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|November 28, 2011|
Retailer groups sue Fed over interchange rule
Retailer groups including FMI filed a lawsuit against the Federal Reserve, saying a limit on interchange fees harms merchants. "The Board's final rule permits banks to recover significantly more costs than permitted by the plain language of the Durbin Amendment and deprives plaintiffs of the benefits of the statute's anti-exclusivity provisions," the groups said in their complaint. The Washington Post (11/22) Bloomberg (11/22) Bloomberg (11/22) The Wall Street Journal (11/22)
Retailers give store brands space to grow
SUPERVALU, Kroger and Safeway are among supermarket chains devoting more shelf space, product innovation and marketing creativity to store brands. In June, Safeway promoted its Open Nature line with a picnic for several hundred people, prepared by celebrity chief Tyler Florence. Recently, the company introduced Snack Artist chips and cheese curls to compete with national brands. San Francisco Chronicle/Bloomberg Businessweek (11/27)
Wal-Mart gives employees more control over product choices
As local Wal-Mart Stores managers are given more power to choose and promote products, the retailer is revamping its Walmart World magazine, which provides a venue for brand marketers to reach Wal-Mart decision makers. The magazine will be published by Pace Communications, which is also involved in updating MyWalmart.com, a social network and internal information provider. Advertising Age (tiered subscription model) (11/28)
Schnucks taps MoneyGram for in-store financial centers
Schnuck Markets switched from Western Union to MoneyGram for in-store financial services at 99 locations. "Not only does MoneyGram provide our customers a fast and affordable way to send money almost anywhere in the world, but they have strong security measures in place that show a true commitment to fraud protection," said Schnucks Chief Financial Officer David Bell. Supermarket News (free registration) (11/23)
FMI says WTO made the right call on COOL
FMI applauded a World Trade Organization ruling that country-of-origin labels harm commerce and violate international trade rules. "COOL has forced the industry to spend tens of millions of dollars each year on unnecessary regulatory burdens all for little or no benefit to consumers," said Erik Lieberman, FMI's regulatory counsel. Supermarket News (free registration) (11/23)
Supermarkets bag self-checkout lanes
Several supermarket chains are removing self-checkout lanes as their popularity drops. An FMI report shows that 16% of customers used self-checkout in 2010, down from 20% in 2006. "Self-checkout lines get clogged as the customers needed to wait for store staff to assist with problems with bar codes, coupons, payment problems and other issues that invariably arise with many transactions," said Big Y Foods, which tried self-checkout, then decided to remove it. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (11/27)
Unilever urges customers to make sustainable choices
To improve sustainability by changing consumer behavior, Unilever released "Inspiring Sustainable Living," a report that describes how the company can encourage sustainable consumer choices. "It really comes down to small actions and big differences," said CEO Paul Polman. "Together, we can do it.? Sustainable Business Forum (11/23)
Exercise changes brain and could mean better food choices
Regular exercise improves executive function and increases gray matter and prefrontal connections in the brain, resulting in better inhibitory control that could improve food choices, according to an analysis in Obesity Review. "Understanding the interaction between exercise and a healthy diet could improve preventative and therapeutic measures against obesity by strengthening current approaches and treatments," said researcher Miguel Alonso. United Press International (11/26)
Fruit and vegetable consumption is low among teens, CDC says
Data from the 2010 National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study show that teens consumed fruits and vegetables an average 1.2 times a day. In the survey of 10,765 high-school students, boys ate fruit 1.4 times daily, compared with 1.2 times for girls. The findings appear in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. WebMD (11/23)
SABMiller's Foster's buyout gets green light in Australia
The Australian government gave SABMiller approval to acquire Foster's Group for about $9.6 billion. Foster's shareholders are expected to vote Thursday. As part of the deal, Foster's breweries making beer for domestic consumption must stay in Australia. The Wall Street Journal (11/25)
Lipton aims for sustainable sourcing by 2015
Unilever's Lipton set a goal of sourcing all of its tea from Rainforest Alliance-certified farms by 2015. The brand is highlighting the program, Caring for Communities is Our Cup of Tea, with a sweepstakes. The grand prize is a trip to Kenya and a sustainable farm, as well as $25,000 for sustainability programs in the winner's community. Progressive Grocer (11/23)
Top five news stories selected by FMI dailyLead® readers in the past week.
Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
Coca-Cola adorns billions of cups with QR code
A campaign from Coca-Cola promoting the company's contribution to saving polar bears and their Arctic habitat includes billions of Coca-Cola cups adorned with a quick-response code supported by ScanBuy. The cups are available at convenience stores and eateries. Posters also will carry the code, which takes users with an Apple device to a Facebook page where they can lob virtual snowballs at friends. MediaPost Communications/Online Media Daily (11/23)
Food-retailing industry joins fellow merchants to file lawsuit against Federal Reserve
On Tuesday, FMI joined the National Retail Federation and the National Association of Convenience Stores to file a lawsuit challenging the Federal Reserve's rule on debit card swipe fees. Read more about the litigation. To read the complaint and discover more information, visit FMI's Credit and Debit Card Interchange Fees Web page.
$5.68 billion in 2010
That's the amount of fees paid by supermarkets to accept debit and credit cards, accounting for 1.01% of sales -- greater than the industry's net profit. Read more about FMI's fight against swipe fees.
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