Yesterday was a rough day for children's products at Walmart, but thankfully the corporation's food department is doing much better. In the afternoon, the world's biggest retailer announced its ambitious plans to double the sales of locally sourced produce in the US by the end of the year 2015. "Our size and scale have been big tools for change . . . There is an opportunity to lead in this area of sustainable agriculture," said CEO Mike Duke.
Walmart will focus more on working with small- and medium-sized farms and reducing farms' carbon footprint on the environment. Although meeting its lofty goals means local product makes up only nine percent of the chain's produce, nearly half of Walmart's $405 billion in annual revenue comes from food.
While I'm certain that other factors aside from altruism (like brand management and supply chain efficiency) come into play in these decisions, I'm still enthused that a corporate behemoth such as Walmart is setting an example and influencing the market for other grocers to follow. What do you think? Would you buy local produce from Walmart?
It's been just less than a year since COS, a subsidiary of H&M, opened it's first location in London. Now, like any proper retail chain, COS has opened stores in nine other European cities. Borne as a higher end H&M, COS keeps a more edited selection though store inventory is refreshed daily. It's the perfect blend between low-end instant gratification and higher-end exclusivity. As the brand grows COS are holding their own runway shows, producing their own magazine, and using more artistic imagery for ad campaigns. The Spring 2008 collection, if you ask us, is pretty darn sharp (although it doesn't exactly belong on the runway) and, particularly if you're dealing in pounds sterling, at an attractive price point. Our favorite pieces are a navy silk cotton cocktail dress with teared skirt for £79, a 3/4 length sleeve leather jacket with a slim lapel for £190, and ladies leather lace up shoes for £55. If you're going for garments to fill the gaps in your wardrobe, and feel stuck between say, H&M and A.P.C., COS is the perfect balance. Our only hope, surely to be recognized sooner or later, is that we see some brick and mortar in NYC. Our prediction is that after Topshop sets up camp and all the young people go through a serious aesthetic break down (not unlike when Uniqlo first opened its doors), COS will pop up and put us through the whole greedy experience again.