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FedEx to offer package dropoff, pickup at Walgreens

BY Michael Johnsen

FedEx Corp. and Walgreens on Wednesday announced a long-term alliance agreement that will offer convenient access to FedEx dropoff and pickup services at thousands of Walgreens locations across the United States beginning within the next several months.

“Walgreens, with its strong focus on customer care, is the perfect retailer to help us continue to meet the growing demand for convenient, secure dropoff and pickup options, and our research has shown that customers rank pharmacies as a preferred location for accessing their e-commerce shipments,” stated Raj Subramaniam, executive VP chief marketing and communications officer, FedEx Corporation.

“Working with FedEx to provide safe and secure delivery locations while making it easy for customers to ship returns and other packages through the FedEx networks is another way we are becoming America’s most loved pharmacy-led health, well-being and beauty retailer,” added Reuben Slone, Walgreens senior VP supply chain.

By bringing together Walgreens convenient network of retail locations across the country and FedEx as one of the leading enablers of the rapidly growing e-commerce economy, this new alliance will significantly expand the options available to consumers to drop off and pick up their FedEx shipments and handle multiple tasks during a single store visit. As part of the FedEx Onsite program, customers will be able to drop off pre-packaged and pre-labeled shipments at Walgreens stores and pick up packages that they direct to their neighborhood Walgreens.

After an initial, small-scale rollout this spring, Walgreens and FedEx expect to have the program available at thousands of Walgreens locations later this calendar year and chainwide at nearly 8,000 Walgreens stores by the fall of 2018.

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Report: Walmart to cut hundreds of jobs

BY Marianne Wilson

Wal-Mart Stores is reportedly planning a major round of job layoffs by the end of this month.

The retailer will eliminate positions at its headquarters and among regional personnel that support stores, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"As we've previously shared, we are always looking for ways to operate more efficiently and effectively,” Wal-Mart said in a statement to CNBC. “While we continually look at our corporate structure, we have not made any announcements."

In September, the discounter said it was eliminating about 7,000 back-office jobs, mostly in accounting and invoicing positions at its U.S. stores, as part of a program it announced earlier in the year.

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NRF wants free speech for merchants on credit card fees

BY Marianne Wilson

The National Retail Federation on Tuesday called on the U.S. Supreme Court to allow merchants to freely and accurately show customers the added costs that come with paying by credit card rather than cash.

“Retailers have no interest in surcharging their customers for using credit cards,” NRF senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan said. “That would be the opposite of our goal to bring credit card swipe fees under control. But merchants do want to be able to show customers the cost of using a credit card without running afoul of the law.”

The case isn’t about surcharging, Duncan added. Instead, it’s about “giving retailers freedom of speech when they try to give their customers a break for paying by cash.”

“Some states allow cash discounts but prohibit credit card surcharges,” he explained. “A gas station owner shouldn’t be hauled into court for saying gas is $2.90 a gallon cash and $3 credit rather than saying $3 credit and $2.90 cash.”

Justices heard arguments Tuesday in a case challenging laws in 10 states that prohibit merchants from imposing a surcharge when customers use a credit card. The laws, which were passed at the urging of the card industry, can be traps for merchants who give a cash discount, NRF said. The lawsuit before the court argues that the laws violate merchants’ free speech rights under the First Amendment and are unconstitutionally vague under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.

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