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Originally published Friday, June 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Retail Report

PCC Natural Markets cuts the cash-register tape

New receipts at PCC Natural Markets have some customers doing a double-take. The receipts are printed on both sides, thanks to new machines...

Seattle Times business reporters

New receipts at PCC Natural Markets have some customers doing a double-take.

The receipts are printed on both sides, thanks to new machines PCC installed in the past couple of weeks.

They will cut the grocery chain's use of receipt paper 25 to 35 percent, which amounts to hundreds of miles in receipt tape each year, PCC officials said. The company's 40-some cash registers now use more than 1,200 miles of receipt tape annually.

"I noticed it a couple of weeks ago and thought, good for my store," said Barbara Broderick, a customer at PCC's View Ridge store, which began testing the new receipts a couple of months ago. "I wondered how much money it's saving them."

PCC paid more for the machines than it would for ordinary receipt printers, although it did not disclose how much.

The technology has been available since 2006 from NCR, which declined to give a price range or say how many of the machines are in use.

Special receipt paper for the printers costs about 30 percent more than regular paper, because of the thermal printing technology used. Only receipts longer than 5 inches are split in half.

The reaction from customers has been positive, "except one person who said you shouldn't have any tape at all," said PCC Chief Financial Officer Randy Lee.

The company is taking other steps toward being a more ecological operation, Lee said, including replacing the lighting in some freezer cases with LED bulbs to reduce the heat output of the lamps. If they work well in those freezers, PCC will switch to LEDs in all its stores.

PCC also plans to have a water-tower system atop the store it expects to open in Edmonds in August. The tower would collect rainwater, then reroute it for landscaping and flushing toilets.

"It will be kind of fun if people can see it and say, 'What the heck is that?' " Lee said of the water tower.

A couple of months ago, PCC gutted the old Albertsons store that its new store will inhabit in Edmonds. Rather than sending everything to a landfill, it sorted the material into Dumpsters and gave it to recycling agents.

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Two trucks of clean insulation were delivered to United Way in Chehalis, which will use it to repair and replace homes and businesses damaged by last year's flooding.

"All these things tie into the trust relationship we have with our customer base," Lee said. "It's partly what they expect from us."

— Melissa Allison

Tidbits

BlueStar Management of Shoreline has begun construction on Fauntleroy Place, a mixed-use development in West Seattle. Scheduled for completion in February 2010, the development will include a 46,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market, a 15,000-square-foot Hancock Fabrics store and 186 apartments. — Amy Martinez

Washington's cherry crop will be about 31 percent below 2007's harvest, according to the State Fruit Commission. The nonprofit expects about 10 million 20-pound boxes of cherries this year, still a strong yield by historic standards. — MA

Sales of riesling wine have grown 54 percent over the past three years, and it is the fastest-growing white varietal, according to ACNielsen. Only the red varietal pinot noir is growing faster. Columbia Valley Riesling from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is the country's best-selling riesling. — MA

Heather Jaynes has bought the only espresso cart in downtown Winslow on Bainbridge Island. The former owner of Bainbridge Vacation Rentals renamed the cart The Little Café and said she will sell ice cream and Belgian waffles this summer. — MA

Retail Report appears Fridays. Melissa Allison covers the food and beverage industry. She can be reached at 206-464-3312 or mallison@seattletimes.com. Amy Martinez covers goods, services and online retail. She can be reached at 206-464-2923 or amartinez@seattletimes.com.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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About Retail Report
Retail Report is a look at the trends, issues and people who makeup the dynamic and versatile retail sector throughout the Puget Sound region. Every Friday with Melissa Allison and Amy Martinez. Send tips or comments to mallison@seattletimes.com or amartinez@seattletimes.com.

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