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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REAL ESTATE

Ulta announces two new store openings

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Centro Properties Group announced the recent lease execution for two Ulta stores; an 11,000-sq.-ft. store will be joining Lakes Crossing, located in Muskegon, Mich., and a 10,895-sq.-ft. store will open at Florence Square, directly across from Florence Mall in Florence, Ky.

New York City-based Centro Properties Group owns both shopping centers.

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