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Walmart tests lockers in D.C. area expanding e-commerce platform

BY Jason Owen

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — During Thursday’s second-quarter conference call, Walmart discussed the company’s efforts to expand its e-commerce platform as it recently launched a locker test for site-to-store in Washington, D.C., area.

“While this test is still in the early stages, the initial read on customer satisfaction and acceptance is very encouraging, with 90% of the customers who have used the service providing positive feedback,” said Bill Simon, CEO of Walmart U.S.

CityWire.com also reported that Walmart acknowledged its Walmart.com business has grown steadily as more items being ordered online and shipped to customers’ homes are being fulfilled through the "Ship from Store" program. The company is now using 35 stores as additional hubs in its fulfillment network, according to Neil Ashe, CEO of Walmart global e-commerce. The company hopes these additional stores, particularly its entry into D.C., will give it the leverage it needs to enter into those hard-to-reach markets such as D.C. and New York City.

Additionally, the company’s "Pick Up Today" program is expanding with three times the amount of items offered since the beginning of the year. "Pick Up Today" allows customers to purchase items online and pick it up in a store that same day.

The growth in e-commerce is apparent outside the company. As Retailing Today reported, Walmart hired 200 employees at its Walmart.com San Bruno, Calif., headquarters.

Walmart recently opened one store in Washington, D.C., with plans to open two more stores in the coming weeks. The company could open an additional three stores, but is awaiting a decision from D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray on whether he will sign or veto a city council wage law that will require big box retailers to pay a minimum $12 an hour in wages and benefits.


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L’Oréal plans to acquire Magic Holdings in China

BY Antoinette Alexander

PARIS — French beauty brand L’Oréal is looking to acquire China’s Magic Holdings International, which specializes in cosmetic facials masks, for $840 million.

The proposed price is 6.30 Hong Kong dollars per share. L’Oréal’s proposal is supported by Magic’s board of directors. The transaction is subject to the approval of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China.

A specialist in cosmetic facial masks, Magic’s turnover in 2012 was approximately 150 million euros (up 29% versus 2011). Facial masks are one of China’s beauty market’s fastest growing areas with promising development prospects. Relying on Magic’s management and teams, L’Oréal intends to further develop this Chinese brand.

L’Oréal has been committed to China since 1997. Today. L’Oréal has 3,500 employees in China, a Research and Innovation center in Shanghai and two plants in Suzhou and Yichang.

 

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Duracell introduces Quantum with battery donation to first responders

BY Sierra McCleary-Harris

BETHEL, Conn.  Duracell today announced the launch of Duracell Quantum this month, its most advanced alkaline battery and biggest innovation since CopperTop.

With its Hi-Density Core and proprietary PowerCheck power indicator, the distinctively red and copper Duracell Quantum has been engineered to deliver the performance consumers demand.

To celebrate the launch of Duracell Quantum, Duracell is donating one million Quantum batteries to first responders across North America. Duracell recognizes that the heroes who protect our families and communities need these batteries to power their critical devices. “Our top priority is delivering the very best in battery technology for consumers. We’re also keenly aware that first responders need and use batteries in devices that keep them safe in their work to protect our communities,” said Volker Kuhn, general manager for Duracell North America.

Duracell announced the million-battery donation today with award-winning entertainer, Tim McGraw, who hosts the new Quantum Heroes video series and joined today’s launch event in New York City with the FDNY and the FDNY Foundation. Supporting first responders hits close to home for McGraw, who was born and raised in Louisiana. Following Hurricane Katrina, he and his wife mobilized to help with recovery efforts by offering relief items to those affected by the storm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Country music star Tim McGraw (center) hands off new Duracell Quantum batteries to the FDNY to kick off Duracell’s donation of one million of its most powerful batteries to first responders at an FDNY firehouse in New York on Thursday.

“As a touring musician, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of first responders across our country, the brave guys and girls who show incredible bravery in the face of natural disasters and other emergency situations,” McGraw said. “I’m joining with Duracell Quantum to recognize the amazing work of these unassuming heroes. I was able to spend some time with the first responders from the Quantum Heroes video series, and I walked away truly inspired.”

The Quantum Heroes video series shares previously untold stories of bravery, heroism and sacrifice of first responders. The first video debuted today in New York City. “Quantum Heroes: FDNY Superstorm Sandy” features the tireless efforts of FDNY Firefighters from Engine Company 268 and Ladder Company 137 in Rockaway, Queens in the wake of the storm, which engulfed an entire neighborhood in flames.

The videos can be viewed on YouTube.com/Duracell. Consumers can also visit www.facebook/duracell and www.twitter.com/duracell to share personal first responder stories using #MyQuantumHero, which is supported by a new national TV spot.

 

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