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NRF launches advocacy campaign to preserve swipe-fee reform

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation on Wednesday launched a 60-day lobbying, grassroots and media campaign aimed at ensuring that a new federal law — which is designed to save retailers and their customers more than $1 billion a month by lowering the “swipe fees" banks charge to process debit card transactions — takes effect in late July as scheduled.

A provision in last year’s Wall Street reform bill is designed to reduce the fees by an estimated 70%, saving about $14 billion a year, which retailers plan to pass along to their customers through discounts or other benefits. The credit card industry, however, is spending millions to delay the reform.

“Congress concluded last year that swipe fees have been driving up prices for consumers by far too much for far too long,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Now that Congress has done something about these fees, retailers are standing by to pass the savings along to their customers through lower prices and higher value. Our job over the next two months is to ensure that swipe-fee reform takes effect as planned and consumers get to enjoy all the new benefits.”

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Weis updates website with social media aggregator

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets on Thursday announced a revamped home page that features a section of the grocer’s social media updates. The idea to make the change was borne out of Facebook polls and online customer feedback.

The new social media aggregator at SocialMedia.WeisMarkets.com compiles all of Weis’ official social media outlets into a single, easy-to-read page. This section gives a quick overview of the company’s latest Facebook posts, with the number of fans and pictures of its fans; the latest tweets from Twitter; and the retailer’s YouTube videos.

“Customer input through social media helped us improve our site,” stated Brian Holt, Weis Markets’ director of marketing. “Thanks to their input, we’ve made our site easier to navigate and added a new social media section that allows us to connect with our customers in a more personal way.”

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Stop & Shop ‘shores’ up N.J. acquisition

BY DSN STAFF

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Stop & Shop announced that it has finalized its acquisition of five New Jersey Shore-area Foodtown supermarkets previously owned by Norkus Enterprises.

The transaction involves stores in Freehold Township, Manalapan, Neptune City, Point Pleasant Beach and Long Branch, N.J. Stop & Shop currently operates 10 stores in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

"Stop & Shop is always looking for opportunities and convenient locations to better serve our customers," said Ron Onorato, division president of Stop & Shop’s New York metro division. "We are very excited to have the opportunity to expand our presence in Monmouth and Ocean counties. We look forward to providing our customers in these areas the superior value and quality they have come to expect from Stop & Shop."

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