STORE SPACES

Kroger honored for energy efficiency

BY Marianne Wilson

The Kroger Co. is on track for big savings in energy use.

The supermarket giant has received the 2018 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award for its prioritization of Energy Star best practices in its energy management strategy and for its continued commitment to energy reduction. Kroger’s long-term goal is to reduce cumulative energy consumption — in the form of electricity — in its stores by 40% by 2020, as the chain outlined in its sustainability report.

Kroger has earned more Energy Star building certifications than any other commercial entity by certifying 320 grocery stores in 2017, bringing the total number of stores certified to 793 since 2011. The company has saved 48.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity by installing more than 3.8 million LED lamps.

“Kroger uses the EPA’s Energy Star program to track and assess energy consumption across our retail locations,” said Keith Oliver, Kroger’s VP of facility engineering. Oliver. “We benchmark building energy performance, assess energy management goals over time, and identify strategic opportunities for savings.”

Beyond its retail operations, Kroger’s logistics team continues to track its “ton miles per gallon” (TMPG) and look to new technologies to increase delivery and operational efficiencies. Kroger has committed to adding Tesla Semi electric trucks to its distribution fleet, which require lower energy cost per mile in comparison to conventional diesel tractors.

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Footwear retailer makes China debut

BY Marianne Wilson

Sam Edelman has taken its brand to Asia.

The company is opening three shops in China, with locations in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Chengdu, with luxury retailer Lane Crawford. The stores will serve as an immersive and authentic brand experience for consumers.

Sam Edelman said its New York-based design team worked closely with Lane Crawford to create spaces reflective of its own U.S. retail stores. The stores will include such elements of Sam Edelman’s iconic aesthetic as vintage furniture, reclaimed wood walls, inlayed gold accents, and pops of the brand’s signature shade of green.

When asked why the brand chose Lane Crawford to debut its first shops in Hong Kong and China, Sam Edelman, designer, founder and president of Sam Edelman, said, “The incredible team at Lane Crawford were some of the first people to recognize and support me as a designer and they helped build my business more than a decade ago.”

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Walmart rolling out high-tech ‘pick-up towers’

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart is expanding its modern-day — and oversized — version of a vending machine — but the new model will come with an addition.

The discounter plans to add more than 500 additional “pickup towers” to stores across the country, bringing the total to more than 700 by the end of the year. Walmart said the response to the existing 200 kiosks has been “overwhelming positive,” with more than half a million orders retrieved since the chain first introduced them.

Based on customer feedback, the new towers will come with pickup lockers, which will allow customers to retrieve large items, such as TVs.

“Our customers have been clear: They love the Pickup Tower. But, they also told us they wanted the ability to retrieve larger items the same way,” stated Walmart in a blog on its website.

The pickup tower — which stands 16 ft. tall and about 8 ft. wide — greets shoppers at store entrances. After placing their online order, customers receive a barcode on their digital receipt. Upon entering the store, customers scan their barcode via their smartphone on the kiosk’s digital scanner to retrieve their order. The process takes less than a minute.

With the expansion, pickup towers will be available to nearly 40% of the U.S. population, Walmart said.

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