OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart continues college campus growth plan

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart said it will open two additional college campus locations, nearly two years after make its university debut at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

According to a Monday report by the Wall Street Journal, which cited Inside Higher Ed, the retailer will open a 5,000-sq.-ft. store at Arizona State University in Phoenix next month, and will open in Atlanta on the Georgia Tech campus later this year.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Delia Garcia told WSJ that its university stores would be “tailored to the on-campus customer, providing general merchandise, convenience items [and] pharmacy services.” Garcia said that the company is still testing this business model, and that no new locations are scheduled beyond Georgia Tech.

No text books will be sold at the campus stores, according to Wal-Mart, so as not to compete directly with college bookstores.

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Report: Retail employment slumps most in a year

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — A report on Friday by the Labor Department showed that retail employment declined by 24,000 in March, the biggest slide since February 2012. The largest hiring slump occurred among clothing and accessories stores, which dropped 15,000, followed by a 10,000 decrease among building-material and garden suppliers.

Retailers have been slow to hire largely because of the concern over the 2% increase in payroll taxes and how the bump is impacting consumer spending.

The National Retail Federation previously forecasted that U.S. retail sales will increase 3.4% this year, compared to a 4.2% gain in 2012.

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ECOtality and Kroger expand car-charging program

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Cincinnati — ECOtality and The Kroger Co. announced Monday an expanded partnership including over 200 level 2 (quick charge) charging stations, and 25 DC Fast Chargers, to be installed across key markets through the EV Project.

The multimillion-dollar expansion will bring the total number of Blink chargers in the Kroger system to almost 300.

"As plug-in electric and hybrid cars are becoming more popular with our customers, we are pleased to offer the convenience of electric vehicle charging stations at more of our stores in markets with the highest demand," said Keith Dailey, Kroger spokesperson.

Kroger will invest $1.5 million to install over 200 Blink charging stations at 125 locations in several key markets including Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles. These stations are in addition to 60 already installed in Oregon and Washington, and 14 in Texas.

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