STORE SPACES

Starbucks stores in energy-saving pilot

BY Marianne Wilson

Oakland, Calif. — Lucid, a provider of real-time feedback technology for buildings, is spearheading a study of resource consumption and behavior change with Starbucks Coffee Co. The pilot project, developed in conjunction with the Snohomish County Public Utility District and Portland Energy Conservation Inc., will be hosted by 10 Starbucks stores in Snohomish County, Wash., and will serve to test and document measurable energy savings in the stores.

The program encourages Starbucks employees to identify conservation strategies that will reduce the amount of energy required to run their stores while not impacting customer service. The pilot will evaluate energy savings derived by providing energy use data to employees, coupled with friendly competition among stores.

The pilot pairs a 30-day competition among 10 Starbucks stores using Lucid’s Building Dashboard platform to promote behavior change through real-time energy usage information, employee engagement and focused energy savings strategies. It complements a broad range of energy efficiency and sustainability goals embraced by Starbucks throughout its retail locations.

For Starbucks, the pilot continues its leadership around conservation.

“We have committed to reducing energy and water use in company-owned stores by 25% by 2015,” said Jim Hanna, director, environmental stewardship at Starbucks. “This pilot project demonstrates our ongoing desire to meet our customers’ expectations of providing a premium experience while at the same time constantly evaluating our environmental performance.”

The pilot will run for at least one year.

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Harris Teeter details expansion plans

BY Allison Cerra

Matthews, N.C. — Harris Teeter plans to expand its presence in existing markets, the company said in its third-quarter earnings release.

Harris Teeter noted that it continues to accelerate its new store growth as the new store development program for fiscal 2012 is expected to result in a 4.5% increase in retail square footage, as compared with a 3.2% increase in fiscal 2011. Looking ahead, the retailer said it plans to open 12 new stores (two of which are replacements), open the three stores acquired from Lowes Foods that are being converted to the new innovative format and complete major remodels on nine stores (three of which will be expanded in size) during fiscal 2013. The new store openings currently are scheduled for three in the first quarter, two in the second quarter, two in the third quarter and eight in the fourth quarter.

Third-quarter sales for Harris Teeter rose 4.6% to $1.15 billion for the period ended July 1, thanks to an increase in comparable-store sales and sales from new stores, partially offset by store closings. Comps for the North Carolina-based retailer rose 3.7% for the quarter.

Harris Teeter said its capital expenditure plans entail the continued expansion of its existing markets, including the Washington, D.C., metro market area, which incorporates northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, southern Maryland and coastal Delaware. In June, the retailer entered into a purchase agreement with regional chain Lowes Foods, through which Harris Teeter acquired ten Lowes Foods store locations in the central Carolinas region and Lowes Foods acquired six Harris Teeter store locations in western North Carolina. Next quarter, Harris Teeter said it plans to open a total of seven stores (six-of-the-10 stores acquired from Lowes Foods and one additional store) and complete major remodels on nine stores, five of which will be expanded in size.

The Lowes Foods transaction, the company said, impacted its net earnings, which dropped from $32.1 million to $15.8 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2012.

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Darden Restaurants surpasses waster reduction goal four years ahead of schedule

BY Marianne Wilson

Orlando, Fla. — Darden Restaurants reduced restaurant water usage by 17% on an aggregate basis between fiscal years 2008 and 2011, exceeding its 2015 goal of reducing water consumption in each of its restaurants by 15% on aggregate and is more than half way toward meeting the same goal for reducing energy consumption in its restaurants, according to the company’s second annual sustainability report.

"Water scarcity, declining fish stocks, health and wellness and developing future talent – these are just some of the issues shaping our operating environment, our communities and our business," said Clarence Otis, chairman and CEO of Darden. "We recognize we have the responsibility to make a positive difference around a host of sustainability issues to drive the growth of our company while also creating social value."

The report also highlighted other environmental accomplishments, including:

  • The completion of new green building prototypes for Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, enabling all new restaurants to align with LEED certification standards;
  • Tripling the number of Darden restaurants that take part in single-stream recycling of glass, plastics and aluminum;
  • Increasing Darden’s landfill diversion rate by 14%; and
  • Receiving the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star certification at its Restaurant Support Center facility in Orlando, which is now generating 20% or more of its power from the 1.1-megawatt solar installation completed in December.

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