STORE SPACES

SunEdison completes 306 kW solar system for Whole Foods in Brooklyn

BY Marianne Wilson

Belmont, Calif. — SunEdison, a solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services, announced the completion of a 306 kW DC (direct current) solar system for Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn, N.Y.

SunEdison designed the system using an innovative parking canopy structure that collects rainwater while protecting customers from the elements. The two companies have worked together since 2004 and have jointly deployed 1.5 MW (megawatts) of solar projects.

Whole Foods Brooklyn is designed to be 0% more energy efficient than the average grocery store with more than 25% of site power needs being met by solar energy. The rainwater collected by the parking canopy is fed into a 30,000-gallon underground cistern where it is filtered and used for non-potable purposes throughout the store.

"Environmental stewardship is an essential part of our core values and we spend a tremendous amount of our time thinking about how we can improve our efforts," said J’aime Mitchell, green mission specialist for Whole Foods Market’s Northeast Region. "Working with a partner like SunEdison has been a tremendous benefit for us as they’re continuously willing to create innovative designs that help us achieve our renewable energy goals."

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Food Lion debuts online tool for downloading coupons

BY Staff Writer

Salisbury, N.C. — Food Lion has unveiled a new online tool, MVP Coupon Hub, to make accessing grocery coupons online easier for customers. The new tool, found on the grocer’s website, features convenient load-to-card and printable coupons on customers’ favorite items.

"We’re proud to bring our customers the new MVP Coupon Hub, which helps customers save by offering hundreds of additional coupons," said Keith Nicks, director of loyalty and digital marketing for Food Lion.

Depending on personal preference, customers can select to instantly load coupons to their MVP Card or print their coupons to use in store, or both. MVP Coupon Hub is easily searchable, as well as sortable by coupon value and the expiration date of the coupon.

"Additionally, customers can pair the new online coupons with other savings opportunities in store such as our MVP Flyer Specials or by using their MVP Card to print personalized coupons at our MVP Savings Centers, which are now available in all of Food Lion’s more than 1,100 stores," added Nicks.

The launch of MVP Coupon Hub is just one of many digital additions and improvements underway at Food Lion. Additional online improvements will be launched later in the year.

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FINANCE

Dunkin’ Brands reports strong Q4, fiscal year 2013 results

BY Dan Berthiaume

Canton, Mass. – Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins, reported an impressive set of year-over-year financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013. During the quarter, net income grew 23% to $42.1 million from $34.2 million, and revenue increased 13% from $161.7 million to $183.2 million.

U.S. same-store sales for the quarter increased 3.5% at Dunkin’ Donuts and 2.2% at Baskin Robbins.

During the full fiscal year, net income rose 36% to $146.9 million from $108.3 million and revenues increased 8% to $713.8 million from $658.2 million. U.S. same-store sales rose 3.4% at Dunkin’ Donuts and 0.8% at Baskin Robbins.

According to Dunkin’ Brands, Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. same-store sales growth in the fourth quarter was driven by increased average ticket and higher traffic resulting from its focus on operational excellence and product and marketing innovation, while Baskin Robbins same-store sales growth was driven by a focus on returning and new holiday flavors, new cake designs and take-home ice cream quarts. Fourth quarter revenues resulted primarily from increased royalty income due to systemwide sales growth, increased franchise fees due to favorable development mix and incremental franchise renewals, and increased sales of ice cream products. Quarterly net income primarily grew as a result of a $14.5 million increase in operating income and a $2.0 million decrease in interest expense. This was offset by a $7.6 million increase in income tax expense and greater losses on foreign currency due to exchange rate fluctuations.

"We are steadfastly committed to driving profitable growth for both our franchisees and our shareholders, a commitment we delivered on yet again in our second full year as a public company," said Paul Carbone, CFO, Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. "As a result of strong topline sales growth and our intense focus on restaurant-level returns, franchisee profitability for both brands is healthier than it’s ever been. Additionally, our nearly 100% franchised, asset-light business model enabled us to return more than $100 million to shareholders in 2013 through our quarterly dividends and ongoing share repurchases. We’re also excited to announce the board of directors’ decision to increase our first quarter dividend more than 20% over our fourth quarter 2013 dividend."

Looking ahead, Dunkin’ Brands expects the following results for fiscal year 2014:

  • Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. same-store sales growth of 3 to 4% and Baskin-Robbins U.S. same-store sales growth of 1% to 3%.
  • Between 380 and 410 net new U.S, Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants representing greater than 5% net restaurant growth, five to 10 net new Baskin-Robbins U.S. restaurants.
  • Internationally, the company is targeting opening 300 to 400 net new restaurants across the two brands, inclusive of the anticipated closing of approximately 100 small, kiosk locations in the Philippines throughout the year. The closure of these locations is immaterial to Dunkin’ Donuts International business segment profit.
  • Globally, the company expects to open between 685 and 800 net new units.
  • Revenue growth of between 6% and 8%.
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