Walmart launching chip-enabled store-brand MasterCard
New York — Walmart announced in a post on its corporate blog that its store-brand MasterCard holders can expect to receive a new chip-enabled card in the "next few weeks." The discounter said it is among the first retailers to implement chip technology as a more secure payment means for cardholders. It also noted in the post that Sam’s CLub introduced a chip-enabled MasterCard in June. Both cards prompt customers not to swipe – but to insert and briefly leave the card in the payment terminal, so the card’s embedded chip can be accessed.
Walmart installed EMV-capable terminals in stores about eight years ago. The terminals are now activated in more than 4,600 stores, including all Sam’s Club locations. Terminals in the remaining U.S. stores will be activated before the end of the year.
"When the cards are used at chip-enabled terminals, the enhanced security features used for authorization help confirm that the card being presented is authentic and make itmore difficult to duplicate, increasing protection against counterfeit fraud. The new cobranded card can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted around the world," wrote Mike Cook, Walmart’s senior VP of finance and assistant treasurer, and Chris McWilton, MasterCard’s president of North America, in the blog posting.
In another new feature of the Walmart co-branded MasterCard, cardholders will receive $5 back on every $500 they spend. They’ll also save 5 cents per gallon of gas at participating Walmart gas stations and 15 cents during Walmart’s “Great Gas Rollback” promotion running now through Sept. 8.
SAP: Start back-to-school promos later, focus online
Walldorf, Germany – Retailers should consider waiting until August to launch back-to-school promotions and focus them heavily on online shoppers. According to new data from SAP, consumer sentiment toward back-to-school advertising doesn’t become positive till the end of July.
Sentiment hangs lower than negative 20% before July and only shows a positive margin after Aug. 1. And while running a commercial provides little value, deals and sales receive positive sentiment year-round. SAP’s research actually suggests retailers should time promotions to match the buying season of certain products. For example, apparel, supplies, and electronics, all goods associated with back-to-school, sell better in August.
In addition, in 2014, 50% of shoppers purchased back-to-school items online. This marks a 13% increase from 2013 to present. If the trend continues, online shopping is set to outpace in-store back-to-school shopping in 2015.
JLL: Retail development on fire in Florida
Orlando, Fla. — Florida’s retail development market is moving indoors. According to JLL research, nearly half of all retail commercial construction in Florida in the half of 2014 is taking place in malls and shopping centers.
“While most markets are seeing a boom in grocery-anchored power centers or strip centers, Florida has a distinct need for traditional retail assets that’s driven by the tourist shopper base, which prefers a one-stop shop for their goods along with a climate controlled experience,” said John Schupp, senior VP of retail development at JLL.
Florida’s construction numbers stand in contrast to the rest of the country, where the retail development pipeline remains slim, with just 45 million sq. ft. nationwide under construction. However, Florida benefits from expanding retailers and increasing investment allocations. More than 29% of all new retail deliveries in the United States in the second quarter 2014 occurred in Florida, and its major cities are absorbing the space well.
Tampa is seeing the most robust growth with 1.43 million sq. ft. of space under construction as of second quarter 2014. Miami has 1.42 million sq. ft. under construction, the greatest amount of development in proportion to its existing inventory.
The Florida retail market shows no sign of slowing, despite its loss of momentum during the recession. Development in the state accounts for nearly 13% of retail assets under construction nationwide, and a tidal wave of space is expected to come to fruition during the next nine to 12 months in South Florida, according to JLL research. Liquidity in the financial markets has continued to rise to pre-recession levels, increasing the ability to develop new retail assets, or redevelop older properties.