tampabay.com

Talk of the bay: Order online, pick up items at local Wal-Mart

By Times staff
Published May 23, 2007


Move over JCPenney. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has set up online ordering with in-store pickup at all 29 of its stores in the Tampa Bay area. That means anything offered at walmart.com can now be picked up without a shipping fee at the Wal-Mart store of your choice. The dot.com version of Wal-Mart stocks thousands more products than the biggest of the chain's superstores. The "Site-to-Store" service is now available in parts or all of 41 states, so shoppers can order things from home in Florida and have them delivered to a store elsewhere. Wal-Mart found the average online customer spends $60 more in the store when they pick up an order. In stores where the service becomes available, the first online order arrives within 48 hours.

Evacuation might be a little quicker
One of the most important things people need after a hurricane is gasoline, something often hard to find if power lines are down. The Florida Legislature has required that 1, 584 gas stations within a half mile of an interstate, turnpike or designated evacuation route must have a generator or a switch to accommodate one as of June 1. Officials from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection say this partly explains why inland Alachua County, along a main evacuation route, accounts for 85 of the generator gas stations, while coastal counties like Pasco (20) and Pinellas (19) have far less. In fact, St. Petersburg has three. For a list of generator gas stations, go to www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/news/2007/gsg/default.htm and click on "Listing of Affected Stations."

Bloggers picking Vegas over Mickey
If you haven't heard the news over your favorite blog yet: The bloggers won't be hanging out in Orlando next month as originally planned. PostieCon '07, a blogging conference hosted by PayPerPost.com, was supposed to be held June 1 and 2 in the City of the Mouse. (Actually, the original news release glowingly referred to Orlando as "the renowned entertainment capital of the world.") After perhaps realizing that was a little too enthusiastic, PayPerPost rescheduled the convention for Nov. 10 in Las Vegas. PayPerPost execs say they're moving it so PostieCon can converge with a similar convention, Blog World Expo. But our guess is they found out that hurricane season also starts June 1. That, or they were more impressed by Caesars Palace than the "Small World" ride.