Report: Retailers continue to invest in green
Miami — Retailers are continuing to invest in sustainability initiatives, even during tough economic times, according to a new report by RSR Research entitled "Lean and Green: Sustainable Practices Are Changing Retail, Benchmark 2010.”
"We saw in last year’s report an increased interest in store-based green initiatives, and that continued very strongly this year," said Steve Rowen, managing partner at RSR Research and co-author of the report. "While our survey shows that many retailers have made inroads in this area, they also report that they have a lot more work to do in stores to both increase efficiency and reduce waste in stores."
The research also revealed a certain amount of impatience by retailers with regards to consumers lack of spending on green products. When it comes to consumer demand, we definitely saw a certain amount of impatience.
“But we saw a real opportunity for retailers to do more to educate consumers about the things they’re doing in other areas of the business – things that ultimately benefit consumers in their own neighborhoods,” said Nikki Baird, also a managing partner at RSR Research and co-author of the report.
The report, which contains recommendations for creating successful green strategies, can be downloaded here.
Ethan Allen launches Intava interactive touchscreens in stores
Bellevue, Wash. — Touchscreen solution-provider Intava said Thursday that Ethan Allen has selected Intava Vector to power the retailer’s new touchscreens in participating Ethan Allen Design Centers nationwide.
The touch screens showcase Ethan Allen’s designs using interactive technology that combines photos, videos and details on all available furnishings and accessories. The technology gives consumers the ability to discover, select and visualize home interiors through intuitive interactions with the screen.
“Choosing Intava as the technology provider for our new touch screens was an important decision, as we needed an extremely high-quality interactive retail system that could showcase complex product lines,” said Mike Bacon, director of retail systems for Ethan Allen. “The Intava solution is easy for our clients to use and can scale to support our retail locations across the country.”
Ethan Allen will deploy the touchscreens in most of its U.S. retail locations this fall. The touchscreens are powered by Intava Vector, a customizable visual merchandising and shopper assistance solution. In addition, Ethan Allen’s network of touchscreens will run on the Intava Sphira application platform, providing Ethan Allen with complete control through web-based content-management tools, centralized system health monitoring, remote diagnostic and administration tools, and store-by-store usage reports.
LEED for Retail and LEED Volume Program make their official debuts
Chicago — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) on Thursday launched two, long-awaited green building programs: LEED for Retail, and the LEED Volume Program (usgbc.org/leed/retail).
The LEED for Retail rating system recognizes the unique design and construction needs of the retail sector, enabling retailers to integrate green building design, construction and operation into ground-up construction, retail interior and build-out projects. Nearly 100 retailers and quick-serve restaurants, including Bank of America; Best Buy; Chipotle; Wells Fargo; Citigroup; Kohl’s; LL Bean; McDonald’s; Pizza Fusion; Starbucks; and Target, have participated in the pilot program since its launch in 2007.
“LEED for Retail builds on the strengths of other commercial LEED rating systems while taking special care to address the distinct needs of retail spaces, from occupancy demands to waste streams, energy and water use,” said Scot Horst, senior VP LEED, USGBC.
The LEED Volume Program is designed to meet the certification needs of high-volume chain retailers and other property developers. Using a prototype-based approach, the Volume Program enables large-scale organizational builders to deliver a consistent end product, thereby earning LEED certification faster and at a lower cost than would be possible with individual building reviews.
“With a more cost-effective, streamlined process, the largest users of LEED are now able to make a larger impact on their building portfolio without compromising the technical rigor LEED has come to stand for,” Horst said. “This program enables us to move further faster to our goals of green buildings for all within a generation.”
“The Volume Certification Program simplifies that process and dramatically increases the incentive for retailers like us to pursue certification," added Gary Saulson, director of corporate Real Estate, PNC Financial Services Group. Over 70 PNC projects have certified under the LEED Volume Program.
The LEED for Retail rating system was voted on and approved by 92% of the USGBC membership in March 2010. USGBC recently created LEED for Retail Reference Guides and a LEED Online documentation tool.
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