NRF’s senior VP for Government Relations David French comments on NLRB decision to reissue its ambush election rule

National Retail Federation Prepares its Objections

Washington, DC, US, 2014-2-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French on the National Labor Relations Board decision to reissue its ambush election rule:

“The National Labor Relations Board has issued its ‘new’ ambush election rule that seeks to limit employees and employers’ participation in union elections by reducing the timeframe between the filing of union petitions and the actual election. What’s not new is the NLRB’s desire to support union activism over sound public policy.

“The rule will limit the freedom of speech and expression of workers and businesses alike, and is part of NLRB’s coordinated campaign to tilt union elections toward their friends and allies in Big Labor. NLRB’s proposed ambush election rule is an answer in search of a problem.

“The National Retail Federation maintains that employers should be given ample time and opportunity to make their case on unionization and intends to file its formal objections to the ambush election rule. NRF urges the NLRB to live up to its obligation to be an objective arbiter for both employees and employers.”

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. www.nrf.com.

Stephen Schatz (855) NRF-PRESS
Press@nrf.com

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BRC-NIELSEN SHOP PRICE INDEX JANUARY 2014: Overall shop prices reported deflation for ninth consecutive month

London, UK, 2014-2-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Overall shop prices reported deflation for the ninth consecutive month in January, accelerating to 1.0% from 0.8% in December. This is the deepest level of deflation since the series began in December 2006.

Food inflation slowed to 1.5% from 1.7% in December. Non-food reported annual deflation of 2.7% in January from 2.3% in December.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: “Shop prices are falling at their fastest rate for 7 years, a new record for our data. January is always a key month for sales and promotions but discounts have been deeper and more widespread than last year and we are seeing this trend continuing. Our figures show that there have been particularly good deals to be had in clothing, furniture and electrical items this month as retailers prepare for their new collections.

“Hard pressed families will also have benefitted from the lowest levels of food inflation in almost four years. Our food retailer members have managed to keep prices low again and with relatively stable commodity prices at the moment as well, and forecasts for commodities quite upbeat, we may continue to benefit from this for some time yet.”

Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight, Nielsen, said: “The start of 2014 has seen a continuation of both slow retail growth particularly in food, and a continuation of slowing inflation. With the first few weeks of January a time when many households take stock of personal finances, the fall in shop price inflation will be a welcome boost for consumers.”

An in-depth version of this report is available to  BRC retail members, and subscribers to our  Business Information Services.

 Click here to contact the BRC regarding membership or a subscription to our Business Information Services.

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J. C. Penney Company, Inc released preliminary update on its sales performance during the holiday

Plano, Texas, 2014-2-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) (the “Company”) today provided a preliminary update on its sales performance during the holiday and fiscal fourth quarter periods. For the combined, nine-week November and December period, the Company reported comparable store sales growth of 3.1 percent over the same period last year. For the full quarter, comparable store sales – which exclude the 53rd week of fiscal 2012 – rose approximately 2.0 percent, marking the first time since the second quarter of 2011 that JCPenney has generated a positive quarterly sales result. For the fourth quarter, jcp.com sales grew approximately 26.3 percent over last year. In addition, the Company closed its 2013 fiscal year with total available liquidity in excess of $2 billion.

“While 2013 brought a lot of change and challenges to JCPenney, the steady improvements in our business show that the Company’s turnaround is on track. In spite of the significant headwinds facing all retailers this season, including unprecedented harsh weather conditions in many parts of the country, we delivered on our promise to generate positive comparable store sales growth in the fourth quarter,” said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, Chief Executive Officer of JCPenney.

For the holiday period, the Company reported solid performance in several categories including, beauty (Sephora), activewear, sweaters, outerwear, dresses, boots, men’s clothing, luggage and housewares.

Mr. Ullman continued, “JCPenney’s combination of relevant and giftable merchandise, outstanding customer service, and compelling promotions enabled our teams to drive sales in a difficult and competitive environment for retailers this holiday season. As we look ahead to 2014, our associates are encouraged by the Company’s results and we remain steadfast in our focus to build on these achievements and return to profitable growth.”

The Company will announce its fourth quarter and full year 2013 results on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, after the market closes.

Media Relations:
(972) 431-3400 or jcpnews@jcp.com

Investor Relations:
(972) 431-5500 or jcpinvestorrelations@jcpenney.com

About JCPenney:
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP), one of the nation’s largest apparel and home furnishing retailers, is dedicated to becoming America’s preferred retail destination for unmatched style, quality and value. Across approximately 1,100 stores and at jcp.com, customers will discover an inspiring shopping environment that features the most sought after collection of private, national and exclusive brands and attractions. For more information, please visit jcp.com.

Use of Social Media:
Investors and others should note that we currently announce material information using SEC filings, press releases, public conference calls and webcasts. In the future, we will continue to use these channels to distribute material information about the Company and may also utilize our website and/or various social media to communicate important information about the Company, key personnel, new brands and services, trends, new marketing campaigns, corporate initiatives and other matters. Information that we post on our website or on social media channels could be deemed material; therefore, we encourage investors, the media, our customers, business partners and others interested in our Company to review the information we post on our website as well as the following social media channels: Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jcp) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/jcpnews).

Any updates to the list of social media channels we may use to communicate material information will be posted on the Investor Relations page of the Company’s website at www.jcp.com.

Forward-Looking Statements:
This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “expect” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, which include, but are not limited to, statements regarding sales trends, year-end liquidity and cost savings. Forward-looking statements are based only on the Company’s current assumptions and views of future events and financial performance. They are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside of the Company’s control that may cause the Company’s actual results to be materially different from planned or expected results. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions, including inflation, recession, unemployment levels, consumer confidence and spending patterns, credit availability and debt levels, changes in store traffic trends, the cost of goods, more stringent or costly payment terms and/or the decision by a significant number of vendors not to sell us merchandise on a timely basis or at all, trade restrictions, the ability to monetize non-core assets on acceptable terms, the ability to implement our turnaround strategy, customer acceptance of our new strategies, our ability to attract, motivate and retain key executives and other associates, the impact of cost reduction initiatives, our ability to generate or maintain liquidity, implementation of new systems and platforms, changes in tariff, freight and shipping rates, changes in the cost of fuel and other energy and transportation costs, increases in wage and benefit costs, competition and retail industry consolidations, interest rate fluctuations, dollar and other currency valuations, the impact of weather conditions, risks associated with war, an act of terrorism or pandemic, the ability of the federal government to fund and conduct its operations, a systems failure and/or security breach that results in the theft, transfer or unauthorized disclosure of customer, employee or Company information and legal and regulatory proceedings. Theres can be no assurances that the Company will achieve expected results, and actual results may be materially less than expectations. Please refer to the Company’s most recent Form 10-Q and subsequent filings for a further discussion of risks and uncertainties. Investors should take such risks into account and should not rely on forward-looking statements when making investment decisions. Any forward-looking statement made by us in this press release is based only on information currently available to us and speaks only as of the date on which it is made. We do not undertake to update these forward-looking statements as of any future date.

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Tesco signed two year contract with over 200 British lamb farmers as part of its commitment to British agriculture

Cheshunt, England, 2014-2-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — More than 200 British lamb farmers have entered into direct, two year contracts with Tesco, as part of its long-term commitment to British agriculture, the retailer announced today. The contracts represent the first time a major UK retailer has offered formal, two year direct contracts with lamb producers.

The contracts, which have been offered to farmers in conjunction with Tesco’s principal processing partner St Merryn, part of 2 Sisters Food Group, follow a similar contract offer to beef farmers, announced by Tesco in December.

The contracts include a premium above market price for lamb, with all farmers forming part of the Tesco Sustainable Lamb Group, which aims to develop and strengthen Tesco’s relationship with its farm suppliers.

Lambs will be born and reared on farms that form part of the Red Tractor Farm Assurance Scheme, which ensures high welfare and production standards. The 200 farms will help supply Tesco with lamb for its finest* range, between April and December, when British lamb is best in season.

Working with St Merryn, Tesco will look to extend the contract offer to more lamb farmers in the coming months.

Richard Marris, Commercial Director of Fresh Foods at Tesco said:

“The uptake of the contracts so far shows that sheep farmers are keen to work with us in building stronger, closer relationships between Tesco and British agriculture. We recognise this is one measure of progress, but we’re excited to be working together with farmers to bring quality, fresh food from British farms to our customers. We hope these contracts will play an important part in giving sheep farmers the confidence they need to invest and plan for the future.”

Farmers from across the UK have already signed up to the scheme:

John Maynard, whose farm in Devon will benefit from the agreement, said:

“It is very encouraging that Tesco are making long term commitments to lamb producers. Knowing I will be getting a premium for my lambs gives me an extra incentive to invest in my flock and continue to produce top quality finest* lamb from the South West.”

Warren Davies, who supplies finest* lamb from his farm near Abergavenny in the Welsh Uplands also welcomed the commitment from Tesco:

“Knowing that Tesco have committed to Welsh finest* lamb has given my son and I greater confidence as we know that if we market our lambs during the finest* Welsh period we will receive a premium for producing top quality PGI Welsh Lamb. This commitment from Tesco to Welsh lamb will help us develop our business as we know that the premium has been guaranteed for the next two years.”

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01992 644645
We are a team of over 530,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to bringing the best value, choice and service to our millions of customers each week. Our core purpose is ‘we make what matters better, together’.

Media team

For journalist enquiries only contact the Tesco Media Centre Monday to Friday, 8am to 6:30pm on:
+44(0) 1992 644 645

Out of hours call:
+44(0) 1992 644 733

Immochan France implements new ethics charter to be appended for all partners operating in French shopping centres

Immochan France is implementing an ethics charter applicable all its partners.Under its CSR policy, Immochan is finalising an ethics charter applicable to all its partners and suppliers that will define the conditions for relations with them.

Croix, France, 2014-2-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — The charter applies from 1 January 2014 and will be appended for all partners operating in French shopping centres. The charter embodies Immochan France’s ambition to incorporate the principles of Sustainable Development into all its activities and promote them in relations with its partners (suppliers, service providers, subcontractors and, in general, all direct contract parties).

The charter has 5 sections addressing many points regarding ethics, compliance with labour standards, health and safety protection, economic performance and, last but not least, protection of the environment.

This Charter is in line with our commitment made through Groupe Auchan’s support of the UN Global Compact for the environment, human rights, labour and anti-corruption. Compliance with this charter shall be a condition that will determine whether we continue contractual relations with our partners.

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Germany based Intershop plans to release the first forecasting software for online commerce in late 2014

  • The system-independent SaaS solution SIMCOMMERCE is set to be released in late 2014
  • The first tool tailored specifically to online commerce for new technologies big data and predictive analytics
  • Software shortens the decision-making process while minimizing risks and costs

Jena, Germany, 2014-2-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Intershop, one of the world’s leading providers of integrated omni-channel commerce solutions, has announced that SIMCOMMERCE, an innovative simulation software program for complex e-commerce processes, will be released in 2014. The software will give decision-makers in the online commerce industry a solid basis on which to predict whether investments in online shop system modifications or targeted online marketing campaigns will pay off in higher sales or site traffic over a specified period of time. SIMCOMMERCE is the first analytical tool tailored specifically to the needs of online commerce.

As a cost-efficient software-as-a-service solution, it will give even relatively small businesses the capability to make accurate cost/benefit predictions. In the pilot test phase currently underway, project partners already have access to simulation models for payment portfolio & risk management, search engine optimization, advertising and e-mail marketing modules. Further elements, such as shop optimization for mobile devices or returns management, are to be added in time for the official launch.

SIMCOMMERCE works with customer data (such as historical transaction data) along with industry and market data, and benchmarks. It differs from the analytical methods commonly used in the past, such as A/B testing. With SIMCOMMERCE it is no longer necessary to actually install alternative shop elements such as different payment providers in the shop to test their effect on customers. The tool makes it now possible to generate simulations that precisely mirror a business’s own shop model or customer segment without the additional costs or risks decision makers are confronted with today. To perform a realistic cost/benefit analysis, the system aligns the selected module with a comprehensive quantity of anonymized external data for similar scenarios. Numerous variants can be combined with one another in different ways and simulated separately within a single module, and as a result even large-scale comparison tests that would have been too costly and time-consuming for traditional A/B testing methods are now possible. This makes SIMCOMMERCE a powerful business intelligence solution for industry newcomers especially.

Project manager Dr. Arndt Döhler, Research Manager at Intershop, explains that “Our goal was to capture the cause-and-effect relationships in e-commerce and make them quantifiable. The effects that decisions will have on relevant indicators can then be simulated.”

Adds Dr. Jochen Wiechen, Chief Technology Officer at Intershop, “Developments such as big data and predictive analytics are going to bring about lasting changes in the online commerce industry. In the past it was often only the big companies with access to powerful forecasting tools that could use these futuristic technologies to their advantage. Intershop’s SIMCOMMERCE is going to democratize the industry and finally put these sales drivers within reach of smaller businesses as well.”

More information about SIMCOMMERCE can be found online at http://www.intershop.com/predictive-analytics.

About Intershop
Intershop Communications AG (founded in Germany 1992; Prime Standard: ISH2) is the leading independent provider of omni-channel commerce solutions. Intershop offers high-performance packaged software for internet sales, complemented by all necessary services including online marketing consulting. Intershop also acts as a business process outsourcing provider, covering all aspects of online retailing up to fulfillment. Around the globe more than 500 enterprise customers, including HP, BMW, Deutsche Telekom, and Mexx run Intershop solutions. Intershop is headquartered in Jena, Germany, and has offices in the United States, Europe, Australia, and China. More information about Intershop can be found online at www.intershop.com.

This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial and operational performance of Intershop. Actual events or performance may differ materially from those contained or implied in such forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties that could lead to such difference could include, among other things: Intershop’s limited operating history, the unpredictability of future revenues and expenses and potential fluctuations in revenues and operating results, significant dependence on large single customer deals, consumer trends, the level of competition, seasonality, risks related to electronic security, possible governmental regulation, and general economic conditions.