Home Depot details energy savings; fuel cell use
The nation’s largest home improvement retailer met an important environmental goal three years ahead of schedule
The Home Depot said it has cut energy use 23.5% since 2010, exceeding its goal to reduce consumption by 20% by 2020. The savings are detailed in the new sustainability report from The Home Depot, “A Year in Progress,” which outlines the chain’s sustainability progress and environmental goals, workforce and community initiatives.
In other energy initiatives, The Home Depot has been tapping into sustainable energy (produced off-site and on-site) in line with its goal of leveraging 135 megawatts of alternative/renewable energy by 2020. It noted alternative energy projects were in place in 216 stores by the end of 2017.
The retailer has also cut polluting emissions significantly — in some cases by 50% — by using fuel cells in place of traditional power sources. The technology was in place outside 178 Home Depot stores by the end of last year, producing about 90% of each location’s electricity needs. More installations are underway.
In addition to helping customers reduce their environmental impact through Energy Star and WaterSense products, The Home Depot reduced its Scope 3 upstream transportation and distribution of freight greenhouse gas emissions by 10%. And 32% of the hazardous waste it managed was recycled or reused for energy.
In other 2017 highlights, more than 50% of the company’s new hires were ethnically diverse and more than 34% were women. The Home Depot Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm, granted $63 million to support local communities in 2017, including over $4 million to assist areas affected by catastrophic hurricanes and wildfires. And the chain’s employee relief non-profit, The Homer Fund, assisted more than 6,000 associates who experienced evacuations, as well as damage or loss of their homes.
In new commitments, the Home Depot has updated its parental leave policy by giving six weeks of 100% paid leave to all parents along with an additional six weeks of 100% paid maternity leave to all birth mothers.
An updated wood-purchasing policy has been introduced as well, effective on Sept. 1. The company has also asked suppliers to exclude additional chemicals from residential household cleaning chemical products sold online and in stores by the end of 2022.
A copy of The Home Depot’s 2018 Sustainability Report can be found here.
Camping World ramping up store expansion with new RV banner
Camping World, a leading destination for all things RV-related, sees a big opportunity to increase its business.
The company on Thursday said that it plans to increase RV sales locations by more than 30% during the next 15 months through store openings, continued acquisitions and the launch of its new Gander RV Sales format.
In May 2017, Camping World was the successful bidder for certain assets of bankrupt Gander Mountain. Since then, Camping World has negotiated leases for a number of the old Gander Mountain locations in key RV markets where Camping World is under-penetrated and sees tremendous opportunity to grow its RV market share and expand its customer base.
Since the beginning of this year, Camping World has opened fifty stores rebranded as Gander Outdoors. With those stores up and running, Camping World said it has made significant investments in technology and infrastructure and laid the groundwork for the planned launch of up to 40 Gander RV Sales branded locations by spring 2019. The locations will be positioned “side-by-side” a Gander Outdoors site.
“We have always viewed Gander Outdoors as the most cost-effective method to increase our RV sales presence and grow our Good Sam Club, particularly in key RV markets where we are underpenetrated,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO. “It is not by coincidence that the Gander Outdoors locations selected are in key markets with a very strong RV registration base and areas that we have been targeting for growth.”
The first Gander Sales is located in Kenosha, Wis.
Camping World has over 145 retail locations in 36 states and a comprehensive e-commerce platform.
First Look: The Container Store unveils tech-savvy ‘next-generation’ store
The Container Store has debuted a new store design with enhanced technology, an updated merchandising strategy and more personalized services.
The home storage and organization products retailer revamped its Dallas flagship to its “next-generation” concept, which is designed to make it easier for customers to take care of their storage and organization needs. The concept resulted from consumer research conducted in partnership by the Container Store, FRCH Design Worldwide and digital innovation agency MJD. The research revealed that customers’ biggest hurdle in beginning a project was feeling overwhelmed.
The retailer said the revamped flagship will serve as a “test and learn environment” to determine elements for eventual rollout to new and existing Container Store locations.
The store features 18 digital screens to support customers as they shop. They feature everything from inspiration to an interactive design tool to a digital experience called “The Organization Studio,” which allows customers to upload a photo or video of their organizational challenge online, describe the challenge, and set up an in-store appointment to meet with a store expert. The associate will develop a personalized solution for the customer customer free of charge and with no purchase commitment.
“We know that countless retailers are building digital tools and using them to innovate the shopping experience, but combining the human element with technology is when things really get powerful,” said Val Richardson, VP of real estate at The Container Store. “The Organization Studio offers the convenience of an online experience and marries it with a personalized in-store engagement that offers a curated solution created by a real person.
The new architectural design divides the store into manageable areas that pull the customer through the space and make it easier to navigate. Ceilings were lowered to make the store more inviting, rows of shelving were removed to improve sight lines, and new flooring and enhanced lighting was installed to create a more approachable and comfortable environment.
The flagship design positions Container Store’s popular “custom closets” offering as a focal point, creating a “Custom Closets Studio” destination with closet vignettes that allow customers to visualize possibilities at every price point. It also features a lounge and seating area where customers can review a design book and gather ideas for their own spaces. There are also interactive screens that show more examples of “real” closet spaces for customers.
In addition to the closet studio, the store features merchandise set-ups that are reflective of real home spaces—from kitchens to offices—that allow shoppers to get a sense of how products might work in a real-life setting. Small and large project solutions are highlighted throughout the store to show how one might begin a project or maximize their space in any area they had not yet considered organizing.
“Our purpose as a brand is to help our customers accomplish their projects, maximize their space and make the most of their home,” said Melissa Collins, chief marketing officer for The Container Store. “ In order to help them achieve those goals you’ll see a focus across all of our channels on making it easier to find the solutions they want and need.”