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Wal-Mart Set to Open Marketside Stores in Phoenix

BY CSA STAFF

Phoenix Wal-Mart Stores plans to open four of its “Marketside” small-scale grocery stores in the Phoenix area on Oct. 4, according to a Reuters report.

The openings come less than a year after Britain’s Tesco entered the Southwest United States with a similar concept called Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets. There are currently 78 Fresh & Easy stores in Arizona, California and Nevada.

Wal-Mart’s new Marketside units are on former drug store properties in growing suburban areas around Phoenix.

The name Wal-Mart will not be found on these new stores, an intentional move by the retailer, according to Reuters. While Wal-Mart officials remain fairly mum about plans for the convenience-sized stores, last month the company reported that the markets are a pilot test and there are no further firm plans to expand, the report said.

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Bloggers view Whole Foods, Home Depot as most sustainable retailers

BY CSA STAFF

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. Based on analysis of 40 million blog posts collected during the past six months, Whole Foods received the highest levels of volume and positive mentions regarding environmental sustainability among retail brands, according to the recently released J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Environmental Sustainability Report.

Home Depot received the second highest percentage of positive mentions following Whole Foods. Home Depot, along with Amazon and Target, fall within in the contender category. Wal-Mart, which initiated the big move in the retail space with a commitment to “go green”, generated the second-highest amount of total volume of mentions, but had lower-than-average positive sentiment, placing the brand in the emerging quadrant. However, when viewed against the total discussion of Wal-Mart in general, sustainability discussions represented just 2% of its total volume of blog discussions.

“Although Whole Foods surpassed other retail brands in terms of the volume of positive mentions it received from bloggers, each of the eight retailers included in the report received similarly high proportions of positive or neutral mentions in sustainability discussions taking place in the blogosphere,” said Janet Eden-Harris, vp of the Web Intelligence Division at J.D. Power and Associates. “The good news for retailers is that they are being recognized by consumers for their environmentally friendly actions.”

Among other major retail brands, Safeway and Costco generated more than 1% of total sustainability discussions, but had lower-than-average volume and a lower-than-average proportion of positive sentiment when compared to other brands in the industry, placing them in the challenged quadrant. No other retailer was discussed in significant volume relative to sustainability.

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Organic Trade Association names new director

BY CSA STAFF

GREENFIELD, Mass. The Organic Trade Association has appointed Christine Bushway as its new executive director.

“I am very excited to be serving as the new executive director of the Organic Trade Association and am looking forward to working hard at continuing to strengthen the integrity of organic while enhancing the business climate for those companies meeting the increasing demand for organic,” said Bushway.

Bushway has held leadership positions including agricultural trade association ceo, chief Washington lobbyist representing the egg industry, and served as spokesperson on television, radio and in print on issues ranging from nutrition to food contamination and production.

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