FINANCE

VeriFone and Hypercom in deal to sell Hypercom’s U.S. payment systems business

BY CSA STAFF

San Jose, Calif. — VeriFone Systems and Hypercom Corp. announced that they have reached an agreement to sell the U.S. payment systems business of Hypercom to Ingenico S.A.

The transaction is expected to close immediately prior to completion of VeriFone’s acquisition of Hypercom, which is expected to occur in the second half of 2011, subject to certain closing conditions.

The sale is part of the contemplated divestiture previously announced by VeriFone in connection with its proposed acquisition of Hypercom. The agreement marks an important milestone in the path to the completion of Hypercom’s merger transaction with VeriFone.

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Ace plans launch of paint-and-primer in one

BY CSA STAFF

In a move to boost its competitive footing against the warehouse home centers, Ace Hardware Corp. is planning a paint-and-primer-in-one launch later this year.

Ace executives describe the paint as a "flagship new product" by providing convenience and ease of application. The branding of the new product will be unveiled when the launch occurs, possibly during the third quarter of this year.

Around the industry, Home Depot’s paint-and-primer in one from Behr has been described as a big success by the Atlanta-based retailer’s merchandise team. And True Value introduced its EasyCare Platinum 2-in-1 paint last month.

At Ace, the paint category is seen as a key arena in its effort to grow sales and boost traffic. "Our goal is very clear," said John Surane, Ace Hardware Corp.’s VP merchandising, advertising, marketing and paint. "Launch an extremely exciting environment and a consumer-relevant program that is more profitable for Ace retailers."

Speaking at the recent Ace Convention and Exhibits in Chicago, Surane said the co-op is engaging its members to fine-tune its program, which employs a two-brand strategy involving Benjamin Moore and its own Ace brands.

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A knack for service

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Retailers rank supreme for their customer service, according to a new report by the Temkin Group.

The consulting and research firm analyzed responses from 6,000 consumers, found that Amazon.com ranked No. 1 for providing an "excellent" customer experience, coming in with a ranking of 81.3%. A business qualifies for an "excellent" rating when their score is 80% or higher, Temkin said.

Also featured on the list were Costco, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Walgreens, Target and Rite Aid, which respectively landed in the third, fourth, seventh, ninth and 10th spots. What’s more, retailers took 15-out-of-20 top spots on the list.

The components of ratings included functional, accessible and emotional experiences. For retailers, the average ratings were 79% for both functional and accessible experiences, while the emotional experience rating came in at 63%. Temkin rated its experience at 74%.

For the full report, click here.

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