FINANCE

NRF running radio ads to keep swipe fee amendment in bill

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. The National Retail Federation Friday launched a radio campaign urging the House and Senate to keep an amendment seeking reasonable swipe fees for debit-card transactions in financial services reform legislation expected to be finalized next week.

“With big banks and the credit-card industry pushing hard to strip this important consumer protection out of the financial services reform bill, we want to make sure that members of Congress realize how angry small businesses and their customers are about these fees,” NRF senior VP for government relations Steve Pfister said. “These fees are driving up costs for consumers at a time when our economy is still recovering. Taxpayers have already paid for one bailout of the banking industry. Consumers shouldn’t be asked to bail out the banks and the card industry again, but that’s what would happen if this amendment is killed.”

The 60-second spots are running in the home districts of key members of the House-Senate conference committee currently negotiating a final version of the Restoring American Financial Stability Act.

The panel is expected to complete its work next week, followed by final votes in the House and Senate the following week in order to get the bill on President Obama’s desk by July 4.

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Burger King Goes Green in Germany

BY Marianne Wilson

Burger King Corp. has gone green in Germany, with the opening of an energy-efficient restaurant in Waghausel. The eco-friendly design, developed in cooperation with Wirsol Solar AG (Baden-Wurttemberg), uses state-of-the-art technologies and renewable energy to power one-third of the restaurant’s energy consumption, reducing energy costs by 45% and the emission of CO2 by more than 120 metric tons annually.

"This new energy-efficient restaurant uses renewable energy systems, such as solar photovoltaic and wind turbines that are estimated to save nearly half of this restaurant’s yearly electricity costs," said Jonathan Fitzpatrick, senior VP franchise operations for BKC’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

The restaurant features the chain’s sleek and futuristic store design, dubbed “20/20,” while also incorporating an array of eco-friendly technologies and energy-efficient construction elements, including:

* Interior heat-recovery ventilation system that cools and heats the restaurant, saving 73% of energy consumption per year;

* Long-lasting interior and exterior LED bulbs saving more than 55% of energy consumption annually;

* Excess heat loss is captured to generate hot water, conserving 50% of energy usage annually;

* A wind turbine contributing up to 2,500 kWh to the restaurant’s power supply was added to the traditional exterior logo sign;

* Photovoltaic and wind energy systems that save up to 45% of electricity annually; and

* More than 720 solar photovoltaic modules that generate over 53,500 kWh of electricity per year.

The restaurant also has a solar-powered electric vehicle charging station for hybrid cars and a rainwater reclamation system for landscape irrigation.

In addition, the new Burger King uses an energy-efficient broiler (Duke Flexible Batch Broiler) that maximizes cooking flexibility while reducing gas consumption and related costs by 52% and electricity consumption and costs by 90%. All the company’s restaurants in North America have installed the broiler and the international rollout is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

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Limited Brands sells remaining stake in Limited Stores

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio Limited Brands announced the sale of its remaining 25% stake in Limited Stores, LLC. Under the transaction terms, Limited Stores, LLC, which operates retail locations called The Limited, purchased Limited Brand’s remaining interest in the company for $32 million.

In 2007, Limited Brands sold a 75% stake in Limited Stores to an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, a private investment firm that now owns 100% of Limited Stores. Limited Stores has more than 220 mall locations throughout the United States.

“This sale supports our focus on intimate apparel, personal care and beauty products,” said Leslie Wexner, chairman and CEO of Limited Brands.  “We wish our long-time partners at Limited Stores continued success … this transition further enables both teams to win.”

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