Simon launches installation of electric vehicle charging stations
INDIANAPOLIS — Mall owner Simon Property Group announced Tuesday that it has completed its first installation of an electric vehicle charging station at one of its shopping centers.
The initial installation has been completed at Simon’s Florida Mall in Orlando and will be complete at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif., later in April.
One "Level 2" charger, which has the capability to "top off" or partially charge a customer’s electric vehicle in a 60- to 120-minute time frame, now is operational near the food court entrance at Florida Mall. One dual unit, with two Level 2 chargers, will be installed in the parking deck between Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s at Stanford Shopping Center.
According to Simon, the EV charging stations will be self-service and easy to operate. Shoppers will be able to "pull up and plug in" and leave their vehicles at the charging station while they are shopping at the mall. Charging will be free during an introductory time period and then a nominal fee will be assessed.
Production numbers from EV automakers projected approximately 1 million EVs on U.S. roads by 2015, and possibly 27 million (or 10% of all vehicles in the United States) by 2020.
"We believe that a well-developed EV charging infrastructure is going to be key to the success of EVs," said George Caraghiaur, Simon Property Group’s SVP energy and procurement. "Meeting the needs of the first-to-market drivers of electric vehicles in the communities we serve is yet another example of our commitment to sustainability."
Simon is working with two companies during this initial rollout. Car Charging installed the unit at Florida Mall, and 350Green will install the charging units at Stanford Shopping Center, the company said.
Walgreens’ March sales jump
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday reported March sales of $6.3 billion, an increase of 7.6%. Duane Reade stores, acquired in April 2010, contributed 280 basis points to the total sales increase for the month.
Total front-end sales increased 8.4% in March, including 470 basis points from Duane Reade stores. Despite the negative impact of this year’s later Easter, which falls on April 24 compared with April 4 last year, comparable-store front-end sales increased 1.6%. Customer traffic in comparable stores increased 0.8%, while basket size increased 0.8%.
Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased 3.5% in March. Calendar day shifts negatively impacted prescriptions filled in comparable stores by 90 basis points.
March pharmacy sales increased 7.3%, while comparable-pharmacy sales increased 3.7%. Comparable-pharmacy sales were impacted negatively by 230 basis points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. Pharmacy sales accounted for 66.4% of total sales for the month.
Sales in comparable stores for the month increased 3%. Duane Reade stores are not included in any comparable-store results. Walgreens will report combined comparable-store sales for March and April with its April sales results.
Sam’s Club awards programs that promote healthy living
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — The philanthropic arm of Sam’s Club has committed funds to organizations that promote healthy living.
The Sam’s Club Giving Program said it will award more than $2.8 million to prevention and awareness programs — which include YMCA of the USA, Sesame Workshop, Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the OASIS Institute — that emphasize positive lifestyle changes and help reduce such conditions as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more.
"At Sam’s Club, we can make a difference by partnering with organizations that have the resources to implement national programs on a local level," said Jill Turner-Mitchael, Sam’s Club SVP health and wellness. "These four organizations each address very different needs, and we hope that with these grants, they can make a lasting change in communities all across the country."