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Staying the Green Course

BY Katherine Boccaccio

It would be easy to cave in the face of a downturn and push green sensibilities aside. But for Jacksonville, Fla.-based Regency Centers, one of the nation’s greenest shopping center developers, abandoning a core value has never been an option.

Chain Store Age talked with Mark Peternell, Regency’s VP sustainability, about the status of the company’s GreenGenuity program, and what comes next in terms of the continued greening of its shopping center portfolio, which has to date LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified three shopping centers, with another three under construction and pre-certified.

What is the status of your GreenGenuity program? 

We remain committed to our original objective of LEED-certifying 20% of new developments in 2008, 40% in 2009 and 60% in 2010. The only major change is that, typical of what is happening in the industry, we aren’t developing nearly as many projects today.

How has the slowed development impacted the program? 

We have more of an emphasis on the operating portfolio and what opportunities make the most sense within that group of centers. The big difference is that the LEED benchmark isn’t a good fit for existing properties and redevelopments. However, from an energy-savings perspective, there is a lot of opportunity with existing centers.

What type of projects is LEED best suited for? 

We believe that LEED is the right certification product for Regency Centers for ground-up development. That’s because with ground-up projects, you are starting from a clean slate and LEED can be part of the design goals from the outset. But with an existing property or a redevelopment, it is challenging to make LEED work.

How do you think the industry as a whole is progressing with regard to sustainability? 

We’re making strides, but the recession may have slowed the progress. There are unquestionably signs of progression, but the rate of progress has been slowed just like development in general has been slowed by the recession.

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Tiffany’s Q1 profit sparkles

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Tiffany & Co.’s net income more than doubled in the first quarter as its revenue rose in the United States and soared 50% in Asia, the company said Thursday.

The jeweler said it earned $64.4 million in the three months ended April 30. That compares with $24.3 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 22% to $633.6 million.

Revenue in the Americas increased 22% to $315.3 million, versus a 31% drop in the year-ago period. Adjusted for currency fluctuations, revenue rose 20%, and same-store sales rose 15%, led by the flagship on New York’s Fifth Avenue, where the figure rose 26%.

In the Asia-Pacific region, which doesn’t include Japan, Tiffany’s revenue soared 50% to $122.3 million. During the first quarter, the company opened its third store in Shanghai; by the end of the period, it operated 11 stores in China. Company officials said that they plan to have a total of 30 stores in China within the next five years.

In Japan, revenue slipped 2% to $115 million. Business in Europe rose 25% to $68.6 million.

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Best Buy Mobile enhances Web site

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy Mobile has annouced the re-launch of BestBuy.com/Mobile. According to the company, the new Web site will include such new features as online purchasing and Instant Ship, the new online hub offers convenient, customer-focused solutions for on-the-go gadget shoppers.

Through the new Web site, customers can now purchase a mobile phone online and have it shipped to their home or they can pick it up in-store. For customers needing assistance while choosing their phone online, Best Buy Mobile has a dedicated call center to respond.

 

“The capabilities within the enhanced site in combination with our in-store experience give Best Buy something completely and totally unique in the mobile phone marketplace,” said Shawn Score, president of Best Buy Mobile. “Now, we are truly a multi-channel mobile phone retailer supporting customers when and where they choose to engage us.”

 

Best Buy’s Mobile Web site provides customers with a larger range of functions, which include:

    * Online purchases: Customers can purchase a mobile phone with a contract using online channels. Customers place their order, and can then choose to pick up in store or have their new phone shipped directly to their home.    * Instant Ship: With Instant Ship, if a customer comes in and is qualified for a device that is not available in-store, the device can be ordered and shipped directly from the Web site. Instant Ship online improves the options of phones and colors for customers, and allows customers to have their new handset delivered right to their home.

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