OPERATIONS

Walgreens expands health clinics into Dallas-Ft. Worth market

BY Dan Berthiaume

Deerfield, Ill. – Walgreens is expanding its healthcare clinic retail locations with entry into the Dallas-Fort Worth market. The company plans to bring 13 healthcare clinics at select Walgreens locations to the Dallas Metroplex by the end of 2014.

The first clinic opened July 28 in Southlake. In addition, there are currently 15 healthcare clinics at select Walgreens locations in the Houston area, with plans to add an additional 14 healthcare clinics in the market during 2014. Nationwide, there are more than 400 healthcare clinics across 23 states and Washington, D.C.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Big Lots expands food assortment

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio – Big Lots Inc. is expanding its food selections in all of its 1,491 stores across the country. The department will feature more brand name products, improved product arrangement and well-designed signage to make shopping easier.

While the Big Lots food department will continue to have a significant closeout presence, the company is doubling its everyday selection of major brands. The international food assortment has also grown in both size and scope. Now called World Flavors, it is a more diverse set of products and popular brands. Responding to the requests of customers, each store will now carry a selection of European, Hispanic and Asian foods every day.

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News

Amazon.com introduces mobile POS device

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Amazon.com has entered into direct competition with digital payment providers Square and PayPal by releasing Amazon Local Register, a secure card reader and mobile app that allows retailers to accept credit and debit cards from a smartphone or tablet. Users create an account, purchase a $10 card reader, and download a free mobile app.

The card reader is available with free two-day shipping on Amazon.com. As previously reported in Chain Store Age, Amazon Local Register will be available for purchase at Staples retail locations nationwide beginning Aug. 19.

The Amazon Local Register card reader and free mobile app are compatible with a variety of smartphones and tablets, including Apple devices running iOS7, Kindle Fire tablets, select Android smartphones, and coming soon to the new Fire phone. Each customer’s first $10 in transaction fees will be credited back to the customer’s account once Amazon Local Register is in use, allowing customers to fully recoup the cost of the card reader. Money from transactions can be deposited directly into a bank account within one business day, or spent on Amazon.com within minutes.

Amazon Local Register customers will have access to the Amazon.com customer support team, as well as in-app tracking tools. Customers who sign up for Amazon Local Register before Oct. 31, 2014 will also receive a promotional rate of 1.75% per card swipe on all major credit and debit cards until Jan. 1, 2016.

“From clothing stores to contractors, food trucks to accountants, businesses and organizations using Amazon Local Register will enjoy industry-leading low rates, trusted and secure payment processing, and access to award-winning customer support,” said Matt Swann, VP of Amazon Local Commerce. “We understand that every penny and every minute counts, so we want to make accepting payments so easy and inexpensive that it no longer gets in the way of a business owner doing what they love – serving their customers and growing their business.”

Amazon.com also sells compatible POS accessories including cash drawers, receipt printers, smartphone cases and stands.

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