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Apple will invest $850 million in California solar farm
CNET
Apple's making an even bigger jump into renewable power. CEO Tim Cook said Apple is partnering with First Solar on its "biggest, boldest and most ambitious [renewable energy] project yet." The two companies will build a 1,300-acre solar farm in Monterey County in California. The site will produce enough electricity to power nearly 60,000 California homes. It also is enough renewable energy for Apple's new campus in Silicon Valley, all of its other offices in California, all of its retail stores in the state and a data center, Cook said.
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Walmart to invest $269 million in Canada
Reuters
Walmart Stores Inc. said it would invest about C$340 million ($269 million) this fiscal year to expand in Canada, lower than what it had budgeted for last year. Walmart's move comes less than a month after rival Target Corp. said it would exit Canada. Sears Holdings Corp. last year lowered its stake in its Canadian operations to about 12 percent, after failing to find a buyer for its holding in the business. Sales and margins at both Sears and Target have dwindled in Canada in the face of stiff competition from Walmart.
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New standard for bird-friendly glass
BUILDINGS
Estimating that up to a billion birds could be dying each year as a result of colliding with the glass exteriors of U.S. buildings, ASTM International has proposed a new standard to test materials for their likelihood to be detected by approaching birds.
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How retail is reinventing itself in an age of online sales
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Chattanooga, Tennessee, developer Duane Horton likens the ongoing evolution of retail shopping centers to National Football League stadiums. When TV started showing the NFL, many stadiums weren't comfortable and the food wasn't particularly tasty, prompting a lot of people to watch games at home or in a restaurant, he says. Then stadium owners, to fill seats, built venues to make seeing the game in person more of an experience, Horton says.
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How Ace Hardware turned corner stores into a $4.7 billion co-op
Forbes
When Jeremy Melnick's grandfather opened his first Ace Hardware store along Chicago's ritzy Gold Coast in 1950, there wasn't a whole lot of competition. Wal-Mart? An Arkansas five-and-dime. Lowe's was two stores in North Carolina. Home Depot was still 29 years away from opening its first location. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was 14 years shy of being born.
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Whole Foods to open 3 Western Canadian locations
Retail Insider
Austin, Texas-based natural and organic supermarket chain Whole Foods has announced that it will open three stores in Western Canada, as it continues its Canadian store expansion. Whole Foods is working with a brokerage to secure more locations and we're told that further store announcements will be made shortly. The company is also expanding its business with its original Toronto location, adding gourmet take-out and dine-in facilities.
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Technologies of the future: Are facility managers ready?
Anabas
We are all used to the standard elevator, you get in, press your floor and go either up or down, and in most modern day buildings we forget about how vital the elevator is. You may not even realise but in some buildings there is more than one elevator car in the shaft, in fact double storey lifts are common in high rise properties. However, could the elevator take us anywhere else in the building apart from up and down (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory style)?
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Restaurateurs moonlighting in stores
STORES
Retailers and fashion brands worldwide are convinced that having food in their stores can go a long way toward keeping customers in the store — and spending. Designers like Ralph Lauren and Armani have opened restaurants and cafes within their locations; Macy's is on trend as well, and the aesthetic of these eateries blends seamlessly with their designer origins.
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Energy purchasing: 5 mistakes to avoid
Facility Executive
The advent of new technology coupled with an increasing focus on sustainability and tightening regulations has all led to the broadening of the facility management role. Due to these factors, many facility executives are beginning to oversee more departments than they had in the past. Responsibilities may now include directing maintenance and facility staff as well as overseeing security, janitorial, or groundskeeping crews and duties. As facilities improve their engineering, architectural services, and IT and telecom systems, the facility professional's responsibilities become more abundant and specialized.
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Outlining the differences in cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting
CleanLink
Eliminating illness causing germs is a focus during cold and flu season, and to accomplish this, the use of chlorine bleach to sanitize surfaces is a common practice. "Chlorine bleach is a very effective sanitizer and disinfectant on disease causing germs, bacteria, parasites and viruses — including the flu virus," said Joan Hegerfeld-Baker, assistant professor and SDSU Extension Food Safety Specialist.
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Dollar Tree, Dollarama growing in Canada
CBC News
The number of dollar stores in Canada is growing, and so is the selection they offer, which is concerning to their big box competitors, said a Vancouver retail analyst. "The dollar stores are nipping away at the drug stores, grocery stores, Walmart," said David Ian Gray.
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Top 3 sustainable supply chain trends for 2015
Triple Pundit
Sustainable business strategies seem to be the focus of customer companies today, and companies will continue to move forward with full integration across their supply chains in response to the resource crunch. Here are the top three trends for 2015.
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Tory Burch to open first Pittsburgh store
Pittsburgh Business Times
The next upscale retailer bringing a luxury lifestyle brand to Pittsburgh will be Tory Burch. The designer/CEO of an internationally expanding network of boutiques featuring women's apparel — clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry and fragrances — will join the lineup at Ross Park Mall this spring with a namesake store, confirmed Beth George, a spokeswoman for Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc., the mall's owner. She could not yet provide the specific date.
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West Coast ports: Retail's $7 billion problem
CNBC
Retailers' anxiety levels are rising as gridlock grinds on with contract negotiations between West Coast dockworkers and port terminal operators. It has been a long nine months for those dealing directly, or indirectly, with the lack of a West Coast port contract, and after a temporary shutdown over the weekend, retail lobby groups and consultants are assigning potential costs to the issue.
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Retailers turn to omnichannel strategies to remain competitive
Forbes
For consumers, omnichannel means being able to shop anywhere and receive goods in the most convenient way possible, says Leslie Hand, vice president of IDC's Retail Insights team. But for retailers, it's a "single version of the truth" for items, orders and customers, allowing employees to deliver goods consistently no matter where they are in the system.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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