REAL ESTATE

Report: Meijer to make Detroit debut

BY Staff Writer

New York — Meijer is set to open its first store in the city of Detroit on July 25, according to Crain’s Detroit Business.

The store will anchor a new shopping center and will feature a grocery section, drive-thru pharmacy, gas station and Huntington National Bank branch. Other tenants at the shopping center will include clothing and pet supply stores and fast-food restaurants.

Whole Foods Market recently opened a store in Detroit.

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News

Walmart, others reach Bangladesh accord – is it enough?

BY CSA STAFF

A five-year plan spearheaded by Walmart, Gap and other U.S. retailers requiring factories in Bangladesh to be inspected within a year is under fire, according to a Bloomberg report.

The North American retailers have set up a $42 million fund so all factories that fail to measure up to safety codes can make renovations. Although individual retailers can voluntarily pledge capital beyond the $42 million, the pact falls short of the one reached by mostly European retailers. Bloomberg reports that the European retailer’s pact, which includes Hennes & Mauritz and Inditex SA, “obligates companies to ensure their factories have the capital to make necessary repairs.”

“All workers, no matter where they live, have the right to a safe environment. The Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative is based on a shared commitment among an alliance of brands, retailers and other stakeholders to improve worker safety in Bangladesh,” said Walmart SVP and global chief compliance officer Jay Jorgensen in a statement July 10. “This alliance will move quickly and decisively to create uniform safety standards. Those standards will be the basis for factory inspections and training to be conducted by the alliance. Worker safety is the alliance’s top priority.”

Five years is not quickly enough, according to critics of the North American initiative.

“It’s disappointing that Wal-Mart, Gap and other U.S. retailers have chosen to go their own way with a plan that appears to lack meaningful transparency and accountability,” said New York City Comptroller John C. Liu in an e-mailed statement reported by Bloomberg. “Their plan risks diluting the effectiveness of a stronger, global effort to improve worker safety.” Liu oversees city pension funds that owned 5.1 million Wal-Mart shares as of April 11.

Click here to read the Bloomberg report in its entirety.

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STORE SPACES

A.R.E. names new executive director

BY Staff Writer

Hollywood, Fla. — A.R.E. (Association for Retail Environments) has appointed Todd Dittman executive director, succeeding Klein Merriman, who will retire in August. In this role, Dittman, a marketing and finance executive with more than 20 years of experience, will lead A.R.E. and manage Pave, the industry educational foundation, and the Retail Design Institute, working with each organization’s volunteer officers and boards of directors. The appointment is effective Aug. 1.

Dittman’s experience with industry-leading companies and not-for-profits most recently includes working for Dairy Management Inc. (Dairy Products Promotion) as VP marketing and analysis. Dittman played a key role in the organization’s transformation from generic advertising (Got Milk) to product development through industry partnerships.

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