FINANCE

NRF: ‘Extremely disappointed’ in swipe-fee regulations set

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation said Thursday that it is disappointed in the final debit card swipe-fee regulations set by the Federal Reserve.

Under the new rule, the current debit card swipe-fee rate of 1%-2% of each transaction will be replaced with a flat fee of not more than 21 cents per transaction for the nation’s largest banks — substantially higher than the flat fee of up to 12 cents the Fed originally proposed in December 2010.

“American consumers suffered a major loss today,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “We are extremely disappointed that the Federal Reserve chose to be influenced by special interests and ignored the will of Congress and American consumers. While the rate will provide modest relief, it does not go far enough.”

Shay added that the Fed did not follow through to the full extent of swipe fee reform, but that “we take some comfort in knowing that we were able to shine a light on these deceptive practices and bring some relief to merchants and their customers.”

Even though the new regulations set Thursday are a step forward for the industry, NRF has argued that debit-card transactions should be honored at or close to face value since debit cards function as plastic checks that draw from the same bank accounts as paper checks.

Thursday’s action comes three weeks after the Senate rejected an amendment that would have delayed swipe fee reform by at least a year and required the Fed to write regulations more in favor of the banks. The amendment was defeated after NRF launched a nationwide lobbying, grassroots and media campaign.

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OPERATIONS

Brand Athletics changes name to Lids Team Sports

BY Staff Writer

Tigard, Ore. — Regional sports dealer Brand Athletics said Thursday it will operate solely under the name Lids Team Sports, a division of Indianapolis-based Lids Sports Group. Lids acquired Brand Athletics in 2010.

The Lids Sports Group, operating within Genesco subsidiary Hat World, is comprised of the Lids retail headwear stores, the Lids Locker Room specialty fan retail chain, the Lids Clubhouse retail stores, the Lids Team Sports wholesale team sports business and its Internet businesses.

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OPERATIONS

Survey: Smartphone usage driving consumer purchase habits

BY Marianne Wilson

Indianapolis — More than half of U.S. consumers who’ve made at least one purchase on their smartphone have done so based on a marketing message delivered via mobile email, according to a new study by ExactTarget.

While calling, texting and emailing remain the most frequent daily activities for smartphone users, the study found consumers are increasingly using their smartphones for more than the basics.


Key findings of the research include:

  • Sixteen percent of smartphone owners have completed at least one purchase as a direct result of a marketing message they received on their smartphone;
  • Of those, 55% have completed a purchase directly on their smartphone, 43% have completed a purchase on their computer, and 35% report purchasing in-store;
  • Twenty-eight percent of smartphone owners have used their phone at least once to check in using location-based services such as Foursquare or Facebook Places; and
  • Twenty-four percent have scanned a QR code or bar code on their smartphone.
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