STORE SPACES

Weis Markets cuts down refrigerant emissions

BY Marianne Wilson

An innovative refrigerant system is one of key eco-friendly features of a new Weis Market.

The regional grocer’s new store in Randolph, N.J., store has received a platinum level GreenChill certification from the Environmental Protection Agency for reducing in-store refrigerant usage. It is Weis’ first location to utilize a transcritical CO2 refrigerant system.

The system helps the store avoid annual refrigerant emissions equivalent to an estimated 673 tons of carbon dioxide versus using traditional refrigerants, which have a significantly higher global warming potential. Weiss now has 11 GreenChill certified stores. (GreenChill is an EPA partnership with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change.)

“Over the past decade, we have steadily upgraded our in-store sustainability program which has helped us reduce our company’s overall carbon footprint by 20%,” said R. Kevin Small, VP, construction and store development, Weis Markets, which operates over 200 stores. “Working with GreenChill has been a key part of our program. This GreenChill certification also highlights the contributions of our store and development associates who help us implement and monitor our program to reduce refrigerant usage.”

The Randolph store’s other sustainable features include:

• demand response programs to reduce power load during peak days and the store’s load on the power grid;
• LED lighting which reduces energy usage and has lower maintenance costs;
• low-flow devices to support water conservation efforts;
• enclosed refrigeration cases to reduce energy use; and
• polished concrete floors, which do not require chemical cleaning solvents.

More information on Weis Markets’ sustainability program can be found in its report: Weis Sustainability 2017: Together We Make a Difference.

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The brands with the best customer experience are…

BY Marianne Wilson

Retailers claimed nine spots on a ranking of the top 25 best customer experiences of 2018.

Trader Joe’s, L.L.Bean, and Nordstrom were the retail brands the scored the highest in a report on the best customer experiences of 2018 by global customer agency C Space, a division of Interbrand Group of Companies. Amazon, Costco, REI, Bath & Body Works, Sephora and Aldi also made the top 25. (St.Jude Children’s Hospital was No. 1.)

In the study, 26,000 US consumers were asked to think of a company that “gets them” and rate that company against 21 emotional cues, including “They notice and appreciate my loyalty” or “They make me feel smart.” C Space collected opinions on more than 1,000 top companies, across 19 industries.

The study found that companies that deliver better on these emotional cues saw a direct correlation to growth, with the cues linked to increased volume and frequency of purchase and also likelihood to recommend. In short, customers who have more emotionally connected experiences with companies help those companies grow, according to C Space.

“Our research shows that mapping emotional cues to customer experience is the key to competitive advantage and growth,” said Charles Trevail, global CEO of C Space and Interbrand. “The companies that customers rate most highly are the ones that understand relevance, what to stand for and when to listen. If a customer believes a company is ‘getting it right’ they are more likely to behave in ways that help drive growth through repeat purchase, recommendation and loyalty.”

Here is C Space’s list of the top 25 best customer experiences in the United States:

1. St. Jude Children’s Hospital
2. Texas Roadhouse
3. Trader Joe’s
4. L.L Bean
5. Nordstrom
6. Chick Fil A
7. Amazon
8. Disney
9. Hilton
10. Netflix
11. Costco
12. Marriott
13. The Cheesecake Factory
14. The YMCA
15. Outback Restaurant
16. Dove
17. REI
18. Bath & Body Works
19. Nike
20. Panera Break
21. Sephora
22. Aldi
23. Ben & Jerry’s
24. Olive Garden
25. Google

“Customers who feel that a company ‘gets’ them, or that it stands for something, or speaks their language, have connected in a way that is more than just functional,” said Bill Alberti, chief client officer, C Space. “When customers feel these emotional cues, they’ll help the best companies grow their brand. We’ve found a way to decode the emotional cues within the best customer experiences and codify them into an actionable framework that any business can apply within its own unique context.”

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E.Gilstrap says:
Oct-04-2018 01:29 pm

Interesting list. There are no financial services companies -- banks, brokerages. Google which offers near zero actual human interaction, and Aldi a no frills store treat us better than the majority of companies we deal with.

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Wayfair to open first-ever physical stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Wayfair is trying out brick-and-mortar for the holiday season.

The online home furnishings retailer will open two holiday pop-up shops on Nov. 1, at Natick Mall in Natick, Massachusetts, and Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. The temporary locations will be Wayfair’s first foray into physical retail. (The company is planning to open an outlet store by early 2019 in Florence, Kentucky, near its distribution center in Erlanger, Kentucky. It will sell returns and close-outs in good condition.)

“We are bringing the Wayfair brand directly to shoppers in a completely new format this holiday season,” said Ed Macri, chief product and marketing officer, Wayfair. “Building on the success of our television advertising and direct mail, this pop-up experience is yet another way we are deepening engagement with customers beyond our online presence.”

Wayfair customer service and home design experts will be available on site to answer questions, recommend products and introduce shoppers to new home solutions, including Wayfair’s online e-design platform. The stores will feature a “how-to” station where customers can also learn how to tackle home improvement projects and browse more than 100 fabric swatches to create custom furniture.

Shoppers will also be able to browse Wayfair’s extensive online selection, place orders for next-day or two-day delivery, and purchase Wayfair gift cards. A curated selection of tabletop and housewares items will be available on site for purchase.

“For the first time ever, shoppers will be able to step into the world of Wayfair,” added Macri. “We’re excited to connect with shoppers face-to-face and introduce them to the endless possibilities in shopping for home.

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