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Going greener: Wal-Mart plans new solar power initiative
USA Today    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The parking lot at the Sam's Club in Palmdale, Calif., looks like others in Wal-Mart Stores' empire, except for one thing. Seventeen wind turbines spin atop the parking lot lights, producing up to 5 percent of the store's energy. The turbines, installed in March, represent the largest retail installation of its type in the U.S. and a major test of the technology, Wal-Mart says. In a nearby city, Lancaster, Calif., a Walmart gets 50 percent of its energy from a potentially revolutionary fuel-cell technology. More

Costco looks down under for growth
The Sydney Morning Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The discount retailer Costco booked $9 million in sales and memberships in the first two weeks that its maiden store in Melbourne, Australia, was open. Documents obtained by Business Day also reveal the growing financial support by Costco's American parent for its newest and smallest overseas operation. It provided $100 million in equity funding last year and another $40 million capital contribution in 2009-10. Costco Wholesale Australia, which is building its second store in Auburn, is still mired in red ink as it goes about building its national network. It posted a loss of $14.13 million for the 52 weeks to Aug. 30, 2009. More

SUPERVALU partners with World Wildlife Fund to reduce emissions
BusinessWire via MarketWatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
SUPERVALU INC., through a partnership with World Wildlife Fund, announced its plans to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases by 10 percent by the end of 2012 with a baseline year of 2007. SUPERVALU's initiative is comparable in scope to eliminating the electricity use of more than 352,000 average U.S. homes for one year. This partnership makes SUPERVALU not only the first traditional grocer, but also the first major retailer to join WWF's Climate Savers program, a reflection on the company's commitment to the environment. More

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Halloween is hot: We'll dress up at record levels
MediaPost    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Looks like America is longing for the Great Pumpkin this year: A new study from the National Retail Federation predicts that Halloween spending will jump to $5.8 billion, with the typical adult plunking down $66.28 — up $10 from last year. This year, it's not just about the little ghouls. Four of 10 adults — the most in the survey's history — plan to dress in costume, up from 33 percent last year. And 11.5 percent of those in the survey will get their pets into the spirit of the holiday. More

Blockbuster wins court's approval to draw $20 million from bankruptcy loan
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Blockbuster Inc., the movie-rental company that filed for bankruptcy today, won court permission to draw $20 million of a $125 million loan that will let it operate while it reorganizes to emphasize online rentals. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland approved the loan today at a hearing in Manhattan. Dallas-based Blockbuster said it will only spend $10 million before Sept. 27. The company said in its Chapter 11 petition that it had agreed with a group of bondholders on a plan of reorganization and secured the loan to finance operations in the meantime. Wal-Mart is expected to announce plans to almost double the number of locations to have solar, with a next-generation solar technology planned for many of them. More

Restoration Hardware plans 2011 IPO
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Restoration Hardware plans to raise as much as $300 million in an initial public offering that would allow its private equity backers to cash in on part of their investment in the U.S. furniture retailer, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs would lead the IPO, which is planned for the first half of next year, the source said. More

Behind the scenes at The Pantry
Convenience Store News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Everyone has some part of their job that they dislike doing. As part of CSNews' Day in the Life series, editors go inside a company and shadow select employees for the day. By doing this, we can share with the industry not only a lot about one company, its culture and the job responsibilities, but how each individual views his or her role — both the good and bad. Here, the subjects from this year's Day in the Life series at The Pantry weigh in on their jobs, the company, and more. More

Kohl's to roll out solar systems for Pennsylvania stores    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kohl's Department Stores is expanding its solar program into Pennsylvania, it revealed recently as it activated its 100th solar array. The company currently has solar panels at select stores and warehouses in California, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Maryland, Oregon and Colorado, as well as New Jersey, where its latest project has been completed in Mays Landing, N.J. More

Stores scramble to accommodate budget shoppers
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
The country's continued economic doldrums have stores scrambling for the once-ignored low-end customer, as people make fewer costly shopping trips to stock their pantries, and increasingly, can only afford inexpensive items in small quantities like those sold at dollar stores. Dollar stores have shown the biggest gain in shopper visits over the last year out of all the retailers that sell basic consumer goods, according to market research data. Manufacturers are racing to package more affordable versions of products common at those stores, and other budget retailers, feeling the loss of customers, are trying to duplicate their success. More

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US book sales fall for first time in 6 months
Bloomberg News via The Detroit News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Book sales in the U.S. fell for the first time in six months in July as revenue from printed titles tumbled and purchases of digital books soared. Overall revenue declined 1.3 percent to $1.5 billion in July from a year earlier, the Association of American Publishers said in an e-mailed statement. The group collects sales figures from more than 300 U.S. publishers. Revenue from adult paperback titles, the largest category, sank 10 percent to $111.1 million. Digital-book sales more than doubled to $40.8 million. More
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