Fujifilm restored photos damaged in Joplin floods

Fujifilm North America Corp., Valhalla, N.Y., partnered with Walmart Stores Inc. at its newly-rebuilt supercenter store in Joplin, Missouri, as it kicked-off a week-long grand opening celebration. This past spring, a Walmart store in Joplin was destroyed by a devastating tornado sweeping through the area, taking out nearly 8,000 buildings, according to some reports. During the week-long grand re-opening celebration events, Fujifilm offered to restore damaged photographs and to have new family portraits taken, free of charge.

“Fujifilm had a unique opportunity to help the people of Joplin as they rebuild their community and their lives by restoring damaged images and taking new family portraits to replace the ones that were lost in the tornado,” says Manny Almeida, vice president and general manager, Imaging and Electronic Imaging Divisions, Fujfilm North America Corp. “While we may never be able to fully replace what was lost to these families, we are hopeful that our efforts will help them to create new memories that capture the joy and strength that make the Joplin community special.”

At the new Walmart supercenter, Fujifilm provided a large photography studio and restoration center that had several areas for taking new family portraits, restoring damaged images and showcasing photo books, cards and other photo gift products. In total, Fujifilm took nearly 300 new family portraits, and restored personal photos for approximately 250 families.


CNN: Supreme Court rules for Wal-Mart in discrimination case

CNN.com reports the Supreme Court halted a massive job discrimination lawsuit against  Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, Ark., saying class-action status that could potentially involve hundreds of thousands of current and former female workers was too large.

“The high-profile case– perhaps the most closely watched of the high court’s term– is among the most important dealing with corporate versus worker rights that the justices have ever heard, and could eventually impact nearly every private employer, large and small.,” CNN.com says.

Bloomberg: Wal-Mart to reduce in-store electronics

Boosting electronics displays have contributing to a two-year U.S. sales slump, so Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is going to cut back, according to reporter Matthew Boyle, in Bloomberg Business News. The company, which is based in Bentonville, Ark., will reduce the floor space devoted to items like flat-screen televisions and give some of that space to apparel, according to Rosalind Brewer, who runs the Wal-Mart East division, the article said. The reduction is a reversal of Wal-Mart’s 2009 move to allocate 21 percent more floor space to entertainment gadgets and comes after electronics contributed to a 1.8 percent decline in sales at U.S. stores open at least a year in the fourth quarter, its seventh consecutive drop.

“It’s something Wal-Mart has needed to do for a year,” said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a New Canaan, Conn.-based consulting firm, in an interview with Bloomberg.. “You don’t need as much space in that area with products shrinking and purchases going online, and electronics has narrow profit margins. Floor space is a scarce commodity.”

At an investor conference last month, Wal-Mart’s U.S. chief Bill Simon said “we couldn’t possibly sell enough TVs,” during the holiday season to justify the space allotted to electronics. In February, Simon cited electronics as the “primary factor” for the company’s negative comparable-store sales result, according to Bloomberg

Fourth-quarter sales up at Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, Ark., reported fourth quarter net sales were $115.6 billion, an increase of 2.5 percent from last year. Net sales for the full year were $419 billion, an increase of 3.4 percent.

Walmart U.S. comparable store sales declined 1.8 percent in the 13-week period ended Jan. 28, 2011. Sam’s Club comparable sales, without fuel, increased 2.7 percent for the same period.

Walmart International net sales included a $664 million and a $4.5 billion currency exchange rate benefit for the quarter and fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2011, respectively. On a constant currency basis, Walmart International net sales were up 6.6 percent and 7.6 percent for the fourth quarter and fiscal year, respectively. The highest increases in net sales came from Brazil, Mexico, and China.

Wal-Mart’s international division will soon outnumber U.S. stores

The Washington Post reports the recent annual shareholder meeting of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, Ark., featured Bollywood-style dancers, Asian balancing acts and Brazilian martial artists representing some of the 14 foreign countries in which Wal-Mart operates. Last year, its international division topped $100 billion in sales for the first time, and this year it is expected to surpass the United States in number of stores. International sales are growing at almost nine times the rate of domestic sales for the retail giant.

Wal-Mart has nine international store formats ranging from relatively tiny Bodega Aurrera Express stores in Mexico to a cash-and-carry warehouse in India to the traditional box in Canada. It operates under 55 different banners — Acuenta in Chile, Asda in the United Kingdom and Seiyu in Japan. But all the stores strictly adhere to a core Wal-Mart principle: always low prices, the Washington Post reports.