News

RILA announces opposition to ‘flawed’ proposed swipe fee settlement

BY Staff Writer

Arlington, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association criticized the proposed swipe fee settlement and urged class plaintiffs to reject the proposal. Announced in July, the proposed settlement stems from lawsuits challenging the anticompetitive swipe fee practices of Visa and MasterCard.

“While Visa and MasterCard’s decision to pursue a settlement affirms the legitimacy of retailers’ claims, the flawed proposal upholds the networks’ anticompetitive practices and fails to provide retailers and their consumers with meaningful relief from tens of billions of dollars in hidden fees,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. “We urge class plaintiffs to reject the proposal and send a clear message that a settlement that fails to engender competition and fix the broken electronic payments market is unacceptable.”

If the proposed settlement is ultimately approved, all retailers will be bound by its terms, RILA said. Among the many proposed terms that concern retailers is the release of Visa and MasterCard from any future legal claims related to their interchange practices and terms that could stifle emerging innovations, such as mobile payments.

“Retailers are concerned that in addition to limiting their future legal options, the proposed settlement preserves the Visa/MasterCard duopoly and constrains emerging innovations that could bring meaningful competition to the marketplace,” added Kennedy.

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FINANCE

Chico’s Q2 beats expectations

BY Marianne Wilson

Fort Meyers, Fla. — Chico’s FAS Inc.’s second-quarter net income surged a better-than-expected 22% amid increased sales across its brands. The retailer, which has now topped analyst estimates for the last three quarters, raised the low-end of its 2012 revenue outlook, citing its performance for the first half of the year.

Chico’s earned $52.4 million for the period ended July 28, compared with $42.8 million in the same period last year.

Revenue rose 16% to $641.7 million, from $551.4 million. Boston Proper, a direct-to-consumer company that Chico’s acquired in September, contributed $32.6 million in sales.

Same-store sales increased 5.6%, with Chico’s/Soma Intimates brands up 7.2% and White House | Black Market sales were up 2.3%.

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News

Collective Brands on the sales block

BY CSA STAFF

TOPEKA, Kan. — Collective Brands stockholders voted at a special meeting on Tuesday to approve the sale of the company for about $1.32 billion.

Collective, which owns the Payless and Stride Rite shoe store banners, had announced in May that it accepted a purchase offer from a group that includes Wolverine Worldwide Inc., Blum Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital.

The transaction will split Payless and Collective’s brand development and licensing arm into separate companies. Wolverine, which owns Hush Puppy, will acquire the Performance + Lifestyle Group, which includes Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Stride Rite and Keds.

Blum Capital and Golden Gate will jointly acquire Payless and Collective Licensing International.

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