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STORE SPACES

Coming to Vegas: Nation’s ‘first’ cannabis superstore

BY Marianne Wilson

Another attraction will soon light up the Las Vegas sky—in more ways than one.

Planet 13, billed as “the country’s first cannabis entertainment complex and superstore,” will open on October 30, in Las Vegas, just off the Strip. Designed to appeal to both the general public and cannabis aficionados, the 40,000-sq.-ft. facility includes an entertainment space with interactive attractions and a 16,500-sq.-ft. cannabis dispensary with 45 to 50 registers. The company also intends to introduce event space for corporations to rent. (Nevada legalized adult-use marijuana in 2017.)

Even amid the glitz and neon of Las Vegas, Planet 13 will be hard to miss. The roof will feature 15-foot-tall lotus flowers (13 in all), lit with LEDs. Made of acrylic leaves and metal stems, the lotus flowers can be controlled by customers. The control panels will be located near an outdoor water feature.

The lobby of the building boasts sensory-activated LED flooring that creates an interactive show when walked on. Moving further into the main space, a glowing aerial orb hangs high above the dispensary floor. There’s also interactive laser graffiti where visitors can leave their mark with unique writings and drawings. An array of 3D visuals will be projected onto walls throughout the space.

“We have already generated a loyal following of Las Vegas customers at our current dispensary location and we are confident that the superstore will be a strong draw for the 55 million visitors from around the world that come to the city each year,” said Robert Groesbeck, co-CEO and board member of Planet 13, a vertically integrated cannabis company cultivation, production and dispensary operations in Las Vegas.

The company already operates a dispensary in Las Vegas that is licensed for medical sales and for recreational sales. It also holds two cultivation licenses in Nevada.

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Here’s how a close-out retailer is cutting energy costs

BY Marianne Wilson

A 41-year-old, family-operated discount retail chain is spending $14 million to upgrade to a more energy-efficient lighting system.

Ocean State Job Lot, which operates  131 stores in New England, New York, and New Jersey, is installing LED lamps and advanced lighting control systems throughout its stores and also in its 1.5 million sq.-ft. distribution center. The company expects the upgrade to translate into an annual savings of more than $2.7 million in energy costs.

LED lighting with control systems have already been installed in the company’s distribution center, which is located in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, and at recently-opened new stores. Conversion of remaining stores is ongoing.

“We believe it’s our social responsibility to reduce our energy usage as much as possible,” said Marc Perlman, principal owner and CEO, Ocean State Job Lot, which is based in Kingston, Rhode Island. “We recently made a $2 million investment to relamp our distribution center, and we’re now beginning a $12 million project to replace the lighting in 100 of our 131 stores this year, with the remainder of our stores to be completed next year.  In addition to saving energy, these improvements create a better, brighter overall shopping experience for our customers.”

Once complete, roughly 50,000 lighting fixtures and more than 100,000 fluorescent lamps will have been replaced. Ocean State Job Lot anticipates using 17.4 million less kilowatt hours of energy in the next year due to the upgrades.

In conjunction with the LED rollout, a new energy management platform will be implemented. The cloud-based system will allow for controls of both lighting and HVAC systems. The program will be able to have daylighting and dimming capabilities, further saving on energy costs.

Further investments in HVAC technology, waste management and recycling, solar energy systems, water consumption and overall sustainability are on the horizon to further reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

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Aldi
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Aldi’s aggressive growth on track

BY Marianne Wilson

Discount grocer Aldi’s new store growth and remodels are being accompanied by product expansion.

With more than 1,800 stores across the country, Aldi is in the midst of an accelerated growth plan, investing more than $5 billion to remodel and expand its store count to 2,500 by the end of 2022. The company said it is more than halfway through its remodel investment.

Aldi’s new store layout includes additional refrigeration space to accommodate more fresh, healthy and convenient products. The chain on Thursday announced it is expanding its product lineup to deliver more fresh products. With an emphasis on fresh, organic and easy-to-prepare options, 20% of products in every Aldi store will be new compared to last year.

“The continued success of our store expansion and remodel initiatives has given us the opportunity to carefully select and introduce new products that satisfy our customers’ increasing preferences for fresh items, including organic meats, salad bowls, sliced fruits and gourmet cheeses,” said Jason Hart, CEO of Aldi U.S.

The nationwide product rollout continues through early 2019. As part of the expansion, Aldi is increasing its fresh food selection by 40% with more ready-to-cook and organic fresh meats, expanded produce selection, new vegan and vegetarian options. It also is expanding its refrigerated grab-and-go offerings.

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