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The death and rebirth of the mall. You don't drive there,
you live there

The Globe and Mail
Honeydale Mall sits at the back of an oceanic parking lot, about as far from the street as it is from current urban-design thinking. A so-called "dead mall," most of this shopping center in Etobicoke, on Toronto's west side, is practically empty. The giant space that Walmart once occupied has been vacant for a decade, as are the majority of the smaller retail spaces inside. Only a dentist’s office, nail salon and electronics store are still in business.
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Regular inspections, testing helps improve energy efficiency in chillers
FacilitiesNet
Energy efficiency and HVAC system reliability remain top priorities for maintenance and engineering managers. Chillers are the single largest users of electricity in most institutional and commercial facilities, as well as the most expensive piece of equipment in HVAC systems. So they are natural targets for improvement efforts. While many managers look to chiller retrofits, system add-ons, or even replacements to improve efficiency, many overlook the single most important factor in determining both chiller efficiency and reliability: maintenance.
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PRSM releases environmental quality guide for retail stores
PRSM
The Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association, (PRSM), the authority on retail, multi-site facilities management, today launched a new resource designed to help educate the retail facilities manager on the need to improve in-store air quality, how to upgrade existing systems while executing long-term plans for new-store construction. According to the new 10-page guide, Retail Facilities Indoor Environmental Quality & Comfort, "Emerging code and green building programs endorse Indoor Environmental Quality & Comfort programs to protect the health and well-being of occupants - whether that occupant is a shopper in the store for 30 minutes, a full-time employee or a vendor visiting on-site to do a specific task."
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RadioShack, in Best Buy's shadow, stages its own turnaround
MarketWatch
As attention centers on Best Buy Co. and how its new Chief Executive Hubert Joly can turn around the largest U.S. electronics chain, often ignored is its smaller rival RadioShack Corp.'s own revamp efforts. Just like Best Buy, RadioShack in February named its own new CEO as it seeks to reverse declining sales and stem losses. The company unveiled on New York's Upper West Side what it hoped will be an answer to turn RadioShack into an "electronics playground."
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Safety preparedness, perception vs. fact?
Today's Facility Manager
Natural disasters represent a major safety concern for facility managers and office workers alike, but have businesses been doing enough to prepare for the worst? A recent study conducted by Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc., revealed some troubling discrepancies between perception and fact. Prior to National Safety Month this past June, Staples Advantage conducted its second annual workplace safety study, prompting 60 percent of businesses to divulge they have not reevaluated their safety procedures after recent disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy.
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OfficeMax shareholders approve merger with Office Depot
Reuters
OfficeMax Inc shareholders voted to approve its merger with larger rival Office Depot Inc. , removing a key hurdle to the deal that would combine the No. 2 and No. 3 U.S. office supply retailers.
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LEED v4 approved, launches this fall
Green Retail Decisions
The membership of the U.S. Green Building Council has voted to adopt LEED v4, the next update to the green building rating system. The final overall vote was 86 percent in favor of adopting of LEED v4, which includes 90 percent approval from the user category of the voting body, 77 percent approval from the general interest category and 89 percent from the producer category. The minimum overall percentage of votes needed for a passing vote was 66.7 percent.
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Retailers hit home run with June sales
Investor's Business Daily
Retailers posted for June the strongest monthly sales gain since January as warmer weather that drove summer clearance and an improved economic backdrop prompted consumers to step up the spending pace. Sales at stores open at least a year rose 4.1 percent vs. a year ago, says Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics.
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Uniqlo is opening 10 stores in the US this fall
Racked
Uniqlo has made good on its promise to expand and then some. The Japanese retailer announced via press release that they will open 10 more U.S. stores this fall, bringing the grand total to 17. Larry Meyer, company COO of the U.S. said, "Uniqlo is ready to take our next step in our U.S. expansion by opening more smaller format and mall stores in the regions surrounding our current flagships stores in the Tri-State and Northern California regions."
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Click-to-brick: Why online retailers want stores in real life
Bloomberg Businessweek
It doesn't feel so long ago that brick-and-mortar retailers were rushing to develop online stores. Now that evolution often happens in reverse: Retailers start online and migrate to the real world, where customers can touch, taste, and try on their goodies. That group includes eyewear maker Warby Parker, which opened a Manhattan, N.Y., storefront this spring, and fashion accessories startup BaubleBar, which has experimented with a variety of brick-and-mortar models to appeal to women for whom shopping is a social activity. There's also Gap's "online-only" brand, which (irony alert) opened a brick-and-mortar boutique last fall.
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Costco starts summer right with strong June sales
Retailing Today
Costco has started the summer right, reporting sales of $9.92 billion for the month of June, the five-week period ended July 7, an 8 percent increase over the same period last year.
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PRSM releases outdoor site maintenance guide to retail industry
PRSM
The Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association, (PRSM), the authority on retail, multi-site facilities management, launched a new resource designed to help the retail facilities manager plan and develop a comprehensive approach to all outdoor maintenance operations, especially landscaping. approach to all outdoor maintenance operations, especially landscaping. According to the new guide, Retail Facilities Outdoor Site Maintenance, "standards exist for sustainable structures (green buildings) yet, there are no comprehensive guidelines and performance benchmarks for those who want to create and measure sustainable landscapes. Landscapes have great potential for both environmental benefit and severe environmental damage."
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Outlets at Hillsboro, Texas, shopping center trying to reinvent itself
The Dallas Morning News
The Outlets at Hillsboro, Texas, is trying to reinvent itself by opening clearance centers instead of outlet stores. Competition from discount shopping online and other outlet malls has left the center, which is 65 miles south of Dallas on Interstate 35, with few tenants. Nike operated a Nike Factory Store at the center for several years and has now converted it to a 15,000-square-foot Nike Clearance store.
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3 ways sustainability is in vogue in fashion and retail
GreenBiz
The fashion industry often gets slammed in sustainability circles. Dyeing and finishing fabric involves using copious amounts of chemicals, steam and water, leaving behind an enormous environmental footprint. Then there are the labor issues, such as poor and unsafe working conditions in places where laborers are paid a pittance for long days of toil.
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Hilldale Shopping Center's new owner wants to make the Madison, Wis., mall more open, attractive
Wisconsin State Journal
Barely a year after assuming ownership of Hilldale Shopping Center in Madison, Wis., WS Development has major plans to reshape it. The Boston-area development company wants to improve access to the back side of the property behind Macy’s and open up its enclosed central corridor, according to District 11 Ald. Chris Schmidt, who represents the area and has met with company partners about the project.
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Shoe Carnival to open 12 stores in 11 cities
Retailing Today
Value-priced footwear retailer Shoe Carnival will grand-open 12 stores in 11 different cities in July, bringing its store count to 367 stores in 32 states and Puerto Rico.
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Walgreen joins Blue Cross to promote health exchanges
Bloomberg
Walgreen Co., the biggest U.S. drugstore chain, agreed to join with the largest federation of health insurers to promote the Affordable Care Act, lending a hand as the Obama administration strains to win over the public.
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