Retailers’ Green Efforts Focused on Energy Management
Despite the uncertain economic environment, retailers are continuing to invest in green measures, according to a new report by RSR Research. What’s more, the number of retailers who believe that environmentally responsible initiatives are born out of good business sense is on the rise, up to 61% in 2010 from 49% the previous year.
The study, “Lean and Green: Sustainable Practices Are Changing Retail,” presented in partnership with the National Retail Federation, confirms that in-store energy management/conservation is the most important component of retailers’ green agendas. More than half (56%) of retailers have leveraged energy management in their stores.
“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."
Retailers have not been overly keen when it comes to replacing in-store IT equipment or changing their IT architecture — even if green benefits contribute to lowering the total cost of ownership, according to the study. But that may be changing, the study suggests. Those retailers who are the furthest along in store-based green initiatives are now eying IT as one of the next areas from which they can draw real value.
As to the greatest green opportunities, the most successful retailers ranked the following initiatives as having the most promise:
- Solar panels, tinted windows and other alternative methods to reduce energy needs (95%);
- Remote energy/electricity controls (84%);
- Remote HVAC/temperature controls (68%);
- Reduced carbon footprint (32%);
- Replacement of old IT devices with newer, energy-efficient ones (26%); and
- Reduced IT footprint (11%).
The report also uncovers where retailers will be spending their money with regards to green in 2011. The Top 5 budgeted project areas were:
- Energy management throughout the supply chain;
- Green construction practices in new stores and retrofits;
- Replacement of inefficient machinery with energy-efficient models;
- IT hardware consolidation; and
- End of life disposal or recycling programs, and green product packaging (tie).
Interestingly, retailers’ reasoning in pursuing environmental sustainability has shifted from winning customer loyalty and market differentiation to gaining operational efficiency out of every system within their control, according to RSR Research.
CVS develops photo app for Facebook users
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy has launched its new CVS Express Photo App, which enables Facebook users to order prints from their Facebook albums without leaving the website, with prints ready for pickup in about an hour at their local CVS/pharmacy.
"Facebook has become a popular and easy way to share photos online with family and friends," stated Grant Pill, VP merchandising for CVS/pharmacy. "We introduced the CVS Express Photo App to give people the ability to print photos and share them offline with the same ease by picking them up at any CVS/pharmacy location in as little as an hour."
To get started, customers can visit Facebook.com/CVS and click the "photo app" tab at the top of the page. Once customers provide permission to allow the application to access their account to retrieve photos, prints can be ordered in four steps: choose photos, review cart, select store and then submit to print. Three print sizes currently are available through the application — customers can order 4×6, 5×7 and 8×10 prints.
NYC Retail Preview: Stores to See
Making your NRF Show plans? Don’t forget to allow yourself time to check out the Big Apple’s exciting retail scene. Here’ s a quick hit list of the city’s newest retail stars:
Aeropostale: The mall-based teen fave is look to attract tourists and locals alike with its 19,000 sq. ft., two-level flagship. The design mixes New York City-inspired accents with high-tech interactivity: a digital billboard illuminated by 2 million LEDs wraps around and into the store, with content that includes shoppers dancing with virtual models. (1515 Broadway, at 45th St.)
Cire Trudon: The centuries-old, legendary French candle maker (Marie Antoinette was a client) makes its U.S. debut with a design inspired by the Galerie des Glaces at Versailles. Antiqued mirrors, stucco, French molding and hardware, and molded Victorian busts — candles never looked so good.
(54 Bond St.)
Disney: With a digital billboard that towers six stories above Times Square, the 25,000-sq.-ft. Disney store is a showstopper. It’s a real crowd-pleaser with all sorts of bells and whistles packed into its second floor, including a princess castle with “magic mirrors.” Wave an RFID-enabled wand and talk to Cinderella. (1540 Broadway, at 46th St.)
Eataly: A temple to the food of Italy, Eataly takes shopping — and eating — to new heights. This 45,000-sq.-ft. marketplace is a culinary extravaganza, a sprawling grocery store complete with tasting rooms and restaurants and a culinary educational center. There is nothing quite like it anywhere — with the exception of the original Eataly, in Turin, Italy. (200 5th Ave., at 23rd St.)
Forever 21: The fast-fashion chain is testing the waters on Fifth Avenue, renting a 50,000-sq.ft. space in the former Takashimaya Building for six months. But to get a better feel for Forever 21, check out its giant flagship on Broadway in Times Square. It features a huge digital billboard that utilizes state-of-the-art video technology. Watch as giant-sized virtual models take photos of the people on the street below … and then watch as the photos appear on the billboard above. (693 Fifth Ave., at 54th St.; 1540 Broadway, at 46th St.)
Hollister: The Southern California-themed brand of Abercrombie & Fitch is making waves with the opening of its second Manhattan flagship. The new, two-level, 15,000-sq.-ft. space features a glass storefront that is given over to a video projection of a live feed of the surf in Huntington Beach, Calif. (668 Fifth Ave., near 53rd St.)
Limelight Markeplace: Built in the 1850s, this Chelsea space has been home to a church, an infamous club, and now, a three-floor urban mall. It’s got 60-odd specialty shops, cafes and salons, some of which are new to the U.S. retail scene. Gelato, Cupcake Stop, (656 6th, Ave., or Avenue of the Americas)
Lord & Taylor: An estimated $25 million makeover has given Lord & Taylor’s landmarked 650,000-sq.-ft. flagship a more modern aesthetic. Most dramatic: the redone 30,000-sq.-ft. main floor, which now boasts a Swarovski crystal chandelier and a sleek, high-tech beauty department. (424 Fifth Avenue, between 38th and 39th Streets)
Pop-Tarts World: This 3,200-sq.-ft. pop-up is dedicated to the popular breakfast pastry. Visit the café for one of more than 30 Pop-Tart-inspired treats — and check out the custom T-shirts. (128 W. 42nd St., Times Square)
Ralph Lauren: The company transformed its famed Rhinelander Mansion on Madison Avenue into its first men’s-only store, while building a women’s flagship (another first) across the street. Both are instant classics. But the women’s store is a stunner. (867 Madison Ave. and 888 Madison Ave., at 72 St., respectively)
Soigne K: Bombay meets the Upper East Side at this sleek, minimalist boutique, which deals in up-and-coming Indian designers. The two-story boutique carries everything from formal attire to jewelry. Contemporary styles are featured on the first floor, spectacular Indian gowns and saris on the second. (717 Madison Ave., at 63rd St.)
Target: After years of flirting (mostly in the form of pop-ups) with Manhattan, Target landed in East Harlem. The store combines the retailer’s signature look and feel with merchandise specifically tailored to the neighborhood. (East 116th Street, between FDR Drive and First Avenue)
Tommy: The newest format from Tommy Hilfiger, Tommy has a youthful, irreverent vibe, reflected in both its quirky, fun store design and merchandise (which is logo free). (374 Bleecker St.)