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U.S. Bank and Kroger launch new strategic payments alliance

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati The Kroger Co. and U.S. Bank, lead bank of U.S. Bancorp, announced Wednesday a strategic alliance that will give Kroger customers a suite of payment products.

As part of the alliance, U.S. Bank has purchased the grocery retailer’s existing credit-card portfolio from RBS Citizens N.A., and said it plans to offer additional financial services for Kroger customers.

“Our expanded partnership with Kroger leverages U.S. Bank’s entire spectrum of retail and consumer banking services,” said Pam Joseph, vice chair of payment services for U.S. Bancorp.

The alliance is an expansion of U.S. Bank’s existing financial services relationship with Kroger.

Kroger currently operates 2,468 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s. The company also operates 777 convenience stores, 374 fine jewelry stores, 893 supermarket fuel centers and 40 food processing plants in the United States.

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Macy’s celebrates Pride month

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK (Jun. 2) Macy’s announced that it has celebrating Pride month with a multitude of in-store fashion events, advertising support, special tribute windows in select stores, gift registry booths for same-sex couples in key cities, as well as sponsorship and employee participation in Pride parades across the country.

"We are proud to support our LGBTQ employees and consumers through initiatives that recognize and honor our commitment to diversity and inclusion," said Corliss Fong, Macy’s vice president of diversity strategies. "Macy’s remains a steadfast supporter of inclusiveness in all aspects of our business and we join in celebration with millions across the nation who live with pride and joy this June."

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Borders announces exec changes

BY CSA STAFF

ANN ARBOR , Mich. (Jun. 4) Borders Group announced that Mike Edwards has been appointed president of Borders Group and president and CEO of Borders Inc., the principle subsidiary of Borders Group. Bennett LeBow, who recently became chairman of the Borders Group board of directors, will serve as CEO of Borders Group. Edwards will report to LeBow.

Edwards has been interim CEO of Borders since January. He joined the company in September 2009 as EVP and chief merchandising officer. Before joining Borders, he most recently served as president and CEO of Ellington Leather, a Portland, Ore.-based leather handbags and accessories wholesaler. From 2004 through 2007, Edwards was president and CEO for lucy Activewear, a division of VF Corp. He has also held executive management positions in merchandising and operations with Jo-Ann Stores, West Marine Inc., Golfsmith and CompUSA, as well as buying and merchandising posts with Target and the May Department Store Company.

LeBow, who recently made an equity investment of $25 million in Borders through an entity he controls, is chairman of the board of Vector Group, a company he’s been affiliated with since 1986. In March of 1996, under his leadership, Liggett Company, owned by Vector Group, became the first tobacco company to settle smoking-related litigation. Before devoting himself completely to private business in 1968, LeBow served in the Pentagon initially as a First Lieutenant and subsequently as a civilian, serving as assistant to the assistant vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army.

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