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Wal-Mart details environmental progress

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores on Monday released its "2011 Global Responsibility Report." According to the report, the chain has made steady year-to-year improvement towards its goals of creating zero waste, using 100% renewable energy and selling products that sustain people and the environment.

The company is targeting a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 from its 2005 base of stores, clubs and distribution centers by 2012, from a 2005 baseline. By yearend 2009 — the most recent year for which it has such data — Walmart had reduced its GHG emissions by 10.6%.

Here are some highlights with regards to Walmart’s U.S. operations:

Renewable Energy: In 2010, Walmart completed the installation of 35 solar projects in Arizona, California and Puerto Rico. Eight of the installations utilized thin-film solar technology, (according to the report, the new technology, while similar to traditional crystalline panels in appearance, significantly reduces the use of raw materials in the manufacturing process.), and more installations are in the works. The thin-film solar arrays are expected to supply 20% to 30% of the total energy needs for each location.

The company also completed two microturbine wind projects on the parking lot light poles at the Walmart in Worcester, Mass., and at the Sam’s Club in Palmdale, Calif.

Lighting: As of March 2010, the majority of new and remodeled U.S. Walmart stores had replaced the 77-watt ceramic metal halide spotlights used to highlight produce, fixtures and wall-mounted signage with 12-watt LED PAR38 spotlights, saving approximately 50% in energy per installation.

In addition, 12.5-watt LED fixtures also replaced the 64-watt fluorescent fixtures in many of its store restrooms, generating an anticipated savings of 9,000 to 15,000 kilowatt hours per site. An additional 200 stores retrofitted the 58-watt traditional fluorescent lamps in low- and medium-temperature refrigerated cases with 20-watt LED fixtures, saving in excess of 67,000 kWh in each case door lighting and indirect refrigeration annually in the average superstore.

Refrigerant Leaks: Walmart’s U.S. facilities team has initiated a refrigerant leak reduction program across domestic stores and warehouse clubs that will significantly reduce GHG releases from refrigeration systems. (After purchased electricity, refrigerants are the chain’s second-largest source of GHG emissions.) As of 2010, this initiative led to a reduction of more than 107,000 pounds of refrigerants.

Fleet Efficiency: Walmart realized a 65% improvement in fleet efficiency over its 2005 baseline in the United States. During the past two years, the chain has replaced nearly two-thirds of its fleet with more efficient tractors. Investments also include the purchase of 3,000 skirted trailers, which will drive fleet efficiency. In 2010, Walmart delivered 57 million more cases, while driving 49 million fewer miles.

Waste: According to this new tracking program, piloted from January through October 2010, Walmart’s stores in California have redirected 81% of their waste from landfills. The company has since rolled this program out to each state and anticipates having a U.S.-wide redirection rate with similar results.

The report can be found at walmartstores.com/Sustainability/7951.aspx.

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Hot Topic, Santa Monica, Calif.

BY CSA STAFF

Hot Topic has always strived to reflect the tastes, interests and attitudes of its customers and the newest evolution of its prototype is no exception. The store, in Santa Monica, Calif., and designed in collaboration with JGA, Southfield, Mich., is sleek and transparent. It mirrors the world of Hot Topic’s tech-savvy customers by seamlessly blending social and technological components into the shopping experience. The end result is a highly interactive environment; from access to online music-listening to stations where shoppers can co-create their own designs for t-shirts. The space can also be modified to accommodate live music performances — all fixtures, including cashwraps, are on casters allowing the entire store to be transformed into a music venue.

Among the store’s highlights:

  • Microsoft surface tables: These tables, in a custom designed enclosure, give shoppers a unique way to digitally access content in the store. The intuitive and easy-to-use multi-touch computer allows shoppers access to multiple features and programs, including Hot Topic’s loyalty program.
  • Cashwrap: The design utilizes a “pod” approach to the cashwrap, with two pods within the store. The pods are wireless, so they can be relocated anywhere there is access to power.
  • Media wall ceiling panels, a series of “clouds,” carry the eye toward the large media wall in the rear of the store. The wall provides a changeable background for performing bands, and also accommodates social and media elements. It also can serve as a window into various activities that are happening in-store or at theatrical venues.

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L.Jandayan says:
Mar-06-2013 10:47 am

Employees should be well trained to online music entertainment for alterations and adaptation to different devices. They are hired in this company because of their personalities not without any experiences. - Scott Sohr

L.Jandayan says:
Mar-06-2013 10:47 am

Employees should be well trained to online music entertainment for alterations and adaptation to different devices. They are hired in this company because of their personalities not without any experiences. - Scott Sohr

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Restructuring accelerates Gap’s global growth

BY CSA STAFF

Gap Inc. wants international and online sales to account for 30% of its revenues within two years and a restructuring announced this week is expected to play a role in facilitating that growth.

The company said it would consolidate four existing international business units into one under the leadership of Stephen Sunnucks, a 30-year retail veteran who joined Gap five years ago.

“Our successful openings in China and Italy have given us further evidence that we have a strong game plan for entering and expanding into international markets through a unique combination of online, specialty retail, outlet and franchise stores,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO of Gap. “Bringing our four international business units under the leadership of a proven global retail executive like Stephen Sunnucks allows us to leverage resources, operate consistently, and grow the business at an accelerated rate.”

Sunnucks is credited with successfully guiding the growth of Gap and Banana Republic in Europe as well as overseeing the company’s rapidly-expanding franchise operations. With the decision to consolidate international businesses under Sunnuck’s leadership he will be responsible for company’s brands outside North America consisting of about 530 stores in 30 countries.

“As we’ve expanded into new countries and introduced additional brands from our portfolio, our distinctively American aesthetic has resonated very well, everywhere from Milan to Shanghai to Sydney. We have the flexibility to adapt our formats for each market so that we can gain a larger share of the $1.4 trillion global apparel retail market,” Sunnucks said.

Most of the limited growth Gap has experienced in recent years is due to its international expansion and online efforts. Just five years ago, Gap operated in only eight countries and its products were sold online in only the United States. Today, the company operates stores in 32 countries and sells online in a total of 90 countries.

Towards the end of 2010, the company opened its first Gap and Banana Republic flagship stores in Italy, and its first Gap stores and an online retail site in China. The new stores in Milan and China have been among the company’s top 10 percent performing stores in the world since their openings. The company expects to open its first Old Navy unit in Japan in 2012.

In the year ahead, the company plans to open about 190 stores worldwide, including about 10 stores each in China and Italy. It plans to double the number of franchise stores to 400 by 2015. Gap ended last year with sales of $14.6 billion.

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