STORE SPACES

Save Mart Receives Rebate for Energy-Efficient Store

BY CSA STAFF

(Oct. 9) Save Mart Supermarkets’ new store in Riverbank, Calif., has received a $46,000 rebate from the Modesto Irrigation District (MID). This rebate—the first to be awarded under MID’s MPower Commercial-New construction rebate program—will help Save Mart offset the cost of an energy-saving green-building design.

“The $46,000 rebate helps our customers, like Save Mart, make a business case for exceeding California’s already aggressive State mandated energy-efficiency standards for new construction”, said Queta Maldonado, MID’s major account representative. “Businesses are looking beyond just the return on investment when considering energy-efficiency investments, and are weighing the improved public image of being a more “green” business.”

The supermarket’s design incorporates a high-efficiency ice machine, steamer, air conditioning, store lighting and other conservation-minded building features. Building, equipment and fixtures were designed as an integrated energy-saving package. It is estimated the supermarket will save over 672,000 kilowatt hours each year, enough “juice” to power 66 average homes. Save Mart will lower its electric costs by an estimated $51,500 in the first twelve months alone.

“Green lowers our operating costs, helps ensure there is power to share with our neighbors and reduces our demands on the environment,” said Ray Agah, VP of engineering, Save Mart Supermarkets, Modesto, Calif., which operates nearly 250 stores throughout Northern California and Northern Nevada under the Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky, and FoodMaxx banners.

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Michaels comps down for the quarter

BY CSA STAFF

IRVING, Texas Michaels Stores reported that total sales for the quarter were $847 million, a 1% increase from fiscal 2007 first quarter sales of $839 million. Same-store sales for the comparable 13-week period decreased 2.9%.

Ceo, Brian Cornell, said, “While our overall comps for the first quarter declined 2.9%, we were very encouraged with the sales of our kids and specialty craft categories, scrapbooking and frame and art supplies. Sales in April showed a reversal of trend with same-store sales up 3.1% on a strong increase in transactions. This positive sales and transaction performance gives us confidence that our new marketing and merchandising programs are connecting with our Michaels customers.”

For fiscal 2008, the company expects same-store sales growth  to be approximately flat given the current economic environment.

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Kirkland’s 1Q sales up 2.1%

BY CSA STAFF

JACKSON, Tenn. Kirkland’s reported that net sales for the first quarter ended May 3 increased 2.1% to $84.1 million from $82.3 million for the first quarter ended May 5, 2007. Comparable-store sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2008 increased 4.3% compared with an 18.8% comparable-stores sales decrease in the first quarter of fiscal 2007.

The company reported a net loss of $2.6 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, for the 13-week period ended May 3, 2008, compared with a net loss of $7.5 million, or 38 cents per diluted share, in the 13-week period ended May 5, 2007.

Robert Alderson, Kirkland’s president and ceo, said, “The first quarter results reflect strong merchandising execution and the benefits of aggressive financial initiatives that have reduced our operating costs, improved cash flow and strengthened our liquidity. During the quarter, we experienced improved customer conversions as shoppers have reacted very favorably to our merchandise mix. The positive comparable-store sales and trimming of unproductive stores led to leveraging of occupancy and distribution costs. Combined with an improvement in merchandise margin and a year-over-year reduction in operating costs of almost $5 million, we were able to post a significant improvement in our pre-tax results.

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