FINANCE

Report: Borders plans to pay $8.3 million in bonuses

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Borders Group, which filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February and has announced plans to close about a third of its stores, said it plans to pay key employees as much as $8.3 million in incentives and retention bonuses, Bloomberg reported.

The retailer asked a judge to approve its plan in a filing Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Courty in New York. Borders said it has historically compensated employees through incentives.

The size of the awards would be calculated after the company files a reorganization plan or gets approval for a sale of the company, according to the report.

Under the incentive program, Borders CEO Michael Edwards, would get as much as $1.7 million in bonuses, according to the filing.

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STORE SPACES

Sears and Kmart stores to go dark for Earth Hour

BY CSA STAFF

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears and Kmart stores nationwide will participate in the global Earth Hour initiative by turning off or dimming all non-essential lighting March 26 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., including every other television and most computer monitors. The company anticipates saving 80,000 kilowatt hours as a result.

Earth Hour is a world-wide call to action started by the World Wildlife Fund four years ago to help fight climate change. To get involved, a company or individual must commit to turning down or off (where possible) any non-essential lighting.

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OPERATIONS

California program helps Save Mart reduces energy, creates jobs

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Save Mart Supermarkets saved more than $8,000 on a high-efficiency LED lighting retrofit of store in Ripon, Calif., through a partnership with the EnergySmart Jobs program.

Save Mart is distinguished as one of the first participants in the federally-funded program, which is an initiative of Energy Upgrade California and is administered by PECI, San Francisco. It focuses on creating new jobs through the implementation of energy-saving upgrades that help commercial retailers lower their operating costs.

By working with EnergySmart Jobs, Save Mart was able to offset the upfront cost of the LED upgrade with program rebates and incentives. In collaboration with the program, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. provided Save Mart with $11,462 in incentives for the energy efficiency upgrade.

By installing LED case lighting with motion sensors, the Save Mart location will receive an estimated energy savings of 83,701 kWh annually. A lower utility bill was only part of what attracted Save Mart to the EnergySmart Jobs Program, however.

“For us the number one factor was job creation Said Ray Agah, Save Mart’s VP engineering. “We are that kind of company. We want to help people. It’s a very progressive program. You help the community. You put some money in your pocket. You save resources.”

The EnergySmart Jobs program trains energy surveyors from the California Conservation Corps and sends them out to conduct energy surveys of commercial retail outlets. Contractors participating in the program then work with these stores to install energy efficiency retrofits based on opportunities identified in the survey. Finally, the program provides rebates and incentives to help lower the cost of these retrofit projects.

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