STORE SPACES

U.K. supermarket chain in LED first

BY Marianne Wilson

Sainsbury's will become the first supermarket retailer in the United Kingdom whose stores will be lit entirely by LED lighting.

The retailer is partnering with GE's Current division in an extensive lighting upgrade. Current will upgrade 250,000 LED fixtures across more than 450 Sainsbury's stores, cutting the chain's lighting energy consumption by 58% and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3.4% annually.

"We’re always looking for new ways of achieving our sustainability goals, and switching to LED lighting is a big step in the right direction," said Paul Crewe, Sainsbury’s head of sustainability, energy, engineering & environment. "We’ve almost halved the carbon emissions of our stores since 2005, and in the last 12 months reduced our electricity use by 11.6% despite growing our operation by 54.2%. This step will enable us to make significant reductions in carbon emissions."

The project will support Sainsbury’s sustainability plan, which calls for the company to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 30% compared to 2005 baseline levels. The target has spurred numerous energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives across Sainsbury's stores, from LED retrofits to solar panels, biomass boilers and ground source heat pumps. To date, Sainsbury’s has already cut absolute carbon emissions by more than 20%.

Current is deploying the lighting retrofit at Sainsbury's as a turnkey service, embedding financing from GE Capital Industrial Finance with lighting design, product supply, installation and project management services. The full LED upgrade across all Sainsbury’s stores is scheduled to be completed by 2020.

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STORE SPACES

Retail vet joins WD Partners

BY Marianne Wilson

WD Partners has tapped a 30-years plus retail consulting and design veteran as executive VP.

Dan Stanek will serve as the business vertical leader of health & wellness for WD and work to further expand the sector.

Stanek most recently worked as chief strategy office for Ologie, and as president of FootClick, an indoor location software platform. His previous positions include executive VP of Big Red Rooster, executive VP of Kantar Retail, and executive VP of Retail Forward.

“Dan is a well-known expert in our industry and has immense knowledge and passion for all things retail, as well as growing a business from the ground up,” says WD Partners CEO Chris Doerschlag. “His over 30 years of experience across traditional design agencies, tech-driven start-ups and consulting firms position him perfectly to drive and grow the Health & Wellness area of our business.”

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Online menswear company in U.S. store expansion

BY Marianne Wilson

Made-to-measure menswear brand Indochino continues its expansion from the Web into physical retail.

The Canadian retailer will open stores ("showrooms) in four major markets in the United States this summer. On July 7, Indochino will open a second New York location, in the heart of the city’s Financial District. Other locations include a flagship at The Shops at North, in Chicago, opening on July 14, and one at Tyson’s Galleria, Maclean, Virginia, opening on July 21. On Aug. 11, Indochino will debut at King of Prussia Mall, King of Prussia, Pa.

Indochino opened its first permanent brick-and-mortar location in 2015. The four new U.S. outposts will take the company's total retail number to 17 across North America.

“In the span of a month, we will almost double the number of our U.S. locations as we continue to change shopping habits and bring our unique showroom experience to men across North America,” said Drew Green, CEO of Indochino. “We’ve been prudently searching for the perfect locations to become available and are confident that launching all stores in quick succession will better serve our growing customer base while continuing to build a strong brand presence."

Indochino’s stores are handsome and sophisticated looking, and designed to bring the brand’s online made-to-measure experience to the physical space. The brand promises a “luxury tailoring experience without the high price tag.”

Customers are paired with a “style guide” who tailors the appointment based on each customer’s needs and helps him to put together a one-of-a-kind suit or shirt. The associate helps with fabric selection, and walk shoppers through a wide variety of personalization options, including buttons, pockets, lapels and monograms. Each garment is made-to-order and delivered in about four weeks.

Along with announcing the new locations, Indochino reported it experienced 57% year-over-year growth in net revenue over the past six months, after finishing 2016 with 54% year-over-year growth. It also reported gross margin improvement of 1100 basis points.

"It’s been a stellar year of profitable growth and we’re committed to keep growing the business in a strategic and sustainable way as we offer men around the world personalized clothing at unprecedented value,” Green said.

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