The Retail Apocalypse Is Not as Bad as It Seems

The Retail Apocalypse Is Not as Bad as It Seems

Source: The Motley Fool  3.16.19 By Adam Levine-Weinberg

U.S. retailers have already announced about 5,000 store closures since the beginning of 2019, but the amount of space that is opening up is quite manageable.

It’s only mid-March, and U.S. retailers have already announced close to 5,000 store closures since the beginning of the year. That compares to 5,524 during all of 2018, according to Coresight Research.

This data point may make it seem like the retail apocalypse has taken a dramatic turn for the worse in 2019. That said, store closure announcements tend to be clustered near the beginning of the year, as retailers assess their position following the busy holiday shopping season.

Moreover, the total number of store closures is not necessarily the best metric for tracking the impact of the retail apocalypse on malls and shopping centers across the country. In fact, the pace of store closures in 2019 is very manageable compared to the demand for new space.

Not all store closures are created equal

In 2017 and 2018, the retail sector was rocked by a huge wave of department store closures. Macy’s and J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) closed more than 200 stores combined — accounting for more than 20 million square feet of space — as they tried to shore up their profitability. Bon-Ton Stores, which had 262 stores totaling 24 million square feet as of early 2017, went out of business in 2018, closing all of its stores.

Most notably, Sears Holdings shrank dramatically. In early 2017, the company had more than 1,400 Kmart and full-line Sears stores in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). The small fragment of the company that survived a late-2018 bankruptcy filing will operate about 425 stores going forward. The roughly 1,000 stores that got the axe accounted for well over 100 million square feet of space.

By contrast, the vast majority of the stores closing in 2019 are “in-line” retailers that operate much smaller stores. Read the full article at https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/03/16/the-retail-apocalypse-is-not-as-bad-as-it-seems.aspx

Comments by RG: Finally some positive news about the retail market and how other companies do have a good use for empty spaces.  News store openings by others and new, non-traditional, creative use of the retail spaces will help lessen the impact.

 

 

DOE Proposes Senseless and Dangerous Rollback of Energy-Saving Light Bulb Standards

DOE Proposes Senseless and Dangerous Rollback of Energy-Saving Light Bulb Standards

2.6.19     Source: NRDC

WASHINGTON, DC — The Department of Energy today proposed a rollback of energy efficiency standards for the light bulbs designed to fill about 2.7 billion of America’s lighting sockets, nearly cutting in half the number of bulbs to be covered by its 2020 energy-saving rules.

The proposal would remove three-way bulbs, candle-shaped bulbs used in chandeliers and sconces, reflector bulbs used in recessed lighting, and the round globe bulbs typically used in bathroom lighting fixtures from the scope of energy-saving lighting standards scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, The result will be $12 billion in additional consumer energy bill costs and the need to generate 25 coal burning plants worth of extra electricity every year.  Read the full article at https://www.nrdc.org/media/2019/190206-1

Comments: Let’s hope this does not go through. it would set us backward and cause customer confusion.  

 

Survey Finds Continuing Investment in Energy Efficiency

Survey Finds Continuing Investment in Energy Efficiency

The survey found that over two-thirds of U.S. organizations plan to implement building controls improvements over the next year.

Nov 26, 2018

Source: EC&M Magazine

U.S. organizations are planning to increase investments in smart building controls and systems integration at a greater rate than more traditional energy efficiency measures, according to the results of a study released by Johnson Controls, Milwaukee. The company’s 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey polled nearly 2,000 facility and energy management executives from 20 countries and found that 57% of organizations in the United States and 59% of global organizations plan to increase investment in energy efficiency in the next year.

Over the past decade, traditional energy efficiency measures – such as HVAC equipment improvements and lighting upgrades – have become table stakes for many organizations, the company said in a release. Today, organizations identify greenhouse gas footprint reduction, energy cost savings, energy security and an enhanced reputation as key drivers of investment fueling growth in green, net-zero energy and resilient buildings.

Over two-thirds (68%) of U.S. respondents plan building controls improvements over the next 12 months and building system integration saw a 23% increase in respondents planning to invest in 2019 compared to 2018, the largest increase of any measure in the survey. “Organizations are more interested than ever in leveraging energy efficiency, energy storage and distributed generation technologies to deliver smarter, safer and more sustainable buildings,” said Clay Nesler, vice president, Global Sustainability, Johnson Controls. “U.S. organizations are especially bullish about the future impact of systems interoperability, systems integration, and cybersecurity technologies, leading all other countries.”

The 2018 EEI results also highlight a growing global focus on resilience and energy security due to increasingly severe weather incidents around the world, with one-third of U.S. and global organizations citing the importance of being able to maintain critical operations during severe weather events or extended power outages. Roughly half of the U.S. and global organizations said they are extremely or very likely to have one or more facilities able to operate off the grid in the next ten years, a 10% increase in the U.S. from last year. Globally, plans to invest in distributed energy generation, electric energy storage and on-site renewables also increased year-over-year.

Comments: if interested in learning how to use controls to make a major difference in your building or portfolio of buildings, reach out to me for information, design, pricing, and installation.

MLS Shares Plans for Forest Lighting and LEDVANCE Integration

MLS Shares Plans for Forest Lighting and LEDVANCE Integration

MLS, the parent company of LEDvance (Formerly Sylvania) and Forest Lighting is integrating Forest into Ledvance lines. LEDvance will have management responsibility.  All products to be conveniently available through LEDvance in the near future covering a wide range of fixtures and lamps. More info later. Reach out for more info if interested and read CEO letter below..

 

Source: lightED        November 19, 2018

Below is a letter that Forest Lighting shared with its customers last Friday regarding MLS integrating Forest Lighting and LEDVANCE. Ledvance will have management responsibility and Forest product lines will be merged into LEDvance.  This makes LEDvance stronger and helps reduce costs, Reach out if you need more information.

Dear Forest Lighting Customer:

November 16, 2018

As a trusted customer, I am writing to inform you of company developments at Forest Lighting.

As you know, MLS is the global parent company of both LEDVANCE and Forest Lighting. In order to maximize efficiencies, MLS has decided to integrate these two businesses in the United States and Canada with LEDVANCE having operating management responsibilities. MLS’ motivation is to accelerate product development, reduce internal costs, and most importantly improve service to our important distribution partners.

While alignment plans, including branding, resources and product portfolio, are in development, current Forest Lighting products will continue to be available for purchase while supplies last, and you will soon be able to purchase our products from “LEDVANCE”.

The SYLVANIA general lighting portfolio is a result of a proud legacy of over 100 years of lighting experience in North America, and I am excited to share with you these innovations and additional synergies. Please contact me if you have questions, and I will keep you posted on transition news.

Sincerely,

Jian Ni
Chief Operating Officer, Forest Lighting

 

Online buyers of lighting warned of ‘serious safety risks’

Online buyers of lighting warned of ‘serious safety risks’

ONLINE purchasers of LED lighting products have been warned that a high proportion have ‘serious electrical safety risks’.

Source: Lux Magazine  10.29.18

The Lighting Industry Association market compliance boss Leva Vardanyan told a meeting of European compliance chiefs that a ‘mystery shopper’ survey revealed that a high proportion of the lighting products tested from online marketplaces have serious electrical safety risks.

According to Ms. Vardanyan, just removing the individual products detected from the market cannot be the solution and that changes in the law and stronger tools for market surveillance are needed.

The Brussels audience also heard that there was evidence of widespread VAT avoidance on online platforms. Richard Allen, a lobbyist with Retailers Against VAT Abuse Schemes, argued that marketplaces have a great responsibility to deal with the issue. Through amendments to VAT legislation, the EU and some member states are supporting the approach and making marketplaces responsible. Germany, where there are new VAT obligations for online marketplaces if the seller is not compliant, was a good example.

Nigel Harvey, chief executive of UK compliance scheme Recolight, described a study undertaken by the WEEE Scheme Forum, to check the compliance of products sold through online marketplaces.  This showed that 76 percent of LED light bulbs did not comply.

Commenting on the study, Nigel Harvey said: ‘Evidence shows there is large scale WEEE non-compliance sales through online marketplaces.  High street retailers have, for many years, checked the compliance of equipment producers.  Online marketplace operators could – and should – do the same.  There can be no excuse for knowingly aiding the sale of products that break the law.’

Monika Romenska, regulatory and public affairs manager of the Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance for Packaging and Packaging waste, added: ‘Distance sales already represent up to between 20 and 30 percent of the market across various waste streams in certain member states.

‘By avoiding paying for their collection and reprocessing costs, these sales distort the market: they impose an unfair cost on compliant producers, thus rendering these – mostly local companies – less competitive.’

Global Tech LED ? What’s the story?

Well, one thing for sure is that Lighting Industry players are facing dynamic changes and a disruptive market as they tranistion and adopt to LED.  Read a new story hot off the press about Global Tech LED, a LED retrofit parts and limited fixture supplier.

“One of our sources indicated that something was going on with Global Tech LED and perhaps they were sold to a company based in India. We called the number listed on the Global Tech website, 877-748-5533 and received a recording that the number had been disconnected or is no longer in service, Goodbye.  Global Tech LED is based in Bonita Springs, Florida and offers retrofit products as well as wall-packs, high bay, canopy, roadway, and various other type luminaires.

We reached out to Gary Mart, who is listed as the CEO on the website, and asked about the rumor. His response, “nothing has been finalized how can I help you.” We asked a few follow-up questions but have not had a response.

We spoke to a former Global Tech LED rep who said he had received a letter from an attorney requesting any proof of claims.  In addition, we reached out to a former supplier who said,  “The company was in receivership and they owed a lot of people a lot of money.”