ENERGY/HVAC

Wendy’s cuts energy use

BY Marianne Wilson

The Wendy’s Company is in the spotlight for dramatically reducing energy usage.

The company received two environmental awards from the 2016 Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) campaign. Wendy’s was recognized for the largest absolute number of facility upgrades and highest percentage energy savings in a retrofit of a parking lot.

"At Wendy's, we're setting bold goals that are brought to life in the way we plan, design, engineer, construct and operate our restaurants. These awards recognize this long-term commitment to energy conservation and sustainability," said Abigail Pringle, chief development officer for The Wendy's Company.

More than six years ago, the company built two LEED certified restaurants to gain learnings and explore the possibility of incorporating energy conservation efforts in new and existing restaurants.

Additionally, Wendy's has accelerated progress in reducing energy use by implementing more than 1,100 individual energy upgrade projects at more than 550 restaurants. These actions have saved millions of kilowatt hours which, for comparison, translates into the amount of electricity to power nearly 1,200 average U.S. homes for a year.

The LEEP campaign is an annual award and guidance program that encourages the use of high-efficiency lighting technology in parking facilities in order to save money and energy resources. The awards are presented at the annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo.

"The Wendy's Company's project represents one of the best-in-class retrofit parking lot facility lighting projects in the United States," said Paul Wessel, director, United States Green Building Council. "By implementing high-performance energy-efficient lighting systems, companies like Wendy's are not only cutting energy use and maintenance costs, but helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and global electricity consumption."

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DEVELOPMENT/REDEVELOPMENT

Macerich opens big-box addition to Long Island mall

BY Al Urbanski

Macerich spent the weekend celebrating the opening of Green Acre Commons, an open-air congregation of big-box retailers adjoining its Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, New York.

A fixture in the retail scene on the Queens-Nassau County border, the 1.8 million-sq.-ft. mall has served the area for more than 50 years with tenants such as Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Century 21, Express, and American Eagle. Last year, Macerich redeveloped and re-merchandised the south side of the property, creating a new entrance for Old Navy and H&M.

Live performances and events heralded the opening of the 350,000-sq.-ft. Commons, whose roster includes Ashley Furniture Homestore, BJ’s Brewhouse, Burlington, Dick’s Sporting Goods, 24-Hour Fitness, Sonic Drive-In, and Ulta Beauty.

“Green Acres Commons meets the needs of this attractive market for more top national brands,” said Joe Floccari, senior property manager of Green Acres Mall.

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TECHNOLOGY

More good news for retailers

BY Marianne Wilson

Yet another holiday forecast brings more good cheer to retailers.

Consumers plan to spend an average of $636 on holiday-related expenses, up 3% from what they anticipated last year, according to The NPD Group’s 2016 Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey. They are also less concerned this year about the economy spoiling their holiday fun. When asked how the state of the economy will influence holiday purchases in 2016, the 12% who said it will have a “significant impact” is down from recent years (14% in 2015, 19% in 2014).

“All signs point to a holiday retail season that will outperform last year’s,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group. “The unvarying holiday spending intentions expressed by consumers are a sign that even this year’s intense election cycle has done little to dampen consumer confidence going into the holiday season, which we forecast to grow moderately.”

Consumers also plan on shopping more through online channels this year. On average, shoppers plan on doing 38% of their holiday shopping online (up from 33% last year). But in looking more specifically at where consumers plan to shop during the 2016 holiday season, growth is apparent across the marketplace, from online- only retailers to toy stores to specialty retailers in the beauty category and most other purchase channels in between, according to NPD.

“Consumer response is suggesting growth across retail channels, despite the growth and dominance of online shopping, which points to a sense of optimism,” said Cohen. “The lack of stand-out, must-have products this holiday season is benefiting the categories that are delivering on basic consumer wants, but marketers need to find new ways to engage and excite holiday shoppers to drive significant growth.”

Six in 10 consumers are looking forward to the holiday season, and nearly half say the simple act of going out shopping during the holidays puts them in the holiday spirit.

“Consumers are ready to spend this holiday season,” Cohen said. However, more than ever before, how much they spend will be determined by their own perception of the products and promotions they are presented with, rather than the simple fact that the products and promotions are there.”

In other survey findings:

• Early shoppers are more likely to say they comparison shop before they buy gifts (45% versus 30% of late shoppers) and that they plan on buying all their holiday gifts on sale 38% versus 21% of late shoppers).

• Late shoppers may not have time to pick up a little something for themselves – they’re less likely than their early shopper counterparts to say that when they shop for others, they also shop for themselves (15% versus 26% of early shoppers).

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