase, Lord & Taylor becomes the first commercial customer in New Jersey for Green Mountain, which recently began selling to businesses in the Garden State.

Lord & Taylor signed an 18 month contract with Green Mountain to purchase over 21 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of 100% wind energy for the seven New Jersey locations. The retailer’s purchase of clean energy is expected to avoid over 23 million pounds of CO2 (carbon dioxide) over the term of the contract.

In 2011, Lord & Taylor also partnered with Green Mountain to purchase 100% wind energy for its flagship store in Manhattan, as well as its Eastchester, N.Y., store.

The wind energy to supply the seven Lord & Taylor stores will be purchased by Green Mountain in the form of renewable energy certificates (RECs). Purchasing RECs in the same quantity as Lord & Taylor’s electricity consumption ensures that the amount of energy used by each of the stores is added to the U.S. power grid from renewable sources and supports the further development of these projects.

“Green Mountain was awarded the electricity contract after a comprehensive bid process with multiple energy suppliers,” said Charles De Casteja, managing partner of Good Energy, New York City, Lord & Taylor’s energy consulting firm. “Green Mountain was selected as a result of its winning competitive electricity rate, favorable contract terms and leadership in the renewable energy industry.”

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News

Burger King testing mobile payments

BY Marianne Wilson

Atlanta — Burger King Corp. has launched a mobile payments pilot program in partnership with Firethorn Mobile, a subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc.

The BK Mobile Crown Card allows consumers to pay for their purchase by using an Android or iOS-based phone to scan a QR tag placed on counters or drive-up windows of participating restaurants. The pilot is taking place in approximately 50 Burger King restaurants in Salt Lake City, and surrounding metropolitan areas.

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REAL ESTATE

Ascena Retail completes purchase of Charming Shoppes; to shutter Fashion Bug

BY Marianne Wilson

Suffern, N.Y. — Ascena Retail Group on Friday said that it has completed its acquisition of Charming Shoppes. The company also announced that it plans to cease operating and close down Charming Shoppes’ Fashion Bug business by early 2013, and is exploring a potential sale of Charming Shoppes’ Figi’s business, which markets food and specialty gift products.

In 2011, Charming Shoppes closed 124 Fashion Bug stores. The chain had previously announced its intention to continue to close certain Fashion Bug stores.

Charming Shoppes, whose banners include Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, and Catherines Plus Sizes, will operate as a separate subsidiary of Ascena. The combined company now operates approximately 3,800 locations and, on a trailing 12 month basis, generated over $4.4 billion of combined net sales.

“We believe that we have a significant opportunity to fully realize the significant potential of this business,” said David Jaffe, president and CEO of Ascena. “The Lane Bryant and Catherine’s businesses are extremely complementary to our other concepts and we expect them to integrate seamlessly. Though this process will take time, we believe there is an excellent opportunity to streamline the business, capture efficiencies and to share resources.”

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