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Simon Property Adds Largest Mall Solar Installation

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Simon Property Group has completed the largest solar installation by a mall owner in the United States, adding a 20,000-sq.-ft. rooftop solar installation at The Shops at Mission Viejo in Mission Viejo, California.

Simon entered into a power purchase agreement with Element Markets, a Houston-based developer of clean energy, for the output of the 173kW solar facility.

“This is an exciting project that will help us gain valuable experience with solar installations,” said George Caraghiaur, VP, energy services, Simon Property Group. “As the solar industry matures and technological improvements continue to drive down the cost of installations, we expect that solar renewable-energy purchases will become a cost-effective component of our sustainability strategy.”

Construction on the solar facility began on Dec. 3 and was completed in 20 days. Depending of the success of the installation, Simon hopes to use solar in more of its properties going forward.

“We are entering a new era for renewable power generation and we are very pleased to partner with Simon to identify renewable opportunities across Simon’s portfolio,” said Randall Lack, managing director of client services, Element Markets.

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Retail Container Traffic Marks Lowest Level in Four Years

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. Year-over-year cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports fell for the 17th straight month in December, completing the slowest year since 2004 as the U.S. economic downturn continued, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released on Thursday by the National Retail Federation and IHS Global Insight.

Volume for the year was estimated at 15.3 million 20-ft.-equivalent units, compared with 16.5 million TEU in 2007. That would be a decline of 7.1% and the lowest total since 2004, when 14 million TEU moved through the ports.

One TEU is one 20-ft. container or its equivalent.

“Two thousand eight was a slow year for the ports for the simple reason that it was a slow year for retail sales,” said Jonathan Gold, VP, supply chain and customs policy, NRF. “We don’t expect a significant increase in traffic at the ports until retail sales return to normal levels, and even then retailers will be careful not to over-stock.”

U.S. ports surveyed handled 1.23 million TEU in November, the last month for which actual numbers are available. That was down 10.3% from the 2008 peak of 1.37 million TEU set in October and down 11.8% from Nov. 2007.

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Destination Maternity to open more Motherhood Maternity shops at Babies’R’Us stores

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA Destination Maternity announced that it is doubling the number of Motherhood Maternity apparel shops at Babies”R”Us, the nation’s. An additional 69 shops are opening in Babies”R”Us stores, bringing the total in-store shops to 138.

Destination Maternity has operated maternity apparel shops in select Babies”R”Us stores since 1999.

Ed Krell, CEO of Destination Maternity, commented, “We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with Babies”R”Us. Babies”R”Us is the one-stop shopping destination for new and expectant parents, and Destination Maternity is the authority on maternity apparel – the expansion of our partnership is a win-win for our respective companies and for expecting moms and their growing families!”

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