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New partnership expands digital payments

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A new partnership is giving Discover card users more flexibility and security at point-of-sale.

An agreement between Discover Financial Services (DFS) and PayPal allows U.S.-based PayPal customers to use Discover at all contactless-enabled merchants that accept the card. Discover cards will be presented as a payment option within the PayPal wallet, making accounts easily identifiable to card members when paying.

The agreement also enables Discover cardholders to use their Cashback Bonus to pay for purchases at any online or mobile merchant that accepts PayPal.

All transactions remain secure since PayPal now has access to Discover’s tokenization services.

“Discover is focused on making the payments experience seamless and secure for both card members and our merchant partners,” said Diane Offereins, president of payment services at Discover. “This agreement with PayPal helps expand consumer payment choices by providing additional ways to transact, and builds on the growing adoption of digital payments.”

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Unusual partners make for impactful window displays

BY Marianne Wilson

United Airlines has taken over the windows of one of the nation’s most iconic department stores.

Saks Fifth Avenue on Wednesday unveiled United Airlines Polaris-themed windows at the retailer’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Entitled "Now Arriving," the 14 storefront windows display a replica of a United Airlines plane. The center six windows feature a re-creation of the United Polaris experience, including actual United Polaris seats, which will debut on flights in February, and the cabin's custom Saks Fifth Ave-nue bedding suite.

"We designed these windows to give passersby the feeling that they are actually walking through the luxurious United Polaris cabin," said Mark Briggs, executive VP, creative, Saks Fifth Avenue. "The attention to de-tail throughout the installation is impressive, from the real United Polaris seats and Saks bedding to the United flight attendant uniforms and Saks' signature fashion represented by the season's top ready-to-wear resort looks."

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Supervalu Q3 sales disappoint

BY Marianne Wilson

Supervalu Inc. swung to a loss in its third quarter amid increased competition in the retail segment.

The company reported a net loss of $26 million during its 2017 fiscal third quarter, ended Dec. 3, as revenue fell 1.4% to $3 billion.

The loss, however, included a settlement charge of $41 million related to pensions and also store closure charges.

Supervalu was dragged down by the performance of its retail unit, where revenue fell 3.4% to $1.06 billion. Same-store sales were down 5.7%. The company’s wholesale business edged up to $1.91 billion.

Supervalu completed the sale of its Sav-A-Lot business on Dec. 6 — after the third quarter ended — and presented Sav-A-Lot results as discontinued operations.

“The successful sale of Save-A-Lot early in the fourth quarter provides Supervalu with additional flexibility to operate and grow our business,” said president and CEO Mark Gross. “Additionally, our wholesale team has done a tremendous job delivering for our customers. It is a significant accomplishment that we increased wholesale sales compared to last year given the sales lost at the end of fiscal 2016. Unfortunately, in our retail segment we have not been able to overcome persistent deflation, competitive impacts, and other factors. It takes time to change customers’ shopping habits, but our team is dedicated to improving our results."

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