retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• Interesting piece in the Times of London about Walmart’s environmental initiatives: “By 2025 it wants to eliminate all waste by reducing, recycling or reusing everything that comes into its 4,100 American stores. For Asda, its British operation, the target is 2010.”

However, despite all the strides made by Walmart, its critics remain steadfast in their skepticism. Eric Bull of Walmart Watch, for example, tells the Times, “Walmart’s customers drive to these huge stores to buy goods that have been shipped from China in leaky ships – it’s not a green business … I’m not saying what they are doing isn’t good, but we should be clear about exactly what Walmart does get the credit for.”

Walmart remains convinced that it has been very clear about its motivations – that a green approach to business is good for the bottom line.

Agence France Presse reports that Walmart’s plans to restructure its Chinese business and eliminate some positions in an effort to bolster profitability have been blocked – by Chinese labor unions.

China, ironically, is the only one of Walmart’s markets where it allows labor unions to operate…and it only did so under pressure from the Chinese government.

Dow Jones reports that Walmart’s former president/CEO, David Glass, has decided not to seek re-election to the company’s board of directors when his term ends this June.

Glass joined Walmart in 1976, and became president/CEO in 1988, stepping down from that role in 2000. He has been on the board since 1977.

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