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REI reducing environmental footprint through energy investments

BY CSA STAFF

Seattle Recreational Equipment Tuesday announced multiple energy-related investments to further reduce its impact on the environment. The efforts, which focus on solar energy, renewable power sources and energy-reduction measures, will help the outdoor gear and clothing retailer progress toward its goal of being climate-neutral by 2010.

“These are very intentional strategic investments in capital that reduce our energy use,” said Sharon Im-Lee, project manager for energy and utilities, REI.

The chain is taking advantage of sustainable sources of power wherever possible. In June, it completed the installation of a rooftop solar-electric system on its eastern distribution center in Bedford, Pa. The system, installed through a power-purchase agreement with an affiliate of Tier I Generation, will generate an estimated 60,500 kilowatts of electricity annually and provide a long-term, fixed-price source of electricity for the facility.

REI is also working to reduce overall energy consumption. In 2009, it is retrofitting 50% of its stores with ceramic metal halide lamps that are three times more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. The new lamps will not only reduce the energy needed to light REI stores, they will also last longer and improve lighting, according to Im-Lee. The retailer plans to retrofit the remainder of its stores in 2010.

To further reduce its energy use, REI has partnered with CPower, a New York City-based energy-management firm, to participate in demand-response programs in 20 of its locations nationwide. (Demand-response programs call on electricity users to reduce consumption during critical times, such as periods of peak demand. Electricity users receive payments for their participation, including commitment to reduce consumption and actual consumption during a demand response event.)

“Our stores in the Bay Area were doing this [demand-response] on their own,” Im-Lee said. “But with CPower, we are able to implement a program nationally and consistently.”

REI has also expanded the scope of its partnership with Cleveland-based Novar to better manage the energy consumed in its stores’ lighting, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. The retailer has been installing Novar energy-management systems for the past five to seven years. In August 2008, it signed a services contract with the company whereby Novar reviews and monitors the stores’ lighting and HVAC equipment.

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Office Depot, Tony Stewart encourage fans to ‘show their 14’

BY CSA STAFF

Boca Raton, Fla. Office Depot has teamed up with NASCAR champion Tony Stewart for the new Office Depot “Show Us Your 14” online photo contest.

Now through August 31, fans can go to OfficeDepotRacing.com and upload photos demonstrating their support for Stewart and the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice team.

The Grand Prize package includes an HP TouchSmart Desktop Computer, HP Mini Notebook computer, HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One Printer, HP printer/photo ink packs and HP Premium Plus Photo Paper.  Plus, everyone who enters the “Show Us Your 14” online photo contest will receive an Office Depot coupon for 14% off their next qualifying purchase.  

“It’s great to have so many loyal fans supporting me and the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice team every weekend,” said Stewart, who has taken on the role of driver/team owner with Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009 and is judging the contest. “NASCAR fans are the most passionate fans in all of sports, and I can’t wait to see all the creative ways people incorporate the number 14 into their lives. I think I’m going to see some very imaginative stuff!”

In addition to the Grand Prize winner, a first prize and second prize winner will receive a terrific HP prize package including a selection of notebook computers, All-in-One printers, photo ink and a host of other HP products.

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New stores set to open this month

BY CSA STAFF

It promises to be a busy month for Target, as the company is scheduled to open a total of 25 stores on July 22, including five units in Pennsylvania and three in New York.  The Pennsylvania stores are located in Allentown, Philadelphia, Reading, Easton and Pottstown. In New York, two stores are slated to open in Rochester with the third store located in The Bronx. Three other states will receive two stores apiece including Texas, Florida, California and West Virginia. States with one new store opening include Michigan, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Connecticut, Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Louisiana, and Nevada. Target typically opens stores in three groups throughout the year, generally in March, July and October. This year’s group of March openings consisted of 27 stores. In October, another 25 stores are scheduled to open.

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