Canadian Retailer - May/June 2009 - (Page 6)

P U B L I S H E R’ S DE S K Why RCC is in the fight for fairer fees re you in the habit of watching what happens in Ottawa? If not, then now is a very good time to start. Simply put, the importance of the Senate Banking Committee and House of Commons Finance & Industry Committee hearings to retailers like you can’t be overstated. Retail Council of Canada, along with more than 25 other industry associations (the full list can be found at www.stop, believe the hearings provide an opportunity to shine a light on the seemingly never-ending proliferation of higher fees and new charges that we face from banks and credit card companies. The Canadian retail sector has seen its share of tough times before, and if history tells us anything it’s that we will get through this recession and protect the businesses and jobs that are so vital to our communities. But where we are most at risk right now is at the point of sale where the transaction takes place, as the proliferation of transaction fees are placing a massive burden on retailers and consumers alike. Think about it. In a tough economy, most businesses are cutting costs to keep expenses down and cutting prices to boost sales. Similarly, governments will cut taxes to provide a stimulus to the economy. Only the banks and credit card companies are going the other way, actually raising fees and adding new charges in the midst of a recession. And who pays? Obviously, it isn’t the banks and credit card companies. The people who pay are the businesses and consumers that are actually making the sale and purchase. Retailers are all about consumer convenience, and we understand the need for credit card and debit card products. But we believe the charges paid for the use of these cards should reflect the true cost of processing the transaction. And with credit card companies eyeing the debit card market as well, threatening to enter a system that costs only a few cents per transaction, retailers need to speak out. We won’t presume to tell the committees what their recommendations should M AY/ J U N E 2 0 0 9 | V O L U M E 1 9 I S S U E 3 PU B LI S H E R Diane J. Brisebois A be, but we do offer some principles that we hope will guide them in their deliberations: • 1. The transaction costs charged to retailers, whether on credit or debit, should reflect the true cost of processing and not simply be a way for banks to milk shifts in consumer behaviour or the adoption of new technologies. • 2. On credit, merchants should not bear the cost of rewards deals between issuers and consumers, in which the merchant has no say in either the rewards offered or the interchange fee charged to pay for them. • 3. Consumers should not be subject to unsolicited premium card offers or “upgrades” where the consumer has little or no knowledge of the increased fees being charged to merchants and, ultimately, to consumers themselves. • 4. On debit, customers should not be subject to the indirect cost of fees and charges when all that they want to do is access their own money for a purchase. • 5. There is no justification for an ad valorem fee on debit, as no money is being advanced and no credit is being given. Why should credit card companies be given a percentage fee when all that is happening is a direct transfer from the customer’s own bank account? • 6. The rules and regulations should be designed with an eye to the real economy. They should recognize the vital role that retailers and the jobs that they create play in this economy, especially in smaller and suburban centres. • 7. The regulations should strive for a system that works with the governments policies on monetary and economic stimulus not directly against those existing policies. Cheers, A S S O C I ATE PU B LI S H E R Bill Yetman E D ITO R- I N -CHIEF Mitchell Brown (416) 922-0553, ext. 286 G R A PH I C D E S I G N E R Carlos Castro CO NTR I B UTO R S Barbara K. Adamski, Stefan Dubowski, Linda Wood Edwards, Amanda Fraser, Sherri Fraser, Derek Jory, Paul Lima, John Packman, Mark Patten, Marissa Ponikowski-Stapley, Rosalind Stefanac D I R ECTO R O F PU B LI CATI O N S Bob Phillips PRO J ECT M A N AG E R Kim Davies S A LES M A N AG E R Kim Davies E D ITO R I A L O FFI C E 1255 Bay Street, Suite 800 Toronto, Ontario M5R 2A9 Phone: (416) 922-6678 Fax: (416) 922-8011 A DV E RTI S I N G /PRODUCTION O FFI C E Naylor (Canada), Inc. 100 Sutherland Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba R2W 3C7 Phone: (800) 665-2456 Fax: (800) 709-5551 Canadian Retailer is published six times each year by Retail Council of Canada. Members receive complimentary copies of the magazine with membership. The annual subscription rate for non-members is $36.75 + GST. Publication Mail Agreement No. 40063389 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Circulation Department 1255 Bay Street, Suite 800 Toronto, Ontario M5R 2A9 We welcome your article suggestions and any photographs pertaining to retailing in Canada. Please note the opinions expressed in Canadian Retailer do not necessarily reflect those of Retail Council of Canada. For article reprints, contact Naylor (Canada) at 1-800-665-2456 or visit Diane J. Brisebois President and CEO Retail Council of Canada 6 | C A N A D I A N R E TA I L E R | M AY/J U N E 2 0 0 9 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer - May/June 2009

Canadian Retailer - May/June 2009
Publisher's Desk
Shop Talk
Come Together
Where Green Never Goes Out of Style
Practising What They Preach
When Times are Tough
How the West was Wowed
In Pursuit of a Well-Dressed West
Sporting a Bold New Look
Bigger and Better
Back to the Future
Revved for Success
The Questions Retailers Ask
Signs of the Times
Advertisers' Index
You Asked Us

Canadian Retailer - May/June 2009