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Lowe’s launches natural gas-powered truck fleet at Texas distribution center

BY Staff Writer

Mooresville, N.C. — Lowe’s has launched a dedicated fleet of natural gas-powered trucks at its regional distribution center in Mount Vernon, Texas. The fleet is among the first serving a major retail distribution center in North America to run solely on natural gas.

With the transition from a diesel-fueled fleet to trucks powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), Lowe’s expects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions nearly 20% and control fuel costs as it transports up to 68 truckloads each day to stores in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.

"The transition to an NG-powered fleet was a natural step for Lowe’s because of the economic and environmental benefits of natural gas," said Steve Palmer, Lowe’s VP of transportation. "Given the amount of natural gas that’s available domestically, broadly utilizing natural gas will give us an opportunity to better control our transportation fuel costs in the coming years. Our goal is to replace all of our diesel-powered dedicated fleets with natural gas trucks by the end of 2017."

Lowe’s is working with its truckload carriers to convert their Lowe’s-dedicated fleets. The company began using natural gas trucks last year at its distribution center in Kissimmee, Fla., and teamed with longtime carrier partner NFI to launch the natural gas dedicated fleet in Texas.

Lowe’s worked with Clean Energy, the largest provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America, to research the use of alternative fuels and accelerate the transition to natural gas. Clean Energy will support the NFI fleet by opening a natural gas station in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

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RadioShack and Citi Retail Services extend consumer credit agreement

BY Staff Writer

Atlanta — RadioShack and Citi Retail Services announced a long-term agreement to extend their 28-year consumer credit relationship. Under the agreement, Citi will continue to provide service-enhancing solutions and analytics in support of RadioShack’s targets for growth. RadioShack customers will continue to enjoy comprehensive financing programs and top-tier customer service.

“Our business is in the midst of a significant and exciting transformation,” said Joe Magnacca, Radio Shack’s CEO. “Citi Retail Services has been an important partner for RadioShack, delivering the consistency and high level of service that is vital to our success. We are happy to continue to offer this program to our customers with Citi’s partnership.”

RadioShack will re-launch its private label credit card in the first quarter of 2014, with new branding. This will be one element of a brand refresh that includes new and exclusive product offerings, brighter and more easily shop-able stores, and the opening of over 100 concept and brand statement stores before the end of 2013.

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S.Johnson says:
Oct-18-2013 02:34 am

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Shop.org: Online retailers prep for holidays early

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – Many online retailers are starting or have started their holiday preparations early this year. According to Shop.org’s eHoliday survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, 74% of online retailers had started preparing for the 2013 holiday season by July of this year, and 51% plan to start their holiday promotions by Halloween.

Online retailers are also looking to mobile commerce to boost profits this holiday season. More than half (57.4%) have invested in optimizing their mobile websites, nearly four-in-10 (38.3%) have invested heavily in the smartphone user experience, and one-quarter (25.5%) say they invested in mobile commerce apps for smartphones.

Retailers will also tap specific mobile marketing tools to attract holiday shoppers this year. At the top of the list of mobile tactics for more than half (55.3%) of retailers: mobile email optimization. Additionally, 44.7% will use smartphone paid search campaigns, two in five (21.3%) will use SMS campaigns, and 17.0% will use QR codes or other barcode scanning promotions.

Looking for heightened return on their investment, many companies will focus more on social media this year. More than half (54.8%) will increase their use of Facebook in November and December, and 59.5% will increase their use of Pinterest. Additionally, 55% of companies surveyed will increase their use of Instagram.

Other findings include:

  • About seven-in-10 (68.8%) online retailers say that at least 20% of their total 2013 online marketing budget goes toward holiday marketing, and two-thirds (66.6%) say that at least 20% of their total online promotions budget goes towards holiday promotions.
  • More than one-quarter (27.3%) say they will offer free shipping earlier because of the economy and 31.8% plan to offer discounts earlier than they did last year, and another 31.8% will increase their use of daily deals for their customers.
  • 16.3% of retailers will offer their first holiday free shipping offer by the week of Oct. 28; more than one-third (34.9%) say they already offer year-round free shipping, compared to 23.1% last year.

“Retailers have been preparing for holiday for months, smartly investing in what’s important to online shoppers: value, free shipping, a user-friendly site, and flexible returns, among other features,” said Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell. “Retailers understand that holiday shoppers also look for merchandise selection and quality, and have boosted inventory to offer ample selection and exclusive products to help customers find just the right gift for everyone on their list.”

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