OPERATIONS

Target asks customers not to bring guns into its stores

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Target Corp. on Wednesday requested that customers no longer carry guns in its stores.

The retailer found itself embroiled in controversy when gun-rights activists in Texas and several other states chose Target stores to demonstrate their belief in the right to openly bear arms. In response, the chain came under heavy fire from groups such as "Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense" and others who expressed concern about firearms being carried into an environment where the shoppers are often accompanied by children.

“As you’ve likely seen in the media, there has been a debate about whether guests in communities that permit “open carry” should be allowed to bring firearms into Target stores,” wrote Target acting CEO John Mulligan in a statement posted on the chain’s website. “Our approach has always been to follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so. But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law. This is a complicated issue, but it boils down to a simple belief: Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.”

"Moms are thankful that Target responded quickly to the call of nearly 400,000 Americans and asked customers to keep their firearms at home," said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Like Chipotle, Starbucks, Facebook, Jack in the Box, Sonic, and Chili’s, Target recognized that moms are a powerful customer base and political force – and you can respect the Second Amendment and the safety of customers at the same time."

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Online beauty retailer Julep taps former Blue Nile exec as chief delivery officer

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Online beauty subscription brand Julep has tapped former Blue Nile executive Dwight Gaston as chief delivery officer. In the role, he will oversee Julep’s operations, customer service, fulfillment and product development teams to ensure efficient delivery of products to its customers.

Julep said it develops more than 300 new products each year for its Maven subscribers and e-commerce customers, and shipments are growing exponentially.

Gaston spent 15 years at online jewelry retailer Blue Nile in executive roles, most recently as senior VP of operations. He previously served as VP of operations and director of fulfillment operations.

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Ikea expands solar array on Maryland DC

BY Dan Berthiaume

Conshohocken, Pa. – Ikea has plugged-in an expansion of the solar array completed in April 2013 on the roof of its 1.7 million-sq.-ft. Perryville, Maryland, distribution center. Installation of the new panels began in fall 2013, and since then have nearly doubled the size of the original project.

The 467,618-sq.-ft. solar addition consists of a 2.2-MW system, built with 7,337 modules, and will produce about 2.7 million kWh of electricity annually. Including the existing system, this distribution center’s total 4.9-MW solar installation of 25,913 panels now will generate about 6.1 million kWh of clean electricity yearly, the equivalent of reducing 4,299 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 896 cars or powering 591 homes.

For the development, design and installation of the Perryville distribution center’s original and expanded solar power system, Ikea contracted with Inovateus Solar LLC.

In 2013, Ikea achieved its goal of completing solar installations atop nearly 90% its U.S. buildings (39 out of 44 locations), with a generation goal of 38 MW. Ikea owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems, as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement), and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015. Ikea has installed more than 550,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operates approximately 157 wind turbines in Europe and Canada.

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