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Eye on Retail: Measure to ban cashless stores advances in New Jersey

BY Marianne Wilson

Some lawmakers in New Jersey want to ban stores that refuse to accept cash.

A measure that would require all brick-and-mortar retailers to accept cash was unanimously approved by the N.J. Senate Commerce Committee and will now go before the full state Senate. The bill, which was overwhelming approved by the state Assembly in June, excludes retailers inside airports from the cash requirement, and also excludes sales made online and by telephone or mail. New York City and Philadelphia are also reportedly considering banning cashless stores.

Under the N.J. bill, businesses would receive a $2,500 fine for a first offense, and $5,000 for a second. Subsequent violations would fall under the consumer fraud act, which can carry penalties of up to $20,000.

Critics of stores that don’t accept cash say such businesses effectively discriminate against poor customers who might have credit cards or even bank accounts and older consumers who are wary about using credit cards or mobile commerce.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Amazon and some other major retailers have raised concerns about the legislation. Amazon operates a cashless Amazon Books store at Garden State Plaza mall, in Paramus, N.J.

Only one state — Massachusetts— has a law banning cashless stores.

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Milwaukee expands fiberglass tape offerings

New lineup of long tapes feature GrimeGuard blade wiper.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Milwaukee Tool is expanding its lineup of long tapes with new Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tapes, measured at 100 feet, 200 feet and 300 feet.

The tool manufacturer first launched its Steel Long Tape Measures featuring GrimeGuard, the industry’s first blade wiper, which cleans and keeps debris out of the housing for easy retraction. The new Fiberglass Long Tapes include the same GrimeGuard Blade Wiper.

To survive the demands of the jobsite, the long tapes also feature a 3:1 planetary metal gear system that distributes force evenly and puts less stress on internal components, to prevent the gears from stripping.

Models Available include:

Steel Open Reel Long Tapes: 100ft Open Reel Long Tape, 300ft Open Reel Long Tape, 30M Open Reel Long Tape, and 100M Open Reel Long Tape.

Closed Reel Long Tapes: 100ft Closed Reel Long Tape and 30M Closed Reel Long Tape.

Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tapes: 100ft Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tape, 200ft Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tape, 300ft Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tape, 30m/100ft Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tape, 60m/200ft Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tape, and 100m/330ft Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tape.

The products will be available in January 2019, according to Milwaukee Tool.

 

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Toro turns in strong 2018

Pro segment sales rise 11.1% for the power equipment manufacturer.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Toro Company reported fourth quarter 2018 net sales of $539.3 million, rising 10.4% from fourth quarter 2017 net sales of $488.6 million.

For its fiscal year ending Oct. 31, Toro posted record net sales of $2.61 billion, a 4.5% increase from net sales of $2.51 billion in the prior fiscal year.

The Bloomington, Minn.-based power equipment manufacturer also reported fourth quarter net earnings of $39 million for the fourth quarter – an increase of more than 15% from net earnings of $33.8 million for the same period a year ago. Earnings for the year increased a little more than 1% to $272 million from $268 million in 2017.

Professional segment net sales rose 7.5% to $1.94 billion in 2018 from $1.81 billion last year. For the quarter, pro sales grew 11.1% to $400.5 million from $360.4 million a year ago. Earnings in the pro segment were up 5.4% to $399.8 million for the year.

Residential net sales for fiscal 2018 were $654.4 million, down 2.8% from $673.2 million last year. For the fourth quarter, residential sales were $133.2 million, up 8.7% fom $122.6 million last year. Earnings in the residential segment were down 13.2% to $64.8 million.

The full-year residential results were impacted by poor winter conditions early in the year, followed by a late start to spring in many parts of North America, the company said. The second half of the fiscal year saw warmer weather and favorable moisture, which triggered demand for both walk power and zero-turn riding mowers.

“We are pleased to deliver another record year with solid revenue growth led by the professional segment and a strong rebound by our residential business in the second half of the year, driven by an exciting lineup of new products and innovative technologies,” said Richard Olson, Toro’s chairman and CEO.

Olson noted that the company battled rising steel prices, the impacts of tariffs, and increased freight rates, which all had a negative impact on costs.

“With the first quarter of fiscal 2019 underway, we are encouraged by the retail activity in our professional and residential snow and ice management businesses,” Olson said.

 

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