More employers penalize smokers with higher insurance premiums


Wal-Mart Stores, the nation’s largest employer, recently sought the higher payments from some smokers, as much as $2000 more than non-smokers.

Employers are making  a shift toward penalizing employees with unhealthy lifestyles rather than rewarding employees with good habits as more employers are demanding that workers who smoke, are overweight or have high cholesterol shoulder a greater share of their health care costs.


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Wal-Mart may expand healthcare services at it’s clinics

walmart healthcare

 Wal-Mart already has 140 independently operated clinics in its stores across the country.

Wal-Mart may expand on its 140 in-store health clinics by partnering with outside vendors to provide chronic and preventative health care services for everything from HIV and diabetes to pregnancy testing.


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Wal-Mart to Track Clothing with Radio Tags But This Raises Privacy Concerns


A Wal-Mart employee uses a handheld scanner to read EPC labels on men’s denim jeans.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to roll out sophisticated electronic ID tags to track individual pairs of jeans and underwear, the first step in a system that advocates say better controls inventory but some critics say raises privacy concerns.


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Discount Stores In Japan See Rising Revenue


A Seiyu outlet in Akabane, part of Wal-Mart Stores.

Not long ago, many Japanese bought so many $100 melons and $1,000 handbags that this was the only country in the world where luxury products were considered mass market.  Even through the economic stagnation of Japan’s so-called lost decade, which began in the early 1990s, Japanese consumers sustained that reputation. But this recession has done something that earlier declines could not: turned the Japanese into Wal-Mart shoppers.


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Is Amazon Becoming the Wal-Mart of the Web?


Amazon is shaking up retailers, both big rivals and small independent stores.

THE hum of 102 rooftop air conditioners and a chorus of beeping electric carts provide the acoustic backdrop in’s 605,000-square-foot distribution facility on this city’s west side. But the center’s employees can almost always hear Terry Jones.  On a recent summer afternoon, Mr. Jones, an “inbound support associate” making $12 an hour, steered a hand-pushed cart through the packed aisles and shouted his location to everyone in earshot: “Cart coming through. Yup! Watch yourself, please!” Mr. Jones explained that he was just making his time at Amazon “joyful and fun” while complying with the company’s rigorous safety rules.


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