FINANCE

Hess to accept MasterCard’s contactless payment card

BY CSA STAFF

Purchase, N.Y. MasterCard Worldwide announced that leading independent gasoline-convenience store retailer Hess will accept MasterCard PayPass at more than 870 company-operated Hess and Hess Express locations along the eastern United States.

In addition to traditional magnetic-stripe payment cards, Hess will accept MasterCard PayPass at checkout counters at these locations by early 2010 to provide customers with quicker transactions and greater payment convenience.

“Our customers are always looking for greater speed, security and convenience at Hess locations, and increasingly they prefer electronic forms of payment over cash,” said Rick Lawlor, VP retail sales and marketing, Hess Corp. “Accepting MasterCard PayPass means we can meet our customers’ needs and continue to enhance the customer experience, which is the Hess Way.”

With MasterCard PayPass, Hess customers simply tap their PayPass-enabled MasterCard card or device on a PayPass-accepting reader at check out. Cardholders benefit from additional security because the card never leaves the customer’s hand. MasterCard PayPass also does not require customers to sign receipts for purchases under $25, further speeding up the transaction. This amount will increase to $50 as of Oct. 16.

The use of contactless payment cards continues to see exponential growth. As of second quarter 2009, MasterCard had issued nearly 61 million MasterCard PayPass cards or devices, which can be used at more than 153,000 merchant locations globally.

“Hess branded locations are the perfect environment for MasterCard PayPass because the value of faster transactions at the point of sale translates directly to busy customers who don’t want to spend time waiting in line,” said Cathleen Conforti, senior VP Global PayPass, MasterCard Worldwide. “As more customers turn to electronic payments over cash, by accepting MasterCard PayPass, Hess is taking another step to meet customer needs, and deliver great customer service and throughput at the register.”

Growing usage and acceptance of contactless payments reflects growing consumer preference for electronic payments over cash for everyday purchases. According to MasterCard research, about 94% of PayPass-using respondents to a 2008 MasterCard PayPass Benchmark Study were satisfied with their experience, and 77% of consumers who have a PayPass-enabled card use it as their primary form of payment.

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Macy’s named exclusive retailer of Ellen Tracy sportswear

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Macy’s Inc. announced that it has signed a strategic alliance agreement with the Ellen Tracy owner, Brand Matter LLC, and its sportswear licensee, RVC Enterprises, under which Macy’s will be the exclusive department store retailer of Ellen Tracy branded women’s sportswear, beginning in spring 2010.

Under this agreement, Macy’s will offer its customers an exclusive array of Ellen Tracy sportswear that will include jackets, shirts, pants, sweaters, woven tops, knit tops and bottoms. Price points, for example, will be in the range of $99 to $149 for jackets and $50 to $99 for pants.

 

The exclusive sportswear will launch in more than 100 Macy’s stores and online at macys.com in March 2010, with plans for additional rollout over time to additional stores. The launch will include new Ellen Tracy shops in Macy’s largest flagship stores – Herald Square in New York, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago and Dadeland in Miami.

 

“Ellen Tracy is a legendary brand that is well-known to our customers and backed by an outstanding design team. In particular, Ellen Tracy delivers exceptional value to women who expect quality and want a relevant look for today’s world at work and on the town,” said Jeff Gennette, Macy’s chief merchandising officer. “And coming next year, Ellen Tracy will provide another powerful reason for customers to shop at Macy’s. Ellen Tracy will join other exclusive brands at Macy’s, including Tommy Hilfiger, Martha Stewart Collection, Rachel Rachel Roy and Donald Trump.”

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Store openings set for this week

BY CSA STAFF

Target is set to complete its 2009 store expansion plans this week with the opening of 26 new stores nationwide in 18 different states.

California is home to the most new stores with six units slated to open there on Oct. 7, in the communities of Culver City, Bakersfield, Sunnyvale, Davis, Rancho Cordova and Brea. Other states with multiple openings included Texas (Mesquite and Kyle), Kentucky (Middletown and St. Matthews) and Massachusetts (Lowell and Hanover).

Following the opening of 26 additional units Target is set to end the year with approximately 1,745 stores.

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