FINANCE

Best Buy settles Ultimate Electronics advertising lawsuit

BY CSA STAFF

Minneapolis Best Buy Co. will withdraw its unfair advertising lawsuit against Colorado-based Ultimate Electronics. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported that attorneys for both companies released the information in a joint filing Friday.

Best Buy and Thornton, Colo.-based Ultimate Electronics agreed to resolve the suit after Ultimate stopped claiming it price-shopped Best Buy and other retailers daily to offer lower prices.

Best Buy sued in April, citing its own surveys and price comparisons by the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota that found Ultimate’s prices were frequently higher than those at Best Buy.

Friday’s filing acknowledges that Ultimate ended those advertisements “without admitting any liability.”

The two companies have agreed to pay their own legal fees, they said in the filing.

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FINANCE

Visa launches new payment card security initiative

BY CSA STAFF

On Wednesday, Visa Inc. launched a new payment card security initiative that the company said could eliminate the need for retailers and other organizations to store full, 16-digit credit and debit card numbers on their systems.

The move comes in response to long-standing pressure from the National Retail Federation, which maintains that merchants should not be required to store the information because of security risks.

Under the new initiative, Visa said it will push card issuers and acquiring banks to allow merchants to present truncated, disguised or otherwise masked card numbers for dispute resolution cases. Some permit this already, but the goal is to make the practice broader, said Eduardo Perez, head of global payment system security at Visa.

Visa said it plans to seek feedback from industry stakeholders on the challenges and issues involved in moving to a more secure payment industry model. After Visa reviews the feedback, it will decide whether to make the recommendations a mandated requirement.

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FINANCE

West Marine sales rise 8.4% in 2Q

BY CSA STAFF

West Marine Inc. reported Thursday that its net revenues for the quarter ended July 3 were $233.4 million, an increase of 8.4% over the year-ago period.

Same-store sales jumped 9.4%.

According to the company, sales benefitted from warmer weather in the northeast. However, “in the southeast, we have been starting to feel the effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as boating activities are increasingly restricted,” said Geoff Eisenberg, CEO.

West Marine, a specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories, operates 330 company-operated stores in 38 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, and two franchised stores in Turkey.

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