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Wal-Mart launches solar pilot program

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores announced it has completed the first stage in its pilot program to use solar power in its retail stores.

The company has already converted the Chino, Calif., Sam’s Club, one of seven California stores the company will convert for the pilot program.

“Wal-Mart is moving forward with its commitment to conserve energy, reduce energy costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions, and this project is a step in the right direction,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, vp-energy at Wal-Mart.

Once installed, Wal-Mart said it hopes solar power systems will provide approximately 30 percent of the power to its stores.

“Installing the solar power systems will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8,000 to 10,000 metric tonnes a year,” said David Ozment, director of energy at Wal-Mart.

The company said 15 locations in Hawaii will also be included in the program.

Wal-Mart described the project as a major step toward its goal of using 100 percent renewable energy.

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Sears to cut about 200 jobs

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based retailer Sears Holdings will cut approximately 200 headquarters jobs in an attempt to bring its overhead in line with falling sales, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The retailer notified employees of the pending terminations Tuesday in a memo from interim CEO W. Bruce Johnson. The support position jobs represent about 4 percent of Sears’ 5,000 headquarters employees, Sears spokesman Chris Brathwaite told the Chicago Tribune.

The cutbacks come on the heels of the Sears plan to restructure its retail groups into independently run entities, which was announced last month.

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PPG acquires NanoProducts Corp.

BY HBSDEALER Staff

PPG Industries has acquired NanoProducts Corp., which produces nanoproduct materials and develops nanoproduct technology.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This acquisition significantly strengthens PPG‘s nanotechnology patent portfolio and positions us as a world leader in nanoengineered materials,” said James A. Trainham, PPG vp-science and technology. “With these new materials, PPG can offer its customers and development partners unique, high value solutions. PPG will also license nanotechnology solutions, particularly in areas outside its existing businesses.”

PPG’s nanotechnology solutions include thin-film, optically clear nanocomposites for scratch and mar protection and the reflection of infrared and ultraviolet light from glass.

Longmont, Colo.-based NanoProducts was founded in 1994 and became a full-scale producer of nanopowders and other products by 2001. The company formed a partnership with Cabot Microelectronics in July 2004, which included an investment of $3.75 million by Cabot. In January 2005, Koch Genesis Co. became the majority owner following a $16.4 million investment in the company.

Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass. Sales in 2007 were $11.2 billion.

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