OPERATIONS

H&R Block to offer tax services in Walmart stores

BY Staff Writer

Kansas City, Mo. — H&R Block said it will provide tax preparation services in an estimated 300 Wal-Mart locations nationwide beginning in December.

“This new partnership with the world’s largest retailer allows us to serve more customers at times and locations that fit their busy lifestyles,” said H&R Block president and CEO Bill Cobb.

H&R Block will offer its products and services at its kiosks in Wal-Mart.

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Earth911 names head of retail strategy group

BY CSA STAFF

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Earth911, an organization thatgathers, distributes and analyzes localized recycling information to assist manufacturers, organizations and consumers with product end-of-life solutions, announced that Patricia Kimball, Ph.D., has joined the company as VP retail strategy group.

“Her understanding and experience with implementing end-of-life solutions is directly relevant to Earth911’s corporate mission and goals. We’re thrilled to have Patty join our team of experts.”

Kimball’s role in the company is focused on building partnerships within the retail sector, aligning with industry leaders and organizations, such as the Sustainability Consortium, and creating new opportunities for Earth911 to work with retail clients on product stewardship and end-of-life solutions, the company reported.

A 20-year veteran in the waste business, Kimball most recently worked at Waste Management Inc. where she developed end-of-life recycling solutions for post-consumer products such as CFLs and other universal waste.

The waste industry is a second career for Kimball after working in clinical laboratory medicine. Kimball has a B.S. in Medical Technology and Ph.D. in Immunology from Arizona State University.

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Black Friday begins now

BY CSA STAFF

News spread quickly last week that Target stores would open at midnight on Black Friday, and that was the idea. The company earned a tremendous amount of media exposure by announcing its earliest ever opening time and joined the ranks of other retailers eager to accommodate the desires of millions of Americans by opening as early as possible on Black Friday.

No retailer wants to miss out on sales this season because their stores weren’t open when customers, for whatever reason, stayed up all night to shop at a competitor featuring shop prices on a product assortment with a high degree of overlap. Target EVP stores, Tina Schiel, explained the move by noting, “The holidays bring hectic schedules and tight budgets, so extending store hours and offering lots of additional ways to save makes Target a great choice for affordable, one-stop holiday shopping.”

The additional ways to save she mentioned include opening at 7 a.m. on Christmas Eve and not closing until 7 p.m. or 8 p.m., depending on the market, to accommodate procrastinators. Those who can’t wait to redeem gift cards or return merchandise on Dec. 26 will be able to do so beginning at 7 a.m.

While the Black Friday opening time and extended opening and closing times on other key days keep Target on equal footing with many of its competitors, the company is also making sure it doesn’t get outflanked on the value front by touting its price match program. These days every retailer seems to have a price match guarantee, and while the fine print varies somewhat the basic stipulation is the same in that the item has to be identical and advertised by a local competitor before the match guarantee applies.

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