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Lennox points to strength in residential business

BY Ken Clark

Heating and air-conditioning giant Lennox International reported second-quarter revenue of $934 million, up 2% from the same quarter last year.

Adjusted income from continuing operations in the second quarter was $49.6 million, up from $46.8 million in the same quarter last year.

The figures reflect the company’s sale of its Hearth business in April 2010.

"Continued strong execution drove 11% revenue growth and 19% profit growth in our residential business in the second quarter," said Todd Bluedorn, chairman and CEO of Dallas-based Lennox International. "Residential again realized strong growth in both new construction and replacement business, with warm weather comparable overall to the second quarter a year ago." 

Despite a cautious attitude about the macroeconomic environment, Bluedorn said the company raised its guidance for 2012 and plan a minimum of $50 million of stock repurchases in the second half of the year.

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Former Sears interim CEO Johnson named CEO of spun-off unit

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sears Holdings Corp. said that former interim CEO Bruce Johnson will serve as president and CEO of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores once the unit is spun off from the retailer.

Johnson served as interim CEO of Sears Holdings from 2008 to early 2011.

Last February, Sears Holdings announced it would spin off its Sears Hometown and Outlet businesses in an effort to raise an expected $400 million to $500 million.

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Readers Respond: Swipe fees at the point of sale

BY HBSDEALER Staff

One of the provisions of a proposed settlement with Visa and Mastercard over interchange fees is that the cards will change their rules to allow retailers to begin charging customers a fee — 1% to 3%, for example — to cover the swipe fee charged by the card companies. Most readers say they are in no hurry to alienate customers with an extra fee. 

“This will become a competitive advantage issue with leading retailers using the absence of any fees against any that charge the fees, or providing no fee to Frequent Shopper card holders. A useful statistic would be a compilation by IRI or Nielsen of cash to card ratios by basket size to better understand the impact of any charges.

“One sees many online sellers dropping or discounting shipping fees as an analog to this potential set of charges.

“Net: any additional fees will disappear within six months.”
— David D Harvison

“I think the retailer should add the fees as a surcharge. I know for we, that would encourage me to pay cash and likely most other consumers who have the cash. It would serve three purposes.

• "Cause pause to people about building credit card debt;

• "Hopefully reduce sell price on goods where the bank fees are already built into the cost of the goods; and

• "Potentially cause banks to reduce fees if they want people to use their cards.”
— Greg

"At sometime in the future you will see this fee being charged, but I sure don’t want to be the first to start it."
— Merle P. Higgins

"Business is just too competitive to add 3% to a posted price at the time of the transaction. While I suspect that many merchants will offer a cash incentive, it is more likely that, over time, "price creep" will take place with upward adjustments in the 2% to 2.5% range, mitigating the swipe fee burden. Sooner rather than later, this will become a non-issue."
— Kurt Markshausen

"The question is not whether to pass along the fee, or absorb. Retailers should have been building it into the pricing structure all along. You know the percentage of CC payments, and how much in fees you get charged. Everyone was in the same boat, so everyone had to incorporate the fee into their prices. I know Kroger was beind this change in large part. However, I would not want to be the first one in town to add a fee for paying with a credit card.

æThe first time it happens to me, I will just leave my grocery cart, and walk out. These fees do not need to be itemized on a customers receipt. What’s next, $2.99 for milk, plus 3% for CC fee, plus 1% for wearing out the floors, 1% for electricity, 2% because I choose to go to a person cashier instead of a self-serve checkout. Don’t itemize your cost of doing business onto the customer; just build it into the price of the items. The first ones to try it will lose a lot of customers, I for one do not want to take that chance, or put a ‘bad taste’ in anyones mouth, once that is done, it can not be cleaned back to the way it was, never happens."
— Rick B.

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c.michaels says:
May-09-2014 06:33 am

Retailers have long
Retailers have long complained about the billions of dollars in swipe or interchange fees that they have had to pay. Let me share you this.If you've tried PayPal and would like something different, you may like Dwolla. This cash-only service does anything but credit cards or debit cards. It's also less expensive than the competition. Use a short term loan to help pay your next PayPal payment. It's a great help.

M.GARDNER says:
Jul-24-2012 03:43 pm

This is much ado about
This is much ado about nothing. The retailers have already allowed for this fee in the retail price. Don't kid yourself to think otherwise. This is an attempt by the major retailers to put the screws to another of the vendor partners they do business with. They first squeeze every last drop of blood out of the vendors, then they knock off the product in China and import it themselves. Next step is to go after the service providers and threatening to add a fee to the transactions is only about driving additional revenue from the fee they have already added into the product to begin with. The bottom line is if they enact this rule they should then drop the price of everything in the store by 2.5-3% and add the fee to those choosing to pay by credit card. Yeah Right! This is posturing by the retailers sticking their chest out and making the statement they can hurt the credit card companies more by reducing charges and the interest they accumulate as the customers pay over time (where the real money is for the CC companies). As consumers we have let the big companies get too big. Now we are at their mercy while they replace manufacturing jobs with low paying/no benefit retail jobs.

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