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Jana Partners discloses 9.9% stake in PetSmart; asks retailer to explore options

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Activist investor Jana Partners LLC disclosed it has acquired a 9.9% stake in PetSmart, according to a regulatory filing, and plans to ask the retailer to explore various options, including a sale. Jana, $10 billion firm hedge firm run by Barry Rosenstein, has a reputation for pushing corporate managements to make changes.

Jana Partners said that it expects to have discussions with PetSmart’s board and management regarding a review of strategic alternatives, including exploring a sale. PetSmart needs to improve operating performance and capital allocation and return “significant” capital to shareholders, Jana said. The fund also called on PetSmart to improve disclosures and the composition of management and its board.

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July Fourth apparel shoppers go online

BY Dan Berthiaume

Palo Alto, Calif. – Forty-three percent of consumers planning to purchase apparel for the July Fourth holiday will shop at online stores. According to a new survey from fashion site Snapette, other popular Independence Day apparel destinations will be major department stores (28%), discount stores (16%), local boutiques (10%), and party stores (3%).

In terms of July Fourth apparel spending, 15% of consumers will spend $25 or less, while 23% will spend $25-$50; 22% will spend $50-$75; and 20% will spend $75-$100. Only 14% plan to spend more than $100 and 6% plan to spend more than $200.

The most popular July Fourth apparel item consumers plan to wear is anything red, white and blue (53%), followed by jeans or cut-offs or tank top (19%) and anything involving stars and stripes (12%). Eighty-two percent of consumers plan to celebrate July Fourth.

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Cardtek Group launches Cardtek USA

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chicago – Cardtek Group, a provider of software for financial transactions and EMV migration, is launching Cardtek USA. The company’s North American headquarters, based in Chicago, will facilitate the U.S. adoption of Europay-MasterCard-Visa (EMV) technology in an effort to help prevent credit card fraud and data breaches.

Since 2010, Cardtek Group has been providing issuers and acquirer banks with payment product options in North America. Now, Cardtek has established domestic operations to help expedite the transition to EMV chip technology in the U.S.

“The American consumer is the most vulnerable consumer in the world for credit card fraud – Americans deserve an upgrade,” said Gokhan Inonu, president of Cardtek USA.

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