ORLANDO, Fla. — Cooperative wholesaler Valu Merchandisers Co., Kansas City, Kan., and its member retailers increased sales of energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs 280% last year, said Ken Nemeth, president.
At the same time, sales of A-line incandescent light bulbs — the traditional design — dropped 30%, he said.
The trend is continuing into this year, although Nemeth did not reveal any recent sales figures. He spoke during the General Merchandise Marketing Conference of the Global Market Development Center, Colorado Springs, held in Orlando last week. Nemeth also is the current member chairman of GMDC. Valu Merchandisers is a subsidiary of Associated Wholesale Grocers, also in Kansas City, and its primary lighting supplier is GE Lighting, Cleveland.
“People are conscious about energy savings right now,” he told SN after the opening business session, where he spoke. “They are going to more upscale lighting options to save money in the long run, and CFLs afford them that opportunity.”
It is significant that this trend represents the values of middle America, he added. “We've got a lot of sockets out there that still need to be updated to CFLs. We operate in rural areas where those sockets are more prevalent than on the coasts, and perhaps we are experiencing that growth because of that,” Nemeth said.