BENTONVILLE, Ark. – March 30, 2007 – Wal-Mart Stores announced today that four Hawaii floral suppliers will be showcased through the upcoming weeks in conjunction with the company’s Salute to America’s Farmers program. Honorees include: Hawaiian Sunshine Nursery (Hawaii); Hanalei Orchids (Kauai); Chuns Nursery (Maui) and Leilani Nursery (Oahu).
Salute to America’s Farmers, launched last September, is a year-long campaign to spotlight Wal-Mart’s commitment to purchase from local growers for distribution to stores in their areas in support of locally grown agricultural products. Throughout the next several weeks, all four floral suppliers will be highlighted with displays at their local Wal-Mart Discount stores in Hawaii to provide visibility to the company’s commitment to Hawaii agriculture and growers around the country.
“Wal-Mart buys more United States agricultural products than any other retailer in the world and we’re proud to introduce Salute to America’s Farmers as a tribute to our country’s growers, underscoring our company-wide commitment to farmers across the United States,” said Tom Munson, director of merchandising in Hawaii for Wal-Mart.
“We understand that consumers want to purchase quality products that help support our local economy and we’re proud of our ability to offer island-grown selections to our customers across Hawaii,” said Brian Halsey, Hawaii market manager for Wal-Mart. “This commitment not only allows us to offer quality local flowers and plants, but also generate savings on distribution costs that we can pass on to our customers.”
Hanalei Orchids on Kauai has supplied our Lihue store with potted blooming orchids since it opened in 1996. “As a lifelong resident of Kauai, it’s been a great experience to grow our business with the store,” said owner David Neifert. “Back in 1996, we farmed about 800 square feet of orchids. Today, we have 45,000 square feet dedicated to more than 20 orchid varieties.”
Leilani Nursery on Oahu has supplied our Hawaii stores with bedding plants, landscape shrubs, water plants, color bowls, Easter lilies, poinsettias, palms and more since 1996. “Throughout the years, I’ve really enjoyed working closely with the Wal-Mart team of buyers here in Hawaii,” said Bill Durston, owner of Leilani Nursery. “They’ve helped me to plan out my crops better and to know what’s coming up on the horizon. Working with Wal-Mart has really made my business more efficient.”
Chuns Nursery on Maui has supplied our Kahului store with bedding plants and other colorful annuals including hanging baskets since 2002. Owners Sandy and Colin Chun took over the family business 25 years ago. They moved the family company, which was founded 50 years ago, to a new facility in Pukalani, Maui, two years ago.
Hawaiian Sunshine Nursery, Inc. on the Big Island of Hawaii has supplied our Hawaii stores with foliage, bromeliads, hanging baskets and anthuriums in volcanic rock since 1996. “Wal-Mart has certainly helped grow our business,” said David Fell, owner of Hawaiian Sunshine Nursery, Inc. “Our philosophy is to provide high quality products at competitive prices and we’re able to do that with Wal-Mart.”
Wal-Mart launched the Salute to America’s Farmer program in September and each month will showcase a local grower from selected states. Local farmers and growers in all 50 states will be spotlighted throughout the upcoming year. During each state’s showcased month, consumers can identify local produce via corresponding signage in local stores.
Wal-Mart’s relationships with U.S. suppliers extend beyond its support of local agriculture. In 2005, Wal-Mart spent $200 billion on merchandise through its relationship with 61,000 U.S. suppliers. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc spent $169,058,132 for merchandise and services with 484 suppliers in the state of Hawaii in FYE 2006. As a result of Wal-Mart’s relationship with these suppliers, Wal-Mart supports 16,633 supplier jobs in the state of Hawaii.
As of January 2007, Wal-Mart’s presence in Hawaii includes eight Discount Stores and two SAM’S Clubs. And, as of February 2007, the total number of Wal-Mart associates in Hawaii is 4,238.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, more than 127 million customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.
*supplier figures provided by Dun & Bradstreet