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Wellness introduces latest canned cat foods

BY Allison Cerra

TEWKSBURY, Mass. — Wellness has expanded its line of canned cat food with 12 new varieties.

The new cubed, sliced and minced grain-free canned recipes for cats are available in 3-oz. cans, Wellness said. Each variety features such natural protein sources as chicken, turkey, salmon and tuna. The products include minced chicken dinner, minced turkey entrée, minced tuna dinner, sliced turkey entrée, sliced chicken entrée, sliced salmon entrée, sliced turkey and salmon dinner, cubed tuna entrée, cubed turkey and salmon entrée, cubed salmon dinner, cubed turkey dinner and cubed chicken entrée.

The company said its latest canned cat foods are available at specialty pet and natural foods retailers nationwide this month.

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Swipe-fee reform amendment squashed by Senate

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — The retail industry won a big victory in Washington, D.C., as the Senate defeated an amendment that proposed to delay swipe-fee reform for another 12 months.

As reported Wednesday morning by Drug Store News, Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., offered an amendment to legislation that was designed to delay swipe-fee reform — which is set to go into effect July 21 by the Federal Reserve — and built on Tester’s previously introduced Debit Interchange Fee Study Act of 2011. The Senate vote was 54-45, with one senator opting to not vote, leaving the amendment six votes shy of approval.

The retail industry, particularly the lobbying groups, lauded the decision late Wednesday.

“This is a landmark victory for American consumers that will give them the break from skyrocketing swipe fees that they have been seeking for years," National Retail Federation president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "With the economy still trying to gain momentum and consumers facing skyrocketing costs for necessities like food and fuel, this badly-needed reform will help ensure our nation’s economic recovery. It will prevent more than a billion dollars a month from being pocketed by big banks and, in turn, allow retailers to hold down prices for consumers."

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, which represents the drug retailing industry, said the defeat of the amendment was a victory for both consumers and the retail industry, curbing costs that affect each group.

“We thank Sen. Dick Durbin,D-Ill., for his leadership in bringing this issue to the forefront of Congress, and working diligently to prevent a delay to the pro-retailer and pro-consumer swipe fee reform,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said.

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Target finalizes location of Canada HQ

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Target’s board has finalized the decision to locate the company’s Canadian headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario, said president, chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel at a shareholders meeting in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

Target announced in late May the selection of the first 105 of up to 220 Zellers stores in Canada, which plans to convert the majority of the initial stores to Target stores and reopen them in 2013. The company said at the time that it would set up the headquarters in a 180,000-sq.-ft. space in Mississauga pending approval by the company’s board.

Other plans include the opening of small-format City Target stores in Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco in 2012 and a revamping of the company’s website this fall, Steinhafel said.

During a question-and-answer period, the company came under intense criticism surrounding the $150,000 it donated last year to MN Forward, a conservative group that backed the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Tom Emmer, a gay-rights opponent whose views on immigration also attracted anger from the Latino community. In the wake of the controversy, which prompted pop singer Lady Gaga to cancel a deal with the retailer to promote her album “Born This Way,” Target revised its policy on political donations and created an executive committee to manage them. The company has long supported gay and lesbian organizations, and Steinhafel responded to criticism by saying the decision to donate to MN Forward was based on economic rather than social issues.

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