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Shoppers Face Stricter Return Policies

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Shoppers should expect some headaches when returning gifts after Christmas, according to consumer education Web site ConsumerWorld.org.

“Stores’ return policy remains strict and complicated,” said Edward Dworsky, founder of the resource guide.

This year, Costco Wholesale Corp. tightened its return policy that had been open-ended for all but computers. It is now 90 days for TVs, computers, cameras and other electronics.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. maintains a broad 15% restocking fee, introduced in 2005 on select items including home appliances, electronics, and sporting goods not returned unused with full packaging. Plenty of stores also track customers’ returns, blacklisting “serial returners.”

Dworsky noted that bucking the trend was the nation’s leading consumer-electronics chain Best Buy Co., which liberalized its holiday returns policy this year. It now allows returns on all goods until Jan. 31.

Previously, computers were excluded, some other items needed to be returned by Jan. 8 and still others by Jan. 24.

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Wal-Mart gives 3 million meals to food bank

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart announced Tuesday that it is donating $1 million worth of meals to America’s Second Harvest to help with a nationwide food and grocery shortage in food banks.

Wal-Mart said it is donating 3 million meals in response to a call to action by its philanthropic partner America’s Second Harvest-The Nation’s Food Bank Network. According to the company, it is the first corporation in the country to respond to the request and will supply more than 25% of the meals needed to prevent the shortage.

“The hunger crisis our nation’s food banks are currently facing is something that all of us at Wal-Mart care about and are taking very seriously,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “We are pleased to be in a position to respond to the call to action from America’s Second Harvest, and hope that this donation will help them to feed those who are hungry this holiday season.”

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Aldi to open DC in Florida

BY CSA STAFF

LAKELAND Aldi is looking to build a distribution center and regional headquarters in Haines City, Fla. in preparation for its Florida debut next year, according to reports.

The new 500,000-square-foot DC and HQ would reportedly bring about 100 jobs to the city and support the companies planned 20 to 25 stores in the Central Florida region.

Aldi currently operates in 26 states with more than 850 locations.

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