retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• Walmart announced that it has teamed up with Worldwise, an environmentally oriented CPG company, “to bring the latest generation of environmentally responsible products to consumers nationwide. Under this partnership, Walmart will provide Worldwise with recyclable waste materials that will be turned into a variety of pet products for sale at Walmart starting in October 2010.”

The companies said that bottles are being recycled into dog beds, hangers are being turned into cat litter pans, scoops, and scratchers, bags are being converted into cat littler liners, and corrugated cardboard is being processed into cat scratchers.

• The Baltimore Sun reports that when Walmart was engaged in discussions with a Baltimore City Councilwoman about higher wages for employees at one of its area stores, one of the things it requested was that she not support a “living wage” bill proposed by another official.

According to the story, the bill “would have required city retailers that gross more than $10 million annually, or are part of a chain that does, to pay workers the city's living wage.” Councilwoman Belinda Conaway says that “Walmart representatives pledged to pay workers more than the minimum wage if she withdrew her support from Clarke's bill,” the Sun writes. Conaway says she stopped talking to Walmart after the company made the request.

Walmart is not commenting on the report.
KC's View:
It is almost as if Walmart is bipolar. On the one hand, it gets nice press with an environmental program. And then, its motives are questioned with a labor-related story.

They must be pretty much inured to this stuff in Bentonville by now. As they say in The Godfather Part II, this is the life they have chosen...