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Visa launches new payment card security initiative

BY CSA STAFF

On Wednesday, Visa Inc. launched a new payment card security initiative that the company said could eliminate the need for retailers and other organizations to store full, 16-digit credit and debit card numbers on their systems.

The move comes in response to long-standing pressure from the National Retail Federation, which maintains that merchants should not be required to store the information because of security risks.

Under the new initiative, Visa said it will push card issuers and acquiring banks to allow merchants to present truncated, disguised or otherwise masked card numbers for dispute resolution cases. Some permit this already, but the goal is to make the practice broader, said Eduardo Perez, head of global payment system security at Visa.

Visa said it plans to seek feedback from industry stakeholders on the challenges and issues involved in moving to a more secure payment industry model. After Visa reviews the feedback, it will decide whether to make the recommendations a mandated requirement.

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West Marine sales rise 8.4% in 2Q

BY CSA STAFF

West Marine Inc. reported Thursday that its net revenues for the quarter ended July 3 were $233.4 million, an increase of 8.4% over the year-ago period.

Same-store sales jumped 9.4%.

According to the company, sales benefitted from warmer weather in the northeast. However, “in the southeast, we have been starting to feel the effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as boating activities are increasingly restricted,” said Geoff Eisenberg, CEO.

West Marine, a specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories, operates 330 company-operated stores in 38 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, and two franchised stores in Turkey.

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Steamy, hot weather to drive seasonal-goods sales

BY CSA STAFF

Retailers in the Eastern part of the United States can expect above-normal temperatures to continue to drive sales of seasonal goods, according to Planalytics, which provides business weather intelligence.

The company advises retailers to position inventory levels appropriately, with strong demand expected for air conditioners, fans and other cooling products, bottled water, sports drinks, suncare, and other essential items for protecting people and animals. Seasonal products such as tees, sandals, swimwear, shorts, and water toys will also be in high demand in the East.

During the next two weeks, the Northeast is expected to experience above-normal temperatures, Planalytics said, and the heat will stretch to the Midwest, and temperatures in the Southern tier are likely to reach 100 degrees with higher heat .

Here is how sales of weather-driven goods are expected to stack up for July 2010 compared with last July, when many areas of the Northeast experienced below-normal temperatures:

Air Conditioners…………… +41%
Sleeveless Tops…………….+29%
Sandals ………………………. +20%
Swimwear……………………. +13%
Sports Drinks………………….+12%
Automotive Batteries……….. +7%

In the West, temperatures will average near normal over the rest of the month, providing a colder comparison to July 2009.

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