Content about SPECS

March 27, 2014

By 2025, most retail lighting will be LED, or light-emitting diode, according to lighting expert Dr. Laura Priestwood Thompson, director of the TCU Center for Lighting Education, Texas Christian University.

New York -- By 2025, most retail lighting will be LED, or light-emitting diode, according to lighting expert Dr. Laura Priestwood Thompson, director of the TCU Center for Lighting Education, Texas Christian University.

“The majority of interior retail lighting in 2025 will be LED. This includes retrofitting and new construction,” Dr. Thompson told attendees as Chain Store Age’s 50th annual SPECS conference, which was held March 9 –12, in Grapevine, Texas.

March 27, 2014

Francesca’s, Maurices and tween/teen fave Five Below are in an expansion mode.

New York -- Francesca’s, Maurices and tween/teen fave Five Below are in an expansion mode.

Francesca’s, based in Houston, will open about 85 stores this year, down slightly from 91 openings last year.   

March 27, 2014

Toys “R” Us has launched a new strategy to drive future growth that includes a big emphasis on improving its in-store customer experience.

New York -- Toys “R” Us has launched a new strategy to drive future growth that includes a big emphasis on improving its in-store customer experience.

The nation’s largest toy retailer said it will update its existing stores to make them easier to shop, focusing on everything from the restrooms and lighting to the flooring and signage. It also is committed to reducing in-store clutter and improving in-stocks and checkout speed (slow checkouts registered as a big customer complaint in its research.).

March 27, 2014

Wal-Mart Stores is testing a new convenience-store concept called “Walmart To Go,” with the initial location in the chain’s hometown of Bentonville, Ark.

New York -- Wal-Mart Stores is testing a new convenience-store concept called “Walmart To Go,” with the initial location in the chain’s hometown of Bentonville, Ark.

The new store offers convenience store products, prepared foods and gasoline. At approximately 2,500 sq. ft., Walmart To Go is much smaller than the company’s other small-format concept, Walmart Express, which averages about 15,000 sq. ft.

Walmart also has a grocery delivery service with a similar name, WalmartToGo.com, in two markets.

March 14, 2014

Dollar General, Ross Stores and Dick’s Sporting Goods are bullish on expansion. For 2014, Dollar General has budgeted $450 million to $500 million for capital expenditures, and plans to open 700 new locations.

New York -- Dollar General, Ross Stores and Dick’s Sporting Goods are bullish on expansion. For 2014, Dollar General has budgeted $450 million to $500 million for capital expenditures, and plans to open 700 new locations. This follows a record year of square footage expansion during which the extreme-value discounter opened 650 stores.

Ross Stores also continues to expand in 2014. The off-price apparel and home fashions retailer is on track to open about 95 new locations in 2014, comprised of about 75 Ross Dress for Less and 20 dd's Discounts.

March 14, 2014

Nordstrom is going to be a big success in Canada, according to Antony Karabus, president, Hilco Retail Consulting.

New York -- Nordstrom is going to be a big success in Canada, according to Antony Karabus, president, Hilco Retail Consulting. (Nordstrom has plans for six stores in Canada, with the possibility of adding a few more over time.)

“Every one of the six stores they (Nordstrom) picked in Canada is a home run in terms of the location. It’s the perfect time, perfect sector and the perfect time in the sector,” Karabus said during a recent presentation on “The State of the Canadian Retail Market.”

March 14, 2014

When building an urban store, be prepared for anything, and make friends with your local Economic Development Corp. early, advised retailers and a developer at the “Setting Up Shop Downtown” session at Chain Store Age’s 50th annual SPECS conference in Grapevine, Texas (March 9 -12, 2014).

New York -- When building an urban store, be prepared for anything, and make friends with your local Economic Development Corp. early, advised retailers and a developer at the “Setting Up Shop Downtown” session at Chain Store Age’s 50th annual SPECS conference in Grapevine, Texas (March 9 -12, 2014). The session was particularly timely given that more and more retailers are targeting urban areas for growth — and the trend is likely to accelerate going forward.

March 14, 2014

The economy is in better shape than many people think — especially when you look under the hood at some of the parts, CNBC senior analyst Ron Insana told attendees at Chain Store Age’s 50th annual SPECS show.

New York — The economy is in better shape than many people think — especially when you look under the hood at some of the parts, CNBC senior analyst Ron Insana told attendees at Chain Store Age’s 50th annual SPECS show. Insana was a keynoter at the event, which was held at the Gaylord Texan Hotel, Grapevine, Texas, March 9 – 12, and brought together retail executives in store planning & design, construction and facilities. Attendance was up 25% over last year's year's show.

March 6, 2014

Ceelite Technologies has introduced a new LED product line it calls Illumastrip, which serves as an alternative to LED tubes and fluorescent tubes for standard fixtures such as strips, vapor tights and troffers.

Villanova, Pa. -- Ceelite Technologies has introduced a new LED product line it calls Illumastrip, which serves as an alternative to LED tubes and fluorescent tubes for standard fixtures such as strips, vapor tights and troffers.

The new Illumstrip products can be installed in existing or new fixtures, and reduce energy by 50%-75% with an ROI of under three years, according to the company.

March 5, 2014

Retail expansion in the United States has not come to an end, but its focus has shifted.

New York -- Retail expansion in the United States has not come to an end, but its focus has shifted. That’s one of the findings contained in the 2014 ChainLinks Retail Advisors U.S. National Retail Investment Forecast Report.

March 5, 2014

Nike's store in University Village, Seattle, was created as a sanctuary for athletes. The goal is present in every detail in the 6,247-sq.-ft. store, including this quote from company co-founder Bill Bowerman that is painted onto the bleacher board behind the cash wrap: "There's no such thing as bad weather, just soft people."

Nike's store in University Village, Seattle, was created as a sanctuary for athletes. The goal is present in every detail in the 6,247-sq.-ft. store, including this quote from company co-founder Bill Bowerman that is painted onto the bleacher board behind the cash wrap: "There's no such thing as bad weather, just soft people."

March 5, 2014

The requirements of the 2013 revision of an energy standard recently published by ASHRAE and IES will result in buildings that could achieve 6% to 8% more efficiency than buildings built to the 2010 standard.

Atlanta -- The requirements of the 2013 revision of an energy standard recently published by ASHRAE and IES will result in buildings that could achieve 6% to 8% more efficiency than buildings built to the 2010 standard.

Published in October 2013, ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, provides minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design of buildings except low-rise residential buildings.

March 5, 2014

Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Markets Inc. is expanding. The natural-foods supermarket chain expects to open 22 to 24 stores in fiscal 2014, including five locations in the Atlanta area.

New York -- Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Markets Inc. is expanding. The natural-foods supermarket chain expects to open 22 to 24 stores in fiscal 2014, including five locations in the Atlanta area.

Sprouts currently operates more than 165 locations in eight states.

Meanwhile, Gap Inc. continues to expand its newest banner, Athleta, with about 30 additional U.S. stores on tap for fiscal year 2014.

In more store expansion news:

March 5, 2014

Illinois tops the United States Green Building Council’s ranking of the Top 10 States for LEED-certified construction for last year.

Washington -- Illinois tops the United States Green Building Council’s ranking of the Top 10 States for LEED-certified construction for last year. The list highlights the regions around the country that are at the forefront of sustainable building design and transformation.

The per-capita list includes commercial and institutional green building projects that were certified throughout 2013.

March 5, 2014

Walgreens will share learnings, insights and real-time performance data gained from building and operating the retail industry’s first net zero-energy store at Chain Store Age’s 50th annual SPECS Conference, March 9 -12, Gaylord Texan Hotel, Grapevine, Texas.

New York -- Walgreens will share learnings, insights and real-time performance data gained from building and operating the retail industry’s first net zero-energy store at Chain Store Age’s 50th annual SPECS Conference, March 9 -12, Gaylord Texan Hotel,  Grapevine, Texas.  
 

March 4, 2014

As technology transforms multichannel retail into hyper-channel, “always-on” retailing, chains must emotionally connect with consumers as never before, according to Joseph Bona.

New York -- As technology transforms multichannel retail into hyper-channel, “always-on” retailing, chains must emotionally connect with consumers as never before, according to Joseph Bona. Bona, president of branded environments for New York City-based brand agency/retail design firm CBX, is one of the featured speakers at Chain Store Age’s upcoming 50th annual SPECS conference,  March 9 -12, Grapevine, Texas.

February 26, 2014

Bryan Sartin, director of Verizon’s RISK Team, will discuss the link between security breaches and automated building management systems at Chain Store Age’s 50th annual SPECS Conference, March 9-12, 2014
Gaylord Texan Hotel Grapevine, Texas.

New York -- Bryan Sartin, director of Verizon’s RISK Team, will discuss the link between security breaches and automated building management systems at Chain Store Age’s 50th annual SPECS Conference, March 9-12, 2014
, at the Gaylord Texan Hotel, Grapevine, Texas.

February 26, 2014

Express has gone big in Times Square.

New York -- Express has gone big in Times Square. The specialty apparel chain has opened a three-level, 22,500-sq.-ft. store inside the historical (and landmarked) I. Miller Building.

The new location is the chain’s largest store to date, and also its most dazzling. The interior has an ultra-contemporary look, with such upscale accents as marble checkout counters and chandeliers. Merchandise is displayed in tall glass vitrines.

February 26, 2014

Retailers making headlines with store expansion plans include new players as well as global powerhouses. Just in the starting gate is Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, a new specialty grocery format featuring value-priced healthy and organic offerings.

New York -- Retailers making headlines with store expansion plans include new players as well as global powerhouses. Just in the starting gate is Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, a new specialty grocery format featuring value-priced healthy and organic offerings. The company plans to open over 60 stores throughout the Midwest during the next five years.

February 26, 2014

A majority (74%) of U.S. contractors are unaware of upcoming 2015 regional standards for unitary air conditioning and heat pump systems, according to a survey by Emerson Climate Technologies Inc.

St. Louis -- A majority (74%) of U.S. contractors are unaware of upcoming 2015 regional standards for unitary air conditioning and heat pump systems, according to a survey by Emerson Climate Technologies Inc. Nearly 80% of contractors were unaware of 2015 part-load efficiency requirements for light commercial split, package and rooftop systems, and 84% are unaware of the 2015 chiller standards. Unlike the 2005 regulation changes, the 2015 changes will affect both residential and commercial efficiency standards.

February 25, 2014

PlayNetwork, a leading innovator in branded entertainment media experiences, is expanding its global reach with the announcement of its new Hong Kong office.

Redmond, Wash. -- PlayNetwork, a leading innovator in branded entertainment media experiences, is expanding its global reach with the announcement of its new Hong Kong office.
 
The Hong Kong office joins PlayNetwork locations around the globe, with teams in London, England; Columbus, Ohio; Sherman Oaks, Calif.; New York City; and the company's corporate headquarters in Redmond, Wash.

February 19, 2014

Walgreens will provide a first-hand look at its net zero-energy store during Chain Store Age’s 50th annual SPECS Conference, which will be held March 9 -12, in Grapevine, Texas.

New York -- Walgreens will provide a first-hand look at its net zero-energy store during Chain Store Age’s 50th annual SPECS Conference, which will be held March 9 -12, in Grapevine, Texas.  

February 7, 2014

Rose Paving Company is set to support the efforts of the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) through a multi-event fundraising campaign in 2014.

Bridgeview, Ill. -- Rose Paving Company is set to support the efforts of the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) through a multi-event fundraising campaign in 2014. Rose Paving will host a fundraising activity at industry trade shows and expos across the country, giving registered attendees the opportunity to help support the ASPCA’s mission to prevent cruelty towards animals.

February 4, 2014

Walgreens’ net zero energy store in Evanston, Ill., was selected as Sustainable Store of the Year in Chain Store Age’s 32nd annual Retail Store of the Year design competition.

New York -- Walgreens’ net zero energy store in Evanston, Ill., was selected as Sustainable Store of the Year in Chain Store Age’s 32nd annual Retail Store of the Year design competition. The store, designed and built to produce energy equal to or greater than it consumes, will be highlighted during a special session at Chain Store Age’s 50th annual SPECS conference, March 9 -12, in Grapevine, Texas.

December 13, 2013

Due to the holiday rush and related closings, Chain Store Age has extended the deadline for its 32nd annual Retail Store of the Year Design Competition until Wednesday, January 8, 2014.

New York -- Due to the holiday rush and related closings, Chain Store Age has extended the deadline for its 32nd annual Retail Store of the Year Design Competition until Wednesday, January 8, 2014.

More than 20 competition categories are featured, including department stores, supermarkets, discounters, restaurants, convenience stores, specialty stores, service, sustainability and pop-up stores. This year, for the first time, the competition also includes the category of in-store digital innovation.