REAL ESTATE

Factory Card Examines HQ Options

BY CSA STAFF

Naperville, Ill., Factory Card & Party Outlet Corp. retained Grubb & Ellis Company, a provider of integrated real estate services, to explore strategic alternatives related to the February 2008 lease expiration at its existing headquarters and distribution center in Naperville. The facility provides 440,000 sq. ft. of total space including 70,000 sq. ft. of attached office space.

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Tesco Heats Up Supermarket Lines

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Tesco has reportedly introduced a new heat sensor technology in several of its stores. In an effort to increase customer satisfaction by decreasing checkout lines, the British retail giant installed heat sensors above checkout lanes. The sensors detect the number of people in line and then display the information in a panel above the lane, allowing shoppers to determine the shortest lines.

Tesco says that the technology has successfully reduced checkout wait times.

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N.J. Gas Stations Charged After Violations

BY CSA STAFF

Newark, N.J., New Jersey became the first state to take legal action in response to steeply inflated gas prices when state attorney general Peter C. Harvey alleged in court that 20 N.J. gas stations and their oil suppliers violated a state law that forbids multiple price increases in a single day.

Harvey charged that several stations hiked their prices as many as four or five times in one day as Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the oil industry. According to the report, some stations even charged credit-card users more than the receipt amounts; others secretly substituted regular gas for premium.

Many of the accused station owners said that they were unaware of the law against price increases, while others defended their actions as necessary in the face of rising wholesale prices.

New Jersey remains the only state with a law against multiple daily increases in gas prices. The New York Times reports that the law was put in place in 1938 to protect small operators from larger companies during price wars.

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