REAL ESTATE

O’Neill Clothing to open Santa Monica flagship

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — O’Neill Clothing, a surf, snow and youth lifestyle brand, will open a flagship in Santa Monica, Calif., on July 8.

Inspired by the oceanfront home of company founder Jack O’Neill’s, the store is designed to offer an authentic environment to illustrate the brand’s lifestyle. Window displays showcase one-of-a-kind artwork from O’Neill employees and friends, and the interior is lined with various photography from past decades and current advertising campaigns.

"We’re excited to have an opportunity to thoroughly represent the O’Neill brand in Santa Monica," said O’Neill Clothing CEO, Toby Bost. "This global retail concept is the first to be rolled out in the United States, and will showcase everything O’Neill is about in one of the best shopping locations in the country."

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STORE SPACES

Plug Power to supply GenDrive fuel cells to Kroger

BY Marianne Wilson

Latham, N.Y. — Plug Power announced that it will supply 161 GenDrive fuel cells to Kroger’s food distribution center in Compton, Calif. Kroger will use the renewable energy source to power its fleet of electric lift trucks. Because GenDrive is fueled with hydrogen, the only byproducts created through the electrochemical energy-conversion process are heat and water.

Plug Power and Kroger have developed a hydrogen fueling infrastructure, placing compact dispensers strategically throughout the facility. Lift truck operators can fuel the GenDrive units themselves in as little as sixty seconds. Once fueled, trucks resume activity on the facility floor, moving products. Productivity improvements can be expected as the electric lift truck operates at full power as long as fuel is supplied.

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OPERATIONS

U.S. Consumer confidence reaches 10-week high

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — A report released Thursday by Bloomberg said that consumer confidence reached its highest level in 10 weeks, thanks to falling gas prices and despite a 9.1% unemployment rate.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index increased to minus 43.9 for the period ended June 26, after dropping to minus 44.9 the prior week. According to the report, falling fuel costs are reducing consumer stress.

“Falling retail gasoline prices, which should free up approximately $42 billion in discretionary income, likely bolstered the outlook of consumers,” said Joseph Brusuelas, senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York.

Cheaper fuel “may provide needed support for consumer confidence at a time when sluggish demand in the labor market is clearly depressing overall sentiment,” he added.

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