CafePress posts its first Q4 sales growth in four years, and Shutterfly hires an executive.

Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, will outfit the rooftops of 50 fulfillment centers around the world with solar panels within the next three years, including at least 15 in the U.S. by the end of 2017. It’s a move designed to reduce the centers’ needs for traditional electricity. Amazon says the solar panels could provide up to 80% of the power needed by each facility.

Elsewhere in e-commerce:

  • Evine Live Inc. (No. 115) recently hired Rob Ellerstein as vice president, general merchandise manager, of consumer electronics.  Ellerstein joins Evine from QVC Group (No. 10), where he was most recently director of merchandising, electronics. Previous to that, Ellerstein worked at HSN Inc. from 1999-2006, and at Macy’s Inc. (No. 6) for seven years. In addition, Evine appointed Lee Goehring to vice president, web merchandising and business development. Goehring most recently held the role of vice president of merchandising for the home and consumer electronics categories. Evine, formerly known as Shop HQ, posted web sales of $318.6 million in 2015.
  • A modest gain on the web for bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. (No. 54) wasn’t enough to stave off big sales declines companywide in the most recent quarter. For the fiscal third quarter ended Jan. 28, Barnes & Noble reported a 2.2% increase in online sales, which it attributed to website improvements and increased promotional activity. It did not disclose e-commerce sales in dollars. Total sales for the period were $1.3 billion, an 8.0% decline compared with last year. The retailer says nearly one-third of the companywide sales declines in the quarter were due to lower traffic, a decline in sales of coloring books and artist supplies, and the lack of a blockbuster musical hit like last-year’s best-selling album by Adele. For the first nine months of the year, total sales declined 6.5% to $3.073 billion from $3.179 billion. Online sales increased 3.8% year over year.
  • Personalized photo products retailer Shutterfly Inc. (No. 46) hired Michele Anderson to be its new senior vice president of retail. Anderson had spent the past seven years at technology advisory firm Activate as its chief operating officer and managing director.
  • All things considered, the holidays were pretty good to customized products e-retailer CafePress Inc. (No. 249). The merchant posted a 7.5% year-over-year increase in sales in the fourth quarter of 2016—its first year-over-year increase since the fourth quarter of 2013. Holiday demand was strong, though the retailer may have been “a bit too aggressive” in its discounting during the period ended Dec. 31, CEO Fred Durham says. Its average order value was $32.42 in Q4, a decrease of 12.1% compared with Q4 of 2015, CafePress reported. Q4 sales increases were not enough to offset big declines earlier in the year, and the retailer says net sales totaled $102.2 million in 2016—down 4.6% from $107.1 million in 2015.