Staples_ext_0
ENERGY/HVAC

Office supplies giant honored for energy efficiency

BY Marianne Wilson

Staples has been named a 2017 Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award winner for continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. It is the eighth year in a row the company has been so honored.

Staples, an Energy Star partner since 1990, is being recognized for the contributions made to energy reduction at its facilities, its continued commitment to climate change and going above and beyond for educating associates and future generations of students. The company has reduced its kwh consumption every year by participating in the Energy Star program, engaging associates on the benefits of energy reduction via employee rallies and utilizing energy saving campaigns complete with signage, graphics and videos, to help the company meet its energy reduction goals.

“Our success is based on continuous improvement, a focus on strategy and implementation, and a seasoned energy team that is relentless in getting things done,” said Bob Valair, Staples’ director of energy and environmental management. “We are fortunate to have an executive team at Staples that supports our implementing projects that impact our bottom line and ability to have a positive impact on climate change.”

The 2017 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Awards are bestowed upon a diverse set of organizations that have demonstrated continued leadership in energy efficiency.

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Athletic_wear
TECHNOLOGY

Teens’ favorite apparel brand is…

BY Marianne Wilson

Athletic brands rule when it comes to teen preferences for apparel and footwear.

That’s according to Piper Jaffrey’s 33rd semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens research survey which details teen spending trends and brand preferences. Nike ranked as the top brand with teens, with a 31% share, up from 21% last year. Another athletic brand, Adidas, however, is the fastest growing brand in the survey across footwear & apparel.

The survey finds that overall teen spending decreased 2.4% year-over-year. Food is the most important category in a teen’s wallet, accounting for 24% of spend compared to 19% for clothing. The percentage of teens who plan to digitally download console video games is also on the rise.

“While the overall spending environment has been challenging, we are seeing teen spending continue to shift more toward experiences — eating out, video games and leisure,” said Erinn Murphy, Piper Jaffray senior research analyst. “Share of fashion spending has moderated but we continue to see undisputed strength in athletic — Nike remains the No. 1 preferred brand and Adidas was the fastest-growing brand in our survey.”

In other findings:

• Teens’ favorite website is Amazon at 43% share — up 200 basis points year-over-year.

• Starbucks is the only public brand to maintain double-digit share across teenagers of all income groups. It tied with Chick-fil-A at 12% preference.

• Fashion brands losing relevance with teens include Under Armour, Michael Kors, The North Face, Ralph Lauren and Vineyard Vines.

• Snapchat and Instagram remain teens’ favorite social platforms.

• Eighty-one percent of teens expect their next phone to be an iPhone, up from 79% in fall 2016 and the highest ever seen in the survey.

The Taking Stock With Teens survey is a semi-annual research project comprised of gathering input from approximately 5,500 teens with an average age of 16.0 years. Teen spending patterns, fashion trends, and brand and media preferences were assessed through surveying a geographically diverse subset of high schools across the U.S.

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Apr-13-2017 07:09 am

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Apr-13-2017 07:09 am

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JoeKefauver
Insights

Washington Spotlight: Recess Isn’t So Fun Anymore

BY Joe Kefauver

With Congress in recess this week, legislators can finally take a break from the grind of D.C. politics – fighting with the other party, fighting with their own party, and of course, the spotlight of a relentless national media. But in a lot of cases, members may have it better in D.C. than back home.

Many of them return to disgruntled constituencies which are showing up in record numbers to town hall meetings, community events and other forums to blast members of Congress on issues all over the political landscape – healthcare, taxes, immigration, the environment and many others. For Republican members in particular, this is their first trip back to their districts since the healthcare debacle and they are preparing themselves for the wrath that is sure to come.

Moderate Republicans in the Northeast and Midwest are going to get slammed for not standing up to the Freedom Caucus “bullies” and letting an opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare slip away.

Conversely, staunch conservatives will be forced to endure a verbal beat down by chamber of commerce-types for killing a repeal while being applauded by Tea Party activists for “staying the course.” And that’s just on the healthcare issue. Taxes and immigration will be front and center as well.

RETAIL: For retail operators, the tone and tenor of these meetings during the congressional recess could determine how ambitious Congress is when it is back in session. Either they come back with a renewed vigor to tackle some of the most pressing problems for employers – reasonable healthcare reform, a more competitive corporate tax system and some tough decisions on trade – or they are so beaten down that they fear the political backlash of even minor changes in policy.

While elected representatives and senators are back home in their districts, operators need to get out of their stores to make sure their voice is heard – that protecting job creators needs to be at the top of Congress’s priority list.


Joe Kefauver is managing partner of Align Public Strategies, a full-service public affairs and creative firm that helps corporate brands, governments and nonprofits navigate the outside world and inform their internal decision-making. Align specializes in service sector industries.

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