STORE SPACES

Google opens Chrome Zone pop-up in London

BY Marianne Wilson

New York –In a partnership with the U.K.-based retailer PC World, Google has opened its first-ever physical retail space, a pop-up shop in London. It will be open for three months.

The small, 285-sq.-ft. shop, called Chrome Zone, is devoted to Samsung’s ultra-portable Chrome OS-powered Chromebook computer and related accessories. The space has a high-tech look and is decked out in Google’s signature colors.

"The Chrome Zone is designed to be as open, colourful and user-friendly as possible, and there are seating areas for shoppers to enable them to try out Chromebooks in comfort,” Google said in a statement.

A second pop-up store will open a shopping center in Essex on October 7 and more pilot shops are planned around the world in the coming months, according to the London Evening Standard.

"This is a new channel for us and it’s still very, very early days. It’s something Google is going to play with and see where it leads,” said Arvind Desikan, head of consumer marketing at Google UK, said in the report.

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FINANCE

Wal-Mart to webcast annual meeting for investors

BY Staff Writer

Bentonville, Ark. –Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will webcast its annual meeting for the investment community on Wed., Oct. 12 from approximately 8:00 a.m. CDT to 3:30 p.m. CDT.

The video webcast will include slide presentations and question and answer sessions on all three operating segments — Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club, as well as Global eCommerce, capital plans and the company’s strategic direction for next fiscal year. A more detailed schedule will be released before the meeting and will be posted on the company’s website.

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News

OfficeMax launches Google Wallet

BY CSA STAFF

Naperville, Ill. –OfficeMax Inc. has launched new checkout terminals in more than 100 stores that harness Google Wallet to enable customers to pay, redeem coupons and reap the benefits of OfficeMax’s MaxPerks Rewards loyalty program, all with a tap of their mobile phones. The chain is the first national office supply retailer to accept mobile payments through Google Wallet, which is a partnership between Google, MasterCard Worldwide, Citigroup Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp. and First Data Corp.

The new contactless payment terminals, powered by MasterCard PayPass, are available in OfficeMax stores throughout the greater New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. markets. The chain is the first office supply retailer to implement the full range of Google Wallet features – payment, coupon redemption and loyalty programs – to help customers save time and money on their in-store purchases.

“OfficeMax is interested in using the very latest technology to deliver a faster, easier and personalized in-store shopping experience for our customers, and mobile payments with Google Wallet lets us do just that," said Ryan Vero, executive VP and chief merchandising officer at OfficeMax. "It’s one of many recent mobile programs we’ve rolled out to help provide customers with a truly customized and engaging shopping experience."

In 2009 and 2010, OfficeMax launched a mobile shopping app and mobile-friendly web site that allow customers to view and purchase office supplies, find a store, check weekly ads and receive personalized deals through its loyalty program. With the recent launch of the OfficeMax ImPress Mobile Print Center app, available for iPhone and Android, OfficeMax offers full-service mobile printing via cloud printing technology.

The chain also reaches customers with offers and updates through its SMS text alerts program.

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