September 1, 2005

LightMasterPlus (Correction)

CORRECTION: ALP must retract a story about LightMasterPlus signing a ten-store deal with Wal-Mart, which intially ran on July 12, 2005. It turns out that Host America never had a contract or written agreement with Wal-Mart:

Host America placed its president and CEO, Geoffrey Ramsey, on administrative leave without pay pending the completion of an investigation. Chief Financial Officer David Murphy was appointed acting president and CEO starting yesterday, the company said. Ramsey also resigned as chairman and a member of the company's board.

The SEC suspended trading on Host America shares on July 22, when it started its ongoing formal investigation.

Always Low Prices relied on a press release from Host America, and I personally regret propagating the error.

The initial story run on ALP is uncorrected below:

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This is why Wal-Mart is the low cost supplier:

Host America Corp... announced a deal with Wal-Mart to install its fluorescent lighting system into some of the retail giant's stores.

[T]he food service and energy management company said it will start surveying 10 Wal-Mart stores in the Southwest to prepare for installation of its LightMasterPlus lighting system. Host America expects "that the next phase will involve a significant number of stores...."

At a Wal-Mart store in Texas, where the product was tested for more than six months, energy savings of 19 percent were reported.

Here's the full press release. Here's a pretty 1 page PDF summary.

Posted by Kevin at 10:31 AM

March 21, 2005

Store Renovations

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette has a nice rundown of renovations being completed to local big-boxes:

Wal-Mart Stores, the largest retailer in the world, is updating the look of two of its Fort Wayne stores. The 10-week Coldwater Crossing renovation project is just ending, and the Apple Glen makeover is scheduled to begin next week....

retailers can count on an immediate 10 percent surge in sales after such makeovers....

Wal-Mart�s changes include wood-look tile in formerly carpeted areas in the apparel, shoes and accessories departments. The company is also installing new apparel racks and counters, adding in-store Subway sandwich shops and creating an updated floor plan. Some departments have been given more space and others less, depending on the volume of sales they�ve been generating.

Wal-Mart will also paint the outside of the buildings light brown when the weather warms up. Wolf said the shade is brighter than the current gray and blue color scheme....

Note the meeting of local needs:
Wal-Mart is also tweaking its offerings. Although the retail giant attributes a large chunk of its financial success to economies of scale, it remains nimble enough to respond to the demands of individual markets.

Wolf, who formerly worked in Baltimore, remembers starting with an 8- to 12-foot ethnic hair care aisle and boosting it to a 40-foot layout before he left....

Wal-Mart�s store on Maysville Road, which sits closer to an Amish population, sells more fabric, especially blue, black and white broadcloth, than its sister stores in Fort Wayne...

That location also sells greater amounts of candy and family-oriented games than other stores its size.

Posted by Kevin at 10:48 AM