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Wal-Mart plans new crop of energy-efficient stores

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores announced it will be opening the first of four second generation, high efficiency stores in Romeoville, Ill., on Jan. 23. The stores will use 25 percent less energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using 90 percent less refrigerant, the company said.

The new stores will incorporate what the company has learned from its first generation of high efficiency stores (HE.1) combined with new technologies, including white roofs, low-flow bathroom faucets, LED lights and an advanced daylight harvesting system, the company said.

“We’ve learned a lot since we opened our first HE.1 store one year ago, and we are excited to put what we have learned into practice with the HE.2,” said Charles Zimmerman, vp-prototype and new format development at Wal-Mart. “The secondary loop system is ideal because it not only makes the store more efficient, but also allows us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Leslie Dach, Wal-Mart’s executive vp-corporate affairs and government relations, made the announcement at the National Retail Federation’s 97th Annual Convention & Expo in New York City.

“These stores are another solid step toward achieving our environmental commitments,” said Dach. “We will continue to find new ways to build stores that have a reduced impact on the environment and ultimately reach a day when every new store is 25 to 30 percent more energy efficient than it was in 2005.”

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Canfor will take $256 million hit

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Canadian forest products company Canfor has announced pre-tax write-downs of about $256 million, another sign of the difficulty faced in lumber markets of the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

The Vancouver-based company said the charges included $90 million related to its lumber segment, $141 million related to wood panels and $25 million to corporate and other related segments.

In December, the forest products company opted to close a Chetwynd, B.C.-based sawmill, laying off 188 employees. Canfor attributed the closure to poor lumber markets and the impact of a high Canadian dollar. Additionally, Canfor earlier laid off 300 workers at four sawmills in British Columbia.

Canfor will release fourth-quarter and fiscal 2007 results on Feb. 22.

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National Retail Federation holds convention in NYC

BY HBSDEALER Staff

New York The National Retail Federation (NRF) held its annual convention and expo this week in New York, with a variety of educational programs and numerous vendors focused on store design, logistics, HR management and other retail-related fields.

The event included a “Design Studio,” focused on store design and merchandising concepts. Guest speakers included Home Depot’s Jason Feldman, who discussed new store designs at the retailer, and Melissa Hertel of Lightolier, who spoke on sustainable lighting in a retail setting.

Hertel outlined tax deduction incentives for retailers who participate and use green lighting, as well as strategies to use environmentally friendly lighting fixtures in overall merchandising concepts, with the goal of using “sustainable lighting [that] meets users’ needs with the least consumption of energy and other resources.”

Further education sessions focused on supply chain and logistics, in-store marketing and “big ideas” in retailing. The latter included guests from Microsoft, IBM, Cisco and SAS.

The NRF event will be held through today at the Javits Center in New York.

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