New Stop & Shop is high-tech and energy-efficient
Quincy, Mass. — Stop & Shop Supermarket has opened a store in Andover, Mass., that offers a variety of high-tech shopping solutions, including Check It! self checkout lanes, and Scan It! hand held devices that allow customers to scan and bag groceries while they shop. Customers can also pre-order deli items at designated Order It! kiosks.
The new store is also energy-efficient, and utilizes ECM motors in the refrigerated fixtures and walk-in coolers and low-mercury, energy-efficient T5 HO fluorescent light fixtures with occupancy sensors in the storage areas and offices. Other energy-saving features include:
- LED lights for accent lighting (also in the refrigerated display cases and interior/exterior signage);
- An energy management system to monitor the performance of the lighting, refrigeration, and HVAC systems, and
- Low flow fixtures in the bathrooms and prep areas to reduce water consumption.
Shelf-edge TV launches in Bloom stores
Allendale, N.J. — Video screens delivering marketing messages and other media at the shelf level have been installed in nine Bloom grocery stores in the Washington, D.C., area.
The service, called 3GTV, is from Automated Media Services, which described it as a "first-of-a-kind media platform bringing power and communications throughout the retail store.” According to Automated, the platform also supports digital messaging at the shelf-edge, two-way communications, shopper tracking and measurement tools, and a range of future activity anticipated by current consumer behaviors.
The right call at the wrong time
Janney Montgomery Scott analyst David Strasser downgraded shares of Target to neutral from buy on Monday. In doing so he cited some familiar concerns about the challenging competitive environment, rising input costs and anticipated difficulties passing through price increases to cash-strapped shoppers thereby negatively affecting gross margins.
All valid concerns, but the downgrade comes well after the damaged has been done to Target’s stock price, which at yesterday’s close of $46.46 is well off the high seen earlier this year of slightly more than $60. Investors would have been better served had the downgraded come earlier this year because, if anything, shares of Target seem more attractive now that the price has pulled back and the company trades at a valuation of slightly above 11 times last year’s earnings.
“Target will have to invest more in upcoming quarters given higher input/commodity prices that are now flowing through the supply chain. Additionally, Walmart’s aggressive pricing strategy and other retailers like Dollar General that are willing to forgo gross margin to drive market share will ultimately reduce profitability in the grocery business,” according to Strasser.