BURLINGTON, VT — Seventh Generation, which used to refuse to sell its products through Walmart, has partnered with the retail giant to make environmentally friendly cleaning products available nationwide and educate customers about healthy product choices.
Some of Seventh Generation's non-toxic products will soon be available at more than 1,500 Walmart stores across the U.S., and additional products will be available through on Walmart.com. Best-sellers like laundry detergent, dish soap and cleaning sprays will be in stores while diapers, baby wipes and more will be online.
Almost two years ago, Seventh Generation began working with Walmart on a small scale by selling its cleaners through Walmart's Marketside concept retail stores, which are owned by Walmart but operated independently and don't carry the company's name.
At the time, Seventh Generation's executive chairman, co-founder and former CEO Jeffrey Hollender wrote about the partnership, "We are not, however, about to put Seventh Generation's products in Wal-Mart's supercenters. Far from it. Our partnership with Marketside is akin to a software product that's entering beta. It's a small first step that's very much under development. There remain many issues to explore, questions to answer, and bugs to discover."
With the coming rollout of Seventh Generation products to all Walmart stores, it appears that initial trial was successful. In a blog post, Hollander said the change was spurred by Walmart's increased focus on sustainability over the past years and the fact that by selling though Walmart, Seventh Generation's products will be in front of a vastly larger audience that it currently has.
In mid-2009, Hollender announced he would be stepping down as CEO as the company focused on how to expand its business from $150 million per year to more than $1 billion. Former Quaker Oats, Tropicana and Gatorade executive Chuck Maniscalco was picked as his replacement.
In addition to stocking Seventh Generation's products, Walmart will work with the company to promote healthy living information and education on their respective consumer-facing blogs and through social networking.
Seventh Generation, which is involved in Walmart's Sustainability Consortium, is also taking part in Walmart's Chemical Intensive Products Sustainable Network, which has developed an ingredient screening program for household and personal care products sold through Walmart.
Walmart store - CC license by Flickr user mjb84