Wal-Mart to track sales of eco-friendly products

NEW YORK Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:44pm EDT

Shoppers rush to get some early Christmas holiday shopping in, the day after Thanksgiving, at a Wal Mart in Fairfax, Virginia in this November 24, 2006 file photo. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said on Monday it has started tracking consumer habits, using a basket of eco-friendly products to measure environmental awareness as it aims to lure more upscale shoppers by selling items like organic food. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Shoppers rush to get some early Christmas holiday shopping in, the day after Thanksgiving, at a Wal Mart in Fairfax, Virginia in this November 24, 2006 file photo. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said on Monday it has started tracking consumer habits, using a basket of eco-friendly products to measure environmental awareness as it aims to lure more upscale shoppers by selling items like organic food.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said on Monday it has started tracking consumer habits, using a basket of eco-friendly products to measure environmental awareness as it aims to lure more upscale shoppers by selling items like organic food.

The world's biggest retailer said its Live Better Index is a barometer of customer attitudes, based on sales of compact florescent light bulbs, organic milk and baby food, extended-life paper products and laundry detergents in concentrated form or with reduced packaging.

New Hampshire is the "greenest" state when it comes to buying products on the Live Better index, Wal-Mart said, with Connecticut, Rhode Island, North Dakota and California also performing well.

Wal-Mart said its data revealed that 43 percent of Americans think they will be "extremely green" in the next five years, but that only 11 percent classify themselves as "extremely green" today.

"When we see an opportunity like that and when we get some good indication that this is something that really is an awareness challenge ... we will be much more bold in how we make (eco-friendly products) available as an option to customers," said Andy Ruben, a Wal-Mart official, on a conference call.

Wal-Mart is looking to grow revenues by courting more upscale consumers with items like organic foods and plasma televisions.

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