FINANCE

Stein Mart will reinstate financial results back to 2009

BY CSA STAFF

Jacksonville, Fla. — Stein Mart Inc. announced Friday that it will restate its financial statements for fiscal years 2009, 2010 and 2011, its quarterly data for the first quarter of 2012 and for all quarters in 2010 and 2011, as well as its selected financial data for the relevant periods due to merchandising accounting errors.

The accounting mistakes came about because it accounted for some markdowns as temporary discounts rather than permanent ones, affecting how it valued its unsold clothing, the Associated Press said. As a result, inventories were overstated by about $3 million through July 28, while the costs of sold merchandise were understated by the same amount.

In addition, Stein Mart is reviewing how it accounts for store improvement costs that are reimbursed by its landlords, because it now believes that changes to stores did not increase the value of its landlords’ properties. It had previously believed the opposite, the Associated Press reported.

It said that its accounting methods had understated write-downs the company took on the value of its stores by about $11 million from 2006 to 2009, and overstated rent expense by about $6 million.

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REAL ESTATE

Survey: Companies committed to green building, but not to LEED certification

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Companies remain committed to constructing green buildings, according to a survey by Turner Construction Co. The company’s 2012 Green Building Market Barometer found that while executives remained committed to incorporating sustainable building practices into their building programs, fewer said their companies were likely to seek LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council when constructing a green building.

Only 48% of the surveyed executives thought it was extremely or very likely that their company would seek LEED certification if they constructed a green, down from 53% in the 2010 survey and 61% in the 2008 survey.

Among executives who said their companies were not likely to seek LEED certification, the most important reasons cited were the cost of the certification process (82%), staff time required (79%), time required for the process (75%), and the overall perceived difficulty of the process (74%). Of those executives who indicated they would consider another system, 63% said they would be extremely or very likely to consider seeking certification under Energy Star, which highlights the importance of energy efficiency.
The executives cited energy efficiency (84%) and ongoing operations and maintenance expenses (85%) as the key drivers to green construction. More than two-thirds of executives also said that non-financial factors were extremely or very important including indoor air quality (74%), health and well-being of occupants (74%), satisfaction of employees/occupants (69%) and employee productivity (67%).

However, only 37% of executives said it was extremely or very important to their companies to minimize the carbon footprint of their buildings. This suggests, according to the survey, that the decision to incorporate green features is driven by a desire to reduce cost followed by an interest to improve the indoor environment for building occupants, rather than broader concerns about the impact of buildings on the global environment.

"Energy efficiency figures prominently in the decision-making process of green building primarily because of its large economic impact," said Michael Deane, VP and chief sustainability officer at Turner Construction. “Water efficiency in green construction was seen as less important. This is in spite of a growing awareness that water is a finite resource, both in its operational use and its role in the production of goods and materials. While the direct economic impact of water efficiency is less than the savings on energy, its environmental impact is quite significant.”

Ninety percent of respondents said their companies were committed to environmentally-sustainable practices. Of that percentage, 56% of executives said their companies were extremely or very committed to following environmentally sustainable practices in their operations, while an additional 34% said they were somewhat committed.

Among real estate owners, developers, and corporate owner-occupants, 64% said they expect to undertake new construction projects over the next 12 months (up from 46% in the 2010 survey), and 71% said they expect to undertake renovation projects over the same period (up from 58% in the 2010 survey).

The executives participating in the survey were from the following principal types of companies: architecture (49%), construction (19%), real estate consulting (11%), corporate owner-occupant (9%), developer (9%), engineering (9%), real estate owners (7%), corporate tenant (3%), and broker/real estate service provider (2%), (These percentages total to more than 100% since some companies were involved in more than one industry segment.)



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P.Lopez says:
Apr-10-2013 07:09 pm

ChatRandom
This is in spite of a growing awareness that water is a finite resource, both in its operational use and its role in the production of goods and materials. ChatRandom

P.Lopez says:
Apr-10-2013 07:09 pm

This is in spite of a growing awareness that water is a finite resource, both in its operational use and its role in the production of goods and materials. ChatRandom

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STORE SPACES

Applebee’s reduce lighting-related energy use by 88% with LEDs

BY Marianne Wilson

Satellite Beach, Fla. — Lighting Science Group Corp. has collaborated with Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar to monitor, evaluate and markedly reduce energy usage for lighting in Applebee’s 23 company-owned restaurants. Through the installation of ultra-efficient and design-enhancing LED lamps, Applebee’s should net an energy reduction for lighting of 88% per year.

“Replacing outdated incandescent and halogen bulbs made economic sense to us,” said Bill O’Keefe, Applebee’s executive director of development. “The new LED lighting systems make our restaurants more energy efficient and match our design standards, and Lighting Science has been a valuable partner in this process.”

Applebee’s replaced over 3,000 incandescent and halogen lamps with Lighting Science’s 8W A19 LED, 14W BR30 LED, 8W Par20 LED, and 6W MR16 LED. Following the project’s completion, Applebee’s reported an 88% reduction in total energy usage for lighting, sparing an average of 820 kilowatts per year.

The initial cost estimate of the LED lighting retrofit was tempered by utility rebates made possible with the lamps’ Energy Star certifications. A tax deduction through the 2005 Energy Policy Act (EPACT) also applied. Considering these incentives, Applebee’s anticipates a simple payback in a little over seven months.

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