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Report: German Chain Sets Sights on Florida

BY CSA STAFF

Lakeland, Fla. In preparation for its Florida debut next year, German discount supermarket chain Aldi wants to establish a regional headquarters and warehouse in Haines City, Fla., according to The Ledger.

David Behm, a VP with Aldi in Orlando, said the chain plans to build a $40 million, 500,000-sq.-ft. distribution center and offices that will employ about 100 people. Aldi’s proposal would create about 100 jobs paying an average wage of $42,785, the report said.

Companies that relocate to cities within Polk County, Fla., and create a minimum 10 jobs, are eligible for county impact-fee cuts of up to $7,500 per job, as long as average wages are at least 115% of the county’s average. Aldi’s proposed wages exceed 125% of Polk’s average wage, $31,787, as determined by the state. <p Aldi, which utilizes a no-frills business model and focuses on private-label goods, also expects to open a local store in North Lakeland, Fla., next fall. This location is part of the company’s plan to open between 20 to 25 more stores, primarily in Central Florida, Behm said.

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Mac users more likely to buy music online

BY CSA STAFF

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. Apple Mac users are more likely than PC users to pay to download music, according to a new study by the NPD Group.

According to NPDs quarterly Digital Music Monitor, in the third quarter of 2007 half of all Mac users had paid to download music tracks from sites like iTunes, but just 16% of PC owners had done so. That trend followed offline, as the study found that Mac users were also more likely to purchase CDs.

Theres still a cultural divide between Apple consumers and the rest of the computing world, and thats especially apparent when it comes to the way they interact with music, according to Russ Crupnick, vp and entertainment industry analyst at The NPD Group. Mac users are not only more active in digital music, they are also more likely to buy CDs, which helps debunk the myth that digital music consumers stop buying music in CD format. 

Overall, more than 32% of Mac users report purchasing CDs in the third quarter of 2007, compared to just 28% of PC users. In addition to purchasing CDs and downloading music, Mac users are also more likely to listen to music and watch videos on their MP3-players and computers. While 34 percent of Mac users had uploaded music to their MP3 players, just 16% of PC users had done the same. Mac users are also much more likely to listen to music files on their computers (56%) than are PC users (31%).

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Austin Whole Foods bans plastic bags

BY CSA STAFF

AUSTIN, Texas Whole Foods Markets is testing a plastic bag ban program at its Austin, Texas store, according to reports.

At checkout, shoppers at the Austin Whole Foods will have the choice of carrying their groceries home in complimentary 100% recycled paper bags, or purchased traditional canvas bags or reusable plastic totes.

According to reports, the Austin store is a test market for the company, and Whole Foods intends to take the bag ban companywide.

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