Paying by electronic wallet or other popular online methods is gaining favor among consumers as well as merchants who view the technology as a way to combat high interchange fees charged by credit card and debit card companies.
A study by researchers at Harvard University notes that drinking sugary soft drinks is linked to obesity in children and adults, but other experts say the link is minimal and that a sedentary lifestyle, more than any one specific drink, is the cause for weight problems. A consultant for the American Beverage Association says the Harvard study ignores "competing studies" on soft drinks.
Several industry analysts believe Wal-Mart Stores' decision to increase wages at some of its locations is part of a larger plan to attract more affluent customers. Wal-Mart insists the wage hike is designed to help the company compete.