Wal-Mart to Double Amount of Solar Energy Use
from USA Today
For months, Wal-Mart has defied the economic slump by posting relatively healthy earnings even as other retailers got pummeled. Now, it's offering a bright spot in a wobbly renewable energy market. Wal-Mart plans announced this week that it will as much as double the size of its solar-power initiative in the next 18 months by putting rooftop solar arrays on 10 to 20 stores and distribution centers in California. More

Shopping Starts to Pop
from Forbes
On the same day that the International Monetary Fund forecast the global economy will contract by 1.3 percent in 2009−compared with its previous projection for growth of 0.5 percent − Nielsen's Economic Current report said positive trends in consumer behavior observed in February might indicate a possible bottoming out of the recession. More

FM Facility Maintenance Announces Wind Energy Partnership with BroadStar Wind Systems
from The Wall Street Journal
FM Facility Maintenance has made a major investment with innovative wind turbine producer, BroadStar Wind Systems of Dallas, in a strategic partnership to install energy efficient, building-mounted AeroCam wind turbines for major customer facilities. BroadStar is a design and concept leader in developing commercially viable wind-generated energy systems. The new program features BroadStar's patented AeroCam turbine, which uses a horizontal orientation to capture wind energy and generate power more efficiently, in a smaller footprint, than existing, comparable-sized turbines. More

Obama: Stamp Out Credit Card 'Abuses'
from CNN Money
Ramping up his campaign to crack down on credit cards, President Obama met yesterday with more than a dozen executives of card-issuing companies to press his case for new consumer protections. The White House meeting came a day after credit card legislation opposed by the financial services industry moved forward on Capitol Hill. More

Whole Foods Market Announces Alternative Energy Investment
from PR Newswire
Whole Foods Market announced a comprehensive energy commitment that more than triples the number of stores with solar panels, extending its commitment to offset 100 percent of its use of non-renewable electricity with wind energy, and investing in energy reduction opportunities while retrofitting existing stores with energy efficient lighting, equipment and mechanical components. "Whole Foods Market is thrilled to set the environmental bar even higher by pioneering the development and deployment of alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power," said Lee Matecko, Whole Foods Market Global Vice President of Construction and Store Development. More

Top Grocers Named by Consumer Reports
from Progressive Grocer
Shoppers found Wegmans and Trader Joe's supermarkets among the most satisfying chains to shop at, according to Consumer Reports' latest survey of the best national and regional grocery chains. Consumer Reports asked 32,599 respondents about their experiences at supermarkets, supercenters or warehouse clubs in the past year. In total, Consumer Reports Ratings include information from 48,831 store visits. More

Johnson Controls Swings to 2Q Loss, Eyes Building Projects
from Dow Jones via The Wall Street Journal
Johnson Controls Inc. is preparing to participate in what it believes will be $12 billion worth of building projects that will come from the Obama administration's stimulus package. The Milwaukee company, which derives the majority of its revenue by producing commercial building equipment and services, said its government ties should help it win projects connected with the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The administration wants to use federal funds to improve the country's infrastructure. More

Penney's 'Smart Fixture' Rolls Out as Next Technological Step
from The Dallas Morning News
Sometimes, companies are in the right place at the right time. When the Internet made dot-com shopping possible, J.C. Penney Co. already had a huge catalog infrastructure that gave it a head start. Now chairman and chief executive officer Myron "Mike" Ullman and chief information officer Tom Nealon say Penney is putting itself in one of those places. More

Houston Retail Construction Falling Off in 2009
from The Houston Chronicle
Retail construction in the Houston area will decline by 53 percent this year compared to 2008, Ed Wulfe said at the annual Retail Forecast Luncheon sponsored by O’Connor & Associates. Wulfe, president of Wulfe & Co., forecasted that 2.9 million square feet of retail will be built and opened this year, compared to 6.2 million last year. The 2.9 million square feet projection is his lowest in 10 years. More

Retail Groups Plan Merger to Boost Lobbying Efforts
from The Washington Post
Two of the retail industry's largest trade groups said they are planning to merge to strengthen lobbying on issues ranging from tax policy to labor laws. The National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association count some of the nation's largest chains among their members, including Wal-Mart, Lowe's and Macy's. More

Malls Build on Change to Lure Shoppers
from The Orlando Sentinel
A rebirth of sorts has started at the Florida Mall. An old Lord & Taylor that closed in 2006 has been torn down, and construction has started on a two-story, 140,000-square-foot open-air complex, with tenants to include trendy European retailer H&M. Malls around the nation are remaking themselves with such additions. They are hoping to lure shoppers by adding open-air or "lifestyle" centers featuring tenants not typically associated with malls. More

Why Pizza Giants Want Customers to Click, Not Call, for Delivery
from Advertising Age
The major pizza chains now do 20 percent to 30 percent of their business online, but they want that figure to climb a lot higher, to 50percent. Getting there will take some doing, but the journey offers lessons for other marketers also seeking to build their business online: Know your customers, make it easy and offer incentives. More