BENTONVILLE, Ark. – April 17, 2007 – To support Wal-Mart’s ongoing commitment to helping customers save money and live better, Wal-Mart announces a new initiative – the Live Better Index – an ongoing barometer of consumer attitudes and shopping behaviors. With 180 million shoppers annually and nearly 90% of American households shopping its stores, Wal-Mart is an indicator of American spending habits, preferences and attitudes.
“Wal-Mart is uniquely positioned to be a barometer for America because of its scale, store locations and affordable prices,” said Stephen Quinn, Wal-Mart chief marketing officer. “The Live Better Index allows us to keep a pulse on what’s important to our customers so we can continue to bring them unbeatable value on the products they want.”
Wal-Mart has identified five everyday products to serve as nationwide trend indicators for the launch of the Live Better Index. The first focus of this ongoing study is on products and attitudes surrounding environmental issues. The products were selected because consumers can make a conscious decision to purchase them for their environmentally friendly and cost-saving benefits versus conventional versions. These items are also frequent purchases that are available in stores across the country, thus allowing Wal-Mart to track and monitor national and regional purchasing habits over time. The products include:
1. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)
2. Organic milk
3. Concentrated/reduced-packaging liquid laundry detergents
4. Extended-life paper products
5. Organic baby food
Consumers Can Drive Change: The Live Better Index Benchmark Findings
As American attitudes about the environment evolve – 57% of Americans now expressing that they are extremely concerned about the environment – the first Live Better Index provides baseline findings about American attitudes and shopping behaviors with relation to the environment.
The Live Better Index reveals that while 43% of Americans think they will be extremely green in the next five years; only 11% of Americans classify themselves as extremely green today:
• Wal-Mart data shows New Hampshire has the highest average adoption rate of Live Better Index products at more than 20%.
Index findings also reveal that while Americans want to change overall, cost and convenience are barriers to becoming more environmentally friendly:
• Sixty-two percent of Americans said they would buy more eco-friendly products if there was not a price difference.
“Wal-Mart recognizes that environmentally friendly products don’t do much for the environment when sitting on a shelf,” said Andy Ruben, Wal-Mart vice president of corporate strategy and sustainability. “We know consumers have the power to make a difference. Our role is continuing to drive accessibility and affordability for sustainable product to consumers who may have not thought about buying ‘green’ in the past.”
Beyond price barriers, the Live Better Index shows consumers are not always aware of or knowledgeable about environmentally friendly products:
• Seventy-eight percent state they need more information to think about how to help solve environmental issues.
• Nearly one-third (30%) expressed they do not know where to get the information – identifying a unique opportunity for Wal-Mart to help customers better understand environmentally friendly products and meet their eco-friendly goals.
Americans recognize that small steps can help the environment and by doing so, they feel good and smart about their decisions:
• Sixty-eight percent completely agree that even the small act of recycling at home has an impact on the environment.
• Nearly half (47%) of Americans completely agree that they feel like a smart consumer when buying environmentally friendly products.
• Following New Hampshire, Nevada, Wyoming, Iowa and Colorado round out the top five leading states for adoption of Index products.
Wal-Mart’s pledge to sell 100 million CFL bulbs is a strong indicator of the positive changes Wal-Mart can have on its customers:
• Findings reveal that 79% of Americans are aware of CFLs.
• Wal-Mart data shows that Connecticut tops the list for CFLs with an adoption rate of more than 20%.
More details on the Live Better Index are available at www.livebetterindex.com.
About Wal-Mart’s Live Better Index and Report
The survey was conducted online by StrategyOne between March 19 and March 27, 2007 using the Harris Interactive Service Bureau. The sample of 2,543 Americans was representative of the U.S. population based on U.S. Census Bureau indicators for age, gender, marital status, presence of children in the household, ethnicity/race, income, education, and geographic region. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 at the 95 percent level of confidence.
Product adoption rates are based on Wal-Mart sales figures that represent the company’s fiscal year 2008 year-to-date ending April 13, 2007 and are inclusive of the 48 contiguous United States.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America. 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 United States communities. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmart.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.