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Target gets ‘smart’ about lighting

BY Marianne Wilson

Target Corp. is taking its lighting to the next level.

The retailer has entered into an agreement with Acuity Brands for Acuity to provide Target with smart lighting technologies, featuring energy saving LED fixtures and dimming controls.

Target will be installing Acuity’s next generation, smart LED sales floor fixtures, along with the lighting company’s store accent lighting and distribution center site lighting.

The initiative is part of Target’s ongoing efforts to significantly reduce energy consumption and enhance operational effectiveness across its facility footprint. Target has been recognized by the US Department of Energy’s Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) Awards in multiple energy savings categories, including special recognition for Largest Portfolio-wide Annual Absolute Energy Savings.

“It’s exciting to see a retail leader like Target embracing LED lighting as part of its energy management initiatives. We are proud to have worked with Target over the past two decades to provide superior lighting and control solutions for its stores that reduce energy consumption on a per fixture basis by nearly a factor of four, from 128 input watts to 36 watts,” said Steve Lydecker, senior VP, Acuity Brands.

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Survey: Email marketers make customers feel welcome

BY CSA STAFF

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and retailers are applying this truism to their email marketing efforts.

According to a survey of 150 retail clients by email marketing technology provider Campaigner, 39% of respondents say that the first email content new subscribers see from their brand is a thank-you-for-subscribing message. This approach seems to be working, as almost 50% of respondents report that 21% or more of new subscribers engage with such welcome emails.

To encourage customers to sign up for regular email messages, many respondents are leveraging content marketing, with 55% offering the latest news and content to their customers as incentives to subscribe. The second-most-popular incentive is standard promotions, at 49%.

Looking at welcome message timing, 62% of respondents report that their new subscribers receive their first message from the brand within 24 hours of signing up.

Additionally, the majority of retail marketers surveyed (60%) find it best to deliver emails early in the day — specifically, before 2 p.m. Thirty-five percent say between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. is the ideal time to garner responses from new subscribers, while 25% report that between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. is best.

Despite the reported success of these messages, 60% of respondents feel they are not making the most of their welcome emails. Still, more than 60% of respondents plan to use email marketing as their primary method to acquire customers in the coming year.

Other notable findings include:

• Eighty-seven percent of respondents are including images in their welcome emails, while 26% are including videos.

• Nearly one-third (31%) of respondents report that geo-targeting is important for initial emails to contacts.

• More than half of the respondents ranked personalization and segmentation as the most successful tactics in driving conversions.

• Seventy-seven percent of respondents report the pressure on their business to acquire new customers as the economy slows is high or very high.

• Forty-seven percent of respondents report that the most damaging email marketing issue for brands today is having messages delivered to spam folders.

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Detecting Costly Refrigerant Leaks

BY CSA STAFF

An average food retail store leaks an estimated 25% estimated of its refrigerant supply per year. The majority of refrigerant leaks, which are caused by a number of factors, occur in racks and cases. For an individual store, this loss can add up to a sizeable annual expense; for a regional or national chain, the costs can be even more substantial. Additionally, associated labor costs and the potential loss of business because of service disruptions when fixing a leak should be factored in.

An effective refrigerant leak detection program can help with cost savings throughout a retail chain. Leak detection strategies can help to avoid costly EPA examinations. Also, as most commonly used refrigerants today are greenhouse gases (and some are ozone-depleting substances), it can also have a significant impact on the environment.

To avoid preventable losses, retailers should install automatic leak detection (ALD) equipment to ensure ongoing, proper procedures. Using an automated system can reduce inefficiencies and potential errors from manual inspections.

ALD equipment is critical to detection of leaks, notification alerts and continuous system monitoring and reporting. Integrated into a facility management system, remote monitoring can assist with the management of refrigerant leak notifications as well as incorporate preventive maintenance practices.

With leak detection technologies, retailers can use that data to correlate the leaks with specific equipment or sites, and then apply focused efforts to improve specific issues. Analyzing the system data can help retailers to identify areas where they may need to inspect further, uncover trends and understand the overall impact on their business.


Rajan Rajendran is VP, System Innovation Center and Sustainability, at Emerson Climate Technologies.

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