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Wal-Mart Expands In-Store Health Clinics With Own Brand

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will open its first in-store medical clinics under its own brand name after leasing space in dozens of stores to outside companies that operate the quick-service health stops.

The retailer said Thursday it will open “The Clinic at Wal-Mart” as a joint venture with local hospital systems in Atlanta, Dallas and Little Rock, Ark., starting in April.

Wal-Mart has clinics in 77 stores, including nine in Wisconsin and Florida, operated by local hospitals. Clinics in 23 locations in Florida and three other Southern states have been in limbo since last month when the operator, New York-based CheckUps, shut down.

Now, Wal-Mart has signed a letter of intent to work with local hospital systems and RediClinic to open co-branded walk-in clinics in 200 Wal-Mart Supercenters. It has also signed a letter of intent to partner directly with St. Vincent Health System, a part of the Catholic Healthcare Initiatives system, to open four co-branded clinics in Little Rock.

Co-branding means the clinics will jointly bear the names of Wal-Mart and its partners and have an identical look and record-keeping system, Wal-Mart spokeswoman Deisha Galberth said.

Wal-Mart said this is the first step toward opening 400 co-branded clinics by 2010.

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Style and function meet in ODP furniture

BY CSA STAFF

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. Office Depot has launched the Christopher Lowell Anywhere Solutions line as its latest offering in its exclusive assortment of Christopher Lowell Furniture.

According to Office Depot, the new line functionality with classic design. The collection includes four distinct pieces, including an armoire, sofa table, credenza and computer desk. The pieces range in price from $199.99 to $499.99 and are available online at www.officedepot.com/furniture. The items will be available in Office Depot stores later this month.

“More and more business professionals today are working out of their home, guest bedroom and even the living room,” said Richard Diamond, vp of merchandising-furniture for Office Depot. “The new Anywhere Solutions line really serves a growing need that requires furniture to be both functional and attractive, while also fitting in virtually anywhere that you want to work.”

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Costco unable to reform wine laws

BY CSA STAFF

ISSAQUAH, Wash. Costco was dealt a setback in its effort to change laws regulating distribution of wine in its home state of Washington.

ANinth Circuit appellate court judge ruled that the laws regulating wine distribution – when taken as a whole – do not violate anti-trust laws as Costco’s 2004 lawsuit contends. Costco was seeking to reform several provisions in Washington’s distribution law, including one that doesn’t allow suppliers to sell directly to retailers and give them volume discounts. Costco – the country’s largest wine retailer with $805 million in sales in 2006 – has not indicated if it would pursue further action in the case.

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