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Meijer, Fred Meyer offer mobile credit-card system

BY Alaric DeArment

TROY, Mich. — Five regional retailers — including mass-merchandisers Meijer and Fred Meyer — are selling a mobile point-of-sale credit card processing system compatible with most smartphones and tablets in their stores.

PayAnywhere consists of an app and small credit card reader that hooks on to an Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android or BlackBerry device and allows for payment on the spot. In addition to Meijer and Fred Meyer, Walmart and other retailers such as Brandsmart, Hastings Entertainment, MicroCenter, OfficeMax, Home Depot and Pep Boys sell the system as well. PayAnywhere is aimed at small businesses that want to be able to accept credit cards.

"Many business owners and professional contractors prefer to ‘shop locally’ when they can to support their regional retailers," PayAnywhere VP sales Scott Addyman said. "The ability to purchase the PayAnywhere reader from these retailers is important to them."

 

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Costco reports 7% sales increase for March

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Club retailer Costco Wholesale announced Thursday sales grew by 7% in March compared with March 2012, the company said.

Costco reported net sales for the month of $9.67 billion, compared with $9.07 billion during the same period last year.

For the 31-week period that ended on Sunday, sales were $61.02 billion, an 8% increase over the same period last year, when sales were $56.34 billion.

The Issaquah, Wash.-based chain currently operates 626 stores, including 449 in the United States.

 

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Obama budget proposes increasing tobacco taxes

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has proposed increasing federal taxes on cigarettes, drawing criticism from tobacco companies and praise from anti-smoking groups.

As part of his proposed budget, Obama proposed raising the tax on cigarettes by 94 cents per pack, with similar increases on other tobacco products. The current tax is $1.01 per pack.

Published reports quoted spokespeople for tobacco companies like Reynolds American and Altria Group as saying the proposed tax increase was unfair because it would target low- to middle-income consumers. Still, according to the Office of Management and Budget, the proposed increase would raise $78.1 billion in federal revenue over the next decade for early childhood education, and a study by the Congressional Budget Office found that increasing tobacco taxes by 50 cents would prompt nearly 1.4 million adult smokers to quit by 2021.

"We urge Congress to support this proposal, which would have as great an impact in reducing tobacco use among kids as any action the federal government has taken," Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids president Matthew Myers said.

 

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