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Verilux to launch solar charger, LED bulbs

BY Allison Cerra

WAITSFIELD, Vt. — Verilux is gearing up to launch new lighting products this spring.

Verilux’s ReadyCharge solar charger charges mobile devices via solar charge, the company said. Launching in April, the charger includes adapters for iPhone, micro USB, Samsung, Sony, Ericsson and Nokia devices, and includes a built-in LED flashlight that provides up to 24 hours of use on full charge. In addition to the solar charger, the company also is launching new LED bulbs in June that are dimmable and look like a regular incandescent bulb. The bulbs will be available in 13 classic bulb shapes and sizes, including candelabra, appliance/fan, standard style and marconi.

Verilux said the ReadyCharge solar charger and LED bulbs will be showcased at this year’s International Housewares Association trade show next month.

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Stater Bros. reports Q1

BY Allison Cerra

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Stater Bros. reported its first-quarter sales for fiscal year 2012 on Tuesday.

First-quarter sales rose 6.86% to $960.7 million, compared with the year-ago period, while same-store sales also increased 6.86% to $61.7 million. The company also reported net income for the 13-week first quarter ended Dec. 25 totaled $9 million, compared with net income of $2.8 million during the 13-week first quarter ended Dec. 26, 2010.

"In the first quarter of fiscal 2012, our ‘valued customers’ and new customers have continued to respond favorably to our marketing plan of providing them with low prices, quality and value that they experience on each of their visits to our supermarkets," Stater Bros. chairman, president and CEO Jack Brown said. "During these continuing tough economic times that has had such a negative effect on our customers’ family budgets, we remain committed to providing value so our customers get the most out of their shopping dollars as we help share their financial burden."

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Walmart Canada goes on offensive ahead of Target arrival

BY Katherine Field Boccaccio

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Walmart isn’t about to let the grass grow under its feet in Canada. The discounter plans to spend about $753 million this fiscal year to expand its store presence in Canada, before rival Target begins its push in the country.

The plans call for at least 73 projects — including new store builds, store expansions, remodels, and relocations — during the fiscal year that ends Jan. 31, 2013. The program will add 4.6 million sq. ft. of retail space to Walmart Canada’s operations, and up its store count to more than 375. The company currently has 333 stores in the country.

The move will put Walmart ahead of competitor Target, which has launched a Canadian debut that calls for 125 to 135 stores by early 2013.

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