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FOCUS ON RETAIL : Costco's sweet Visa/Citi deal

By Tom Ryan
MAY 1, 2015

Costco's new exclusive credit card deal with Citicorp and Visa will reduce the warehouse retailer's acceptance costs to almost zero, sources toldBloomberg.

Currently, Costco pays approximately 0.6 percent on each transaction as part of its exclusive deal with American Express. AmEx charges most merchants 2.45 percent per transaction. The even lower fee with Citicorp and Visa reflects the increased leverage of the second-largest U.S. retailer as well as the banking appeal of Costco's affluent customer base.

Effective April 1, 2016, Visa will succeed AmEx as the exclusive credit card accepted at Costco's U.S. stores. Citicorp will issue a new co-branded card to replace the existing AmEx-Costco card.

When news arrived that the 16-year deal with AmEx was ending, some felt Costco might shift strategy to start accepting many forms of card payments as a convenience to shoppers. Only cash or debit cards are accepted outside of AmEx at the chain.

Customers will gain some convenience as more own Visa cards.

But concerns are already arriving over potential headaches transitioning to new cards. Customers are being assured that replacing current cards will be as easy as opening the mail although a similar switch in Canada led to long lines in stores.

More critically, many consumers want at least the same perks as the AmEx co-branded card. Costco's basic $55 annual fee enables members to apply for an Amex card that rebates three percent of most gasoline purchases, two percent on most travel and restaurant spending, and one percent on other purchases. Doubling the membership fee to $110 to earn a Costco AmEx card adds an annual check for 2 percent of most Costco purchases.

Costco said the new card will provide "generous rewards" but can't offer specifics with final details with the banks being worked out. Apparently its low negotiated swipe fees and other deal incentives will help.

"We think it's a big positive over a long period of time" 
said Richard Galanti, Costco's CFO, in March on Costco's second-quarter conference call. 

"But recognize big positive to us means giving most of it back to the customer; in this case, most of it back to the co-branded user of a credit card and that's going to happen."

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While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

In alphabetical order by Country....



Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

INDIA 2016 : Mango production in state likely to take a hit this year

TNN | May 22, 2016, 12.32 PM IST

Mangaluru: Vagaries of nature is expected to take a toll on the production of King of Fruits - Mango - in Karnataka this year. A combination of failure of pre-monsoon showers at the flowering and growth stage and spike in temperature in mango growing belt of the state is expected to limit the total production of mango to an estimated 12 lakh tonnes in the current season as against 14 lakh tonnes in the last calendar year.

However, the good news for fruit lovers is that this could see price of mangoes across varieties decrease marginally by 2-3%. This is mainly on account of 'import' of the fruit from other mango-growing states in India, said M Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.

Karnataka is the third largest mango-growing state in India after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Inaugurating a two-day Vasanthotsava organized by Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama and the Corporation at P…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 

The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…