Wal-Mart Aims to Sell 100 Million Energy-saving Light Bulbs in 2007

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. here yesterday launched an initiative to sell a whopping 100 million compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores by the end of next year.

According to the world's largest retailer, if it can pull this off, it could save shoppers up to $3 billion in electrical costs over the life of the bulbs. CFLs conserve as much as 75 percent more energy than traditional light bulbs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Wal-Mart said.

"We have a fundamental belief that all families should have access to affordable, sustainable goods, and compact fluorescent light bulbs are a great way for our customers to save money," noted Wal-Mart v.p. of corporate strategy and sustainability Andy Ruben in a statement. "The working families and small businesses that are our customers will not only save money when shopping with us, but also on their electric bills, all the while benefiting the environment."

Wal-Mart and Sam's Club's plan to sell 100 million CFLs includes:

--Interactive displays at 100 select Wal-Mart stores starting January 2007, to help shoppers select the CFLs that best fit their needs.

--Educational displays allowing customers to compare qualities and styles, and that demonstrate the potential savings associated with each type of CFL.

--Increased shelf space, with prominent displays in the lighting aisles, along with satellite displays in expected places around the stores.

--Marketing promotions in print publications and on Wal-Mart TV and radio.

--Associate education via Wal-Mart's internal newsletter, in addition to a competition to encourage Wal-Mart and Sam's Club associates to generate CFL sales.

"We realize this is a lofty aspiration, but if we reach our goal of selling 100 million CFLs by the end of 2007, the results will be staggering," said Ruben. "Over the life of those bulbs, $3 billion can be saved in electrical costs and 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gases can be prevented from entering our atmosphere. This change is comparable to taking 700,000 cars off the road, or powering 450,000 single-family homes. [CFLs] will change the way consumers look at energy-efficient products because not only can they benefit directly, but [they can] also feel good about it."

Wal-Mart operates Wal-Mart discount stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The company also operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom.
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