SUPPLY CHAIN

Wakefern Food Corp.’s DC to go solar

BY Staff Writer

Wall, N.J. — Wakefern Food Corp. and NJR Clean Energy Ventures, a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, have started work on the installation of a rooftop solar system at a Wakefern Food Corp. distribution center in Keasbey, N.J. The 2.4-megawatt solar system will supply power to a refrigerated warehouse, helping lower Wakefern’s long-term electricity costs and its greenhouse gas emissions.

“Wakefern has been committed to reducing its impact on the environment for more than 30 years,” said Joe Sheridan, president and COO of Wakefern Food Corp. “Generation of renewable energy is a natural next step in our commitment to sustainable business practices. We are delighted to partner with NJR Clean Energy Ventures to bring the power of solar energy to our perishable warehouse in Keasbey.”

The solar array is expected to produce nearly 2,900,000 kilowatt hours annually, eliminating 2,000 metric tons of carbon-equivalent emissions from the atmosphere. This equates to removing the carbon dioxide emissions produced by approximately 390 vehicles.

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REAL ESTATE

Rite Aid debuts next-generation store

BY Alaric Dearment

Camp Hill, Pa. — Rite Aid unveiled what it called its "next generation” Wellness store, in Lemoyne, Pa.

"We know our customers’ health and wellness needs are always changing," Rite Aid COO Ken Martindale said. "As such, it’s important that we change with them and are able to evolve and innovate across all areas of our operations. Here in Lemoyne, we’ve taken our successful Wellness store format to the next level, which we think will help us continue to be the pharmacy of choice when it comes to health and wellness information, products and services."

Rite Aid said customers would immediately notice the new look of the 4,639-sq.-ft. store, with its wood-grain paneling on the outside that the company said would add a warm and welcoming feel as they approach it. The paneling also lists features like the GNC department, 24-hour pharmacy and drive-through services.

Inside, new features include a Diabetic Diagnostic Center, a one-stop shop for diabetics and their caregivers; a Vision Center, an easy-to-use kiosk that allows customers to conveniently order glasses and contact lenses and try on new frames; an expanded Men’s Grooming section that allows customers to use a an iPad to sample a new look; a nail bar that showcases various top brands and the latest colors; a hair-care aisle with hands-on displays where customers can see and feel items before purchase; and a grab-and-go cooler with milk, eggs and other items.

Overall, the store features a softer layout designed to make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for, with new signage and decor that includes ceiling rings clearly designating each section; lighting fixtures and brand headers across the beauty department; and a relaxing, warm color palette with wood tones and softer lighting.

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OPERATIONS

Wet Seal chairman and three board members out; replaced by Clinton Group nominees

BY Marianne Wilson

Foothills Ranch, Calif. — The chairman of The Wet Seal and three other directors have stepped down from its board, replaced by four nominees of the Clinton Group. The move follows several attempts by the activist investor group, which holds about 7% of Wet Seal, to take control of the struggling retailer.

As a result of the board changes, Clinton Group has agreed to terminate its effort to get support from shareholders for its nominees, Wet Seal said Friday.

The Wet Sea said board members Jonathan Duskin, Sidney Horn and Henry Winterstern have resigned, along with chairman Hal Kahn. They have been replaced with four Clinton Group nominees: Dorrit Bern, Lynda Davey, Mindy Meads and John Mills.

The board will also still include Kathy Bronstein, John Goodman and Ken Reiss.

“We believe that the agreement with Clinton Group is in the best interest of all Wet Seal shareholders,” said Ken Seipel, president and COO of Wet Seal. “This settlement will provide for a smooth and orderly transition of the Board’s responsibilities, as well as a level of continuity for our employees.”

The retailer said that former board chairman Kahn has agreed to continue to serve the company as a consultant pursuant to his existing contract.

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