BENTONVILLE, Ark., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announces it will open tomorrow in Kansas City, Mo. the
first in a series of High-Efficiency stores that will use 20 percent less
energy than a typical Supercenter. In addition to the cutting-edge
technologies already found in Wal-Mart stores, the new High-Efficiency
stores will integrate industry-leading heating, cooling and refrigeration
systems to conserve energy. High-Efficiency stores will help the retailer
move one step closer to achieving its environmental goals, which include
using less energy and producing less waste.
"Just over a year ago, our CEO Lee Scott challenged our associates to
open a store that was 25 to 30 percent more efficient by 2009," said John
Menzer, vice chairman, Wal-Mart Stores. "The Kansas City High-Efficiency
store is the first of its kind, and shows Wal-Mart is capable of operating
stores, clubs and distribution centers in a way that saves energy, lowers
utility costs, reduces emissions, and above all, provides a better shopping
experience for our customers."
In 2005, Wal-Mart opened two experimental stores in McKinney, Texas,
and Aurora, Colo., to test several different environmentally friendly
technologies, ranging from wind power to pervious pavement, from waterless
urinals to light-emitting diodes. The aim was to experiment with innovative
technologies, with the intention that they could some day be incorporated
into a store prototype. The Kansas City High-Efficiency store is the first
store to bring some of these experiments from the preliminary testing phase
to a practical trial phase. Wal-Mart plans to open the next High-Efficiency
store in Rockton, Ill., this spring.
"We are learning a tremendous amount from our experimental stores,"
said Eric Zorn, president, Wal-Mart Realty. "Wal-Mart stores are already
some of the most energy-efficient in the retail industry, but we want to
take efficiency even further. This new Supercenter is where we really get
to put what we've learned into practice, and we're excited to reach a 20
percent energy reduction so quickly."
To achieve the 20 percent energy reduction at the new Kansas City High-
Efficiency store, the company will target two main energy-consuming units:
the heating and air conditioning system (HVAC), and the refrigeration
system. With the installation of special equipment, such as a water source
heat pump and cooling towers, hot and cold water can be harnessed to drive
new levels of efficiency. Specifically, the new HVAC and more efficient
refrigeration systems are fully integrated so that 100 percent of the heat
rejected by the refrigeration system is reclaimed into the HVAC. The
reclaimed heat is then converted into usable energy. By incorporating a
loop-piping design, the advanced refrigeration system also reduces the
amount of installed copper and the total refrigerant charge required.
"For years, retailers have used air cooled equipment for air
conditioning and refrigeration," Vice President of Prototype and New Format
Design Charles Zimmerman said. "In recognizing that water has four times
the heat carrying capacity of air, we realized it would be much more
efficient as a conductor of energy in our heating, cooling and
refrigeration systems. In this High- Efficiency store, we're putting that
to the test by utilizing our on-site resources to full capacity before
applying secondary power sources."
Other energy-saving technologies in the High-Efficiency store include
the installation of ultra-efficient case fans, glass doors on medium
temperature grocery cases, RollSeal(R) quick response doors to seal air in
areas such as the Garden Center, and a top-of-the-line dehumidification
system. The store will also have a daylight harvesting system, which uses
skylights to refract daylight throughout the store and light sensors to
monitor the amount of natural light available. During periods of higher
natural daylight, the system then dims or turns off the store lights when
they aren't needed, thereby reducing energy-usage.
Like many other Wal-Mart stores opening this month, the Kansas City
Supercenter also features GE's energy-saving light-emitting diode (LED)
refrigerated case lighting. LEDs have a longer life span than fluorescent
bulbs, produce less heat and use significantly less energy than typical
grocery case lighting. In the High-Efficiency store, motion sensor-driven
LED lights have been installed in all freezer and medium-temperature
refrigerated cases. When not in use for a few seconds, the lights in these
cases automatically turn off, and quickly turn back on when a customer
approaches. This direct learning from the Aurora and McKinney experimental
stores is expected to add a 2 to 3 percent energy reduction, and will be
rolled-out in new Wal-Mart stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and
Sam's Clubs beginning this month.
"We're very excited to launch this High-Efficiency concept in Kansas
City, where our residents and local business leaders have shown that the
environment is a key priority for them," said Dan Steele, Wal-Mart store
manager. "Though most of the energy-saving technologies here are not
visible to the public, we've added new signage to show our customers how
these systems can help save money and keep our prices low."
Lighting the Way for Energy Savings in Kansas City
In addition to the focus on energy-efficient stores, Wal-Mart is
committed to selling products that sustain our resources and our
environment. As part of this store's grand opening events, Wal-Mart
announces a partnership with Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes to support the
city's "A Million Lights Campaign." With its donation of 21,000 compact
fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), Wal-Mart will aid the city's campaign to
distribute CFLs to low-income and senior citizen households in Kansas City,
Mo. The Wal-Mart gift will also help the city reach its goal to change one
million incandescent bulbs to energy-saving CFLs by October 2007. This
in-kind donation of more than $53,000 brings this store's total grand
opening donations to local charities and organizations -- such as the
Kansas City Weatherization Improvement Project, Bridging the Gap, and the
Boys Club of Greater Kansas City -- to $110,000.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Every week, more than 127 million 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 is proud to support the causes that are
important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and
last year gave more than $245 million to local United States communities.
To learn more, visit http://www.walmartfacts.com , http://www.walmart.com ,
or http://www.walmartfoundation.org .
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.