Wenger Takes Top Honor in A.R.E Design Contest
Las Vegas — Boulder, Colo.-based Wenger took top honors as Store of the Year in the Association for Retail Environments’ (A.R.E.) annual retail design competition. It’s the first U.S. retail outpost for the company, which is best known as the maker of the Swiss Army Knife.
Designed by Gensler, the 3,000-sq.-ft. store features Wenger’s full product line, including knives, watches, footwear and outdoor gear. Designers connected the outdoor adventure-loving Boulder community to the brand through materials and graphics. A 15-ft.-by-9-ft. woven wall sculpture of hand-cut logs of pine wrapped in twine is featured at the rear of the space. A hand-painted wall mural based on vintage Swiss travel posters provides a colorful visual focus that directs customers to the back of the store while also referencing the rich history of the legendary brand.
To see more Wenger photos, click here.
Sears and Kmart stores to go dark for Earth Hour
Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears and Kmart stores nationwide will participate in the global Earth Hour initiative by turning off or dimming all non-essential lighting March 26 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., including every other television and most computer monitors. The company anticipates saving 80,000 kilowatt hours as a result.
Earth Hour is a world-wide call to action started by the World Wildlife Fund four years ago to help fight climate change. To get involved, a company or individual must commit to turning down or off (where possible) any non-essential lighting.
Walmart reduces waste sent to landfills by 80% in California
Bentonville, Ark. — A comprehensive waste reduction program has resulted in Walmart eliminating more than 80% of the waste that would go to landfills from its operations in California. Walmart’s results exceed both the national average landfill diversion rate of 45% and the California rate of 65%. The program is now being implemented across all of the company’s 4,400 U.S. locations, including Sam’s Club units and distribution centers.
Walmart estimates that extending the 80% diversion rate across the country will help it prevent more than 11.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year. It will also move the chain closer to its global goal of creating zero waste.
Walmart’s waste reduction program was developed with the help of such national companies as Oak Leaf, Quest Recycling, Greenstar, Waste Management, Georgia Pacific, International Paper and, and Feeding America. The program has three main components: recycling/re-use, food donations, and creating animal feed, energy or compost from expired food and other organic products.
As part of its recycling effort, Walmart recycles cardboard, paper, aluminum, plastic bags and roughly 30 other items through the super sandwich bale (SSB) program. Items not eligible for the SSB, including wood pallets, polystyrene plastic and apparel, are sent to Walmart’s return centers for reuse or recycling. The chain recently partnered with Worldwise to convert cardboard, plastic bottles, plastic hangers and plastic bags collected in its stores into new pet products, including dog beds, kitty litter scoops, pans and liners and scratching posts that sold on its shelves.
Walmart began implementing and consistently tracking its new and existing waste reduction efforts in California in 2009. A third-party review showed that the retailer uses an appropriate process to establish its waste reduction data. The nationwide program, based on the California model, will include an ongoing review to monitor the program’s success.
Click here for a more close up look at Walmart’s waste reduction efforts in California.