STORE SPACES

Whole Foods pledges to cut energy use 25% by 2015

BY CSA STAFF

Austin, Texas Whole Foods Market announced Tuesday a company-wide strengthened sustainability initiative that would reduce energy consumption 25% per sq. ft. by 2015.

The grocer also committed to wind energy, more on-site renewable energy, and aggressive green building, advanced refrigeration and transportation practices, designed to produce significant emissions reductions.

“With this combination of strategies, we intend to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 25% per square foot by 2015,” said Kathy Loftus, Whole Foods Market global leader, sustainable engineering. “Saving energy costs less than buying it, so we are reducing our energy appetite from both traditional and renewable sources.”

Several of Whole Foods’ new stores have been awarded the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill certification, recognizing eco-friendly commercial refrigeration systems. One early example of reduced energy is the Whole Foods in Santa Barbara, Calif., which the company said uses 45% less energy than a nearby store of comparable size.

As part of a Department of Energy partnership, Whole Foods was awarded resources to design new stores and retrofit older ones. The program pairs the grocer with National Renewable Energy Labs to create, test and validate design concepts that will move toward net-zero energy commercial buildings.

This is the fourth year that Whole Foods Market will offset 100% of its North American electricity use with wind energy credits. This year, the company will purchase more than 810,000 mWh of renewable energy credits, adding clean energy to power grids.

Whole Foods also has 15 locations supplementing traditional power with solar, with more in development. It has nearly 30 stores that are either LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or Green Globes certified, registered or in development.

The latest store to announce LEED Gold is the Upper West Side store, in Manhattan.

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KitchenAid launches downdraft cooktops

BY CSA STAFF

CHICAGO KitchenAid announced the launch of new electric and gas downdraft cooktops available in a 30-inch gas option as well as 30- and 36-inch electric models.

“Our new downdraft cooktops give consumers another choice in the cooktop category that enables them to create a kitchen that suits their personal cooking styles and design needs,” says Debbie O’Connor, senior manager of brand experience for KitchenAid.  “We believe time in the kitchen should be enjoyable and these cooktops provide flexible placement options that can help create a welcoming, comfortable space.” 

Suggested retail prices on the 30-inch electric models range from $1249 to  $1349, with 36-inch models ranging from $1399 to $1499.  Suggested retail prices on the gas downdraft model options, available in stainless steel and black, will range from $1349 to $1449.

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Blockbuster reschedules annual meeting

BY CSA STAFF

DALLAS Blockbuster has rescheduled it annual meeting to June 24 in the hopes of resolving some of its finance issues, the company announced.

“As a result of the continued progress on our recapitalization initiatives, we have rescheduled the annual stockholders’ meeting,” stated Tom Casey, EVP and CFO of Blockbuster.  “We believe the additional time will provide us with the greatest opportunity to successfully complete one or more of our ongoing recapitalization initiatives prior to the annual meeting, possibly resolving our NYSE non-compliance and avoiding the need for a reverse stock split.”

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