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NRF welcomes consumer groups’ opposition to swipe-fee reform delay

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — Just two weeks after expressing its discouragement caused by the delayed swipe-fee reform, the National Retail Federation lauded a letter from a coalition of consumer groups that also opposed the delay, which is slated to go into effect this summer.

Americans for Financial Reform — a coalition focused on financial services industry reform that includes the Consumer Federation of America, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and a number of other consumer organizations among its 250 national, state and local members — asked Congress Wednesday to reject proposals to delay swipe-fee reform.

“The current interchange system is uncompetitive, nontransparent and harmful to consumers,” AFR said. “AFR does not support congressional delay of implementation of the new law.”

The NRF said that the groups expressed that "it’s time to do something about [swipe fees], not time to derail reform through further study."

As previously reported, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., recently introduced the Debit Interchange Fee Study Act of 2011, which would postpone swipe-fee reductions included in last year’s Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by two years, and would require a study of the issue.

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A&P shows appreciation for seniors

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. — Grocer A&P is launching a discount program that offers seniors savings on groceries purchased at A&P, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s, Food Emporium and Superfresh banner stores.

On April 4, the company is launching its "Senior Appreciation Days" program, starting with "Senior Appreciation Mondays," a new special discount program for seniors in all Pathmark banner stores.

Through the program, every Monday, customers older than 55 years will be able to save 5% on their grocery purchases of more than $30, excluding pharmacy items, milk, tobacco products, beer, wine and spirits.

On April 5, the company also will launch "Senior Appreciation Tuesdays" with the same eligibility requirements for customers at Superfresh stores in and around Baltimore, Md., and at all A&P, Food Emporium and remaining Superfresh stores on April 19.

Senior Appreciation Mondays at Pathmark and Senior Appreciation Tuesdays at A&P, Food Emporium and Superfresh are modeled after a similar program currently available to Waldbaum’s shoppers ages 55 years and older. Eligible shoppers at all Waldbaum’s stores now can receive 5% off of their grocery purchases on Senior Appreciation Tuesdays. The Waldbaum’s program also excludes pharmacy items, milk, tobacco products, beer, wine and spirits.

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Rite Aid’s skin care tour on road again

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Thousands of Rite Aid customers across the United States can get free, full-body skin cancer screenings this spring.

The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Road to Healthy Skin Tour will visit more than 60 Rite Aid stores in 19 states, sponsored by the retail pharmacy chain and Aveeno. The tour has screened more than 10,000 people since 2008, according to Rite Aid, catching 3,700 potential skin cancers and precancers, including about 200 suspected cases of the deadly skin cancer melanoma.

“We’re proud to have sponsored the Road to Healthy Skin Tour every year since its inaugural journey,” Rite Aid EVP pharmacy Robert Thompson stated. “These screenings have undoubtedly saved lives through early detection, and are a testament to the power of proactive health care.”

Local dermatologists will volunteer to lend their expertise to perform the screenings. A map of the tour is available at SkinCancer.org/tour.

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