FINANCE

Merchants to appeal preliminary ruling in proposed interchange settlement

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. — On Tuesday, a majority of named class plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to challenge a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York granting preliminary approval to a proposed settlement of a long-standing antitrust class action filed by merchants against Visa, MasterCard and the largest banks. The merchant group will ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to deny preliminary approval due to the legal defects in the proposed settlement.

More than 1,200 merchants have weighed in with the courts in opposition to the settlement on the grounds that it locks in the broken interchange system, deprives merchants of their right to fight the anticompetitive practices of the Visa, MasterCard duopoly in court, and constrains innovations that could bring competition to the marketplace, such as mobile technology.

"This settlement has fatal legal defects and should not get preliminary approval. We look forward to presenting the problems we see in this proposal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.," said Jeffrey Shinder, managing partner, Constantine Cannon, LLC, counsel to the merchants objecting to the proposed settlement.

The named class plaintiffs opposing the proposed settlement of the case are Affiliated Foods Midwest, Coborn’s, Inc., D’Agostino Supermarkets, Jetro Holdings LLC, National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), NATSO, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), National Grocers Association (NGA), and National Restaurant Association (NRA).

The named class plaintiffs were joined in multiple briefs filed with the court from nearly 1200 small businesses and recognized retail brands, ranging from 7-Eleven and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. to The Gap and Wal-Mart Stores, and a variety of associations including the National Retail Federation and Retail Industry Leaders Association.

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OPERATIONS

Study: Grocery retailers missing out by not keeping up with social media

BY Staff Writer

San Antonio — The grocery industry, for the most part, lags in using online shopper insights for shopper and competitive advantage, according to a study developed in partnership with BeaconUnited, a national grocery broker, and ArchPoint Consulting, and powered by business intelligence firm Black Pearl Intelligence. Grocery-related social media conversations are now estimated at 10 million annually, yet many grocers are still slow to respond, the study found.

“Consumers can benefit as more grocers, brokers and manufacturers proactively engage customers online,” said Jesse Edelman, chief marketing officer, BeaconUnited. “The key is giving the industry resources to access, understand and proactively respond to the rich social media insights.”

The study, Grocery Study: Social Media as a Competitive Advantage, identifies digital data opportunities to drive sales for retailers or manufacturers and reveal real-time emerging trends on a national, regional and local level — or geo-focusing. The study reveals how vocal customers are in sharing what they love, hate and have gotten at a bargain at grocery stores.

The study identified a few grocery chains that are already social media conversation influencers. Using the social media Klout score, a measurement of influence on a zero to 100-point scale based on ability to drive action in social networks, the category leader was Whole Foods Market, with a Klout score of 86. Kroger has a score of 49. Publix has a Klout score of 53. Leading regional grocery chains, like Meijer and H-E-B and many others, have Klout scores of 0.

In the study, one customer’s bad review of kitty litter received 89 hits. With 89 other individuals engaged in a conversation about kitty litter, potential for negative product reviews increased significantly. Such intelligence provides manufacturers with priceless insights into how to improve the product and alerts the grocer to respond.

“Responding proactively to customer social media comments is not an option anymore for the grocery industry. It’s an imperative,” Edelman said.

The study identifies opportunities for the grocery category to use digital data with customized dashboards and to model and geo-focus on emerging trends at either the national, regional and local level.

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J.Lawrence says:
Apr-19-2013 10:50 am

Facebook is one of the main
Facebook is one of the main social network sites on the internet. Facebookstatus123.com provides general and every events status for every ones. This site is very old and famous in all over the world. Go this link and get amazing and cute facebook status. http://www.facebookstatus123.com/

J.Lawrence says:
Apr-19-2013 10:50 am

Facebook is one of the main social network sites on the internet. Facebookstatus123.com provides general and every events status for every ones. This site is very old and famous in all over the world. Go this link and get amazing and cute facebook status. http://www.facebookstatus123.com/

J.Jeffbuskelly says:
Feb-08-2013 12:27 pm

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In this modern age we all becomes so advance and want to meet every thing online but it hurts to miss any thing when you need,to explain the real meanings of missing,quotes are the best way. http://www.quotesable.com/missing-quotes

J.Jeffbuskelly says:
Feb-08-2013 12:27 pm

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A.Harings says:
Dec-10-2012 10:49 pm

Social Media
Another great social media example is a grocery store out of Wisconsin called Festival Foods. They make use of a company blog which gives customers recipe and gift ideas. Facebook allows them to network with their customers, and Twitter provides updates for their followers. Obviously this is what these social media platforms are for, but it is rare for a grocery retailer to be so interactive online. This is especially nice to build relationships and customer loyalty. Definitely something we expect to see more of in the future. Alyssa Harings Date Check Pro Interactive Marketing Manager Intern www.datecheckpro.com

A.Harings says:
Dec-10-2012 10:49 pm

Another great social media example is a grocery store out of Wisconsin called Festival Foods. They make use of a company blog which gives customers recipe and gift ideas. Facebook allows them to network with their customers, and Twitter provides updates for their followers. Obviously this is what these social media platforms are for, but it is rare for a grocery retailer to be so interactive online. This is especially nice to build relationships and customer loyalty. Definitely something we expect to see more of in the future. Alyssa Harings Date Check Pro Interactive Marketing Manager Intern www.datecheckpro.com

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FINANCE

Consumer confidence rises to four-year high in November

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — A report released Tuesday by the Conference Board showed that consumer confidence rose in November to the highest level in more than four years.

The confidence index climbed to 73.7, the highest since February 2008, from a revised 73.1 reading the prior month, indicating that U.S. household spending will keep growing.

A median forecast of 75 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a reading of 73.

“Confidence is holding up well,” Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, told Bloomberg. “Spending is going to continue to increase. This bodes well for the fourth quarter.”

The gain in confidence may have been restrained by a plunge in the Middle Atlantic region, the area covering New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania that was most affected by superstorm Sandy. That area’s index dropped 14.6 points to a three-month low of 54.2.

Among other measures, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index climbed in November to a five- year high, while the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index last week hovered near the strongest point in seven months.

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