STORE SPACES

Report: Retailers lead U.S. companies in use of solar power; Walmart No. 1

BY Marianne Wilson

Orlando, Fla. — The nation’s chain retailers lead the nation when it comes to commercial solar energy use, according to a report by the Solar Energy Industries Association and Vote Solar Initiative advocacy group.

The study names the top 20 U.S. companies using solar on their facilities ranked by cumulative solar energy capacity. Retailers claimed the top five spots, with Walmart in the lead, followed by Costco Wholesale Corp. and Kohl’s Department Stores, Ikea and Macy’s. Also in the Top 20: Staples, Walgreens, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Toys “R” Us.

“These companies know that solar energy allows them to reliably manage their long-term energy costs and in turn also helps to keep their customer prices low,” said SEIA president and CEO Rhone Resch. “Solar helps these top American companies focus on their core business by reducing overhead costs.

Other retailers that are significant users of solar, according to the report, are J.C. Penny Co., Lord & Taylor, Stop and Shop, REI, and Tiffany & CO.

Combined, the Top 20 corporate solar users’ installations generate an estimated $47.3 million worth of electricity each year. Altogether, U.S. commercial solar installations have reduced business’ utility bills by hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Here is the complete list of the Top 20 companies ranked by total installed solar capacity:

1. Walmart
2. Costco Wholesale Corp.
3. Kohl’s Department Stores
4. Ikea
5. Macy’s
6. McGraw Hill
7. Johnson & Johnson
8. Staples
9. Campbell’s Soup
10. Walgreens
11. Bed, Bath & Beyond
12. Toys “R” Us
13. General Motors
14. FedEx Corp.
15. White Rose Foods
16. Dow Jones & Company
17. Snyder’s
18. ProLogis
19. Hartz Mountain Industries
20. Crayola

See the full report.

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M.Manu says:
Sep-13-2012 12:09 pm

US retail sector
Informative article. I work for McGladrey and there's a white paper on Retail on the website ( http://bit.ly/JDHmUU ) that describes current trends in US retail sector with insights from industry experts.

M.Manu says:
Sep-13-2012 12:09 pm

Informative article. I work for McGladrey and there's a white paper on Retail on the website ( http://bit.ly/JDHmUU ) that describes current trends in US retail sector with insights from industry experts.

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Fashion expert to debut jewelry line on HSN

BY CSA STAFF

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Fashion consultant Fern Mallis will debut a jewelry collection for HSN on Oct. 10.

The 22-piece assortment features various statement pieces including a show-stopping layered necklace with matching cuff, embellished bangles, chunky necklaces and gem encrusted rings and earrings from $35 to $139.

Mallis is currently president of her own leading international fashion and design consultancy — Fern Mallis LLC. She also hosts the prestigious conversation series Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis at New York’s 92nd Street Y, which has featured notable in-depth interviews with Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Tom Ford and Michael Kors. Additionally, she hosts fashion industry talk show Fashion Insiders with Fern Mallis on SiriusXM’s flagship celebrity talk channel Stars.

"Fern Mallis is a highly respected, transformational force in fashion and we are thrilled to welcome her to HSN," said Anne Martin-Vachon, chief merchandising officer for HSN. "Her vibrant style and unique point of view fits well within our portfolio of top designers as we continue to elevate HSN as a destination for Fashion." "Fern’s collection is bold, eclectic and of the highest quality and is sure to resonate with the HSN customer."

Fern Mallis is widely known for her role as SVP IMG Fashion and is hailed as the creator of New York Fashion Week, where she served as executive director of the council of fashion designers of America (CFDA) for 10 years. Mallis is known for modernizing the American runways allowing American designers to compete head-on with Milan and Paris, forever changing the global fashion business. Mallis has led new Fashion Weeks in Miami, Los Angeles, Berlin, Moscow and Mumbai, among others.

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Toys’R’Us seeks holiday dominance with ‘hot toy’ reservation

BY CSA STAFF

WAYNE, N.J. — Get them in early and often seems to be the motto for Toys”R”Us this year, as the toy retailer is hoping new initiatives will encourage customers shop for holiday toys well before December.

At a holiday preview event at Toys”R”Us’s flagship store in New York City, chairman and CEO, Jerry Storch, revealed a new program that would allow customers to reserve the hottest toys for the season, guaranteeing they would have them in time for the holidays. What’s the catch? Aside from having to put 20% down, reservations have to be made by Oct. 31, meaning that customers will have to act fast if they want to be sure they can get their hands on one of the 50 products Toys”R”Us deems as “hot” for the season. Once the reservation is made, customers will be notified via email when the products are available and will have until Dec. 16 to pick up their orders.

Lest anyone think they can cheat the system, Storch ensured the press in attendance that the reservations could only be done in person as to avoid any scams by offering the program online. He added that the retailer wanted to be sure it was only serious customers using the service and that no other retailer has done anything like this.

Concerns were raised over the company’s ability to meet the demands of the customers. To this end Storch acknowledged the possibility of not meeting some reservations, but noted, “We will make sure we won’t make a commitment we can’t keep. We are confident we can deliver on this.”

The news of the reservation program followed Toys”R”Us recent announcement of no-fee layaway. Similar to the hot toy program, orders placed through Oct. 31 will not be subjected to the $5 service fee, and customers have until Dec. 16 to pick up their orders.

Between the hot toy reservation program and no-fee early layaway service, it is clear Toys”R”Us is hoping to see an early boost in holiday sales. And while many customers will be enticed to take advantage of these offers, many more will still wait until the last minute in the hopes of scoring better deals.

But no matter when, where or how customers choose to shop this holiday season, Storch emphasized Toys”R”Us omnichannel approach and noted that customers have more than 80 ways to do business with the retailer. New initiatives including ship-to-store and pickup kiosks are designed to turn each store into a fulfillment center.

No matter what happens, however, based on past comps performance in the month of December, Storch is confident the positive growth trend will continue in 2012, noting that the retailer’s highly differentiated assortment, quality store exclusives and hot branded exclusives are what keep bringing customers back.
“At the end of the day, parents want to make sure thy get the right toy for their child,” said Storch.

Storch even showed faith in the struggling video game category, which has been taking its toll on the company’s quarterly same-store sales. He added that the debut of a new Wii system as well as new titles will give the electronics gaming category a much-needed boost.

“There are a lot of reasons for thinking we can see better results in the video game category,” said Storch.

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