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Kroger invests $1.5 million in expanding electric-car charging station footprint

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — ECOtality and Kroger on Monday announced an expanded partnership that includes the installation of more than 200 level-2 (quick-charge) charging stations, and 25 DC Fast Chargers, to be installed across key markets through the EV Project. This multimillion dollar expansion will bring the total number of Blink chargers at the Kroger Family of Stores to almost 300.

"As plug-in electric and hybrid cars are becoming more popular with our customers, we are pleased to offer the convenience of electric vehicle charging stations at more of our stores in markets with the highest demand," stated Keith Dailey, Kroger spokesperson. 

"Retailers across the country are quickly realizing the benefits of installing our Blink chargers. Independent research shows that Blink card holders routinely reward these establishments with more time in their stores and repeat business," commented Ravi Brar, CEO of ECOtality. "Kroger not only recognizes this value, but continues to show its commitment to be a leader in sustainability for the food retail industry."

Details of the agreement include a $1.5 million investment by Kroger for the installations across key markets including Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles. These stations are in addition to 60 already installed in Oregon and Washington, and 14 in Texas.

 

 

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Air Wick launches national parks-inspired air fresheners

BY Jason Owen

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — In recognition of National Park Week April 20 to 28, Reckitt Benckiser’s Air Wick is launching a new line of air fresheners inspired by the essence of America’s national parks. Proceeds will help benefit the National Parks Foundation.

"Air Wick is thrilled to partner with the National Park Foundation to preserve and celebrate the purity and beauty of America’s more than 400 national parks," said Domenick Tiziano, senior brand manager for Reckitt Benckiser. "While not every consumer has visited a national park, these fragrances are a catalyst for the senses, transporting the consumer to some of the nation’s most amazing places."

The limited edition collection was crafted by fragrance experts who spend countless hours creating a harmony of fragrance notes representative of the natural elements found in these national parks and pays homage to the brand’s "The Craft of Fragrance" creative platform. The scents include:

  • Grand Canyon: Be awestruck by the breathtaking majesty of Grand Canyon National Park, and discover the subtle floral notes of delicate cactus blossoms carried in the warm summer breeze;

  • Virgin Islands: Find yourself in the idyllic paradise of Virgin Islands National Park, and uncover the delightful notes of tropical plumeria and sweet honeysuckle;

  • American Samoa: Explore the lush paradise of American Samoa National Park to experience the sweet refreshing notes of native coconut and island palms;

  • Denali: Seek renewal in the sun-drenched valleys of Denali National Park to breathe in the clean notes of pure cotton grass and fresh spring air;

  • Gulf Islands: Bask in the fragrant scents that take you to the Gulf Islands, rich in white sand beaches and seashores that evoke sun-drenched sweet notes of a summertime paradise; and

  • Hawaii: Escape to a tropical island sunset at Honokohau National Historical Park, and savor the unspoiled notes of exotic papaya and hibiscus flower.

The full range of products, available in stores now, retails from $2.99 to $5.99 and includes scented candles, freshmatic auto spray refills, scented oils and reed diffusers.


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Safeway hoping to raise as much as $220 million through Blackhawk IPO

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Blackhawk Network Holdings on Monday announced its intent to open its initial public offering of 10 million shares at an estimated offering price of $20 to $22 per share. The IPO will consist solely of shares to be offered by existing stockholders, including Safeway, and could raise as much as $220 million. 

Goldman, Sachs & Co., BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank Securities will serve as joint-bookrunning managers, with Goldman, Sachs & Co. serving as the global coordinator for the proposed offering. Barclays, BMO Capital Markets, Credit Suisse, Piper Jaffray, Raymond James and Wells Fargo Securities will serve as co-managers for the proposed offering. The offering will be made only by means of a prospectus. 

Blackhawk, a majority-owned subsidiary of Safeway, is a prepaid payment network utilizing proprietary technology to offer a portfolio of gift cards, other prepaid products and payment services in the United States and 18 other countries.

 

 

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