STORE SPACES

NCR to install 10,000 self-checkouts in Walmart stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Duluth, Ga. — NCR Corp. announced that it will be installing 10,000 SelfServ Checkout lanes to more than 1,200 Walmart locations in the United States during 2013.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Walmart’s expansion of self-service options continues its commitment to offer customers the choice in how they want to check out, improving the overall checkout and customer service experience.

“Our customers are shopping differently than they ever have, and we’re using innovative technologies like self-checkouts to meet their needs,” said Jeff McAllister, senior VP innovation, Walmart U.S. “Our multiple checkout options give us a unique advantage to provide our customers with the quick, easy and convenient checkout experience they tell us they want.”

NCR is also providing expertise from its Human Factors Engineering group to make the self-checkout experience as easy and convenient as possible through user interface design, configurations, layouts and best practices. To ensure the self-checkout lanes are available for customers, NCR will also provide regular service programs and maintenance to Walmart and Sam’s Club locations across the country.

In a recent independent market study, 64% of self-checkout grocery shoppers and 44% of cashier-assisted shoppers said they believe retailers who offer self-checkout options provide better customer service.

In the same study, 70% of shoppers who use self-checkouts said they would like to see self-checkouts offered at retailers like Walmart and about half of cashier-assisted shoppers said they want self-checkout expanded to mass merchants like Walmart.

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Walmart powers up Red Bluff wind turbine

BY Staff Writer

Red Bluff, Calif. — Walmart’s wind turbine at its distribution center in Red Bluff, Calif., is now operational. The wind turbine is Walmart’s first onsite industrial-sized wind turbine and will generate approximately 2,200,000 kilowatt-hours of power, providing up to 20% of the distribution center’s annual electricity use. U.S. House Representative Wally Herger joined local officials, as well as Walmart and Foundation Windpower executives, to commemorate the pilot project.

The GE SLE 1.0 Megawatt Wind Turbine is comparable in height to a typical 20-story building, with a tower measuring 265 ft. tall and a blade spanning 250 ft. in diameter. Under the terms of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Foundation Windpower the project will contribute to energy expense savings as well as provide price certainty for the electricity produced. Foundation Windpower installs, owns, and operates the wind turbine while Walmart purchases the power produced at a fixed rate. Red Bluff was selected for the installation because it provides an ideal environment for an installation of this scale, with good wind conditions and available land already owned by Walmart.

"The Red Bluff pilot project is a shining example of how Walmart has made the serious commitment to finding renewable energy solutions for its operations as we work towards the goal of being supplied by 100% renewable energy," said Kim Saylors-Laster, VP energy at Walmart. "With the Red Bluff wind turbine now fully operational, we look forward to continuing to explore renewable energy alternatives to support our operations and reduce our utility costs throughout the country and around the world."

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Ikea commits to become energy independent

BY Staff Writer

New York — The Ikea Group plans to become energy and resource independent by 2020, according to the chain’s new “People & Planet Positive” sustainability initiative.

Its goal to produce as much renewable energy as is consumed in its stores and buildings builds on the $1.8 billion the company has allocated to wind and solar projects. It also includes improving the energy efficiency in Ikea operations by at least 20% and encouraging suppliers to do the same plans to change more than 1 million light sources inside its stores to LED and other more efficient lighting.

In the United States, Ikea has increased the number of solar installations to 34 stores and distribution centers, with five more underway; which represents 90% solar presence in the U.S. Additionally, there are 33 electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in western U.S.

The company is also looking to “inspire and enable” customers to live sustainably at home.

“We believe that sustainability should not be a luxury good – it should be affordable for everyone. With over 770 million visitors to our stores, we are excited by the opportunity to help our customers fulfill their dreams at home with beautiful products that help them save money on their household bills by reducing energy and water use, as well as reducing waste,” said Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer, Ikea Group.

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