NRF Pushes for Credit-Card Reform
Washington D.C. The National Retail Federation (NRF) is urging the House Judiciary Committee to support anti-trust legislation that would require Visa and MasterCard to negotiate with merchants over credit-card processing fees. NRF said that the hidden fee charged by the two card giants is projected to cost the average U.S. family more than $400 this year. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Thursday.
“If consumers knew how much they are actually paying for credit cards, most would say they aren’t worth the price,” NRF senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan said. “U.S. consumers are paying an outrageously high annual fee that most don’t even know about, and the price is going up dramatically every year.”
According to NRF estimates, the average U.S. family is projected to pay $427 in hidden credit-card interchange fees in 2008. The figure is based on the $48 billion Visa, MasterCard and their banks are projected to collect in interchange during 2008. This is divided by the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimate of 112.4 million households. The number is up from $378 in 2007, and has nearly tripled from the $159 paid in 2001, the year NRF began tracking interchange.
Sponsored by committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., the bill would require credit-card systems possessing “substantial market power” to negotiate with merchants to reach a voluntary agreement on credit-card terms and conditions.
If an agreement cannot be reached, both sides would be required to submit their final offers to binding arbitration by a three-judge panel appointed by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission.
Spice Depot snags Wal-Mart global sourcing expert
BURNABY, British Columbia Former Wal-Mart global sourcing and supplier development head John Ryan will join Spice Depot as president of retail development worldwide, the company reported.
“The significance of the appointment of Ryan to our senior management team cannot be underestimated,” says Spice Depot president Danny Ferraro. “John is a true giant in the retail sector, known worldwide for the pivotal role he played in developing global sourcing and supplier development for Walmart.”
Global Sourcing is a Walmart-accredited procurement strategy aimed at leveraging global efficiencies in production.
Ryan began his career with Mercantile Stores where he stayed 20 years, ascending ultimately to the position of evp responsible for merchandising and marketing.
Ryan joined Walmart in 1995 as evp of international merchandising and marketing. He later assumed responsibility for global sourcing and supplier development. He retired from Wal-Mart in 2004.
Socol to retire as head of Barneys
NEW YORK Barneys New York announced today the resignation of Howard Socol as chairman, president and ceo. Socol served in that capacity since January 2001 through a period of significant growth at Barneys and through two changes in ownership of the company.
Mr. Socol stated, “After more than seven of the greatest years of my long career in retail, I felt it was time to take time to enjoy all the opportunities that life affords. I felt strongly about remaining with the company for a short period following the sale to Istithmar as well as through the opening of our Las Vegas flagship. With the sale process well behind us and the Las Vegas location having opened in January of this year, this is the appropriate time to move forward. Barneys is very fortunate to have a fantastic management team that has been together for many years and that has led Barneys to the preeminent place in luxury retailing today.”
During Socol’s tenure with Barneys, the Company initiated an expansion program and has opened four flagship stores, 15 Barneys New York CO-OP stores and two outlet stores. Socol will remain with the company through the end of June.