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Walgreens to expand EV charging stations to about 800 locations

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens is positioning itself to be the largest retail host of electric vehicle charging stations, the drug store chain announced Thursday.

The company, which already has installations under way for EV charging stations at more than 60 stores across Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago, said such major markets as Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., also will host these sites. What’s more, Walgreens said that select stores in Florida, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington also will receive EV charging stations.

Overall, Walgreens plans to offer EV charging stations at approximately 800 locations across the country by the end of the year.

The charging stations will feature either a high-speed direct current charger that can add 30 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes of charging time, or a Level 2 charger that can add up to 25 miles of range per hour of charge, Walgreens noted.

“Consumer interest and enthusiasm has been incredible and we’re excited to provide locations to charge up in neighborhoods across the country,” Walgreens president of community management and operations Mark Wagner said. “As more Americans embrace environmentally sustainable technologies, our convenient locations make us uniquely positioned to help address the concern around accessibility or ‘range confidence.’ According to the Department of Energy, Walgreens will make up as much as 40% of all public EV charging stations across the country, making it easy for EV drivers to look to our stores for a quick charge near major highways, metropolitan areas or right in their neighborhood.”

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Safeway sees sales, income boost in Q2

BY DSN STAFF

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway reported net income of $145.8 million, or 41 cents per diluted share, for second quarter 2011, compared with $141.3 million, or 37 cents per diluted share, during the year-ago period.

The company reported that total sales increased 7.1% to $10.2 billion in second quarter 2011 from $9.5 billion in second quarter 2010. Identical-store sales, excluding fuel, saw a 0.5% increase.

"Second-quarter earnings results exceeded our expectations," Safeway chairman, president and CEO Steve Burd said. "Identical-store sales improved during the second quarter and into the third quarter. We remain focused on building customer loyalty and expect sales to continue to gradually improve through the second half of the year."

Safeway reaffirmed guidance for the year of $1.45 to $1.65 earnings per diluted share. Identical-store sales are expected to gradually improve, approaching 1% for the year.

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Nuk brings new Gerber Graduates cups to Target

BY Allison Cerra

HACKENSACK, N.J. — Baby care brand Nuk has expanded its line of spill-proof cups that will be sold exclusively at Target under the Gerber Graduates brand.

The company said that its new Grow Frog Grow and Fun-Filled Fireworks cup designs both feature a unique spout structure that encourages a baby’s mouth to transform from accommodating an O-shaped nipple to a U-shaped cup, as well as support proper lip placement for drinking from an adult cup.

"We are excited to introduce our new product designs in partnership with one of the top retailers in the country," Nuk USA president Doug Gillespie said. "This allows us to meet the needs of today’s parents by combining innovative products with nationwide access."

The new cups can be found exclusively at Target stores nationwide.

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