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'Retail prophet' Douglas Stephens to speak at PRSM Conference next week
The retail store will continue to grow in importance, says industry futurist Douglas Stephens, but it will have less to do with distributing the product and will increasingly play a larger role in providing an experience with the brand. Stephens will explain his predictions on the exciting future of the retail store at the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) Mid-Year Conference in Columbus, Ohio, next week.
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CVS ends tobacco sales, changes name to emphasize health
CVS Caremark Corp. halted sales of tobacco products almost a month ahead of schedule, started a smoking-cessation campaign and changed its name to position itself as healthcare provider in the growing U.S. market. CVS Health, as the company now calls itself, will forgo $2 billion in annual revenue as it becomes the first national pharmacy chain to end tobacco sales. None of its rivals has followed suit, with Walgreen Co. saying a retail pharmacy ban on sales would have little impact on reducing tobacco use. Shares of CVS reached their highest value today in 34 years.
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How e-commerce is finally disrupting the $600 billion-a-year grocery industry
Business Insider
At $600 billion a year in sales, food and beverage is by far the largest retail category in the U.S. by a wide margin. However, it's also the category that has been the least disrupted by e-commerce; less than 1 percent of food and beverage sales currently occur online, according to BI Intelligence's estimates.
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Breathing new life into the American mall
The changes happening at U.S. shopping malls are both a big topic of conversation and of concern. Is the Internet killing the mall, or is it more adaptable? There are many who believe that online retailing is killing the physical store, others aren't so sure. Leases for physical stores will be expiring soon, as fellow Forbes contributor Barbara Thau points out, the number of storefronts from existing retailers are dwindling. Older formats or banners, think Sears, will likely go away, malls will not.
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Staples enhances omnichannel offering
Retailing Today
Staples has enhanced its omnichannel offerings, enabling small business owners to buy products online and pick them up in stores within hours, pay online via Visa Checkout, use in-store kiosks and download and use a dedicated iPad app.
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Why buy LED lighting anyway?
By Pamela Tresp
By now everyone has heard of LED lighting, and Kermit the Frog isn't the only one complaining that "it's not easy being green." New technology, especially any kind of electronics, can be expensive and constantly changing, making it difficult to know when to take the plunge. So why are you using or considering LED for your facility? The reason I ask this question is because of some of the choices in LED products I have seen facility managers and building engineers purchase. Keep in mind, I'm not judging.
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Beyond the mall, food courts turn into gourmet destinations
Los Angeles Times
The great American food court that rose with the shopping malls of the 1970s is fast disappearing. And in its place is the modern equivalent: a curated roster of restaurants and food purveyors that are more likely to serve a grass-fed beef burger on a brioche bun than a hot dog on a stick. In fact, a food court was just named one of the best new restaurants of the year by a national magazine.
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Hidden savings in HVAC systems
Ask 100 maintenance and engineering managers to describe their facilities' energy management programs, and chances are most would describe in detail that they are installing sophisticated, high-cost, high-efficiency systems and components that will dramatically improve operating efficiency. In other words, projects. Few, if any, would describe the way they are increasing preventive and predictive maintenance on energy-using systems. The reason for this is simple: Managers have been conditioned to believe that achieving energy efficiency is best accomplished by replacing or upgrading existing systems.
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3 steps to spur green building practices
Just as the prolific American bank robber Willie Sutton confessed to robbing banks because "that's where the money is," global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must focus on the building sector because "that's where the carbon is," said leading green building researcher Stephen Selkowitz. Speaking at a plenary session on sustainability leadership at the International Green Building Conference on Monday, Selkowitz noted that buildings account for 40 percent of all energy consumption in the U.S., and apart from environmental benefits, there are also huge economic opportunities in pursuing energy conservation.
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Can retailers replicate Amazon's success?
In an attempt to replicate what Amazon has accomplished, many retailers have rushed to offer similar customer convenience services without considering the unique needs of their customers. These efforts are often unsuccessful and only provide short-term benefits. A more effective approach is to create an experience on top of existing services, to remove customer friction in order. Here are some approaches to try.
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Is this the great decline of the green building movement?
Green building often is described as a "movement." Google the phrase, and you get hits from sources as diverse as the EPA, the National Association of Realtors, the National Bar Association and Wikipedia. But what exactly is a movement? A simple definition is "collective action toward common goals." Social movements transcend single organizations or institutions, banding together many people seeking change. Sociologists outline four stages of development, and green building perfectly illustrates this trajectory. In fact, using this framework shows that this movement could be facing a critical threshold today.
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Costco settles with EPA to cut refrigerant emissions
Green Retail Decision
Costco Wholesale Corp., has agreed to cut greenhouse gas refrigerant emissions at more than half of its stores nationwide, costing it $2 million over the next three years in system upgrades. Costco will pay $335,000 in penalties for federal Clean Air Act violations and improve refrigerant management at 274 stores, in the settlement announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice.
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America's 10 fastest-growing retailers
After the recession, retailers are growing once again and, increasingly, moving online. In the first quarter of 2014, retail sales were 2.4 percent higher than the same time the year before, largely helped by a 15 percent jump in e-commerce sales. Online retail is increasingly accounting for more of America's shopping. Yet not all retailers have adapted to a market where many Americans have less disposable income and are increasingly choosing to shop online. Other companies, in turn, have become enormously successful by embracing these changes.
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Which way to recycling? Walmart's Closed Loop Fund vs. EPR
Led by Walmart, a consortium of major corporations that also includes Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Keurig Green Mountain and Goldman Sachs recently announced an initiative with the aim of boosting municipal recycling rates. The Closed Loop Fund is described by its investors as "a social impact fund that provides municipalities access to the capital required to build comprehensive recycling programs." The Fund plans initial investments amounting to $100 million that will be distributed to municipalities in the form of zero-interest and low-interest loans.
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