Here comes the sun to Arizona Walmart distribution center
BUCKEYE, Ariz. — Walmart boosted its sustainable reputation Thursday with the announcement of a new solar initiative at its distribution center near Phoenix.
The retailer will outfit the DC with more than 14,000 solar panels — making it Walmart’s largest solar installation to date. The panels will cover the 1,000-sq.-ft. building and parking canopies. The panels will produce up to 30% of the center’s energy needs and generate up to 5.3 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy per year, according to Walmart.
Walmart’s solar project in Buckeye, Ariz., is the company’s second distribution center solar project in Arizona, coming just over a year after 2 MW project in Casa Grande, Ariz., that used a combination of ground mounted and solar shaded parking canopy structures.
"Environmental sustainability is an essential ingredient to us for doing business responsibly and successfully," said David Ozment, senior director of Walmart Energy. "As the world’s largest retailer, our actions have the potential to save our customers money and help substantially reduce our carbon footprint for generations to come."
Since launching its solar pilot program in May 2007, Walmart strengthened its commitment to renewable energy across the country. Currently, Walmart has more than 180 renewable energy projects in operation and development around the world. These renewable energy projects include solar rooftops, micro-wind on parking lots, biodiesel generators and fuel cells. In fact, the company recently unveiled the addition of a 1MW wind turbine at its Red Bluff distribution center in California, as well as the 100th solar installation in the state. The combined focus on renewable energy in Arizona and across the country contributes to the company’s aspirational goal to be supplied 100% by renewable energy.
Kroger boosts quarterly dividend
CINCINNATI — Kroger announced that its board of directors has raised the company’s quarterly dividend by about 30%, to 15 cents per share.
The dividend will be paid on Dec. 1 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Nov. 15. Since reinstating dividends in 2006, Kroger has increased the dividend each year and expects to continue to do so.
"This substantial dividend increase demonstrates the confidence of our Board of Directors that the Customer 1st strategy will produce strong returns for shareholders," Kroger chairman and CEO David Dillon said. "The 30% increase demonstrates our ability to continue to generate strong free cash flow and operating results."
Survey shows consumers likely to buy products touting ‘made in USA’ claim
FORT LEE, N.J. — The majority of shoppers take notice of such packaging claims as "made in the USA," and most of them are more likely to purchase a product after observing such a claim, according to new research conducted by Perception Research Services International.
While the number of survey respondents that notice "made in the USA" claims on product packaging were at similar levels as last year (83% versus 80% in the year-ago period), 76% claimed that they are more likely to purchase such a product because it "help[s] the economy," yet the products the respondents said they would prefer to purchase — if American-made — suggest that quality and safety may be the true motivating factors. These include food, medicine and personal care items, PRS said.
Breaking down demographics, shoppers that are older than 35 years are the most likely to be positively influenced by the "made in the USA" claim and the most negatively influenced by a similar claim, such as "made in China," PRS found. PRS also noted that it’s not clear if those ages 18 to 34 years "see the world differently based on their collective experiences and influences, or if they simply have not yet reached an age where they’re affected by these considerations."
"Whether it is for quality assurance, to boost the economy, or out of patriotism, buying American-made products is becoming quite fashionable among U.S. shoppers," PRS EVP Jonathan Asher said. "Particularly for products that are ingested, such as food, beverages and medicines — if you make it here, make that clear — that is, include a ‘made in the USA’ mention on your package (and possibly other marketing communications) so that shoppers are aware of that fact."
The survey was conducted in July among more than 1,400 consumers, ages 18 years and older, drawn from a nationally representative online sample in the United States.