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Pitching Walmart a store of the future
Retail Design Diva
Regular readers know how much the Diva believes in students. Recently, what got our attention was learning graduate students at Texas Tech University’s hospitality and retail management master's program headed over to Bentonville, Ark. There, they pitched their vision for a store of the future to Walmart. Talk about an exciting opportunity!
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Survey reveals drop in pressure, fewer cutbacks for cleaning industry
Today's Facility Manager
The cleaning industry has become somewhat more efficient with operations and keeping costs down in the last two years — and in the wake of an improving economy — a tone of cautious optimism is apparent. This is according to the 2013 Cleaning Industry Insights Survey from P&G Professional. According to survey respondents, cutbacks on luxuries have been reduced and pressures have eased.
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Keeping up appearances: How to manage aging facilities and equipment
With retailers opening fewer new stores, many facilities professionals today are faced with the problem of maintaining older stores that require more of their time and a bigger chunk of their budgets.
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  Landmark means commercial comfort options

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New resources to help facilitate retailer flexible film recycling
Green Retail Decisions
GreenBlue's Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) has partnered with the American Chemistry Council's Flexible Film Recycling Group to facilitate retailer recycling. The alliance will provide retailers resource and opportunities to make it easier to recycle flexible film, and includes financial sponsorship opportunities for retailers to participate in the SPC's How2Recycle Label program.
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Lord & Taylor to unveil revamped New York store
New York-based Lord & Taylor will return to Albany, N.Y., with a new store scheduled to open in fall 2014, according to Returning to Crossgates Mall after an eight-year hiatus, the store will feature the company’s newest store design, offering customers a modern, enhanced shopping experience.
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Idea-driven commerce
Jules Pieri considers her core competency to be cultural anthropology — figuring out why people do the things they do, and making businesses and products that respond to consumer behaviors and needs. The Grommet is Pieri's third startup, following stints as vice president at international product design and engineering consultancy Design Continuum and president and COO of, a social networking site for professionals.
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Target's 2nd quarter profits solid, but outlook softens
Retailing Today
Target produced solid profits on tepid second quarter sales growth but joined the growing list of retailers to express reservations about the health of the consumer during the back half of the year. Target said its U.S. stores produced a 1.2 percent same store sales increase during the second quarter ended August 3, and total sales increased 2.4 percent to $16.8 billion from $16.5 billion during second quarter last year.
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Largo Group arranges over $95 million in financing for shopping center portfolio
The Largo Group, a commercial mortgage banking company that structures, closes and services commercial mortgages for acquisitions, refinances and redevelopment projects, reports that it has arranged $95,712,500 in financing for the acquisition of a portfolio of grocery-anchored shopping centers totaling 1.1 million square feet. The company did not divulge the identity of the borrower.
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CIO/CMO collaboration on WiFi: An opportunity for retailers
Chain Store Age
For brick-and-mortar retailers, shoppers with smartphones have until recently been about as welcome as barbarians at the gate. Specifically, the practice of "showrooming" — checking prices at a store and then going online to find cheaper alternatives — has posed a serious threat to in-store revenue. Attitudes are changing, however, as retailers increasingly embrace mobility as a potential competitive advantage.
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Image: Hassle Free Clean

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Florida retail is quickly recovering from recession, conference attendees say
International Council of Shopping Centers
All of the major metro areas in Florida are in a growth mode, though some stronger than others. This is significant because at the height of the recession Florida was one of the hardest-hit states in the nation, due to extreme fallout during the housing crash. "All in all, we think retail is well positioned in Florida to benefit from the recovery," said San Francisco-based Brook Scott, head of Americas occupier research at CBRE, who is presenting the 2013 Florida Retail Research Report at the ICSC Florida Conference taking place in Kissimmee, Fla.
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Home Depot and Lowe's are loving the housing recovery
Integrated Solutions for Retailers
Evidence of the housing market resurgence grew stronger recently. Home improvement retailing rivals Home Depot and Lowe's exceeded both internal projections and Wall Street's forecasts. At Home Depot, every department — from gardening to plumbing — posted positive comparable sales for the quarter. Meanwhile, over at Lowe's, the fiscal year outlook was also raised due to big numbers.
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Consumers expand their grocery shopping beyond supermarkets
San Gabriel Valley Tribune via Los Angeles Daily News
Consumers are creatures of habit. When they find a store they like, they tend to stick with it. But when it comes to buying groceries, those habits have clearly shifted. With a growing number of retailers now offering food, shoppers are no longer buying all of their milk, bread and other necessities at the supermarket
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Low-hanging fruit: Energy savings made easy
As organizations of all kinds pay greater attention to green issues and the role of facilities in such discussions, maintenance and engineering managers are under growing pressure to reduce energy costs. But the challenge requires managers and their front-line workers to keep a closer watch for waste.
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