WORKFORCE

Report: Walmart to cut hundreds of jobs

BY Marianne Wilson

Wal-Mart Stores is reportedly planning a major round of job layoffs by the end of this month.

The retailer will eliminate positions at its headquarters and among regional personnel that support stores, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"As we've previously shared, we are always looking for ways to operate more efficiently and effectively,” Wal-Mart said in a statement to CNBC. “While we continually look at our corporate structure, we have not made any announcements."

In September, the discounter said it was eliminating about 7,000 back-office jobs, mostly in accounting and invoicing positions at its U.S. stores, as part of a program it announced earlier in the year.

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POS/PAYMENTS

NRF wants free speech for merchants on credit card fees

BY Marianne Wilson

The National Retail Federation on Tuesday called on the U.S. Supreme Court to allow merchants to freely and accurately show customers the added costs that come with paying by credit card rather than cash.

“Retailers have no interest in surcharging their customers for using credit cards,” NRF senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan said. “That would be the opposite of our goal to bring credit card swipe fees under control. But merchants do want to be able to show customers the cost of using a credit card without running afoul of the law.”

The case isn’t about surcharging, Duncan added. Instead, it’s about “giving retailers freedom of speech when they try to give their customers a break for paying by cash.”

“Some states allow cash discounts but prohibit credit card surcharges,” he explained. “A gas station owner shouldn’t be hauled into court for saying gas is $2.90 a gallon cash and $3 credit rather than saying $3 credit and $2.90 cash.”

Justices heard arguments Tuesday in a case challenging laws in 10 states that prohibit merchants from imposing a surcharge when customers use a credit card. The laws, which were passed at the urging of the card industry, can be traps for merchants who give a cash discount, NRF said. The lawsuit before the court argues that the laws violate merchants’ free speech rights under the First Amendment and are unconstitutionally vague under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.

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DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Regional sporting goods retailer expanding in the West

BY Marianne Wilson

Sportsman’s Warehouse is building out its retail portfolio in familiar territory.

The Utah-based retailer announced three new locations: Everett, Washington; Pueblo, Colorado; and Visalia, California. The new stores are expected to open in the second half of 2017.

The location in Everett will be the tenth Sportsman’s Warehouse store in the state of Washington and will be located in the Greentree Plaza.

Sportsman’s Warehouse will construct the Visalia, California location in the Grove at Packwood Creek shopping center and will be its eighth location in the state of California. The Pueblo, Colorado store will be the sixth Sportsman’s Warehouse location in the state of Colorado and will be constructed as a smaller format store.

With these planned openings combined with their previous announced 2017 store openings, Sportsman’s Warehouse will operate 85 stores in 22 states.

These stores will feature an extensive selection of hunting, fishing and camping gear, as well as a wide range of apparel and footwear. As with all Sportsman’s Warehouse locations, the store will also feature instruction, seminars and special events related to outdoor activities.

“We are excited to further expand our presence in states we know very well,” stated John Schaefer, Sportsman’s Warehouse CEO “These new markets have a large user base that is currently under served through existing retailers. The additions of these stores keep with our business plan, promoting stable growth that will benefit our company, our vendors, and most importantly, our loyal customers for many years to come.”

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