STORE SPACES

Raley’s honored for energy-efficient refrigeration systems

BY CSA STAFF

West Sacramento, Calif. Raley’s Family of Fine Stores has received a GreenChill New Partner Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the company’s steadfast commitment to decreasing refrigerant emissions.

Raley’s joined the EPA’s GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership in January, and voluntarily committed to reducing refrigerant emissions to help fight climate change and protect the Earth’s ozone layer. It has received two gold-level store certification awards and two silver-level store certification awards.

“Even in Raley’s first year as a GreenChill Partner, the company has already taken the lead in the number of GreenChill-certified stores,” said Keilly Witman of EPA’s GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration partnership.

As a new partner, Raley’s has pledged to go above and beyond regulatory requirements by measuring and tracking refrigerant emissions that affect climate change and the Earth’s ozone layer, and then setting reduction targets for these emissions. It also participates in government/industry research initiatives to assess the performance of cutting edge, “green” refrigeration technologies.

“We look forward to continuing our work with the GreenChill Partnership on promoting green technologies, strategies, and practices to protect the ozone layer and significantly reduce greenhouse gases,”  said Randy Walthers, Raley’s energy manager.

More information about the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership is available at epa.gov/greenchill.

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Office Depot gets organized

BY CSA STAFF

BOCA RATON, Fla. Office Depot announced a new assortment of plastic storage solutions available at Office Depot retail store locations nationwide and online at www.officedepot.com.

The new lineup features more than 200 different storage products from brands such as Really Useful Boxes, BankersBox, Snapware, Gracious Living, Vaultz, Snap-N-Store, Innovative Storage Designs and Iris.

Office Depot is showcasing these products in a new store set by grouping plastic storage according to size and usage and organizing corrugate storage by color-coded packaging.

“With hundreds of different storage solutions available at Office Depot, customers will be able to find a vast mix of colors, sizes, and styles to meet their needs,” said Steve Olsen, VP merchandising for Office Depot.

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Improved profits result of operational discipline

BY CSA STAFF

Sales and profits at Target may have declined in the second quarter, but the company’s performance was better than expected, and the company’s shares were sharply higher Tuesday morning. Profits declined to $594 million from $634 million and earnings per share dropped 3.9%to 79 cents from 82 cents, but that figure handily exceeded analysts’ consensus estimate of 66 cents, thanks to margin improvement and expense control.

“Second quarter earnings were stronger than expected due to very strong operating margin in our retail segment, and credit card segment performance in line with expectations,” said Target chairman, president and chief executive officer Gregg Steinhafel. “Looking forward to the second half of the year, we are focused on initiatives to drive incremental traffic and sales in our stores while maintaining disciplined execution in both of our business segments.”

The company’s gross margin rate improved to 31.9% from 31.2% and its expense rate was reduced, which aided profits despite sales weakness. Retail sales decreased 2.7% in the second quarter to $14.6 billion from $15 billion, as a 6.2% decline in same-store sales was more than could be offset by the impact of the addition of new stores. Operating profits for Target’s retail segment declined 3.1% to slightly more than $1 billion.

Target’s credit business remains a concern, despite what the company called “improve portfolio performance.” Write-offs during the quarter totaled $304 million, a figure that was in line with the company’s expectations. Operating profits for the segment declined to $63 million from $74 million, and the allowance for doubtful accounts totaled slightly more than $1 billion, indicating a high degree of pessimism about the ability and willingness of credit customers to pay their bills in future periods.

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