OPERATIONS

Survey: Consumers more likely to buy products with ‘made in USA’ claim

BY Allison Cerra

Fort Lee, N.J. — The majority of shoppers take notice of such packaging claims as "made in the USA," and most of them are more likely to purchase a product after breaking down demographics.

Shoppers that are older than 35 years are the most likely to be positively influenced by the "made in the USA" claim and the most negatively influenced by a similar claim, such as "made in China," PRS found. PRS also noted that it’s not clear if those ages 18 to 34 years "see the world differently based on their collective experiences and influences, or if they simply have not yet reached an age where they’re affected by these considerations."

"Whether it is for quality assurance, to boost the economy, or out of patriotism, buying American-made products is becoming quite fashionable among U.S. shoppers," PRS EVP Jonathan Asher said. "Particularly for products that are ingested, such as food, beverages and medicines — if you make it here, make that clear — that is, include a ‘made in the USA’ mention on your package (and possibly other marketing communications) so that shoppers are aware of that fact."

The survey was conducted in July among more than 1,400 consumers, ages 18 years and older, drawn from a nationally representative online sample in the United States, according to new research conducted by Perception Research Services International.

While the number of survey respondents that notice "made in the USA" claims on product packaging were at similar levels as last year (83% versus 80% in the year-ago period), 76% claimed that they are more likely to purchase such a product because it "help[s] the economy," yet the products the respondents said they would prefer to purchase — if American-made — suggest that quality and safety may be the true motivating factors. These include food, medicine and personal care items, PRS said.

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STORE SPACES

Walmart expands solar initiative in Arizona

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Thursday it has launched an expansion of its solar initiative in Arizona at its Buckeye distribution center near Phoenix.

According to the retailer, the distribution center will feature Walmart’s largest solar installation to date with over 14,000 solar panels on a 1 million-sq.-ft. building and parking canopies that will produce up to 30% of the DC’s energy needs.

The solar panels will generate up to 5.3 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy per year.

The Buckeye project is Wal-Mart’s second DC solar project in Arizona, coming approximately a year after a 2-MW project in Casa Grande, Ariz.

"Environmental sustainability is an essential ingredient to us for doing business responsibly and successfully," said David Ozment, senior director of Walmart Energy. "As the world’s largest retailer, our actions have the potential to save our customers money and help substantially reduce our carbon footprint for generations to come."

Wal-Mart has set a goal for being supplied 100% by renewable energy in the coming years.

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FINANCE

Fossil CFO to retire next March

BY Staff Writer

Richardson, Texas — Fossil Inc. said Thursday that CFO Michael Kovar will retire effective March 2013 after 13 years with the company.

Fossil said it has launched a search for Kovar’s successor.

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