NEW YORK Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) said on Thursday that it has launched its own private label of compact fluorescent lightbulbs and is now selling the "Great Value" energy efficient bulbs in more than 3,000 stores.
"The introduction of our Great Value bulbs make CFLs a more accessible option for our shoppers as we strive to sell 100 million CFLs by the end of 2007," said Wal-Mart General Merchandise Manager Andy Barron in a statement.
The world's largest retailer said the bulbs, which use less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last longer, will save consumers money and protect the environment.
But shoppers have been slow to embrace compact fluorescent lightbulbs, which largely have an unusual, squiggly shape and cost more money up front than traditional bulbs. Advocates say the higher initial cost is offset by the bulb's longer life and instead saves shoppers money.
Wal-Mart has made more room on its store shelves to sell the bulbs. It has also worked with its suppliers, including General Electric Co (GE.N) and Royal Philips, to cut the tiny amount of mercury the bulbs contained after worries were raised that mercury would wind up in garbage dumps after shoppers discarded the bulbs.
Wal-Mart said four of its "Great Value" CFLs will sell for the cost of three regularly priced brand name CFLs.