International green construction code released
ASHRAE announced the release of the 2018 International Green Construction Code, which is a joint initiative of the U.S. Green Building Council, International Code Council, ASHRAE and the Illuminating Engineering Society.
The goals of the updated code are to help governments streamline code development and adoption and improve building industry standardization by integrating two previously separate guidance documents: ANSI/ASHRAE/ICC/USGBC/IES 189.1-2017-Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low Rise Residential Building with ICC’s multi-stakeholder IgCC.
The 2018 code leverages ASHRAE’s technical expertise to offer a comprehensive tool that has a direct effect on how green building strategies are implemented, according to Sheila J. Hayter, 2018-2019 ASHRAE president.
“Improving energy efficiency, building performance and indoor air quality are at the core of ASHRAE’s mission and we are encouraged by the impact of this landmark model towards realizing more a sustainable future for us all,” she said.
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Holiday weekend shoppers down from last year
Multichannel shopping rules.
More consumers shopped over the holiday weekend than expected, with increasing numbers buying both online and in stores. However, the number was down from last year.
According to the National Retail Federation, more than 165 million Americans shopped either in stores or online over the holiday period this year. The number topped the 164 million who had said they planned to shop in a survey conducted by NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics ahead of the holiday, but it was down from the 174 million who shopped in 2017. On a call with media, the NRF noted that early discounts which started before Thanksgiving and the fact that there are more days to shop between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year than last may have led to the lower number of shoppers.
The survey found more than 89 million people shopped both online and in stores, up nearly 40% from last year. The multichannel shopper outspent the single-channel shopper by up to $93 on average.
“This year’s research clearly shows that the investments made by retailers are paying off in a big way,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Over the last couple of days, what I heard in discussions with retail CEOs across all categories and segments was very positive, driven by macro conditions of low unemployment and rising wages combined with the right mix of merchandise at great prices. This is a very strong emotional start to the holiday season and a positive indicator of where we are headed over the next month.”
The average shopper spent $313.29 on gifts and other holiday items over the five-day period. Of that, $217.37, or 69%, was specifically spent on gifts. The biggest spenders were older Millennials and Gen Xers (35-44 years old) at $413.05.
Spending estimates from various groups have indicated that Thanksgiving weekend was record-breaking for the retail industry, consistent with NRF’s holiday forecast of up to a 4.8% increase in holiday spending over the months of November and December.
In other survey highlights:
• Top purchases over the weekend included apparel (bought by 57% of those surveyed), toys (34%), books and video games (29%), electronics (26%) and gift cards (20%).
• Top shopping destinations during the weekend included department stores (42%), online retailers (38%), apparel stores (30%), grocery stores (30%) discount stores (29%) and electronics stores (27%).
• The most popular day to shop online was Cyber Monday, cited by 67.4 million shoppers, followed by Black Friday with 65.2 million shoppers.
• The most popular day for in-store shopping was Black Friday with more than 67 million shoppers, followed by Small Business Saturday with 47.4 million shoppers.
• Sixty-six percent of smartphone owners used their mobile devices to make holiday decisions, up from 63% last year.
• On average, consumers have more than half (56%) of their holiday shopping left to do. Many consumers (92%) believe that the strong deals seen over Thanksgiving weekend will continue or improve throughout the rest of the season.
Levi’s new flagship is big on customization
Levi Strauss & Co. is taking a big bite out of the Big Apple.
The iconic denim brand opened its largest store to date, a 16,902-sq.-ft., multi-level flagship in Times Square in Manhattan. It is the sixth Levi’s store in New York City, and replaces the company’s previous Times Square location, which has closed.
The flagship, which is replete with video screens and attention-getting graphics, boasts largest Levi’s product assortment under one roof, and includes a “hyper-local” product line exclusive to the store. It offers a number of tech enhancements, including mobile points-of-sale and associated-assisted ordering. The dressing rooms (each one is named for a New York City neighborhood) are spacious and comfortable, and are equipped with convenient associate call buttons. Sustainable design elements are featured throughout, including hangers manufactured from 100% recycled jeans.
In addition, the store offers Levi’s most comprehensive customization options to date, with four on-site tailors and direct-to-garment printing capabilities available in the Levi’s Tailor Shop. Consumers can access a variety of offerings on iPads equipped with preloaded photos, images, logos and text designed by local artists to create a customized piece.
“LS&Co. is focused on bringing a highly personalized shopping experience to the consumer and this new, larger-format store embodies the brand’s bold stature and vision,” said Roy Bagattini, executive VP and president, Levi Strauss Americas. “This flagship brings to life our brand story with theatre-like expression. “By featuring the largest Tailor Shop in the fleet, the Levi’s Times Square store responds to consumer preferences for personalized and customized product as part of a unique, engaging shopping experience.”
Levi’s Times Square outpost will also serve as a newsroom. It will host Extra! TV for a year-long in-store residency, with weekly celebrity and pop culture news broadcasts from the on-site locale.
In another store first, Levi’s is offing a virtual 360-degree tour of the flagship on its website via its store finder tab.