Retailers, Consumers Take Swipe At Credit Card Surcharge

English: Old Visa logo.

English: Old Visa logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Charles Griesemer says there’s no way he would pay a fee to use his credit card at the gas pumps or in checkout lines, calling such a surcharge unfair.

“That would be ripping off the working man,” the Oley Township man said recently while gassing up his pickup truck. “I’d rather go to the bank and get cash.”

For those like Griesemer, who would balk at credit card fees, there is good and bad news.

The bad news is that credit card surcharges of up to 4 percent are now allowed on retail purchases in 40 states, thanks to a settlement retailers reached in July with MasterCard and Visa.

Read more:   http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=453496

Poor Economy Great For Dollar Stores

Dollar stores have evolved into a go-to spot for holiday shoppers on a tight budget or trying to get more value for their money. In contrast with the often dingy spaces they once occupied, many have undergone renovations and are stocked with a bounty of Christmas trees, wrapping paper, toys and inexpensive electronics for the holiday season. Some even carry steaks.

With the job market and economy still unsettled, dollar stores are predicted to perform robustly as shoppers of all incomes flock there to pick up cheap decor and presents. For the fourth quarter, the category is expected to post a sales increase of 4.2% or higher at stores open at least a year, according to business data firm Thomson Reuters.

Although dollar stores have attracted higher-income customers in recent years, the fallout of the nation’s economic downturn is still especially evident in the aisles of these low-cost stores during the holidays.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/la-fi-dollar-store-christmas-20111221,0,3740256.story

It Could Be A Shoppers Market This Holiday Season

With the Christmas shopping season fast approaching, it appears that consumers may be in the driver’s seat this year.  Retailers are positioning themselves to offer deep discounts in an effort to lure recession-weary consumers into parting with their cash.

Economic jitters are making people hold on to their money and only spend on essentials.  Back-to-school sales were great for the first two weeks of September, but then sales trailed off after consumers felt they had spent enough.  This is a sign that people are holding on to their money and resisting the temptation to spend excessively.

We are looking at a 2 - 3 percent sales growth this season.  4 percent is considered healthy, if inflation is low.

Many people are sticking to necessities and practical gifts this year.  Wal-Mart is following that trend this season.

Look for big sales and deep discounts this holiday season!

Merry Recessmas.