OPERATIONS

Staples Canada meets Q3 sustainability goals

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toronto, Canada — Staples Canada has announced its sustainability achievements for the third quarter of 2013, meeting its recycling and energy efficiency program goals.

Staples Canada partners with Call2Recycle to collect and recycle batteries (re-chargeable and alkaline). The program helped Staples Canada and its customers divert more than 23,630 kg of batteries from landfills in the third quarter of 2013, an increase of 44.3% from the same period the prior year. During the second quarter of 2013, Staples Canada collected 23,880 kg of batteries and 23,860 kg in the first quarter. With 71,370 kg of batteries collected, the retailer has surpassed its goal of collecting 60,000 kg this year.

Staples Canada gives customers the option to drop off used ink and toner cartridges at every store in Canada. In the third quarter of 2013, 625,230 ink and toner cartridges were collected. In the second quarter of 2013, 790,000 ink and toner cartridges were collected. With a target to collect 5 million ink cartridges by Earth Day 2014, the retailer continues to encourage Canadians to drop off used ink and toner cartridges at any Staples Canada location. Schools across the country can assist in the program by signing up for a free ink cartridge bin, with Staples collecting the cartridges free of charge.

Staples Canada, alongside its national electronics recycling partner, eCycle Solutions, collects electronics in more than 250 retail locations. With a goal to collect 3,000 metric tons of electronics this year, Staples Canada collected 908.73 metric tons of electronics in third quarter of 2013, an increase of 19.8% year-over-year. In the second quarter of 2013, Staples Canada collected 797.44 metric tons of electronics.

Alongside their exclusive partners, TerraCycle and Newell Rubbermaid, Staples Canada takes back used writing instruments such as pens, pencils, markers and highlighters. During the third quarter of 2013, the retailer collected 6,279 units. In the second quarter of 2013, 3,083 units were collected.

The retailer’s 2013 energy goal is to reduce electrical consumption by 5% from 2012. As of the third quarter electrical consumption was down 3.66% from 2012.

In fall 2012, Staples Canada and Bullfrog Power partnered on the bullfrog-powered Printers Program. Between September 25 and October 25 any inkjet printer purchased at a Staples store location came with 100% clean, pollution-free electricity for one full year, courtesy of Staples Canada. As a result of this program, Staples is helping to reduce emissions by more than 225 metric tons of CO2, and is expanding its support of new, green energy projects in Canada through Bullfrog Power.

"Our long-term commitment to growing our business in a sustainable manner and reducing our impact on the environment is a top priority for Staples," said Pete Gibel, VP of merchandising at Staples Canada and chair of the Staples Canada Environmental Committee. "We’re thrilled that our sustainability programs continue to grow and make a positive impact."

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FINANCE

Starbucks expects record gift card purchases Dec. 19

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Starbucks anticipates record purchases and activations of Starbucks cards on Thursday, Dec. 19. Last year, more than 2 million Starbucks cards were purchased in the U.S. and Canada on the Thursday before Christmas, representing nearly 1,500 cards purchased per minute in the U.S. and Canada.

“One in every 10 American adults received a Starbucks Card last holiday season, and we’re on track for another record performance in Starbucks Card sales, as we celebrate our 13th year of offering Starbucks cards,” said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer for Starbucks. “We are predicting that this Thursday and next Monday, Dec. 23, will be our busiest days for cards sales.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Hickory Farms launches online holiday program

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toledo, Ohio — Hickory Farms has launched a new website featuring faster page load times, easier navigation, and improved search and checkout functions. Customers can shop on-the-go with the site’s mobile and tablet-friendly design.

In addition, running through Christmas Eve, customers can play Hickory Farms’ Holiday Hunt Sweepstakes for a chance to win one of six daily instant prizes and be entered to win a $2,500 Visa gift card. Consumers can visit the Hickory Farms Facebook page daily to find the clue for that day’s instant prize, which they will find on HickoryFarms.com.

"We know our customers have less and less time to get everything done," said Hickory Farms CEO Mark S. Rodriguez. "Increasing our retail footprint, making it easier for them to shop, and continuously investing in quality improvements are all steps we’ve taken to better serve our customers."

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