Safeway kicks off annual breast cancer awareness campaign
PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway’s annual fundraising initiative to benefit breast cancer research once again has commenced.
Each October, Safeway’s nearly 1,700 stores in the United States and Canada host a variety of breast cancer fundraising activities. In addition to providing customers with opportunities to donate at checkout, Safeway and a number of its suppliers get involved by donating $5-for-every-$30 spent on products with special pink ribbon tags. Safeway also sells special pink breast cancer reusable bags of which a dollar from each sale goes to the cause, the chain said.
The company has raised more than $94 million for the cause since 2001.
"More than 230,000 women in the U.S. alone will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year," said Larree Renda, Safeway EVP, Safeway Health president and Safeway Foundation chair. "Thanks to the engagement and generosity of our employees, customers and suppliers, we are funding projects and programs that will continue to have a meaningful impact on breast cancer cure rates."
NRF: Swipe-fee cut will save merchants and consumers billions
WASHINGTON — Retailers and their customers will save billions of dollars when new Federal Reserve regulations cutting debit card swipe fees roughly in half take effect this weekend, the National Retail Federation said.
“Retailers across the nation are developing a wide range of innovative ways to pass these savings along to their customers with lower prices and better value,” NRF SVP and general counsel Mallory Duncan said. “Change won’t come overnight, but consumers will definitely benefit. Reducing these fees will put billions of dollars back into the Main Street economy, helping American families stretch their paychecks and ultimately preserving and creating local jobs to keep America on the road to recovery.”
Under federal regulations made final this summer, the swipe fees, the nation’s largest banks charge merchants use to process debit card purchases, will be capped at no more than 21 cents per transaction – plus 0.05% of the purchase price and, in most cases, an additional 1 cent for fraud prevention – beginning on Saturday. That compares with 1% to 2% of the transaction – about 44 cents on the average retail purchase but several dollars on bigger-ticket items – under current fees. Debit card swipe fees currently total about $20 billion annually, and analysts have estimated the cap will save merchants and their customers about $7 billion. Small- and mid-size financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets are exempt.
While the cap will produce considerable savings for retailers and their customers on most purchases, some merchants are upset that fees could actually go up on small-ticket purchases. The cap amounts to 27 cents on a $100 transaction, or about one-sixth the $1.50 collected under the current fee schedule. But the cap comes to 22 cents on a $2 soda or cup of coffee, for example, that currently carries a fee of only 8 cents. The regulations would allow banks to charge less than the cap for small purchases, but recent news reports indicate that Visa and MasterCard banks plan to instead charge the maximum allowed.
“Even as these regulations are about to go into effect, banks are trying to turn what is supposed to be a ceiling on these fees into the floor for small transactions even though those fees were already grossly out of proportion to the amount of the purchase,” Duncan said. “Unfortunately, this is all too typical of what we’ve come to expect from the card companies and their banks.”
A number of banks also have threatened to raise other fees in retaliation for the swipe-fee cap, but Duncan criticized their behavior,
“Every time Congress takes a step to protect consumers, the banks use it as an excuse to raise fees,” Duncan said. “That doesn’t mean Congress shouldn’t pass consumer protection laws. It speaks more to the nature of the card industry than to whether swipe-fee reform should have been passed.”
Leonard Green, CVC complete BJ’s acquisition
WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — BJ’s Wholesale Club officially is owned by Leonard Green & Partners and CVC Capital Partners, just a few weeks after the retailer’s stockholders approved the agreement.
BJ’s was required in an all-cash transaction valued at $51.25 per share, or $2.8 billion.
BJ’s common stock will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange prior to the opening of business on Monday, Oct. 3, the companies said.
The deal was announced in late June after months of speculation. BJ’s board of directors unanimously approved the agreement.