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Burberry, Shanghai

BY CSA STAFF
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Luxury brand Burberry has opened a new, tech-savvy flagship in Shanghai, its largest in China to date. Inspired by Burberry’s Regent Street flagship in London, the three-level store seamlessly blends digital and physical displays, immersing customers in the Burberry brand.

The space blends British craftsmanship and materials with cutting-edge technologies, starting with an illuminated façade that responds to changes in weather and natural light and also displays programmed animation. The store also is equipped with 40 video screens and 130 speakers that combine for a full audiovisual experience.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips in clothing and accessories trigger multimedia content on mirrors, instantly transforming them into screens that show runway footage and exclusive product videos.

Other features include mobile checkout and “Customer 1-2-1,” through which sales associates can access shoppers’ preferences and shopping history.

Burberry Shanghai is based on a design concept developed by the company’s chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey.


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REI adds RECs to its renewable energy strategy

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — REI has committed to having all of its electricity from renewable sources. The retailer already has 26 solar electric systems generating clean power and a program designed to invest in energy efficiency. Now, REI is buying certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) as part of its strategy to green the energy that powers more than 130 stores, two distribution centers and its headquarters.

“We are encouraged that our overall energy use has been essentially flat in recent years, while we have grown significantly and connected more members and customers to the outdoors,” said Kirk Myers, corporate social responsibility manager at REI. “We intend to generate enough local renewable energy for our total electricity needs, but until then, RECs will be an important part of our energy strategy.”

REI purchases RECs from San Francisco-based 3Degrees, a leading provider of renewable energy marketing services, RECs, and carbon offsets. Demand created by 3Degrees and its partners supports hundreds of renewable energy projects that range from large-scale wind farms to innovative independent energy makers.

REI is committed to addressing its operational impact, which includes energy reduction. Its energy strategy is composed of increased efficiencies such as lighting retrofit projects, solar generation and renewable energy. Since 2006, REI has purchased some of its electricity from utility-provided green power that meets rigorous procurement criteria. While the company grew nearly 6% in 2013 over 2012, REI increased its energy consumption by just 0.1% and reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 39.5%.

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Chipotle to raise prices for first time in three years

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Denver — Chipotle Mexican Grill said it will hike prices for the first time in three years, saying that customer loyalty will insulate the chain from pricing fallout.

New menu boards reflecting the 3%-5% higher prices will be in place at all restaurants by this summer, said Chipotle.

In defense of the raised prices, CFO Jack Hartung said in a conference call with analysts that "most of the value comes from the experience." He added that the chain had earned "permission" from customers to raise prices because of that experience.

Hartung suggested that additional price increases could be in the offing. "We’ve still got room," he said.

Chipotle’s decision was based on rising costs from goods such as beef, avocados and cheese, which have negatively impacted margins. First-quarter net income missed Wall Street expectations. Sales, however, rose 13.4% in the first quarter and, said Chipotle, the increased pricing will drop more dollars to the bottom line and ease margin pressures.

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