NRF Welcomes European Ruling Against Interchange Fees
Washington, D.C. The National Retail Federation (NRF) on Wednesday said it welcomed a ruling by the European Commission (EC) that hidden fees currently charged by MasterCard to process credit-card transactions in Europe drive up costs for consumers in violation of EC rules and must be withdrawn within six months. The NRF likened the situation in Europe to that in the United States, where it said that hidden charge-card fees cost U.S. shoppers $40 billion annually.
“European authorities say MasterCard is double-dipping in Europe, and that’s exactly what we think both MasterCard and Visa are doing here in the U.S.,” NRF senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan said. “Visa and MasterCard are charging billions of dollars directly to consumers for all the fees that show up on their monthly statements, then they turn around and charge billions more from the hidden credit-card fees they force merchants to include in the price of merchandise.”
“These fees drive up the cost of merchandise for shoppers while delivering little if any benefit commensurate with the billions charged,” Duncan added.
“It’s time for this to stop, and authorities here in the United States should take the European ruling as a signal that it’s time to bring the same relief to U.S. consumers.”
The European Commission ruled today that so-called “interchange” fees charged by MasterCard and its banks violate EC Treaty rules on restrictive business practices and “inflated the cost of card acceptance by retailers without leading to proven efficiencies.” The commission ordered MasterCard to withdraw the fees within six months or face fines equivalent to 3.5% of global revenues.
Stop & Shop to expand deli kiosk service
BOSTON Stop & Shop will be offering customers access to self-service deli ordering in more than 200 stores by the first quarter of 2008.
Modiv Media, the maker of the Modiv DeliVision kiosk used by Stop & Shop in select stores, as well as other supermarket chains, announced Monday that Stop & Shop would be expanding the use of the service, which allows customers to place their deli order using a touch screen and informs them when the order will be filled, thus eliminating the need to wait in line. In addition, customers, are able to scan their loyalty card for easy ordering of their favorite items.
“Using Modiv DeliVision, Stop & Shop can now provide a new way for customers to shop,” said Christine Dorman, senior vp of operational and strategic initiatives and support services for Stop & Shop. “DeliVision gives us an opportunity to enhance customer satisfaction and increase our efficiency.”
Del Monte board elects Williams-Sonoma cfo
SAN FRANCISCO Del Monte Foods has announced that it has named Williams-Sonoma executive Sharon McCollam to its board of directors.
Sharon McCollam has served as evp, coo and cfo of Williams-Sonoma since July 2006. She joined the company in March 2000 as vp of finance. From 1993 to 2000, McCollam held a variety of positions at Dole Foods, including vp and cfo of the Dole fresh vegetables division from 1996 to 2000.
“We are delighted to welcome Sharon to our board of directors,” commented Richard Wolford, ceo and chairman of the board. “We believe Sharon’s participation as a board member will be very beneficial to Del Monte Foods. Her experience is complementary to our business; she contributes additional financial expertise, and as well, will provide important retail and consumer packaged goods perspective for our business.”