News Feature | April 3, 2014

Grocery And C-Store IT News

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Grocery And C-Store IT News

In the news this week is the latest survey of supermarket chains by Consumer Reports, where Walmart sank to the bottom.  Another survey by OpinionLab shows that consumers are overwhelmingly opposed to in-store tracking, fearing privacy breaches. Meanwhile, a federal appeals court upheld the 21-cent cap on debit card swipe fees that retailers oppose as too high, and an A&P senior employee pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Consumer Reports Releases Latest Ratings Of National Supermarket Chains

When it comes to supermarkets, biggest isn’t always best. In Consumer Reports’ latest survey, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, Publix, Costco, and Sprouts earned the highest scores overall among 55 of the nation’s major grocery stores; Walmart, America’s largest grocer, landed at the bottom of the ratings, based on a survey of 27, 208 subscribers.

Consumers Overwhelmingly Reject In-Store Tracking By Retailers

New technologies allow retailers to use cellphone signals to track shoppers as they move around the store. The practice is controversial, but it is increasingly widespread. OpinionLab released a new study that showed that consumers overwhelmingly do not want to be tracked via cellphone without explicit consent. More importantly, they expect to receive something concrete, such as a discount or free product, in return for their participation. Advise your customers to earn and keep shoppers’ data private and secure and to use data to benefit shoppers (not just their own businesses).

Appeals Court Upholds Swipe Cap

ABC News reported that a federal appeals court ruled to uphold the Federal Reserve’s 21-cent cap on debit card swipe fees, despite the retail industry’s fervent request to recalculate it at a lower rate. The ruling overturned a lower court's decision in July that favored the merchants and was a setback for banks. The fight over debit card fees pits two powerful and politically influential industries against each other, with billions of dollars at stake.

Grocery and Convenience Store IT Talking Points

Supermarket News reported that A&P alerted federal authorities to a ticket-selling scheme run by one its senior employees, an investigation that resulted in this week’s guilty plea by former SVP John Moritz. He pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and sentencing is set for July 9.

Walmart released a new tool, the Savings Matcher, which allows customers who sign up, to submit their receipt number either online or on a mobile device. Walmart uses a third party firm that searches competitor print and digital ads. If another store is advertising a lower price, the customer will get the difference on a Walmart gift card.

An article from helps you narrow down the options when selecting a smart device to aid in completing consumer transactions.  The five steps include: understand, strategize, train, implement, and results. 

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Grocery and Convenience Store Tech Center.