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Sam’s Club breaks new ground in wind power

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark. Sam’s Club in Palmdale, Calif., is testing wind power, with 17 wind turbines mounted on lights in its parking lot. According to Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club is the first store in the nation to install a significant number of micro wind turbines to support its energy needs.

“We are thrilled to be the first to demonstrate micro wind turbines in a retail environment and pleased this project complements other wind and solar installations in California,” said Paul Stone, senior VP, West Division, Sam’s Club. “This project required a lot of collaboration and we appreciate the City of Palmdale for their efforts throughout the process and construction.”

The Palmdale location was selected for the test project among all of the Wal-Mart-owned properties in the nation because of the great wind resources in the area.  The micro wind turbines are supplied by DeerPath Energy, a renewable energy company from Marblehead, Mass., and are estimated to provide 76,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy annually — enough to power more than six average American homes for a year.

The completion of this project, which became fully operational on Thursday, adds to Wal-Mart’s other renewable energy projects in the state, including solar installations at 28 Walmart and Sam’s Club sites and fuel cell installations at two Walmart stores in the state.

“We are optimistic that this exciting micro wind turbine project at the Palmdale Sam’s Club and another pilot location will be successful and that the micro turbines will be installed, operated and maintained while helping to lower our operating costs,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, VP energy at Walmart. “With each new project we learn more that can be applied to help us achieve our goal to be supplied by renewable energy.”

In early May, the retailer will complete a similar micro wind turbine project at a new Walmart store in Worcester, Mass. Moving forward, it plans to consider other locations for micro wind projects as well.

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Weis Markets increases 2010 budget

BY CSA STAFF

SUNBURY, Pa. Weis Markets vice chairman Jonathan Weis said his company increased its 2010 capital expenditure budget to $102.8 million, a 27% increase compared with 2009.

Weis said the majority of this budget would be invested in the company’s store base.  The company plans 27 projects in 2010 including two to three new stores, two expansions, 17 major remodels and six remodels.

 

“For our company and our organization, 2009 was a year of growth and considerable progress,” said Weis.  “At a time of deep recession and the highest sustained unemployment rate in our country since the Great Depression, we had a strong year.”

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OfficeMax Q1 sales up slightly

BY CSA STAFF

NAPERVILLE, Ill. OfficeMax reported that total sales for its first quarter ended March 7 were $1.9 billion, an increase of 0.3% from the first quarter of 2009. For the first quarter of 2010, OfficeMax reported net income available to OfficeMax common shareholders of $24.8 million, or 29 cents per diluted share.

OfficeMax retail segment sales decreased 3.% to $954.3 million in the first quarter of 2010 compared with the first quarter of 2009, reflecting a same-store sales decrease of 2.5% and fewer stores.  Retail same-store sales for the first quarter of 2010 declined primarily due to a continued weak market environment; however, the retail segment same-store sales decrease improved from the 6.7% decrease in the fourth quarter of 2009 reflecting favorable sales trends in the United States and Mexico, according to the company.

OfficeMax contract segment sales increased 3.8% (a decrease of 3.5% in local currency) compared with the prior year period to $963.0 million in the first quarter of 2010, reflecting a U.S. contract operations sales decline of 3.9%, which was more than offset by an international contract operations sales increase of 23.8% in United States dollars (a sales decrease of 2.6% in local currencies).

Sam Duncan, Chairman and CEO of OfficeMax, said, “We are pleased with the start to 2010 and the solid performance our team delivered in the quarter.  We believe our results reflect some of the stabilization we are seeing in economic trends, but primarily are indicative of the traction we are gaining in our growth and profitability initiatives.”

OfficeMax anticipates that for the second quarter, total company sales will be slightly higher than the prior year second quarter primarily due to the favorable impact of foreign currency translation, and adjusted operating income margin will be higher than the prior year second quarter, but less than the first quarter 2010 year-over-year improvement.  For the full year 2010, OfficeMax anticipates that total company sales will be slightly higher than in 2009 primarily due to the favorable impact of foreign currency translation, and adjusted operating income margin will be higher than 2009, but less than the first quarter 2010 year-over-year improvement.

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