MOUNT PLEASANT — Local manufacturer and Cree Inc. subsidiary Ruud Lighting has been named the outdoor lighting supplier for Walmart stores.
Ruud Lighting President Christopher Ruud made the announcement Monday night during a village board meeting at Mount Pleasant Village Hall, 8811 Campus Drive.
There to voice his support for a 41,000-square-foot Walmart Neighborhood Market store proposed for 5625 Washington Ave., Ruud said his company had recently been named the outdoor lighting supplier for the retailer and already has “an indoor lighting contract for parts of Walmart on the global basis.”
A couple of residents and board members said they personally didn’t want a Walmart at the busy intersection which already has several nearby grocery stores, but Ruud said he wanted to “speak up for the other side of the argument.”
Ruud Lighting’s headquarters and manufacturing plant sits at 9201 Washington Ave., about three miles from the proposed site of the Walmart store near the intersection of highways 20 and 31.
Having an example of one of the retail giant’s “new format” stores just down the street would be a boon to the manufacturer, Ruud said, and would create jobs.
“It would be very beneficial for our business to have (the store) as a showcase for LED lighting that would be manufactured right here in Racine County,” Ruud said. “We do intend to use that location as a showcase for new technologies where we can bring existing clients as well as some of Walmart’s executives themselves.”
In November Ruud Lighting announced plans for a $24.5 million expansion expected to create 469 new jobs within four years. In March Ruud said the company had already hired about 40 more people since the expansion announcement, increasing its second-shift operation.
What the new Walmart contract might mean for the manufacturer in future revenues is not yet clear. Attempts to reach a Cree spokesperson were not successful Tuesday.