Mar 24 - Wal-Mart's Organics Could Shake Up Retail

Marcus Kabel writes in the AP that Wal-Mart is committing to putting more stock in organic products, ranging from produce to wild-caught seafood to organic cotton baby clothes. Wal-Mart’s aim is to target more affluent customers, but other advocates are excited about the high potential that Wal-Mart’s organic move will stimulate the organics industry in smaller retailers to keep up with competition. Either way, it sounds like a great idea.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is throwing its weight behind organic products, a move that experts say could have the same lasting effect on environmental practices that Wal-Mart has had on prices by forcing suppliers and competitors to keep up.

Putting new items on the shelf this year, from organic cotton baby clothes to ocean fish caught in ways that don't harm the environment, is part of a broader green policy launched last year to meet consumer demand, cut costs for things like energy and packaging and burnish a battered reputation.

Organic products are one lure for the more affluent shoppers Wal-Mart is trying to woo away from rivals like Target Corp., said Alice Peterson, president of Chicago-based consultancy Syrus Global.

Complete Article