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|ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING/DESIGN SERVICES Carter & BurgessBACKROOM/DISTRIBUTION/STORAGE Moveable CubicleBUILDING CONTROLS/MONITORING C&C Building Automation CompanyCEILING RESTORATION ProCoat Products, Inc.CEILINGS Hunter Douglas Architectural ProductsCOMMERCIAL RESTROOMS Bradley CorporationCONSOLIDATION, PROJECTS, CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Koala Kare Products, A Division of Bobrick Retail Project Managers, Inc.CONSTRUCTION PAYMENT MGMT. Textura, LLCDOORS ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions Cornell Storefront Systems Eliason Corporation Metro Door, Inc. Nabco Entrances, Inc. record-usa Vortex DoorsELECTRICAL BACKROOM Eaton Corporation Schneider Electric/Square DELECTRICAL BUILDING PRODUCTS Hill PHOENIX Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc.ELECTRICAL MAINTENANCE SERVICES Network Electrical Services Rogers ElectricELECTRICAL TRACK BUSWAY Universal Electric – Starline Track BuswayENERGY MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS Phoenix ESGENTRANCE MATS Grand Entrance Corporation Portico Systems, LLCFACILITIES MANAGEMENT & MAINTENANCE ABCO Facility Maintenance Bonham Service Group, Inc. Calico Building Services FacilitySource, Inc. First Service Networks FMS (Facility Maintenance Services) The Horizon Companies IPT Kimco Corporation Quality Solutions, Inc. Retail Service Solutions Rhombus Services Rose Paving Co.FACILITIES MANAGEMENT & MAINTENANCE US Maintenance Whelan’s International Co., Inc.FIRE PROTECTION Academy Fire ProtectionFIXTURES/VISUAL MERCHANDISING HJ Martin &Son, Inc. Trion IndustriesFLOORING MAINTENANCE Oreck VacuumFLOORING MANUFACTURERS Bostik, Inc. EarthWerks, Flooring Inspired by Nature Forbo Linoleum, Inc. The Matworks Company, LLC Questmark, A Division of CentiMarkGENERAL CONTRACTORS Commercial Contractors, Inc. D.F. Pray, Inc. Elder-Jones, Inc. Lakeview Construction, Inc. R.E. Crawford Construction Rectenwald Brothers Construction, Inc. Royal Seal Construction, Inc. Tri-North Builders Westwood Contractors, Inc.||GRAPHICS/SIGNAGE (EXTERIOR) Barlo Signs International Bell Signs, Inc. Bergen Sign Company, Inc. Colite International Federal Heath Sign Co., LLC Icon Identity Solutions Jones Sign Nationwide MC Sign Company National Sign Systems, Inc. North American Signs, Inc. SignResource Southwest Signs US Signs/US-1 Walton SignageHVAC/ENERGY MANAGEMENT ADMMicro, Inc. Berner International Corp. Carrier Corporation Emerson Climate Technologies Lennox Lightstat, Inc. Novar York-Johnson ControlsHVAC/FACILITY SERVICES Brinco Mechanical Services, Inc.INDOOR AIR QUALITY Desert Aire Corp. Tri-Dim Filter CorporationINTERIOR/EXTERIOR CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS Floor Seal Technology Stego IndustriesINTERNATIONAL SERVICE MANAGEMENT NEST InternationalLAMP MANUFACTURERS GE Consumer &Electrical Osram Sylvania Philips LightingLANDSCAPING & FACILITIES MAINTENANCE Genesis Facility ManagementLED LIGHTING ALTERNATIVES ElectraLED, Inc.LIGHTING COMPONENT MANUFACTURER Alanod GmbH & Co. KGLIGHTING DISTRIBUTION/SERVICES City Lighting Products Facility Solutions Group Tarrant Lighting Villa Lighting SupplyLIGHTING FIXTURE MANUFACTURERS Amerlux Lighting SolutionsLIGHTING MAINTENANCE SERVICES Sylvania Lighting ServicesMOBILE CASHWRAPS FOR WIRELESS APPLICATIONS Anthro CorporationPAINTING CONTRACTORS CertaPro Painters National Accounts DJ’s Painting, Inc. ISP Painting, Inc.PAVING U.S. Sealcoat & U.S. PavingPROJECT MANAGEMENT Jones Lang LaSalle National Energy ServicesRETAIL INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS Retail Contractors AssociationRETAIL SERVICES Davaco, Inc FI CompaniesSECURITY Detex Corp.SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT National Waste Associates OAKLEAFSOUND/AUDIO Bose Professional Systems PlayNetwork Inc. Studio Stream Custom Music NetworksSTORE CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY AccruentWINDOW FILMS CPFilms, Inc.|
Weekly Retail Fix
THE NEWS: SAM’S REALIGNS STORE-LEVEL MANAGEMENT
BENTONVILLE, ARK. Sam’s Club is changing the management structure in its stores. In the realignment, approximately 250 positions will be eliminated, Wal-Mart Stores announced last week. The company said it’s replacing five lower level management positions at each Sam’s Club location with three new higher level and higher paying assistant manager positions. —
“This is not a cost cutting effort. We expect a slight increase in payroll upon completion of this change,” said Sharon Orlopp, senior vp of Sam’s people division.
THE FIX: Differentiation would better help Sam’s
Since Sam’s decided that its refocus on the business customer was too narrow, it has sought to find ways to make its clubs more attractive to primary shoppers, i.e., women. And that’s a pretty tough row to hoe, as Costco has done a pretty good job at satisfying the club customer in general and BJ’s has been going after female shoppers for several years now, with some success.
Having fewer managers with more direct responsibility could create a tighter knit club-level management and shorten lines of responsibility and accountability. Yet, without differentiating the offering, execution isn’t going to overcome all of Sam’s challenges.
That being said, a store-level management realignment might be overlooked at other retailers, but, this being Wal-Mart, everyone has to make a big deal about it. But that’s the price you pay as the big guy on the block.
Weekly Retail Fix
THE NEWS: TOYS ‘R’ US EARNINGS GAIN 40.1%
WAYNE, N.J. Toys “R” Us today posted net earnings of $199 million for its critical fourth quarter, which meant it turned a profit for the fiscal year ended Feb. 3. But special charges and gains had an impact on its numbers. —
Sales for the previous fiscal annum were $142 million, the difference translating into a net earnings increase of 40.1% year over year. For the last fiscal year, Toys “R” Us posted net earnings of $85 million versus a net loss of $384 million for the previous period.
Operating earnings in the fiscal 2006 fourth quarter gained 53.1% to $571 million versus $373 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005. For the last fiscal year, operating earnings were $649 million versus an operating loss of $142 million for the previous period.
THE FIX: Improved shopper experience ups comps
Of course, any observer has to take into consideration special financial circumstances. Fiscal 2006 operating earnings were positively impacted by $96 million from gains on property sales, slightly offset by restructuring and other charges. In fiscal 2005, operating earnings were negatively impacted by $410 million in costs relating to the merger of the company, as well as $58 million of costs and charges relating to contract settlement fees, restructuring and other charges.
Still, sales were trending up at last year’s end. Net sales gained 15.8% to $5.7 billion. In the full fiscal year, net sales advanced to $13 billion, up 15.2%.
Comparable-store sales for the Toys “R” Us’ U.S. division gained 0.6% in fiscal 2006, and that represents the division’s first comps increase in six years. Comps at Babies “R” Us were up 4.8% and those at Toys “R” Us international were up 2.6% for the fiscal year.
Jerry Storch, chairman and ceo of Toys “R” Us, said the company is “pleased with the strides we made in fiscal 2006 to improve at all levels of the organization and reposition the company for profitable growth over the long term.”
He said the company’s new management team has been focusing on executing a strategy that would turn the retailer into a global toy and baby products authority.
“This translated into higher overall sales, positive comparable-store sales, improved gross margins and strong operating earnings growth for the 2006 fiscal year,” Storch asserted. “The key to our strategy has been improving the customer shopping experience in our stores. We are accomplishing this by delivering a more compelling merchandise selection, better service and a cleaner and more comfortable shopping environment.”