Wal-Mart Adds a New Facet to Its Fine Jewelry Lines: Traceability

7/15/2008

Retailer Partners with Conservation International to Launch Love, Earth Jewelry and New Sustainable Criteria

Bentonville, AR and Arlington, VAWal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) today launched Love, Earth� jewelry, its first completely traceable fine jewelry line available exclusively at Wal-Mart stores, Sam�s Club locations and on Walmart.com and Samsclub.com. Marking a shift in how affordably-priced fine jewelry is produced and sold, the new line is the result of collaboration between Wal-Mart, Conservation International (CI) and Wal-Mart�s supply chain partners. It will give customers the ability to trace the path of their Love, Earth jewelry from mine to store by simply going online.

Love, Earth is the retailer�s first step toward having all of the gold, silver and diamonds used in the jewelry sold in its Wal-Mart stores and Sam�s Club locations come from mines and manufacturers that meet Wal-Mart�s sustainability standards and criteria. The criteria address both environmental, human rights and community issues. By 2010, the retailer aims for at least 10 percent of its jewelry offerings to achieve these standards.

�Wal-Mart recognizes that our customers care about the quality of their jewelry and its potential impact on the world,� said Pam Mortensen, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for Wal-Mart. �With Love, Earth, customers are getting an affordable and beautiful piece of jewelry that also helps sustain resources and strengthen communities.�

Consumers can visit www.loveearthinfo.com to see where their Love, Earth jewelry was mined and manufactured, and learn about suppliers� environmental and social programs. The site also offers information about the standards used to select suppliers and ensure the entire process is more sustainable.

�With its considerable influence, market reach and commitment to sustainability, Wal-Mart has brought together like-minded suppliers, mining companies and conservation partners to work together to build a traceable jewelry supply chain at an impressive scale,� said Dr. Assheton Stewart Carter, Senior Director of Business Policies and Practices at Conservation International. �We hope others in the jewelry industry will follow this leadership example and thus enable consumers to make simple choices that benefit the environment and mining communities when shopping for jewelry.�

To create Love, Earth, Wal-Mart selected partners in the mining and jewelry manufacturing industries that already demonstrated environmental and social leadership, including Rio Tinto, an Anglo-Australian mining company; Newmont Mining Corporation, a global gold producer headquartered in Denver, Colorado; and Aurafin, a Florida-based jewelry manufacturer. During the next phase of the partnership, the retailer plans to expand the number of approved mining and manufacturing suppliers and introduce diamonds in the Love, Earth line.

The Wal-Mart Love, Earth collection is made from 10 karat gold and sterling silver; the Sam�s Club collection from 14 karat gold and sterling silver. Each collection includes fashion pendants, hoop earrings, bangles and fashion beads. Created with gold and silver, the Love, Earth collection is designed to symbolize the Earth�s elements and based on the precepts of recycle, reduce, and respect.

Want to trace a piece of Love, Earth jewelry from mine to market? Go to http://www.loveearthinfo.com/, find the �Trace it from Mine to Market� box and enter: SMPM88.

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About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam�s Club locations across America. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $296 million to local United States communities. To learn more, visit http://www.walmartstores.com, http://www.walmart.com or http://www.walmartfoundation.org.

Conservation International (CI) applies innovations in science, economics, policy and community participation to protect the Earth's richest regions of plant and animal diversity in the biodiversity hotspots, high-biodiversity wilderness areas and key marine ecosystems. With headquarters in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, CI works in more than 40 countries on four continents. For more information about CI, visit www.conservation.org