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• The Chicago Tribune writes that Wal-Mart is looking for locations in the Chicago area – though presumably outside the city limits because of the recently passed municipal legislation setting a higher minimum wage and required benefits package for big box store employees – for the new upscale supercenter format that it is testing in Plano, Texas.

“The Plano store touts a sushi bar, Wi-Fi coffee shop, gourmet cheeses, an expanded selection of organic food, premium wines, wood floors and even flowers in the women's bathrooms,” the Tribune writes. “The store layout resembles Target, with wider aisles and signs that easily identify departments. The apparel area has its own cashiers, and shoppers carry their clothing purchase out of the store on hangers instead of in plastic bags.”

• Speaking on PBS’s “Charlie Rose” last night, Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott said that the business community – including Wal-Mart – has to play a leadership role in solving the health care crisis in America.

According to the Wall Street Journal this morning, Scott “said the country was almost at a tipping point in getting a national response to the problem. In addition, he said that both business and labor will eventually come together and lead the government in a solution. He said it is important that business and labor share some of the cost of health care. ‘Labor leaders realize that 100% coverage does not make people good consumers of health,’ he said, adding that he thinks that business and labor leaders eventually will meet on what a fair percentage of costs that business should assume.”
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