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Press release from CNW Group

MasterCard Gives Toronto Fashion Lovers a Reason to Shop Local during Fashion's Night Out

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

MasterCard Gives Toronto Fashion Lovers a Reason to Shop Local during Fashion's Night Out10:00 EDT Tuesday, September 04, 2012TORONTO, Sept. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - MasterCard urges all Toronto fashionistas to shop local and discover the hundreds of retailers in their own backyard during Toronto's Fashion's Night Out (FNO) on Thursday, September 6, 2012.Rac Boutique, a women's ready-to-wear local retailer, is bringing together over 20 independent retailers to create a one-stop-shop called The Bazaar. Launching during FNO, The Bazaar will offer customers an unparalleled shopping experience."Toronto is my town.  I love this amazing and vibrant city and I am proud to be one of its small business owners.  It's great to have MasterCard's support for promoting local shopping. The more Torontonians we can get to visit our stores, the more chances we have to grow and build our businesses," said Faith Orfus, co-owner, Rac Boutique.During FNO, MasterCard cardholders can access special offers at selected FNO designated retailers. In addition, fashionistas can enter to win one of five $100 prepaid MasterCard cards by tweeting @MasterCardCA their favourite local retailer with the #shoplocalFNO hashtag.MasterCard is also hosting a Stylicity Lounge at Hazelton Lanes Oval Square for all Torontonians with complimentary hair and make-up stations, delicious hors d'oeuvres, drinks, an e-commerce hub featuring a special MasterCard offer on The Peacock Parade's FNO sale, models and DJs spinning great tunes."We're strong supporters of Toronto's local retailers. They are the backbone of Toronto's economy and when they do well, everyone benefits. Retailers access our large network of cardholders and our cardholders enjoy the extra value that shopping with their MasterCard brings," said Lilian Tomovich, Vice President, Marketing, MasterCard Canada.The latest insights on retail shopping trends from MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse highlight a decline in retail sales for summer 2012. Local brick and mortar merchants have experienced a slower pace in spend during the first half of 2012. Retail sales in July of 2012 were flat when compared to July 2011. Canadian online retail sales were a bright spot however, up over 24% through the first half of 2012."There is a trend in the retail space and it's that customers are increasingly shopping online, so it is important to find innovative ways to attract customers to traditional channels as well," said Michael McNamara, Chief Economist, MasterCard Advisors. "Events like Fashion's Night Out bring foot traffic to the stores and encourage customers to spend their money locally."Fashion's Night Out is a unique global initiative started in the United States in 2009 to celebrate fashion, restore consumer confidence, boost the local economy during the recession, and put the fun back in shopping. It is celebrated in over 18 countries around the world.For more information, visit MasterCard Canada's Facebook page or follow @MasterCardCa on Twitter.About MasterCardMasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com,is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities - such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances - easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.SOURCE: MasterCard CanadaFor further information: Sebastian Gatica Environics Communications sgatica@environicspr.com 416-969-2768