STORE SPACES

Walmart expands solar footprint to Massachusetts

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Walmart plans to install solar panels on about half of its stores in Massachusetts, making it the largest user of solar power in the state.

Walmart is partnering with Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC, Middletown, Conn., on the project, which involves 27 stores.

“On average, the systems we’ll be using in Massachusetts will provide from 10% to 15% of each store’s power requirements,’’ said David Ozment, Walmart’s director of energy programs. “We’re very optimistic that we’re going to save some dollars over time.”

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STORE SPACES

Walmart cuts outdoor water use with WeatherTrak irrigation controller

BY Marianne Wilson

Petaluma, Calif. — Walmart stores equipped with smart irrigation controllers from HydroPoint Data Systems have reduced outdoor irrigation water use an average of 39% per location since the systems were deployed in 2008, the companies announced.

HydroPoint supplied 631 of its WeatherTrak controllers to select Walmart stores. The systems, which are designed to eliminate landscape water waste, harmful run-off and costly hardscape damage, were added during new store construction and as retrofit projects.

The controllers use an online tool that gives Walmart remote access to the system, and provides water-use data for property managers, landscape contractors and company executives.

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Von Maur to debut redesigned lingerie department

BY Staff Writer

Davenport, Iowa — Von Maur Department Store will premier its newly redesigned lingerie department at its soon-to-be-opened location at Atlanta’s Perimeter Mall. The 234,000-sq.-ft. store is set to become one of the chain’s largest stores to date.

Conceived through direct customer feedback, the newly redesigned department will aim to evoke a more enhanced shopping experience and better showcase the variety of selections and price points Von Maur has to offer. The department will feature a romantic aesthetic, with such features as a custom-designed chandelier, Italian tile flooring, and easy to access display tables

According to a survey conducted by Nielsen in first quarter 2012, the vast majority (79%) of U.S. smartphone and tablet owners have used their mobile devices for shopping-related activities. Smartphones are used more often than tablets for activities on-the-go: “Locating a store” (73% versus 42% for tablets), “using a shopping list while shopping” (42% versus 16% for tablets), or “redeeming a mobile coupon” (36% versus 11% for tablet owners). However, tablet owners are much more likely to use their device for online shopping: 42% of tablet owners have “used their device to purchase an item,” compared with just 29% of smartphone owners.

One of the most popular activities among both smartphone owners and tablet owners is “researching an item before purchase” (66% for tablet owners versus 57% for smartphone owners). Comparatively, few mobile shoppers have used their devices for payments (27% of smartphone owners and 28% of tablet owners), but that number is expected to rise in the years to come as more mobile payment systems roll out nationwide and U.S. consumers get more comfortable with the idea of mobile payments.

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