FINANCE

Jean Coutu U.S. Sales Down in May

BY CSA STAFF

Longueuil, Quebec, Drug store chain The Jean Coutu Group announced on Thursday that U.S. same-store sales were down 2.3% for the four-week period ended June 2.

Total retail sales in the United States were down 3.6% when compared with the May period of the 2006 fiscal year.

The company said the decreases were due to the Memorial Day holiday shift. Retail sales for the period were $731.8 million.

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New RadioShack programs aid blind shoppers

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON RadioShack is offering improved services for its visually impaired customers, the company announced today. The company worked with major blindness organizations including the American Foundation for the Blind, American Council of the Blind, and California Council of the Blind to develop point-of-sale and Web site functions that are user-friendly for the visually impaired, as well as other customers with disabilities.

The company expects that by the end of September of this year, every RadioShack store will have a new point-of-sale device, which is designed to protect the financial privacy of blind and visually impaired shoppers. The devices, manufactured by Ingenico, have tactile keys arranged like a standard telephone keypad and plug easily into existing point of sale payment terminals. The new units will allow RadioShack shoppers who have difficulty reading information on a touch screen to privately and independently enter their PIN, telephone number and other confidential information.

RadioShack’s said it will also design  its Web site in accordance with guidelines issued by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium. The guidelines, which do not affect the content or look and feel of a Web site, ensure that Web sites are accessible to persons with a wide range of disabilities. The guidelines are of particular benefit to blind computer users who use screen reader or magnification technology on their computers and who rely on a keyboard instead of a mouse.

 

“The program announced today is one way we can help customers who are blind or visually impaired enjoy a better shopping experience in their neighborhood RadioShack stores as well as on http://www.RadioShack.com and complements our on-going efforts to improve the shopping experience of all our customers with disabilities,” said Frank Espinoza, vp of store operations of RadioShack.

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New site to help consumers ShopGreen

BY CSA STAFF

LOS ANGELES Consumers looking for a way to compare environmentally-friendly items can do on ShopGreen, a new service from PriceGrabber.com. The new section is available at http://shopgreen.pricegrabber.com and currently offers a selection of more than 20,000 products. Initial vendors with products offered on ShopGreen include Staples, Office Depot, Hemp Clothiers and Greenculture.

  “As ‘green shopping’ emerges as a new category with thousands of products, it can be difficult for environmentally conscious consumers to navigate the space,” said Ron LaPierre, president of PriceGrabber.com. “ShopGreen provides a broad selection of green products in one cohesive section of the site, enabling consumers to make the most informed purchase decisions, at the best price.”

 

In addition to including environmentally friendly products in categories such as Home, His/Hers and Office, ShopGreen will feature a blog offering easy tips on leading a greener life and discussing ecological issues. Similar to other categories on PriceGrabber.com, ShopGreen will continue to provide users with additional resources, such as product reviews and merchant ratings and reviews, to find the right product, at the best price, from the right retailer.

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