From The Wall Street Journal:
Wal-Mart brands green strategy: Discount retailer to unveil its own line of energy-saving light bulbs
One of the biggest U.S. proponents of energy-saving, compact-fluorescent light bulbs will double its bet on the technology as Wal-Mart unveils its own line of the spiral-shaped bulbs under one of its in-house brands.
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer by sales, plans for its Great Value CFL bulbs to cost less than brand-name bulbs, pricing a pack of four bulbs at $7.58, or about the price of a three-pack of brand-name bulbs.
The Bentonville, Ark., retailer intends to stock its bulbs in 3,000 — or nearly three-quarters — of its U.S. stores this month.
“The introduction of our Great Value bulbs makes CFLs a more accessible option for our shoppers,” said Andy Barron, Wal-Mart’s senior vice president and general merchandise manager.
Wal-Mart has promoted CFLs for the past two years as a cornerstone of its green strategy to cut its waste and offer environmentally friendly products. Working with suppliers such as General Electric Co., the retailer pledged in November to sell 100 million CFL bulbs by the end of 2007. At last public disclosure, it had sold more than 80 million.
Andy Ruben, Wal-Mart’s vice president of strategy and sustainability, said during a Sept. 4 speech that CFLs account for 15 percent of light-bulb sales at Wal-Mart, up from 5 percent nine months ago.
North American sales of CFLs have tripled in the past five years, according to Susan Bloom, spokeswoman for Philips Lighting Co., a division of Philips Electronics NV’s North American unit.
“We’re very supportive of Wal-Mart and any decision they make to help increase penetration of this product in the marketplace,” Ms. Bloom said.
Kim Freeman, a spokeswoman for GE’s consumer and industrial division, declined to comment on Wal-Mart’s plans.