Personnel Updates:


Best Buy announced it has hired Scott Durchslag, former President at Expedia Worldwide, as its President, Online and Global E-Commerce.

Family Dollar Stores, Inc. announced that it has named Jocelyn Wong to the position of Senior VP, Chief Marketing Officer.

The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jackannounced that David Stern, has joined the company as Exec VP, CFO, where he will oversee the finance function, as well as technology and corporate development.  Stern most recently served as Exec VP, Chief Administrative Officer and CFO for A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts.

RadioShack announced that Jim Gooch, CEO since May of last year, has left the company.  The company’s CFO Dorvin Lively will assume the role of acting CEO on an interim basis.

Staples is combining its U.S. retail and businesses under the leadership of Demos Parneros. Joe Doody will continue to lead Staples’ North American Contract business and will assume leadership of supply chain and customer service operations in North America.


Financial Focus:


AutoZone, Inc., reported that for the fiscal year ended August 25, 2012, sales were $8.6 billion, an increase of 6.6% from the prior year,

Costco Wholesale Corporationannounced its operating results for the 17-week fourth quarter and the 53-week fiscal year 2012 ended September 2, 2012.  Net sales for the 53-week fiscal year 2012 were $97.06 billion, an increase of 12 percent from $87.05 billion in the prior 52-week fiscal year.

Family Dollar Stores, Inc. reported record sales and earnings results for the year ended August 25, 2012. Total net sales for fiscal 2012 increased 9.2% to $9.33 billion compared with total net sales of $8.55 billion in fiscal 2011.


Industry Insight:


Everything For A Dollar Storeis closing 23 locations across the country as the discount retail chain rebrands itself.  The store closings will allow the company to rebrand and open five new locations next month with 12 more in the New Year.  The new stores will have a new format, bigger space and a bigger selection.

Family Dollar announced it would open 500 new stores next year.

Ritz Camera & Image LLC, once the largest U.S. chain of specialty camera shops, won court permission to liquidate after failing to find a buyer willing to keep the business and its remaining stores open.

Staples will close 30 stores while cutting the size of 30 more in the U.S. during this fiscal year.

West Marine has closed its two East Naples FL stores and the next week will opened a new, larger store in Naples.


Green Initiatives/Sustainability:


99 Cents Only has leased 40 new compressed natural gas-powered tractors from Ryder.  The new CNG trucks will operate exclusively in the Southern California market, making store deliveries and picking up goods from vendors. As part of its full-service lease, Ryder will provide both the CNG tractors, as well as maintenance for the vehicles. The chain said the tractors will replace its oldest diesel burning units with cleaner CNG rigs, making it one of the largest private Class-8 CNG fleets in Southern California. The company expects to reduce the carbon footprint of the fleet and its CO2 emissions by up to 25%.

Walmart announced a major new solar initiative at its distribution center near Phoenix. The retailer will outfit the DC with more than 14,000 solar panels — making it Walmart’s largest solar installation to date. The panels will cover the 1,000 sq. ft. building and parking canopies. The panels will produce up to 30% of the center’s energy needs and generate up to 5.3 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy per year, according to Walmart.

Walmart’s solar project in Buckeye, Ariz. is the company’s second distribution center solar project in Arizona, coming just over a year after 2 MW project in Casa Grande, Ariz., that used a combination of ground mounted and solar shaded parking canopy structures.  Since launching its solar pilot program in May 2007, Walmart strengthened its commitment to renewable energy across the country.

Currently, Walmart has more than 180 renewable energy projects in operation and development around the world. These renewable energy projects include solar rooftops, micro-wind on parking lots, biodiesel generators and fuel cells. In fact, the company recently unveiled the addition of a 1MW wind turbine at its Red Bluff distribution center in California, as well as the 100th solar installation in the state. The combined focus on renewable energy in Arizona and across the country contributes to the company’s aspirational goal to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy.

Walmart announced that it will add $150 million in benefits to its bottom line from sustainability initiatives such as solar and wind energy projects, fuel cell installations, and its zero waste program in fiscal year 2013.

The new goal, announced at Walmart’s annual meeting for investors, are in addition to the $231 million the company says it saved last year from waste reduction and recycling.

According to the company’s 2012 Global Responsibility Report, Walmart kept 80.9 percent of waste from its US operations out of landfills in 2011 and achieved cost savings through a combination of increased recycling revenue and decreased expenses.

The company has said it will eliminate landfill waste from US stores and Sam’s Club locations by 2025.

In China and Brazil, Walmart stores diverted 52 percent of operational waste from landfills in 2011, and its UK chain ASDA now sends zero food waste to landfills, the sustainability report says.

The company also cut its plastic shopping bag waste about 3.1 billion bags in 2011, a 35 percent reduction from a 2007 baseline, beating its goal of a 33 percent cut by 2013.

Also last year, Walmart became the second-largest onsite power generator in the US, for its Texas and California stores alone, according to rankings by the EPA. Last month, the company announced its largest solar installation to date: a 3.3 MW system atop the Buckeye distribution center near Phoenix, Ariz.

Walmart has 65,000 kW of installed solar capacity, according to a report published in September by the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Vote Solar Initiative, and is the no. 1 corporate solar user in terms of on-site capacity.

The company has more than 180 renewable energy projects in operation. These include a 90 MW wind farm in West Texas, providing 15 percent of power for more than 300 Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs, and a 1 MW wind turbine pilot project, located at its distribution center in Red Bluff, Calif.

Additionally, 26 fuel cell sites in California supply energy to local Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs.