Amazon Set to Open it’s First Retail Location in NY

NEW YORK-Amazon.com is set to open its first physical retail location here in Manhattan, at 7 W. 34th St., according to reports from multiple sources, including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Responding to a request for comment from HFN, an Amazon spokesperson said the company has “made no announcements about a location in Manhattan.” Vornado Realty Trust, which owns the building, had not responded to requests for comment by HFN.

The address cited in the reports is the location of the 7 W New York showroom building and still houses some showrooms for home furnishings companies. It would be near Macy’s Herald Square location and stores of other major retailers, including J.C. Penney at the Manhattan Mall, and would be across the street from the Empire State Building.

According to the Journal’s story, the location will serve primarily as a mini-warehouse, with limited inventory for same-day delivery, product returns and exchanges, and pickups of online purchases. It will also serve as a distribution center and, later, will offer signature Amazon products such as its Kindle line of e-readers and tablets, Fire smart phones and video streaming boxes.

The location is set to open in time for the upcoming holiday shopping season, the Journal said.

The New York Times story said Amazon will take over the entire building, quoting construction and real-estate executives. The building is 12 stories high, and would also include Amazon offices and a distribution center, the Times said.-David Gill

Walmart Furthers Commitment to Supply-Chain Sustainability

BENTONVILLE, Ark.-Walmart has launched a series of initiatives geared toward making its supply chain in the United States and China more sustainable.

At an event in Beijing that included government officials, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academics, suppliers and company associates, Walmart said it will use the Sustainability Index to design more sustainable products, make its supply chain more environmentally and socially accountable and responsible, and urge merchants to make sustainability a larger part of their day-to-day operations. The Sustainability Index was developed for Walmart by The Sustainability Consortium, and includes measures of product sustainability using metrics developed by the organization, which Walmart employs on more than 100 product categories.

Among the initiatives announced at the event:

By the end of 2017, Walmart will buy 70 percent of the goods it sells in U.S. stores and U.S. Sam’s Clubs only from suppliers in the United States, China and throughout the world that use the Sustainability Index to evaluate the sustainability of their products.

Beginning in 2013, Walmart will use the Sustainability Index to influence the design of U.S. private-brand products.

Also beginning in 2013, buyers from Walmart’s global sourcing merchants will join its key buyers for Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club in using specific sustainability objectives in their annual evaluations of vendors.

The Walmart Foundation will grant $2 million to fund The Sustainability Consortium and assist in its efforts in launching the organization in China.

Mike Duke, Walmart’s president and CEO, said, “The impact of these commitments will be global and will make a difference with products sold around the globe.”

Gary Locke, U.S. ambassador to China, said, “Walmart and the Chinese government, along with local NGOs and suppliers, have worked together and independently to find new solutions and models for sustainable growth. Today’s announcement will help accelerate the good work under way to make affordable and sustainable consumer goods more accessible here in China and around the world.”

Sealy’s Stickler Named V.P. of Product Merchandising

22981 Tue, 10/25/2011 – 10:33am

TRINITY, N.C.–Stephen Stickler has been promoted to vice president of product merchandising for Sealy.
In his new post, Stickler oversees product-development activities for all of Sealy’s brands, including Sealy Posturepedic, Stearns & Foster, Embody by Sealy, Bassett and private-label lines. He has been with the mattress manufacturer for 12 years, most recently as director of national accounts.
Prior to joining Sealy, Stickler served in various management positions with Milliken and Co.

Mohawk Makes Newsweek’s “Greenest” List for Third Year in a Row

22980 Tue, 10/25/2011 – 10:26am

DALTON, Ga.–For the third straight year, Newsweek magazine has placed Mohawk Industries in its annual ranking of the 500 “greenest” U.S. companies.
Mohawk ranked 292nd in this year’s list, up from 350th in last year’s list. The company finished ninth among U.S. consumer-products companies. Mohawk released its second annual sustainability report in July, which detailed the company’s progress in implementing and achieving its aggressive environmental initiatives. The report helped earn high marks from Newsweek for disclosure, a new calculation to the magazine’s scoring system.
A company statement said Mohawk diverts more than 3 billion pounds of material from landfills each year, and is “a leading provider” of renewable flooring

Lowe’s to Close 20 Underperforming Stores

22979 Mon, 10/24/2011 – 10:33am

MOORESVILLE, N.C.—Lowe’s said it is shutting down 20 underperforming stores in 15 states.
Ten locations closed last week. The remaining 10 stores will close within about one month, following the sell-through of their inventory. The closings are taking place in California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York State, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington State and Wisconsin.

The home-improvement retailer added that it is scaling back on planned store openings down the road. It said it now expects to open 10 to 15 new stores a year in North America from 2012 forward, compared to its prior projection of about 30 new stores a year. Lowe’s still expects to open 25 new stores by the end of this year, the company said.
Robert Niblock, chairman, president and CEO, said Lowe’s has “an obligation to make tough decisions when necessary to improve profitability and strengthen our financial position. Lowe’s remains committed to making strategic investments and focusing resources in a manner that will generate the greatest shareholder value, enhance the customer shopping experience and create sustained customer loyalty over the long term.”
For the first half of this fiscal year, Lowe’s posted a 2.2 percent drop in net income, to $1.3 billion, and flat net sales of $26.7 billion.