Friday, October 2, 2015

NRA: “Chips and Dips” Takes on New Meaning in Food Retail Industry

October 1, 2015 – ARLINGTON, VA – With the payment card industry’s move to a “chip”- based payment card system beginning October 1, “Chips and Dips” takes on a new meaning at many retail food stores. Food Marketing Institute (FMI) President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin offered the following statement concerning migration to the “chip”-based payment card system:

“Food retailers have been looking for new ways to make retail data and shopper payment transactions safer and as efficient as possible. The industry has invested billions of dollars to purchase new payment terminals with a ‘chip’ reader and new software to process ‘dips’ of the card instead of the familiar swipe technology. Card-holders should ask their payment card companies for a PIN to make their transactions even more secure from fraudulent activity.

“While some food retailers will be ready to accept the new ‘chip’ cards through the holiday season, many more are preparing to transition after the first of the year.  Importantly, consumers can use either traditional mag-stripe ‘swipe,’ or new chip cards with the same liability protections.

“Since food retailers are customer-service-centric, they recognize it would be bad business sense to test such a customer-facing transition during a time of year when retail customers are counting on retailers for smooth in-store experiences. We remain committed to the strongest consumer protection tools available.”

NRA: 12 Million Jobs Haven’t Moved the Needle Much for Consumers

(Washington, D.C.) The national economy posted employment growth for the 60th consecutive month in September, with the total gain in excess of 12 million jobs, the National Restaurant Association noted today. Despite the growth, a new survey indicates that consumer sentiment about the economy and their finances has barely budged during the five-year period, says the NRA’s chief economist Bruce Grindy in his latest Economist’s Notebook:

“The national economy continued to grow at a moderate pace in September, according to preliminary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  The economy added a net 142,000 jobs in September on a seasonally-adjusted basis, which is slightly below the average employment gains posted during the first eight months of the year.

“September was the 60th consecutive month of employment growth in the national economy, representing a total increase of more than 12 million jobs.  However, despite the steady improvements that the economy has made since the depths of the Great Recession, consumers appear to have barely noticed.

“According to a national survey* conducted last weekend by ORC International for the National Restaurant Association, eight in 10 adults described the current state of the national economy as either “fair” (42 percent) or “poor” (39 percent).  Sixteen percent of consumers gave the economy a “good” rating, while only 2 percent said it is in “excellent” condition.

“Sentiment has gradually trended in a positive direction since the early stages of the recovery in 2010, when more than nine in 10 consumers described the economy as either “fair” (34 percent) or “poor” (58 percent).  However, it’s clear that from the perspective of consumers, the economy still has plenty of room for improvement.