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Myers Group installing QThru mobile platform for smartphone checkout

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Myers Group plans to install the QThru mobile platform, which enables shoppers to scan items with a smartphone as they shop, in its supermarkets. The company has been testing the system for six months at its IGA Ridge Supermarket in Snoqualmie, Wash.

"We wanted to see how our customers embraced this alternative technology and it was enormously popular,” said Tyler Myers, president of the Myers Group, Clinton, Wash., which owns and operates grocery stores, hardware stores, and gas stations, as well as oversees shopping center development.

With the technology, a retailer’s products and pricing are synchronized with the QThru cloud. Customers can then download the QThru smartphone app and start shopping.

To complete the checkout process shoppers enter a previously stored passcode and scan a QR code at a checkout kiosk, which completes the transaction from their phone. QThru uses a cloud-based, fully PCI-compliant, secure storage facility to protect payment and personal information. A receipt is generated from the kiosk, which is highlighted in a different color and is reviewed by a store employee at the door.

“QThru also allows us to offer added value to our customers through exclusive announcements, events and coupons, and we plan to install it now at all of our grocery and hardware,” Myers said.

QThru also allows us to offer added value to our customers through exclusive announcements, events and coupons and we plan to install it now at all of our grocery and hardware stores."

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Yakult Light to enter market

BY CSA STAFF

TORRANCE, Calif. — Yakult U.S.A. is introducing a probiotic drink to the U.S. market.

Yakult Light, which has nearly two-thirds less sugar and one-third fewer calories than regular Yakult, contains active probiotic bacteria called Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota. The product also is made with natural sweeteners and natural flavors, and is free of preservatives, gluten and high-fructose corn syrup. Unlike regular Yakult products, Yakult Light will tout blue and white packaging, with the red Yakult logo.

Yakult Light can be found on store shelves as early as mid-July, the company said.

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June unemployment rate unchanged

BY CSA STAFF

According to the Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate held at 8.2%. Nonfarm payroll employment continued to edge up in June, with 80,000 jobs added.

Professional and business services added 47,000 jobs in June, while health care added 13,000 jobs and wholesale trade added 9,000 in June.

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little or no change.

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