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Wal-Mart sets annual meeting date

BY Staff Writer

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will hold its annual shareholders meeting on June 6.

The meeting will be at Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas campus at Fayetteville.

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Genius Brands taps licensing partners for Stan Lee’s Mighty 7 franchise

BY CSA STAFF

Genius Brands International has a roster of new licensing partners to create merchandise based on Stan Lee’s Mighty 7 (SLAM 7), the animated film trilogy created together with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment and Archie Comics.

Factory Entertainment has secured a worldwide toy license for the franchise.

Black Lantern, a highly regarded video game developer, has acquired the worldwide video game rights. Zak Designs has acquired the right to produce and distribute mealtime and on-the-go products for the U.S. and Canada, with a plan to introduce products in fall 2014.

Additional licensees for the comic-book based property include Fame Jeans, for board shorts, flip flops and headwear in the U.S. and all apparel for Canada; Greensource for apparel in the United States; Adtn International Ltd. for board shorts and sleepwear in the U.S.; and JCorp for all apparel in Canada. These manufacturers are all targeting product launch for spring 2014.

Further, Cinedigm, the brand’s exclusive home entertainment partner in the U.S., will release the first movie installment, “Stan Lee’s Mighty 7: Beginnings,” initially exclusively at Walmart and Sam’s Club in April 2014. The DVD includes an array of exclusive material featuring Stan Lee.

“Stan Lee has proven his ability to create timeless superheroes time and time again,” said Genius Brands International’s chairman and CEO Andy Heyward. “His characters and storylines are legendary and with an all-star cast bringing Stan Lee’s Mighty 7 to life, the global marketplace is excited to be aligned with anything Stan touches.”

The SLAM 7 trilogy encompasses three 90-minute films, digital comic books and an animated television series set to debut in 2015. The Hub Network holds the world premiere rights for all three movies, starting with the first film installment, Beginnings, which has multiple airings in February 2014. International distribution of the trilogy and the series outside of the U.S. is being handled by PGS Entertainment, which recently secured its first broadcast license deal with ABC Television Australia.

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Home Depot bolsters online business with new direct fulfillment center

BY CSA STAFF

The Home Depot has opened a new direct fulfillment center (DFC) in the Locust Grove suburb of Atlanta.

It is the first of three new DFCs the company will open across the U.S. in the next two years, adding more than 3 million sq. ft. and approximately 1,000 jobs to its supply chain. The new distribution centers will increase the number of orders the company can ship the day they are received, increasing the speed of delivery for HomeDepot.com orders.

The company is also enabling faster order picking and shipping through new warehouse management and material handling systems.

"This is a significant investment in our ability to say yes to customers with confidence," said Mark Holifield, SVP, supply chain. "Yes, you have access to our entire inventory to fulfill your order. Yes, you can expect a speedy delivery. And yes, you can rely on information updates about your delivery."

The DFCs will stock approximately 100,000 products, extending The Home Depot aisle beyond the 35,000 products typically available at the average physical store.

The Locust Grove DFC will initially employ approximately 125 people, and will eventually employ approximately 300. Future DFCs are scheduled to open in Perris, Calif., and Troy, Ohio.

The Home Depot has 2,263 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. In fiscal 2012, The Home Depot had sales of $74.8 billion and earnings of $4.5 billion. The company employs more than 300,000 people.

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