Starwatch Consumer

Best Buy will add Samsung kiosks in its stores

Updated: 2013-04-04T20:35:57Z

Samsung kiosks

Best Buy has announced plans to create store-within-a-store kiosks for Samsung products — a vote of confidence from a major consumer electronics retailer that the brick-and-mortar format is still an important way to sell products.

The company will offer Samsung-dedicated kiosks at 1,400 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores. Shops will offer the full range of Samsung’s mobile products, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras and accessories.

About 900 will be open by early May, with the rest open by early summer.

Walgreen clinics

Walgreen has stretched the reach of its drugstore clinics beyond treating ankle sprains and sinus infections to handling chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure.

The company said most of its 370 in-store Take Care Clinics now will diagnose, treat and monitor patients with some chronic conditions typically handled by doctors. The clinics are run by nurse practitioners or physician assistants.

Auto safety

Auto safety regulators plan to change the rating system for new cars sold in the U.S. to keep up with advances in technology and better protect older drivers and passengers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it may create a “silver” rating system for how well vehicles protect older occupants in crashes. It also may consider how rear-seat passengers and pedestrians fare in crashes and it is looking at new test procedures for electric vehicles.

Staying connected

Research firm Gartner says it expects worldwide PC, tablet and mobile phone shipments to reach 2.4 billion units this year, up 9 percent from 2012.

Gartner said device shipments should continue to grow, hitting more than 2.9 billion in 2017. But the mix of devices is shifting away from PCs.

Mortgage insurers

Four mortgage insurers will pay more than $15 million in penalties to settle claims they paid illegal kickbacks to lenders in exchange for business, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said.

The four companies are Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., part of Genworth Financial Inc.; United Guaranty Corp., which belongs to American International Group Inc.; Radian Guaranty Inc., a subsidiary of Radian Group Inc.; and Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp., a MGIC Investment Corp. subsidiary.

Mortgage rates

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages crept closer to historic lows this week, a trend that could help the housing recovery strengthen.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate for the 30-year fixed loan edged down to 3.54 percent from 3.57 percent last week. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage declined to 2.74 percent from 2.76 percent last week.

Netflix development

“Arrested Development” will be reborn on Netflix on May 26.

The subscription service said all 15 episodes of the comedy series will be posted at the same time. The Mitchell Hurwitz sitcom starring Jason Bateman was canceled by Fox in 2006 after three seasons.

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