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Digital commerce generates headlines, but bricks-and-mortar remain the foundation of the nation's retail power players
STORES
In this digital age, it seems remarkable that bricks-and-mortar retailers have displayed such staying power. But only two truly pure-play online merchants appear in STORES magazine's annual report on the nation's Top 100 Retailers, and it just may be that traditional retailers do all the heavy lifting when it comes to pushing goods through the consumer pipeline. Amazon.com is the ever-growing 800-lb. e-commerce gorilla and fledglings like Warby Parker are the merchants du jour among the Twittering classes. Most people, however, still do the bulk of their shopping at Walmart, Target, Macy's and lots of supermarkets and home improvement chain stores. Truth is, more than 15 years into the dot-com revolution, online transactions account for less than 15 percent of total retail sales.
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Big box solar: Retailers empower their rooftops
Solar Industry magazine
Retail stores generally have large roofs and vast energy needs. Those two factors, plus some chains' desire for sustainability, not to mention good publicity, present opportunities for solar companies. … In September 2012, the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Vote Solar Initiative released a list of the top 20 companies for on-site solar capacity deployed. Among the retailers on the list were Walmart; Costco; Kohl's; IKEA; Macy's; Staples; Walgreens; Bed, Bath & Beyond and Toys 'R' Us.
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Canadian grocers exceed US and Europe in margins, credit metrics
The Canadian Press via Winnipeg Free Press
Canadian supermarkets exceed their U.S. and European counterparts when it comes to profit margins and credit metrics, according to a Moody's analysis. The big three Canadian grocers — Loblaw Companies Ltd., Empire's Sobeys and Metro Inc. — are seeing an improving trend in their earnings margins while four European peers are watching them shrink and margins are flat at two comparable U.S. companies.
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Kohl's ranked among top 5 green power purchasers in the country
Green Retail Decisions
The top organizations within the Green Power Partnership using the most renewable electricity are Intel, Kohl's Department Stores, Microsoft Corporation, Whole Foods Market, and Walmart in rank order, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which released its lists this week.
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Managers discuss data center maintenance challenges
FacilitiesNet
The role of maintenance and engineering managers in the day-to-day operations of data centers and mission-critical facilities is becoming more critical to organizations. The toughest challenge facing managers with institutional and commercial facilities is ensuring these areas remain operational and reliable around the clock.
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Office Depot helps launch sustainable purchasing leadership council
Green Retail Decision
Office Depot Inc., is a founding member of a group of cross-industry leaders that that are joining forces to create sustainable purchasing standards. The biggest obstacle to sustainable institutional purchasing, according to the group, is a lack of standardization in how sustainable purchasing is defined, guided, measured and rewarded.
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J.C. Penney, 7-Eleven among companies targeted in massive hacking scheme
Chain Store Age
Five individuals have been charged with running a sophisticated, worldwide hacking organization that the U.S. Department of Justice called the largest hacking and data breach scheme ever prosecuted in the United States. The victims in the scheme included such retailers as J.C. Penney, 7-Eleven Inc., Carrefour and Hannaford Brothers Co.
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Top 10 markets with highest shopping center rents
National Real Estate Investor
We all know not all markets are created equal when it comes to demand for retail space. In the current real estate cycle, parts of California and the New York Tri-State region seem to be outperforming the rest of the nation with higher shopping center rents, according to research from Reis Inc. As a baseline, shopping center rents nationwide currently average $19.19 per square foot.
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O'Reilly has record-breaking Q2
Retailing Today
O’Reilly Automotive achieved a record quarterly gross margin of 50.8 percent for the second quarter ended June 30, primarily driven by improvements in acquisition costs, product mix and pricing management, according to president and CEO Greg Henslee.
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Cabela's announces plans for 4 new stores; Q2 profit up 31 percent
Chain Store Age
Cabela's Inc. announced it will open four new markets in 2014: Acworth, Ga., Augusta, Ga.; Missoula, Mont.; and Barrie, Ontario (Canada). The outdoor goods retailer also reported that its second-quarter net income surged 31 percent on a 10.5 percent rise in same-store sales.
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Keep buildings cool in full sunlight
BUILDINGS
A new cooling structure designed by a Stanford research team can cool structures even under direct sunlight, according to a profile of the device in Nano Letters. The device is highly reflective, keeping it from heating up and defeating the purpose of cooling. It also uses the same mechanism as the greenhouse effect to direct thermal radiation away from itself – specifically, it efficiently emits thermal radiation within a tightly defined wavelength range that can escape through the atmosphere.
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Luxury malls and stores thrive — like their shoppers
Investor's Business Daily
High-end malls are sitting prettier as upper-income shoppers spend more confidently and retailers angle to locate near them. Affluent consumers have seen their incomes grow rather sharply since the recession and are benefiting from rebounds in the stock market and home prices, analysts say — while the rest of the population is still battling back.
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GNC expands footprint in China
Retailing Today
GNC is no stranger to China, with more than 60 store-within-a-store locations in eight different major grocery, convenience and health and wellness chains in China. But two years after entering the market, the retailer is opening its first stand-alone location in Shanghai. GNC plans on opening an additional 25 locations in China within the next 12 months.
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Dick's to open Field & Stream concept in August
Retailing Today
Dick's Sporting Goods plans to open its first Field & Stream branded store this August in Cranberry Township, Pa., as part of the company's ongoing strategy to drive growth with speciality store concepts. The company also recently opened its first True Runner speciality store in its hometown of Pittsburgh.
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Dunkin' Donuts to enter Southern California; signs agreements for 45 locations
Chain Store Age
Dunkin' Donuts announced that it has signed its first Southern California multi-unit store development agreements, with four franchise groups for a total commitment of 45 locations. The first restaurants are expected to open in 2015 in Orange and Los Angeles counties. Some non-traditional Dunkin' Donuts locations may open over the next several months.
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China tops world's shopping mall craze
Forbes
If you follow China you know that the Chinese consumer is the hottest emerging market investment story around. So it goes without saying that China is far and away the No. 1 developer of shopping malls.
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