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Trending Stores: Chick-fil-A goes big in Manhattan

BY Marianne Wilson

Chick-fil-A has opened its largest location ever, on Fulton Street in the heart of Manhattan’s Financial District. It is the chain’s fourth location in the Big Apple.

The 12,000-sq.-ft.-plus restaurant has five levels, with a rooftop terrace for dining, complete with panoramic city views.

At only 15 ft. wide, the space is the chain’s most narrow location. So the company built up. The restaurant’s five levels include two levels of kitchen space for food prep, and three levels of dining areas.

The design team took advantage of an open courtyard behind the building by adding a large window in the back of the restaurant. Since Chick-fil-A has the whole building, it also brought in natural light through a skylight.

In addition to the skylight, the space boasts floor-to-ceiling windows on each level and brightly colored interior finishes. Starting on the second floor, there is a window that also spans the second and third floors, allowing natural light to flood in from the rear courtyard.

A monumental staircase – the first one ever to be built for a Chick-fil-A restaurant – ties the five levels together. It extends from the fourth level to the ground floor, accentuated by the skylight.

The seating options vary and include multiple family-style dining tables made of reclaimed wood. The third level features a semi-private group meeting and dining space.

The restaurant offers mobile and in-store technology designed to serve customers quickly and efficiently. Customers can order and pay in advance (while also skipping the line) using the Chick-fil-A One mobile app.

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Lighting giant in name change

BY Marianne Wilson

Philips Lighting is changing its name.

The company’s new name is Signify. The new moniker originates from the fact “that light becomes an intelligent language, which connects and conveys meaning.” The company, however, will continue to use the Philips brand on its products.

“We’re excited to announce our new company name as another step in our transformation journey,” said Eric Rondolat, CEO of Philips Lighting. “Our new company name is a clear expression of our strategic vision and a fabulous opportunity to introduce a new corporate look and feel that is uniquely our own and will serve to further unite our 32,000 employees. At the same time, we remain proud to continue to use the Philips brand on our products.”

Philips Lighting’s roots date back more than 125 years to the business founded by Frederik and Gerard Philips in 1891 in the Dutch town of Eindhoven. Throughout its history, the company has been at the forefront of many of the lighting industry’s major advancements. Today, it leads the industry worldwide in conventional, LED and connected lighting, with the largest connected lights network in the world.

The Philips Lighting stock exchange ticker will remain LIGHT.

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And the SPECS Tank winner is…

BY Marianne Wilson

Leveraging the industry’s keen interest in retail innovation, Chain Store Age’s 2018 SPECS conference, held at the Gaylord Texan in Dallas, included a first: the SPECS Tank Innovator of the Year award. The winner was determined during a presentation that followed the format of the popular television show that has contestants pitch their new (or on-the-boards) products or solutions in front of a panel of judges (“sharks”).

In the SPECS version, five contestants faced the sharks. Each individual was given four minutes to pitch their products, after which the SPECS sharks were given time to ask the contestant follow-up questions.

The sharks, all members of the SPECS 2018 Advisory Board, were: Randy Pannell, VP of construction for Saks Fifth Avenue; Craig Hale, associate, HFA; Lisa Smola-Hollo, project manager, growth and development, Ulta Beauty; and Wendy Whetton, senior facilities project manager for Harbor Freight Tools. Scott Griffin, director of store design and construction for Stein Mart, and also a SPECS advisory board member, served as emcee.

WINNER: Mike Rose, CEO of Heritage Fire and Security Hackensack, N.J., took home the SPECS Tank Innovator of the Year award with his newly patented invention: the RHGP-1 range hood grease protection device.

“During normal kitchen operation in a restaurant operation, grease-laden smoke rises into the range hood,” Rose explained to the judges. “This grease can clog up components of the fire suppression system.”

The RHGP-1 device installs inside the range hood pipe and is rotated 90 degrees to lock it in place — protecting the detection cable and pipe from clogging caused by the grease-laden vapors and allowing the system to operate as intended. Removal involves a simple twist and turn, and the device is discarded and replaced.

Rose’s winning invention — the RHGP-1 range hood grease protection device — will be officially unveiled at the National Association of State Fire Marshalls’ annual conference in Park City, Utah, on August 13.

In addition to Heritage Fire and Security’s Rose, who made the winning pitch, four other contestants were presenters on the SPECS Tank stage. They were:

Ray Salzer, principal, Salzer Products, who unveiled his innovative snow melt solution called “Melt Jet;”

Lisa Schwartz, president, ProCoat, who demonstrated the company’s new acoustical ceiling tile spray, along with the spray adapter and extension pole;

Brent Bishop, VP of sales and operations, North America, Mapal Plastics, who introduced a new recyclable foam polypropylene sheet called PolyCraft; and

Rob Reiter, chief security consultant, Calpipe Security Bollards, who proposed a new way to monetize security bollards by creating a promotional network to make bollards cash positive for retailers.

The individuals who made it to the SPECS Shark Tank were selected from a pool of diverse submissions. A SPECS Tank session is already in the works for SPECS 2019.

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