This morning on the BBC, Morrisons’ CEO discussed the company’s plan to rapidly expand the number of convenience stores (or “locals” in British parlance) across the UK. "We didn't have any convenience stores when I arrived - and, to be honest, not even a plan for them," said Mr. Philips as he outlined a new strategy to increase Morrisons’ competitiveness with major food retail rivals like Sainsbury’s and Tesco.
Philips pledged to put his business on a ‘level playing field’ with its rivals by aggressively expanding its convenience stores, planning for 300 new stores to open over the next three years.
This announcement is only the most recent in a string of retailers proposing a sharpened focus on their convenience store sectors. Sainsbury’s, a long-standing Smartcool customer, currently has 523 convenience stores and is actively pushing for growth in this area with new stores opening every month.
Tesco, the largest food retailer in the UK, is already leading this charge into reaching customers through a greater number of smaller stores, with a whopping 1,547 convenience stores in place already.
What does this rapid shift in focus from traditional, large supermarkets to smaller convenience stores mean for Smartcool, as a supplier of energy efficiency products to the food retail market?
So the iconic landmark of the BBC Television Centre is now empty – well almost, we know that some administrative staff and redevelopment project teams remain. The creative and technical juice is squeezed out.
The “doughnut” as it became affectionately known was the brainchild of the architect, Graham Dawbarn CBE (Norman & Dawbarn). He doodled an open question mark on an envelope (now held by the BBC Written Archives Centre) while thinking about the design of the building, and realised that it would be an ideal shape to use the area covered by the site.
Seems like yesterday we were all saying “Happy New Year” – by the way, when is it time for us to stop New Year salutations? Well . . . etiquette allows us to make the choice up to, but not including, the 1st February.
February – the month of choice and plans then. The month we really understand if the resolutions we made are now able to be put away for another year, the month when the longer days make us look forward and upwards. That’s the theory.
You've got yours I hope? Got mine . . . well, I had it somewhere on the 1st January . . . After all the excess of the holidays, we resolve to be better people for the new year.
Philippa Perry, psychotherapist and author, positions the ritual for us.
"The tradition of a New Year resolution helps us to focus in the days beforehand on how we are going to carry out our new behaviour, so we can plan and be less likely to forget. Because of this tradition, other people will be in the same boat as us so we will have some support and, because everyone will be asking us around this time of year what our new year's resolution will be, we have an extra incentive to stick to our resolution because we will have told other people about it and may not want to look weak in their eyes."
A few weeks ago we looked at energy efficiency issues in hotels, one of the most energy intensive building types in the world. This month, Smartcool's work improving the energy efficiency of air conditioning chillers in hotels has been featured in the CiBSE Journal.
The special supplement by the Chartered Institution for Building Services Engineers (CiBSE) covers results of several Smartcool projects with major hotel brands around the world. Here are the highlights:
Autumn is upon us, the season when our personal energy levels fall as our body prepares to conserve resources. At the same time, utility energy consumption rises as the costs increase.
As we focus on the bleak months ahead of us, so our business perspectives of assessment of costs and increased utility prices loom large in our thoughts.