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Walmart focused on a more sustainable supply chain

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Speaking at an event in Beijing, Walmart president and CEO, Mike Duke, outlined Walmart’s plans to create a more sustainable global supply chain.

"Today I’m proud to announce a series of steps and commitments that will make Walmart’s supply chain, in the United States, here in China, and around the world, more sustainable," said Mike Duke, President and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. "The impact of these commitments will be global and make a difference with products sold around the globe." 

The additional initiatives announced at today’s event will build on the broader sustainability goals Walmart set at the China Sustainability Summit in 2008. The commitments outlined today include: 

• By the end of 2017, Walmart will buy 70% of the goods it sells in U.S. stores and in U.S. Sam’s Clubs only from suppliers in the United States, China and around the world who use the the retailer’s sustainability index to evaluate and share the sustainability of their products. This change will involve suppliers who produce goods in categories where the Index is available.

• Beginning in 2013, Walmart will use the sustainability index to influence the design of its U.S. private brand products.

• Walmart will change the way its key global sourcing merchants are evaluated so that sustainability becomes an even more important part of buyers’ day-to-day jobs. Beginning in 2013, these buyers will join key buyers in Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club who already have specific sustainability objectives on their annual evaluations. 

• The Walmart Foundation will grant $2 million to fund The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) and assist in its efforts in launching TSC in China. TSC is an independent research organization. Using the Walmart Foundation grant, TSC China will engage industries, universities and other experts to form a global network of leaders improving sustainability in consumer goods, and will provide tools and resources to help suppliers become more sustainable and competitive. Walmart will use the results of TSC’s independent work to refine its Sustainability Index for use in China.

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Report: Facebook brand engagement up 896%

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Facebook brand engagement has risen 896% on a year-over-year basis, according to a new study from Adobe Systems Inc., with mobile users accounting for nearly one-quarter of all engagement.

Engagement on Facebook is expected to surge in the fourth quarter, Adobe’s Digital Index for third quarter 2012 points out, as brands continue to invest in social marketing and take advantage of the latest Facebook platform changes (e.g., Timeline) to target consumers.

“Mobile and social continue to play key roles in digital marketing growth,” said David Karnstedt, SVP, media and advertising solutions, digital marketing business, Adobe. “Smart marketers are activating this data; taking advantage of opportunities such as advertising on smartphones and tablets as well as capitalizing on Facebook’s platform changes to reach customers in a more personalized way. By strategically adding these elements, marketers exponentially increase their overall ROI and can then accurately attribute value to each channel.”

Based on its findings: 

Search spend in the United States and Europe is expected to continue rising, especially in the retail segment given robust channel growth, high ROI and the upcoming holiday season. Growth rates of 15% to 20% in both the United States and Europe are projected in the fourth quarter.

Mobile traffic is anticipated to maintain steady growth with one-in-five paid search clicks originating from a tablet or smartphone. Marketers will presumably place increased emphasis on driving mobile traffic to their site by tailoring campaigns for specific mobile operating systems (iOS and Android).

Adobe’s Digital Index report is a quarterly report that analyzes user and advertiser behavior over the year. Adobe uses data collected from its Adobe AdLens and Adobe Social solutions. The company reports that its data comes from 260 billion impressions for 338 companies.

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Remodeling market index rises in Q3

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) rose to 50 in the third quarter of 2012, up from 45 in the previous quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The RMI is at its highest point since the third quarter of 2005.

The RMI component measuring current market conditions rose to 52 from 46 in the previous quarter, while the component measuring future indicators increased to 49 from 44.

An RMI above 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher (compared with the prior quarter) than report it is lower. The overall RMI averages ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future activity.

“The improvement in the RMI provides more evidence that the remodeling industry is making the orderly recovery from its low point in 2009 as we’ve been expecting,” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “Although remodeling projects over $25,000 are now showing some signs of strength, they are still lagging behind smaller property alterations and maintenance and repair jobs. The recovery of the remodeling market in general, and large projects in particular, continues to be constrained by factors such as tight credit and problematic appraisals.”

All three indicators of current market conditions improved: maintenance and repairs rose to 56 (from 50), minor additions and alterations to 51 (from 47) and major additions and alterations to 49 (from 42).

Future market indicators in every region but the Northeast rose from the previous quarter: Midwest, 50 (from 46); South, 52 (from 46); West, 52 (from 42); and Northeast, 38 (from 41).

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