NRF Asks U.S. Supreme Court to review swipe fee ruling
Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation on Monday told the U.S. Supreme Court that the debate over debit card swipe fees is “of staggering importance” and asked the justices to review a ruling that left the Federal Reserve’s cap on the billions of transactions conducted each year at 21 cents rather than reducing it to a lower level.
“There’s so much at stake here for U.S. retailers and their customers that we have no choice but to pursue this case as far as possible,” NRF senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan said. “When a federal agency blatantly disregards the clear intent of legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, that’s a dispute that cannot be ignored.”
A petition asking the Supreme Court to consider the case was filed Monday by NRF, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Restaurant Association, NRF member Boscov’s Department Store, and NACS member Miller Oil Co., all of whom were plaintiffs in the original lawsuit.
Under the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection and Wall Street Reform Act of 2010, the Federal Reserve was required to adopt regulations that would result in debit swipe fees that were “reasonable and proportional” to the actual cost of processing a transaction. Incremental costs of authorizing, clearing and settling each transaction were allowed to be considered but fixed costs were not.
The Fed calculated the average incremental cost at 4 cents per transaction and initially proposed a cap no higher than 12 cents, but eventually settled on 21 cents after heavy lobbying from the financial services industry. While lower than the average of 45 cents before the cap was set, NRF argued that the 21-cent figure included costs that went beyond those allowed under the legislation and filed suit against the Fed in U.S. District Court in 2011 along with other retail groups.
In July 2013, Judge Richard Leon ruled in NRF’s favor and ordered the Fed to recalculate the cap at a lower level, but the Fed appealed. This March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned Leon’s ruling, citing “ambiguity” in the 2010 law and saying the Fed based the cap on a “reasonable interpretation” of the measure.
“This case is of staggering importance,” the petition filed on Monday stated. “The economic burden of the (Fed’s) error will be felt virtually every time a consumer swipes a debit card.”
The petition argued that the Circuit Court made a number of legal errors and “bent over backward to find ambiguity” in Dodd-Frank while ignoring the ‘text, structure and purpose” of the law.
Macy’s gears up for 9th annual Shop For A Cause event
It’s time for customers who shop at Macy’s to feel extra good as the retailer gears up for its ninth annual national “Shop For A Cause” charity event Saturday, Aug. 23.
The one-day-only shopping event was created to support local charities’ fundraising efforts. Since 2006, the program has helped raise more than $44 million for thousands of charities across the country.
This year, Macy’s has designated March of Dimes, a leading nonprofit organization in support of pregnancy and baby health, as its national beneficiary of all proceeds of sales of Shop For A Cause savings passes in Macy’s stores and on macys.com Aug. 23.
In addition to March of Dimes, more than 4,000 local charities have signed up to participate this year. By purchasing $5 Shop For A Cause savings passes from these organizations, customers will be supporting their favorite local cause and will receive 25% off on regular, sale and clearance merchandise, as well as 10% off electrics, electronics, watches, furniture, mattresses and area rugs all day Saturday, Aug. 23, with some exclusions. Customers also are eligible to win a $500 gift card.
Each participating nonprofit organization will keep 100% of every savings pass it sells.
"Macy’s is committed to giving back nationally and to our local communities," said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. "For the last eight years, Macy’s Shop For A Cause program has provided our customers and associates the opportunity to show their support and give back to their local community organizations while enjoying great savings at Macy’s. We are honored to partner with March of Dimes as our national in-store beneficiary and to offer our customers an easy and convenient way to make a positive difference in the lives of others."
Customers can also shop online at macys.com, as passes purchased there on Aug. 23 will also benefit the March of Dimes.
“Macy’s support has been critical in helping us provide moms and families with access to prenatal education programs important to improving baby health,” said Meri-Margaret Deoudes, VP of strategic alliances and cause marketing for the March of Dimes. “Shop For A Cause demonstrates Macy’s corporate responsibility and support for communities, volunteers and families across the country.”
For a list of participating organizations, go to macys.com/shopforacause.
Urban Outfitters sees record Q2 sales, profit slides
Philadelphia — Urban Outfitters Inc. reported that profit for the second quarter dipped to $67.5 million, compared with $76.4 million last year.
Revenue rose to a record $811 million from $758.5 million, solidly beating analysts’ projections of $805 million in sales. Same-store sales increased 21% at Free People and 6% at the Anthropologie Group, and decreased 10% at Urban Outfitters.
Urban Outfitters operates under the Anthropologie, Bhldn, Free People, Terrain and Urban Outfitters banners.