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NRF to Congress: Delay Affordable Care Act employer mandate

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation penned a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, asking Congress to pass a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate.

The impending House vote follows the Administration’s announcement earlier this month of a one-year delay of the employer mandate provisions.

“NRF has worked hard to help our members come into compliance with the Affordable Care Act,” NRF senior VP David French wrote in the letter. “We have repeatedly voiced concern about the effect of the employer mandate penalties on retail and chain restaurant jobs and job growth. We have also expressed concern about the rapidly diminishing amount of time to come into compliance with the ACA.”



NRF recently testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, where it called on the Administration and Congress to delay the health care reform law to provide businesses and employers more time to adapt their systems. Soon thereafter, the Administration announced its intention to delay the employer mandate requirements for one year.

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T.Gorski says:
Jul-18-2013 01:53 pm

Well, it is really great to see that the National Retail Federation has showed its concern regarding the effect of the employer mandate penalties on the job growth and chain restaurant jobs. It's really a crucial issue and definitely deserves the authority's attention. Tomasz Gorski from www.unitedfinances.com/

T.Gorski says:
Jul-18-2013 01:53 pm

Well, it is really great to see that the National Retail Federation has showed its concern regarding the effect of the employer mandate penalties on the job growth and chain restaurant jobs. It's really a crucial issue and definitely deserves the authority's attention. Tomasz Gorski from www.unitedfinances.com/

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Staples, Best Buy, Office Depot score highest on recycling report card

BY Katherine Boccaccio

San Francisco — Although most of the 16 electronics retailers scored by the Electronics TakeBack Coalition received an “F” grade, three companies – Staples, Best Buy and Office Depot – were deemed to have effective recycling programs.

More than half of the retailers failed the Coalition’s assessment, including Walmart, Amazon, Costco, Sam’s Club and Sears.

Some retailers offer trade-in programs where consumers can get store gift cards equal to the value of their traded in products, which they must ship back to the retailer. But the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, which promotes responsible recycling and green design of electronics, doesn’t view those as a substitute for recycling programs.

“We’d like to see more of these retailers step up and be the front door for recycling programs, in partnership with the manufacturer take back programs,” said Barbara Kyle, national coordinator, Electronics TakeBack Coalition.

The report card evaluated the 16 retailers’ programs against 20 criteria, including convenience, transparency, collection volumes and responsible recycling. Findings included:

  • Only three of the retailers (19%) have effective recycling programs, meaning they take back all or most of the 13 categories studied and offer physical collection sites.
  • Nine of the 16 retailers got F’s (56%), because they either have no recycling program or they take back only one item.
  • While all 16 retailers sell TVs, only two — Best Buy and Micro Center – take them back for recycling at their stores.
  • Nine retailers offer trade in programs, but only two of them – Best Buy and Radio Shack – let you bring trade in items back to their stores. The others require consumers to ship their old products back to the trade in vendor for credit.
  • Six of the 16 (37%) retailers are using certified e-Stewards for their recycling or trade in recyclers. The e-Steward standard is the highest in the industry, and does not allow vendors to export toxic e-waste to developing countries.

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Study: Millennials opt for Walmart over Amazon

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Kansas City — A new study of the millennial generation shows that many 25- to 34-year-old shoppers change their purchasing habits and behaviors after they start their families.

According to the “Millennials as New Parents” study, fielded by Vision Critical and conducted and analyzed by Barkley, when given the choice to shop at one store for the rest of their lives, millennial parents chose Walmart over Amazon.com and Target. The group also chose brick-and-mortar Walmart and Target locations as their shopping destinations of choice, over online stalwart amazon.com.

When broken down by income level, the answer shifts slightly. High-income millennial parents chose Target, while middle and low income brackets chose Walmart.

Before they become parents, millennials rank their favorite brands in order of descending importance as Nike, Sony and Gap, with 10% naming Nike as their top choice. After they become parents, millennials continue to name Nike as their top affinity brand, but at a much lower margin. Only 6% put Nike at the top — followed by Target and Apple at 3% each.

Millennial parents are pragmatic — when compared to before they had children, they buy significantly more based on price than they do on quality. Before they were parents, their buying decisions were 57% on quality. After parenthood, they buy just over 50% on quality.

In some categories — dining and entertainment, apparel, and digital products — the change is more dramatic, with the shift away from quality and toward price dropping as much as 20%.

Millennials, the most transparent generation ever, continue to remain heavily connected online even after they become parents. Over 35% of millennial parents claim to have posted on Facebook in the last day.

Millennials as a whole regularly trade private information for perks from brands they favor. However, that willingness falters a bit when millennials become parents, with 48% claiming they are less likely to give up private information about themselves in exchange for promotional perks.

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