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Environment, diversity top issues for Wal-Mart

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart this week released a report outlining its progress toward being more sustainable. The comprehensive report detailed the company’s efforts to be more environmentally conscious, improve health care for its customers and associates, and to become more diverse.

“We know, as the world’s largest retailer, that people have high expectations of Wal-Mart, and that we have unique opportunities and a responsibility to our communities, our customers and our associates. One of our biggest opportunities – for the future of our business and of the world – is to become a more sustainable company,” said Wal-Mart president and ceo Lee Scott in an introductory letter to the report.

According to Scott, Wal-Mart has taken steps to become more energy efficient with the launch of its solar power pilot project and by improving fuel efficiency on its trucks. In addition, Scott said the company has made progress in achieving its goal of a 5% production in packaging.

In terms of health care, Scott said the company is offering associates a greater variety of health plans and that more than 90% of them report having coverage. Wal-Mart has also formed the Better Health Care Together coalition, Scott said, to help spur the conversation on health care reform in America.

Scott outlined the company’s diversity initiatives, which include the launch of the “Senioras de Atendimiento” program in Brazil and the Gender Equity Model in Mexico. In addition, Scott said that Wal-Mart is voluntarily sharing the annual report it provides to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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Wesson to lead A&P wine overhaul, company buys Best Cellars

BY CSA STAFF

MONTVALE, N.J. A&P today announced that it has bought Best Cellars, a New York City-based retailer renowned for merchandising “Great Wines for Everyday” by flavor rather than by origin, and at reasonable prices. A&P said co-founder Joshua Wesson, who created and operated the Best Cellars concept in five retail locations, will join the A&P management team as senior director of beer, wine and spirits.

Reporting to Rebecca Philbert, A&P senior vp of merchandising, supply and logistics, Wesson will help lead the transformation of A&P’s freestanding and in-store beer, wine and spirits operations, incorporating key elements of Best Cellars’ innovative marketing approach. Under the terms of the transaction, the purchase price, which is not expected to be material, will be based upon the growth of A&P’s beer, wine and spirits business going forward, to be calculated and paid after four years.

With the purchase of Best Cellars, A&P recognizes the growing popularity of wine and its connection with food. “This strong presence in and around our food markets presents a tremendous opportunity to parlay the food and wine connection in a truly synergistic way – creating both value and enjoyment for our customers, and a profitable marketing proposition for A&P,” said Philbert, adding that the first example of A&P’s new prototype beer, wine and spirits concept will debut in January in Westwood, N.J. 

A&P currently operates 19 freestanding wine and liquor stores, as well as 12 in-store departments across its retail operations in the greater New York/New Jersey, Connecticut and mid-Atlantic markets.

Commenting on his new association with A&P, Wesson said, “I’m tremendously excited about the opportunities we have in merging the Best Cellars concept into A&P. By merchandising beer, wine and spirits together with food, and in a multitude of ways that both educate and entertain customers, is too delicious to pass up. I’ve always believed that the future of beverage and alcohol is at the dinner table with food. Now, we’ll have a chance to prove it.”

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Office Depot enhances color printing service

BY CSA STAFF

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. Office Depot today announced that is offering advanced color printing solutions at its retail stores nationwide. According to Office Depot, this initiative builds upon the “Xerox Certified Print Specialist” program that the company rolled out earlier this year.

Office Depot said it has updated its fleet of Xerox color copiers, multifunction devices and production grade printers, which can produce images up to 2400 dpi.

“The proper use of color is very important in order to stand out in today’s business world,” said Randy Pianin, senior vp of Office Depot’s Design, Print & Ship Depot. “By incorporating color elements into a business proposal or presentation, a company will have a much better chance of grabbing the audience’s attention and closing the deal. Office Depot’s ‘Xerox Certified Print Specialists’ are trained to help business professionals recognize and take advantage of these opportunities.”

Office Depot’s Design, Print & Ship Depot offers copy and print, large format printing, design and custom imprinting services.

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