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EPA releases latest quarterly green power rankings; Intel, Staples join 100 percent list
The latest release of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Partnership's quarterly Top Partner Rankings shows that two more companies have now purchased enough green power to account for 100 percent of their respective total U.S. electricity use. Since the EPA's last quarterly update in October 2012, Intel expanded its use of green power from 88 percent to 100 percent of its total electricity use by purchasing 300 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, while Staples increased from 80 percent to 101 percent green power use by adding 120 million kWh of green power.
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Publix, Office Depot, Nordstrom lead in satisfying customers
The Atlanta Journal Constitution
When it comes to giving customers what they want, Publix leads among supermarkets, Office Depot among specialty retailers and Nordstrom among department and discount stores, according to the quarterly American Customer Satisfaction Index. The report gauges customer satisfaction with 44 companies in the following industries: supermarkets; department and discount stores; specialty retail stores; health and personal care (drug) stores; gasoline service stations; and Internet retail, brokerage and travel.
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Meijer announces new stores, green remodels
Green Retail Decisions
Meijer plans to invest more than $160 million this year building new stores and remodeling existing units with more energy efficient systems. Meijer will build six new supercenters in Michigan, Illinois and Indiana communities and remodel five locations – four in Michigan and one Illinois store. The remodel projects will include a variety of specific enhancements both in and outside the stores, such as lighting, heating, refrigeration, exterior lighting and parking lot maintenance.
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Putting a premium on motor efficiency
Motors and the loads they drive represent some of the largest energy users in institutional and commercial facilities today. With many of these loads operating 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, maintenance and engineering managers looking for ways to improve their facilities' operating efficiency are focusing their attention more often on their facilities' motors, where even a small increase in efficiency can result in significant savings.
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Macy's joins the Better Buildings Challenge
Green Retail Decisions
Macy's is joining a growing list of companies participating in the Better Buildings Challenge, a federal initiative to create clean energy jobs and lower energy bills for U.S. businesses. Macy’s said it will upgrade more than 200 million square feet of building space to cut energy use by at least 20 percent by 2020. These steps support President Barack Obama's goal of cutting energy waste from homes and businesses in half over the next two decades.
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One of America's oldest shopping malls converts to micro-apartments
The Atlantic
Aside from the economic whupping of 2008–2009, a major casualty of the recession was space itself. Homeowners and businesses bled square footage, leaving behind a landscape of empty McMansions, vacated big-box stores, and now-famously abandoned shopping malls. Since then, many municipalities have been grappling with how to repopulate these spaces with more nimble, post-boom uses. Existing mall mashups pretty much stick to the public realm — like Cleveland's indoor gardens and Vanderbilt's health clinics — but this spring a shuttered shopping center in downtown Providence will be reborn in micro form, with two stories of micro-apartments above ground-floor micro-retail.
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Busting underground shoplifting rings: Inside organized retail crime raids
ABC News
We used to call it shoplifting, but these days the foot soldiers of retail crime rings are known as boosters. Police even have an acronym for these operations: ORC, which stands for Organized Retail Crime. "It's just like a Fortune 500 company," said Sergeant Eric Lee of the Gardena Police Department in Gardena, Calif. "All of this is just organized." Police say big retail stores, from Walgreens to J.C. Penny, are getting hit by highly sophisticated shoplifting networks that steal and resell everything from underwear to razors to milk. According to the National Retail Federation, theft can amount to annual losses as high as a $37 billion for retail businesses.

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Los Angeles retail property sells for $18.95 million
Retail Traffic
Hanley Investment Urban Retail Advisors negotiated the sale of a 55,000-sq.-ft. retail property in Los Angeles for $18.95 million. The property is located on the ground floor of a mixed-use development called Market Lofts. The retail building was completed in 2007 and is currently fully occupied. Tenants include Ralphs Fresh Fare, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Quiznos, Robeks, Simply Salad, Supercuts and The UPS Store.
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Target set to open 24 stores in Canada
Financial Times
Target will open its first 24 stores in Canada by early April and vowed to invest a further $1.5bn in the country this year as the retailer seeks to offset weak sales in the U.S. The discount chain has been preparing to open in Canada since buying leases on about 200 premises two years ago, but it said on Wednesday that the expansion would reduce profits this year by more than expected.
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Schlotzsky's in deal for 170 new restaurants in California
Chain Store Age
Schlotzsky's has signed the brand's largest franchise agreement in more than 40 years, entering into a partnership that calls for more than 170 Schlotzsky's locations throughout California. The company, which currently has more than 350 locations worldwide, plans to have upwards of 700 locations by 2016.
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13 ways to painlessly improve profitability in 2013: Energy as a profit center
By Jay Fiske
As the economy appears to be gaining steam, are you prepared to reap the full benefit? There are still plenty of economic challenges that require both business acumen and financial agility. We hope you’ll join us as we bring you 13 installments that provide a step-by-step roadmap to help you become master of your energy fate. It begins by looking at energy in a completely different way. Reining in energy costs doesn’t have to be rocket science. Here’s how you can get started.
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Industry Pulse: What is the biggest energy expense in your facility?

Walmart: Trying to understand India rules
The Wall Street Journal
Walmart Stores Inc. will work with Indian authorities to understand the investment rules for foreign supermarkets looking to set up operations in the country, its Asia chief executive said. India lifted its ban on foreign investment in supermarkets in September, permitting foreign companies to own up to 51 percent of local joint ventures. Before that, they were permitted to operate wholesale businesses.
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Top 6 places to look for energy losses in commercial buildings
Power Engineering Magazine
Small, consistent changes can make a big difference in the profitability of any facility. Find problems fast, fix them, and win by realizing the cost savings. Unlike regular digital cameras that capture images of the visible light reflected by objects, thermal imagers create pictures by detecting infrared energy or heat. The thermal imager then assigns colors based on the temperature differences it detects. With a small amount of training, most people can readily spot abnormal heat flow patterns and follow the heat trail to energy waste.
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TJX profit surges in Q4; full-year forecast below expectations
Chain Store Age
The TJX Cos. reported a profit of $604.8 million for the quarter ended Feb. 2, compared with $475.3 million in the year-ago period. Despite the strong showing, TJX forecast a slowed growth pace for the new fiscal year and issued a profit forecast below analysts' expectations. And joining many other retailers, the company announced that beginning with the fiscal 2014 second quarter, it will no longer report monthly sales.
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5 laws every crisis manager needs to know
Business 2 Community
While you hope you'll never be called on to implement the crisis management plan you created, the reality is you probably will. And when crisis hits, it's not the time to discover that something critical was left out of the plan, not considered, or thought to be someone else's responsibility. Crisis management involves a multitude of disciplines. In trying to control the public perception during an organizational crisis, having a little bit of legal knowledge can be the difference between fueling the fire or beginning the first steps to extinguishing it. While there are many different laws, knowing a little about the following five laws will allow you to approach most situations with a more tailored plan.
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Image: Hassle Free Clean

Image continues to embrace cutting edge technology in order to meet the budget challenges of the US retailer while raising the bar for service delivery. MORE
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The glass of the future will be made of solar panels
The humans of the clean and prosperous future will never build windows or walls with plain old glass. Not when they can use solar glass instead. There are already a wide array of projects, most of them still in the testing stages, that aim to transform windows into solar power generators. One researcher wants to fit windows with thin-film "luminescent solar concentrators;" red or grey ones would efficiently convert sunlight into electricity.
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Supermarket customers are hot for takeout
The Washington Post
A grocery store used to be a place where people, you know, bought groceries to take home for making dinner. These days, grocery stores are our de facto home kitchens, too, turning out hot meals that, when combined with all other prepared supermarket foods, account for billions of dollars in sales. Yes, that's billions with a "b," as in "big boatload of bucks."
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Office Depot in $976 million deal to buy rival OfficeMax (Reuters)
First Apple, then Microsoft: Now Google targets retail (Forbes)
Security surrounding social media and m-commerce top IT priorities (Chain Store Age)
Crunched consumers are cutting back (CNN Money)
Repair or replace? Best strategies to reduce maintenance costs (FacilitiesNet)

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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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