Selling CFLs at Wal-Mart

How might the largest US retailer reinvigorate consumer demand of compact florescent light bulbs?
Eric J. Johnson, Daniel Bartels  | Fall 2011
Print this page
In early 2009, Wal-Mart executive Andy Barron realized the firm's lighting business was facing a challenge. After achieving a goal of selling 100 million compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs by the end of 2007, sales of the energy-efficient bulbs had started to plateau, leading to a dim outlook for 2009. Barron needed to examine what barriers might be keeping consumers from adopting more of the bulbs, which offer both cost savings and environmental benefits. In this 2-part case students study the historic price points and sales of CFL bulbs, Wal-Mart's 2007 promotion of CFL lighting, and research about consumer adoption of the bulbs in order to understand how the retailer might achieve its goals. The Epilogue to the first case asks students to discuss what developments occurred after the 2009 implementation and how they impacted CFL sales.

Case ID: 110310
Supplemental Materials: Teaching Note, Teaching Slides

Buy select cases through The Case Centre,  Ivey Publishing and Harvard Business Publishing.

Contact us by e-mail at Columbia CaseWorks or 212-853-8585.