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Blockbuster Ups Prices for DVD Service

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas Blockbuster Inc., which has been losing money on online movie orders, is boosting prices of its DVD-by-mail service for new customers and some existing ones by up to 40%.

The movie-rental giant began notifying customers of the increases—and some price cuts—early Thursday. The hikes of $2 to $10 will take effect next week and caused an immediate buzz on Internet boards.

Blockbuster declined to say how many of its 3.1 million online subscribers are facing rate increases.

Blockbuster lost half a million online customers in the July-September quarter. CEO James W. Keyes said last month that many of those subscribers were costing his company more than they were worth.

The company spent heavily to advertise the online service, and it lost money when customers took their movies back to stores for free exchanges.

While Blockbuster was losing online customers over the summer—and said it would stop reporting the number of subscribers—Netflix cut prices and added 286,000 subscribers, pushing it over the 7-million mark.

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Wal-Mart gives 3 million meals to food bank

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart announced Tuesday that it is donating $1 million worth of meals to America’s Second Harvest to help with a nationwide food and grocery shortage in food banks.

Wal-Mart said it is donating 3 million meals in response to a call to action by its philanthropic partner America’s Second Harvest-The Nation’s Food Bank Network. According to the company, it is the first corporation in the country to respond to the request and will supply more than 25% of the meals needed to prevent the shortage.

“The hunger crisis our nation’s food banks are currently facing is something that all of us at Wal-Mart care about and are taking very seriously,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “We are pleased to be in a position to respond to the call to action from America’s Second Harvest, and hope that this donation will help them to feed those who are hungry this holiday season.”

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Aldi to open DC in Florida

BY CSA STAFF

LAKELAND Aldi is looking to build a distribution center and regional headquarters in Haines City, Fla. in preparation for its Florida debut next year, according to reports.

The new 500,000-square-foot DC and HQ would reportedly bring about 100 jobs to the city and support the companies planned 20 to 25 stores in the Central Florida region.

Aldi currently operates in 26 states with more than 850 locations.

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