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Just in time for summer — a make-your-own ice-cream bar store

BY Marianne Wilson

The world’s largest ice cream manufacturer has opened its first U.S. storefront, a pop-up in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.

Unilever is opening custom-dipping shops for its Magnum Ice Cream brand around the world, and the SoHo outpost is its first U.S. storefront. (Unilever’s other ice-cream brands include Ben & Jerry’s, Fudgsicle and Klondike.)

Magnum New York features a “dipping bar" where shoppers can create custom bars by selecting vanilla bean or chocolate ice cream bars to be hand-dipped in a choice of dark, milk or white chocolate – each made with Belgian chocolate. Shoppers can then choose three toppings from a selection of 20 ingredients including everything from rose petals and espresso sugar to chopped hazelnuts and goji berries.

The pop-up features curated décor and furnishings, including art installations of the New York City skyline made out of wooden ice cream bar sticks, and a collection of bejeweled, bespoke Magnum bars.

In addition to Manhattan, Magnum will launch 25 pop-up stores around the world, with sites in Paris, Lisbon, Shanghai, Istanbul and Jakarta.

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Amazon’s expanding footprint includes new fulfillment centers, college pickup locations

BY CSA STAFF

Amazon.com continues to expand its fulfillment center network along with its fleet of college pickup locations.

The e-tail giant will open two new fulfillment centers in New Jersey, in Florence and Carteret. The new centers will create more than 2,000 new full-time jobs in the Garden State, where Amazon already employs more than 5,500 full-time workers.

“We place our fulfillment centers close to customers to provide the fastest possible delivery times, and this expansion in New Jersey is directly tied to our increasing customer demand,” said Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s VP of North America fulfillment operations.

Amazon already operates a fulfillment center in Carteret with more than 500 full-time associates. The new Carteret fulfillment center, the second in the city, will be more than 800,000-sq.-ft.and employ more than 1,500 full-time associates. The 600,000-sq.-ft.-plus center in Florence will employ more than 500 full-time associates.

Amazon reportedly operates nearly 100 fulfillment centers across the U.S. In March 2016, the retailer announced it would open similar centers in Edgerton, Kansas and San Bernardino, California. In April, the company unveiled plans for its sixth Texas fulfillment center, which will be located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Increased customer demand and a need to keep pace with in-store pickup and home delivery options offered by brick-and-mortar competitors like Walmart are spurring Amazon to get closer to its customers.

In addition to opening new fulfillment centers, the retailer is also growing its network of physical pickup locations. Amazon has also announced an agreement with California State University, Long Beach, to open [email protected], a staffed pickup location at the university bookstore on the university campus.

[email protected] will offer an approximately 2,500-sq.-ft. location to pick up and return Amazon orders when it opens in fall 2016. The retailer currently operates similar staffed pickup locations at five other universities across the U.S. and has plans to open at least five more besides California State. These campus locations also allow Amazon to directly compete with Barnes & Noble Education.

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