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Walgreens inks deal with NRG Energy

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. In an effort to extend its environmental stewardship, Walgreens stores in the Houston area soon will feature high-powered rapid charging stations for electric vehicles for customer use, thanks to a new partnership with NRG Energy.

The initial rollout of NRG Energy’s eVgosm charging stations will include installation at 18 Walgreens locations, with the first charging station expected to be installed in February 2011. The partnership is part of the drug store chain’s sustainability efforts, Walgreens said. The eVgosm network, which also will include charging stations at public parking facilities, other retailers and work places in the Houston area, will help ensure anyone with an electric vehicle has a place to charge up within 25 miles of the Houston city center.

 

“Our neighborhood stores will be a great and convenient location for customers to recharge electric vehicles,” said Walgreens director of energy and sustainability Menno Enters. “This is another way we are providing our customers with an environmentally sustainable shopping experience, and it sets us apart as a retailer who is moving clean and green energy alternatives forward.”

 

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Dollar Tree completes purchase of Dollar Giant assets

BY Michael Johnsen

CHESAPEAKE, Va. Dollar Tree on Wednesday announced that it has completed its purchase of the assets of 86 Dollar Giant stores for approximately $52 million in cash, plus the assumption of certain liabilities.

 

This marks Dollar Tree’s first expansion of retail operations outside of the United States.

 

 

Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Dollar Giant stores offer a wide assortment of general merchandise, contemporary seasonal goods and everyday consumables, all priced at Canadian $1.25 or less.  The stores average 9,000 gross sq. ft. and operate in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

 

 

"We now have an outstanding platform for significant expansion in Canada, with an experienced team of management and associates,” stated Bob Sasser, Dollar Tree president and CEO.

 

 

Dollar Tree operates 4,009 discount variety stores across 48 states. The company is one of the few operations in the dollar channel that literally sells everything for $1 or less.

 

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Deloitte consumer spending index drops in October

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Soft housing prices drove down the Deloitte consumer spending index for the month of October, Deloitte said Wednesday.

The index, which is comprised of four components — tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices — fell to 4.63%, from an upwardly revised gain of 4.84% a month ago.

But Deloitte said that the drop is no reason to give up hope on the holiday season.

"Despite the index’s recent weakness, there are signs that consumers are starting to shake off their long-term austerity in time for the holiday season," said Alison Paul, vice chairman and retail sector leader at Deloitte. "Recognizing there is still fierce competition for consumers’ wallets this season, retailers should be ready to capture the consumer’s interest with renewed focus on their exclusive items, personalized service and targeted promotions."

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