Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 28, 2013 04:13 PM
Brands are—forgive the pun—warming to solar power. Retail brands, in particular, according to the latest report from the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association, which names Walmart, Costco, Kohl's, Apple and IKEA as its top five "solar champions" in the U.S., as ranked by installed capacity.
Their respective retail footprints are using stores' huge rooftop spaces to expand into solar. Walmart, as the biggest U.S. retailer, leads the pack in the race for commercial solar power, "converting more sun into energy than 38 U.S. states," as Bloomberg puts it. The retail giant has partnered with SolarCity to install solar power at 60 stores in California, part of a company-wide goal to equip 130 stores, or 75% of its stores in the state, with the renewable form of energy.
Apple, which recently hired former EPA head Lisa Jackson as its first VP of environment initiatives to spur its goal of 100 percent renewable energy, is building utility-scale solar projects next to its data centers in partnership with SunPower. The sustainability moves advance the companies' environmental, and financial, goals—naturally.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 16, 2013 06:29 PM
Amazon has begun an ‘under-the-tent’ arrangement with Procter & Gamble using its employees to package, label and ship Bounty paper towels, Pampers diapers and other products from inside P&G warehouses.
Enjoying a unique relationship with its major suppliers, the e-commerce behemoth is greasing the skids as the next wave of internet sales, everyday consumer goods, explodes. The e-tailer reportedly is working out similar cost-cutting deals with other CPG suppliers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Amazon’s program, Vendor Flex, leverages its supplier’s warehouses and distribution networks, reducing costs of moving, time and storage and giving them an edge over competitors like Walmart, Costco and Target. Household staples, considered too bulky or cheap to justify shipping costs, comprise just 2 percent of such goods purchased online—but that percent was valued at $16 billion in 2012, according to Nielsen, and will grow by 25 percent a year to $32 billion in 2015, which is why retailers like Amazon and Target are hotly pursuing the segment.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 20, 2013 06:13 PM
Heineken Aims for Second Screens
According to Heineken, 70 percent of fans watching the UEFA Champions League soccer matches are doing so at home with a tablet, and 77 percent of tablet owners have their devices nearby during games, so why not take advantage of that?
Heineken is looking to spur more tablet usage during European matches by offering up big-name soccer stars to chat with during games. Dutch legend Ruud Gullit will be the first to take part in the #sharethesofa campaign with more headliners to follow.
According to Mashable, those who tweet #sharethesofa will also be elligible for prizes, including earning the company of two soccer stars who will join them on their own couch to watch a match.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 21, 2013 12:54 PM
Walmart, Gap and other US retailers met yesterday in Chicago to implement their controversial, independent Bangladesh factory safety plan that was created after multiple factory accidents, including the Rana Plaza collapse in April that claimed more than 1,100 workers, spurred global outrage.
20 US retailers including Macy's and Target, as well as new signatories Costco, Intradeco Apparel and Jordache Enterprises make up the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. The group, which formed a separate safety plan from the European retailer-dominated Accord on Bangladesh Building and Fire Safety, has pledged to have safety standards in place by Sept. 10, and has reportedly already dispursed $45 million in funds in part to hire safety inspection staff in Bangladesh.
The five-year, voluntary plan agrees to train workers and inspect factories while requiring Bangladesh factory owners to pay for safety renovations, though the Alliance will provide $100 million in low-cost loans.
The plan has come under fire due to its non-binding nature—an attribute that was top-of-mind in the European-based agreement, which was signed by over 70 global retailers including H&M, Inditex and Primark.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 9, 2013 05:45 PM
Walmart Doubling Efforts on Alcohol Sales
Wal-Mart told 500 adult-beverage industry reps last September that the company wanted to double its alcohol sales by 2016. Since then, it has put extra effort into its beer sales, doubling its amount of alcohol buyers to a dozen and offering up discounts on a wide range of brands, Bloomberg reports.
“We’re seeing dramatic increases in sales,” Steve Bailey, vice president of chain accounts for Columbia Distributing, which supplies beer to about 90 Walmart stores in Washington and Oregon, told Bloomberg. That has caused Columbia—and likely plenty of other distributors—to pay closer attention to Walmart.
The retailer has made their beer displays more prominent, even selling brews in some of its gardening centers, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. That doesn't bode well for competing retailers like Costco, BJ's and ever small-town convenience store across the US.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 9, 2013 09:31 AM
Walmart greatly expands beer sales.
BlackBerry open to going private, Reuters says.
Costco hailed as "cheapest, happiest company in the world."
Apple and Samsung battle into the next round on patents.
Audi expects to top US sales goal this year.
Best Buy works to get its website up to snuff.
Cadbury uses creative defense in India tax case.
Coca-Cola plots returning Mello Yello citrus soda to national status.
Danone buys fun yogurt brand to add to US expansion.
Elizabeth Arden says orders have evaporated for celebrity perfumes.
Facebook is cautious about video advertising.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 11, 2013 12:26 PM
Walmart has played so much hardball over the decades that it could have its own Major League Baseball franchise. So it's little surprise that the chain announced today that it will scrap plans for three stores in Washington, D.C., after the city council passed a bill on Wednesday that would force Walmart to pay 50 percent higher starting wages than the retailer pays elsewhere in the US.
Arkansas-based Walmart, which has been touting "The Real Walmart" as it seeks to expand in US cities—was planning to build six stores in the nation's capital and employ up to 1,800 people as part of its recent push into the very last frontier for the chain: central parts of major northern and eastern cities also including Chicago (where the retailer has been rolling out smaller stores) and New York, where it's been facing fierce local opposition.
But a chain representative promised in an op-ed published online by the Washington Post that the retailer would abandon plans for three of those stores if a "living wage" bill gained passage by the D.C. council on Wednesday. That passage also might endanger three more stores already under construction in the city.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 10, 2013 09:20 AM
YouTube launches paid channels after rumors swirled earlier this week about subscription partners.
ESPN may subsidize wireless-data plans.
JPMorgan Chase is sued by California over credit-card cases.
AT&T returns to chatty kids for Mother's Day ads.
Amazon is reportedly developing a smartphone with 3-D screen.
Caterpillar and union suspend talks.
Chrysler faces uphill climb for Jeep in China.
Costco now offers travel packages to members.
Dell may see rival bid by Carl Icahn group.
Delta sees new terminal as symbol of air-travel makeover.Continue reading...