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RONA dealers send letter to Lowe’s

BY HBSDealer Staff

The independent merchants that operate 164 RONA stores across Canada have added their voice to the opposition of a Lowe’s takeover.

The dealers have written a letter to Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock, which was made public Wednesday. In it the dealers write:

“We want to reinforce your view that it may not be a good idea for you to buy RONA, after you appeared to state your doubts about the deal on Monday, while you were announcing your financial results. We respectfully say, ‘No, thank you,’ as we feel that Lowe’s business model is incompatible with the one with which we have individually chosen to engage.”

In addition, the independents reinforce their preference for and loyalty to RONA’s approach to retailing, stating: “We are RONA shareholders. We are RONA’s clients. We are the retailers who sell RONA’s products.”

RONA’s board and the Teamsters Union in Canada have already voiced their opposition to the takeover plan.

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RILA announces opposition to ‘flawed’ proposed swipe fee settlement

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Retail Industry Leaders Association criticized the proposed swipe fee settlement and urged class plaintiffs to reject the proposal. Announced in July, the proposed settlement stems from lawsuits challenging the anticompetitive swipe fee practices of Visa and MasterCard.

“While Visa and MasterCard’s decision to pursue a settlement affirms the legitimacy of retailers’ claims, the flawed proposal upholds the networks’ anticompetitive practices and fails to provide retailers and their consumers with meaningful relief from tens of billions of dollars in hidden fees,” said RILA president Sandy Kennedy. “We urge class plaintiffs to reject the proposal and send a clear message that a settlement that fails to engender competition and fix the broken electronic payments market is unacceptable.”

If the proposed settlement is ultimately approved, all retailers will be bound by its terms, RILA said. Among the many proposed terms that concern retailers is the release of Visa and MasterCard from any future legal claims related to their interchange practices and terms that could stifle emerging innovations, such as mobile payments. 

“Retailers are concerned that in addition to limiting their future legal options, the proposed settlement preserves the Visa/MasterCard duopoly and constrains emerging innovations that could bring meaningful competition to the marketplace,” added Kennedy.

 

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Existing-home sales on the rise

BY Brae Canlen

Sales of existing single-family homes, condominiums and co-ops rose 2.3% in July to an adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

July’s sales were 10.4% above the same month a year ago — a sign that the housing market may be turning around. The median sales price in July was $187,300, up 9.4% from the same month in 2011 and the strongest year-over-year gain since January 2006. Recent price increases are being attributed to a decline in the number of lower-priced homes being sold as fewer foreclosures are put on the market.

The NAR report indicated that home sales in July rose in three out of four regions, based on yearly comparisons. Sales increased 7.4% in the Northeast, 2.3% in the South and 2.0% in the Midwest, but were unchanged in the West. 

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