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Unusual partners make for impactful window displays

BY Marianne Wilson

United Airlines has taken over the windows of one of the nation’s most iconic department stores.

Saks Fifth Avenue on Wednesday unveiled United Airlines Polaris-themed windows at the retailer’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Entitled "Now Arriving," the 14 storefront windows display a replica of a United Airlines plane. The center six windows feature a re-creation of the United Polaris experience, including actual United Polaris seats, which will debut on flights in February, and the cabin's custom Saks Fifth Ave-nue bedding suite.

"We designed these windows to give passersby the feeling that they are actually walking through the luxurious United Polaris cabin," said Mark Briggs, executive VP, creative, Saks Fifth Avenue. "The attention to de-tail throughout the installation is impressive, from the real United Polaris seats and Saks bedding to the United flight attendant uniforms and Saks' signature fashion represented by the season's top ready-to-wear resort looks."

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Supervalu Q3 sales disappoint

BY Marianne Wilson

Supervalu Inc. swung to a loss in its third quarter amid increased competition in the retail segment.

The company reported a net loss of $26 million during its 2017 fiscal third quarter, ended Dec. 3, as revenue fell 1.4% to $3 billion.

The loss, however, included a settlement charge of $41 million related to pensions and also store closure charges.

Supervalu was dragged down by the performance of its retail unit, where revenue fell 3.4% to $1.06 billion. Same-store sales were down 5.7%. The company’s wholesale business edged up to $1.91 billion.

Supervalu completed the sale of its Sav-A-Lot business on Dec. 6 — after the third quarter ended — and presented Sav-A-Lot results as discontinued operations.

“The successful sale of Save-A-Lot early in the fourth quarter provides Supervalu with additional flexibility to operate and grow our business,” said president and CEO Mark Gross. “Additionally, our wholesale team has done a tremendous job delivering for our customers. It is a significant accomplishment that we increased wholesale sales compared to last year given the sales lost at the end of fiscal 2016. Unfortunately, in our retail segment we have not been able to overcome persistent deflation, competitive impacts, and other factors. It takes time to change customers’ shopping habits, but our team is dedicated to improving our results."

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Another solar milestone for home furnishings giant

BY Marianne Wilson

The larger solar rooftop array in the state of Washington is now completed — and it’s on top of an Ikea store.

Ikea has installed a solar array on the top its 244,000-sq.-ft. store currently under construction in Renton, Washington. It is scheduled to open in spring 2017.

The installation consists of a 1.13 MW system, built with 3,268 panels that will produce approximately 1,261,000 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent of reducing 886 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). REC Solar designed Ikea’s solar array, which was installed by Seattle-based A&R Solar. Deacon Corp. is managing the construction of the store.

This array represents the 45th solar project for Ikea in the United States, giving the chain as solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation goal of more than 40 MW. Ikea owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – and globally allocated $2.5 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2020, reinforcing its confidence and investment in solar photovoltaic technology.

Consistent with the goal of being energy independent by 2020, Ikea has installed more than 700,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns approximately 300 wind turbines, including 104 in the United States.

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