Merchant Groups Sue Over Credit-Card Fees
Washington, D.C., Four of the nation’s leading merchant associations have joined the legal battle to force credit-card issuers to lower the fees they charge for processing transactions. The four groups—the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association and the National Cooperative Grocers Associations—filed an antitrust, class-action lawsuit accusing Visa USA, MasterCard Inc. and a number of major banks, including Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., of engaging in collusive practices in setting interchange fees for credit-card payments.
The suit seeks an injunction to stop the alleged collusion as well as damages, which were not specified. It is the latest of more than 30 legal actions filed over the past several months aimed at forcing the card associations and their member banks to cut interchange fees, which are paid by the merchants each time a customer uses a debit or credit card to pay for a purchase.
New Contract For Kroger Unions
New York City, Seven International Brotherhood of Teamsters locals representing 3,200 workers in Southern California have approved a new five-year contract for Kroger, the nation’s largest grocer by sales.
Kroger, Albertson’s and Safeway, the nation’s big-three supermarket chains, endured lengthy labor strikes last year, causing millions of dollars worth of losses.
Hurricane Update: Most Stores Closed Due to Rita Reopen
New York City, Even though Texas and Louisiana residents who fled Hurricane Rita remain displaced, the majority of retailers have restocked their shelves as they await the return of their customers.
Bracing for the wrath of Rita, Wal-Mart closed 155 stores on Saturday morning. By Sunday, all but 52 were open for business. Similarly, Target was able to reopen 28 of its 32 closed stores.
“While there was a disruption, it won’t be cataclysmic,” for merchants, said Scott Krugman, a spokesman at the Washington-based National Retail Federation. “This should have a minimum impact on nationwide sales.”
The Home Depot, the nation’s largest home improvement retailer, also reopened its doors in Texas and Louisiana. Furthermore, company spokesman Don Harrison said that over 100 trucks have been dispatched to bring additional supplies to Home Depot stores, so full shelves will greet their customers.