OPERATIONS

Walmart to double solar projects by 2020

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – At an event with President Barack Obama, Walmart announced that it will double the number of on-site solar energy projects at its U.S. stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers by 2020. The commitment is part of Walmart’s global initiative to drive the production or procurement of 7 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy by the end of 2020.

With its new commitment, Walmart will double its solar energy projects in the U.S. and Puerto Rico during the next six years, compared to a 2013 baseline. The retailer made the announcement while hosting President Obama at a solar-powered store in Mountain View, California.

In addition, Walmart has signed on to the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Initiative, reinforcing the company’s commitment to reduce the energy intensity of its buildings by 20% by 2020, compared to a 2010 baseline. In total, Walmart estimates its 2020 commitments to scale renewables and accelerate energy efficiency globally could save the company as much as $1 billion a year in energy costs.

The Mountain View store currently derives 14.5% of its energy from solar systems built and installed by SolarCity, a local California business and one of Walmart’s largest solar vendors. According to SolarCity, its projects with Walmart alone have created an estimated 9,000 construction jobs, and SolarCity has created an additional 5,000 permanent American jobs since it initiated its first project with Walmart in 2010.

“We share the President’s commitment to a sustainable energy future and applaud his willingness to partner with business on this important issue,” said Bill Simon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart U.S. “We know from experience that investing in energy innovation allows us to save money, reduce carbon pollution, and create jobs. Every day, millions of Americans depend on us to watch every penny so that we can provide the best prices on products they love. Our customers can feel good that we’re watching out for both their wallets and their children’s future.”

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FINANCE

RadioShack reduces planned store closures

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fort Worth, Texas – RadioShack Corp. is scaling back its plans to close 1,100 stores. In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the retailer said its lenders are offering unacceptable terms for RadioShack to proceed with that many store closures. However, the company will still shutter a number of locations as part of its turnaround plan.

RadioShack’s existing credit agreement allows it to close only 200 stores per year and up to 600 over the life of the agreement (between now and 2018.). The company had been negotiating to increase that number to nearly double that number.

In a document filed with the SEC, RadioShack said that its lenders were demanding terms that it could not accept, which is why it is scaling back on its closings.

RadioShack made the following statement in its filing:

"RadioShack previously announced that it was seeking consent from its lenders under the 2018 Credit Agreement and 2018 Term Loan to pursue a program to close up to 1,100 stores. The terms on which the lenders are currently willing to provide this consent are not acceptable to the company. While the company may continue to have discussions with its lenders regarding the proposed store closure program, the company is continuing with a plan to close fewer stores and pursuing other cost reduction measures permitted under the existing terms of the 2018 Credit Agreement and 2018 Term Loan."

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FINANCE

Judge recommends Wal-Mart face shareholder suit

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin Setser has recommended that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and former Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke face a shareholder lawsuit alleging they concealed corrupt activities at Wal-Mart’s Mexican operation.

The suit, filed by a Michigan pension fund, claims Wal-Mart knew of bribery allegations involving its Wal-Mart de Mexico business in 2005 and conducted an internal investigation in 2005 and 2006, but never notified shareholders.

Setser’s recommendation is subject to a final decision by U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey, who does not have to follow it. Wal-Mart has not publicly commented on the matter.

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R.Mader says:
May-12-2014 07:28 pm

Gratuties
Stockholders cannot be too upset given the sales growth and stock appreciation since 2006. Sometimes gratuities are required to do business.

R.Mader says:
May-12-2014 07:28 pm

Stockholders cannot be too upset given the sales growth and stock appreciation since 2006. Sometimes gratuities are required to do business.

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