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Report: Rite Aid pays $12.3M in environmental suit

BY Dan Berthiaume

East Pennsboro Township, Pa. – Rite Aid has reportedly been ordered to pay $12.3 million in a civil lawsuit accusing the retailer of illegally dumping hazardous waste from more than 600 stores in California. According to the Los Angeles Times, San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda L. Lofthus handed down the ruling in a suit brought against Rite Aid by the district attorneys of San Joaquin, Los Angeles and Riverside counties.

Rite Aid was reportedly cooperative throughout the case. In addition to paying monetary penalties, Rite Aid is also now required to segregate hazardous waste in separate containers, dispose of it with state-registered waste haulers, and track hazardous waste with a computerized scanning system.

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Target tackles movie-streaming

BY CSA STAFF

Target has launched a streaming digital video service nationwide. Called Target Ticket, it gives customers an easy way to access and enjoy movies on preferred digital channels and devices at any time.

Target has a partnership with San Francisco-based Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group that reviews movies and television shows. The retailer said the partnership would make it easier for parents to choose the right content for their children and set up filters for violence, profanity and ratings and customize a profile for each family member.

"Many of our guests told us that streaming and viewing videos is complicated, so we created Target Ticket to simplify the experience," Target divisional merchandise manager of entertainment Anne Stanchfield said. "Target Ticket will help guests who are looking for a kid-safe, easy-to-use service that mirrors what they have come to expect from Target’s entertainment offerings — a premium selection of the newest titles plus exclusive content, all at an affordable price."

Other features include 30,000 titles available for purchase, rent, downloading or streaming for as low as 99 cents, as well as no subscription or sign-up fees, and 5% off each purchase for members of the REDcard loyalty program. Also offered are series like HBO’s "Game of Thrones" and "True Blood," as well as new blockbuster films such as "World War Z" and "Star Trek Into Darkness."

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In-Store IT Investigation: Microsoft

BY Dan Berthiaume

As might be expected from a retail chain that serves as an extension of a technology brand, Microsoft stores are sleek and futuristic. Store layout is open and interactive, with a wide variety of opportunities for shoppers to engage with technology. However, customer-facing technology is limited to products on display, without IT features such as self-service kiosks or electronic shelf labels that can be found at many other stores.

Interactive Promotional Display
At the mall-based Microsoft store location this reporter recently visited, the first piece of technology a prospective customer encounters is a widescreen Perceptive Pixel multi-touch display in front of the store. The display is clearly branded for the Microsoft Store and lets customers interact with digital promotions of the products and services for sale inside.

Hands-on Technology Access
Store layout is non-traditional, featuring products such as mobile phone hardware, software packages and video games behind glass cases along the walls at the rear of the store. The front two-thirds of the store consists of open workstations, each featuring a Microsoft Surface Tablet or other PC or tablet device from a Microsoft OS partner such as Samsung.

The devices allow consumers to directly engage with Microsoft software applications such as the new Windows 8 operating system and the Skype online messaging/communications client. Skype terminals also allow consumers to use headphones from hardware partners such as Skullcandy and Beats by Dre during trial sessions.

Other interactive technology features include stations where customers can engage with live demos of Xbox games toward the back of the store. The store is heavily staffed with associates known as Service Advisors who will provide basic support services and consultation for free and also offer extended services for a sliding fee scale. The ready availability of expert staff makes the basic store environment, which is geared toward a more sophisticated technology user, compatible with the needs of an IT novice.

Point-of-Sale/In-store WiFi
The checkout counter for the Microsoft store is located toward the rear of the store. The retailer uses the Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS system running on PC terminals. The store also offers free in-store WiFi and has a section in the back with open workstations where customers can use their own portable computing devices.


Past In-Store IT Investigation entries

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