NRF’s Neil Trautwein comments on the Administration’s announcement on the Affordable Care Act

WASHINGTON, DC, 2014-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from Vice President and Employee Benefits Policy Counsel Neil Trautwein on the Administration’s announcement on the Affordable Care Act:

“The Administration should receive a gold medal for recognizing the enormous complexities of the Affordable Care Act, and its agility and flexibility in working with retailers and others in crafting these much-needed and commonsense reforms and revisions.

“Continued simplicity, streamlining and clarification of the Affordable Care Act are in the best interest of employers and employees and the Administration and Congress. The National Retail Federation will continue its constructive conversations with Congress and the Administration as it helps its members with compliance.

“The retail industry appreciates the cooperation and responsiveness of the Administration and Department of Treasury in this process.”

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 or Bethany Aronhalt (855) NRF-PRESS
Press@nrf.com

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NRF, Hackett Associates: Retail Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports expected to drop 8.4 percent in February

WASHINGTON, DC, 2014-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Import volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to drop 8.4 percent in February from the same time last year as the shipping cycle reaches its slowest month of the year, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Ports and distribution centers are getting the break they deserve after the busy holiday season, but it won’t last long,” Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Retailers will be moving spring merchandise toward their shelves in just a few weeks, and early numbers point to a busy season ahead.”

U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.3 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in December, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was down 3.3 percent from November as the holiday season came to an end but up 0.6 percent from December 2012. The December numbers brought 2013 to a total of 16.2 million TEU, up 2.3 percent from 2012’s 15.8 million TEU. One TEU is one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent.

January was estimated at 1.37 million TEU, up 4.5 percent from January 2013. February, historically the slowest month of the year, is forecast at 1.17 million TEU, down 8.4 percent from the same month last year. March is forecast at 1.29 million TEU, up 13.7 percent from last year; April at 1.39 million TEU, up 6.9 percent; May at 1.45 million TEU, up 4.2 percent; and June at 1.43 million TEU, up 5.6 percent. Those numbers would total 8.1 million TEU for the first half of the year, up 4.3 percent over last year.

The import numbers come as NRF is forecasting 4.1 percent sales growth in 2014, contingent on how Washington policies on economic issues affect consumer confidence.

“On the consumer side, there is continued hesitancy in spending as net disposable income remains virtually flat,” Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said. “As a result, the inventory-to-sales ratio remains stubbornly high.”

Global Port Tracker, which is produced for NRF by the consulting firm Hackett Associates, covers the U.S. ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades and Miami on the East Coast, and Houston on the Gulf Coast. The report is free to NRF retail members, and subscription information is available at www.nrf.com/PortTracker or by calling (202) 783-7971. Subscription information for non-members can be found at www.globalporttracker.com.

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 

Hackett Associates provides expert consulting, research and advisory services to the international maritime industry, government agencies and international institutions.

Contact: J. Craig Shearman or Bethany Aronhalt (855) NRF-PRESS
press@nrf.com 

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BRC-KPMG: UK retail sales in January 2013 represent the strongest growth since March 2010

London, UK, 2014-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — UK retail sales were up 3.9% on a like-for-like basis from January 2013, when they had increased 1.9% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 5.4%, against a 3.0% increase in January 2013, the strongest growth since March 2010.

The 3-month average total growth was 3.2%, back in line with the 12-month trend, now at 3.0%.

Furniture was the top performing category, achieving its best growth since April 2006, while Other Non-Food was the key contributor to overall growth.

Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 19.2% in January versus a year earlier, the strongest January since 2009. The online penetration rate achieved 17.4% in January.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “Our figures for January show strong growth but a story of two halves. With a record number of people now in work and the continued recovery in the housing market we have seen very strong performances in furniture and other non-food items. These figures are better than expected given the continued squeeze on personal finances but official figures show that this is not built on personal debt which remains below pre-recession levels.

“Customers responded enthusiastically to a range of sales and promotions on non-food items this January. Retailers succeeded in tempting shoppers in with promotions, they also saw strong demand across new ranges, helped by improvements in consumer confidence. This was not the case in food which in contrast saw very low levels of growth in the last quarter.

“January’s figures set 2014 off to a good start; however comparisons are against soft non-food sales in January 2013, which will not be the case in February. Given the underlying conditions, it remains to be seen how the trend for the rest of the year will pan out.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “These figures mark a strong start to the year for retailers. Most will take much from the positives and see genuine light at the end of the tunnel. However, behind the scenes some have had to discount heavily to secure these sales and will now be counting the cost of this strategy. Others have genuinely beaten expectations.

“Other than the grocers, retailers will feel heartened by these post-Christmas figures. The divide between food and non-food is stark, with the battle for market share in food remaining ferocious, customer loyalty fickle and cost deflation being passed through to the consumer.

“In non-food, there were a number of factors at play, all of which helped to boost sales. The weather in January 2014 was wet and windy but not, from a retail point of view, disruptive, snowy and cold like last year. A strong performance in furniture, flooring and home accessories hints that the recovery in house prices is having a positive knock on effect. The early weeks of the month reflected strong growth in clothing and other non-food, hinting that post-Christmas sales campaigns had boosted the top line: only time will tell at what cost to the bottom line.”

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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BRC-KPMG: Online sales of non-food products in UK grew 19.2% in January vs. year earlier

Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 19.2% in January versus a year earlier. In January 2013, they had increased by 13.5% over the previous year. 

London, UK, 2014-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — In January, online sales represented 17.4% of total non-food sales of our Monitor, against 16.3% in January 2013.

January online growth was the strongest since January 2009.

Online sales contributed 1.2 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales. In the last three months, the contribution averaged 1.8 percentage points – almost one third of the total non-food growth.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “Another strong set of sales figures, up 19.2 per cent for non-food items in January, showed the continuing growth of online and its increasing importance as part of the retail mix in the UK.

“Embracing omnichannel sales has been a big driver of business for UK retailers. We’ve seen an ever-more discerning customer taking good advantage of click and collect and other innovative services. The combination of an online presence with a bricks and mortar offering is becoming increasingly compelling.

“There’s no doubt that online is driving structural change within the sector and retailers will continue to invest heavily to provide the seamless experience between channels that today’s shoppers demand. Our figures showed that 17.4 per cent of all non-food spending is online and we’re expecting this number to continue to rise as operations become more efficient, collections more convenient, deliveries faster and technology more integrated.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “With growth at 19 per cent and penetration from online sales running at 17 per cent, this channel is much more than the new frontier for retailers and really is the growth engine for the sector. Many retailers are investing heavily in analytics and supply chain fulfilment to drive personalisation of offer to the consumer and differentiate themselves from competitors through delivery performance. As online growth drives about a third of non-food sales expansion, retailers are doing all they can to fully embrace the growth prospects offered.”

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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Foodstuffs North Island comments on speculation about job cuts at its Support Centre in Silverstream

New Zealand, 2014-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Foodstuffs North Island has reiterated its commitment to the lower North Island saying it will have a substantial presence in Wellington for the foreseeable future. The comment follows speculation that the company intends making job cuts at its Support Centre in Silverstream.

Foodstuffs Auckland merged with Foodstuffs Wellington last September creating one entity, Foodstuffs North Island. Managing Director Murray Jordan says the merger was never about job losses, rather growth and job creation.

“While there have regrettably been 37 redundancies in Wellington and Auckland since September, that number is substantially less than the number of new jobs created this year alone. I don’t wish to down-play the impact of redundancy on those affected but Foodstuffs North Island has recently created about 400 new jobs through store openings and we have more to come.”

Foodstuffs North Island employs 2,200 staff at its three Support Centres (Auckland, Palmerston North and Wellington). Its member stores employ 23,000 people across the North Island in PAK’nSAVE, New World and Four Square supermarkets making them one of the country’s largest combined employers.

Mr Jordan says the group is making good headway with the merger as it combines legacy systems and different operating platforms. He adds the group will continue to consult with staff over any possible business structure changes through a “fair and genuine consultation process”.

“We accept that some people may resign, retire or relocate to new opportunities within the group over the next two to three years but we are committed to on-going transparency with our staff. We value their contribution and recognise the role they each play in making our business successful. We’re equally committed to our customers and members and providing them with the best service possible.”

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Carrefour introduces “Origin & Quality” lines

PARIS, France, 2014-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Fresh, high-quality produce made using environmentally-friendly farming methods

 “Origin & Quality” – the core of our fresh produce offering:
•    87 products, 290 product lines, 20,000 producers, 110,000 t of fresh produce per year.
•    Locally-sourced products, as part of the initiative to prioritize the surrounding region.
•    Quality that is rigorously checked through strict specifications geared towards traceability and taste. Checks made at each stage by an independent body.
•    A sustainable policy: direct relationships with partners that are more than 20 years old.
•    New this year with the signing of three-year contracts for all of the 290 product lines concerned (meat, fish, seafood, fruit and vegetables, cheeses, eggs, honey).

“Origin & Quality”, environmentally-friendly farming laboratory
Origin & Quality is consistent with a sustainable farming approach, and Carrefour and its partners are developing new farming practices, such as:
•    preserving and enhancing biodiversity: crop rotation, prohibiting the spreading of sludge, avoiding chemical post-harvest treatments on fruit and vegetables, integrated pest control, reducing treatments and developing GMO-free farm product lines
•    high-quality food, through natural suckling of lambs, grazing animals and not using GMOs in particular
•    animal well-being, with the development of antibiotic-free treatments, natural open-air rearing methods, improved transport conditions and less time spent being transported and stunning before slaughter.

“Origin & Quality”: New identity for better informing customers
The “Origin & Quality” identity, which gives new impetus to the “Carrefour Quality Line” approach, developed in 1992, fully involves customers. The new packaging used for these fresh products features more information. It accurately describes the three advantages that the product provides:
1.    taste and enjoyment,
2.    extremely fresh healthy products,
3.    strong links with the local community.

“Origin & Quality”: launch of 2 new product lines
•    A line of 100% free-range fresh eggs, 100% French and 100% traceable
Eggs from free-range laying hens, reared without antibiotics and fed on French GMO-free (less than 0.9%) cereals and vegetable proteins in the Sarthe and Auvergne regions.
•    Certified-origin vintage honey line
A new “PDO Corsican Honey” line is being launched at the Paris International Agricultural Show, which will result in the production of 3 sorts of honey: Maquis de printemps, Châtaigneraie and Miellats du maquis. This initiative will help safeguard the environment of Corsican bee-keepers – vital if the health of their bees is to be maintained and if the island is to be pollinated.

Carrefour France Press Office
Tel.: +33 (0)1 58 47 88 80 / Email: presse_france@carrefour.com

About Carrefour in France
Carrefour has over 4500 stores in France operating in 4 formats (hypermarket, supermarket, convenience and cash & carry). For 50 years, Carrefour has been a partner in the daily lives of millions of customers, offering them a wide range of products and services at the lowest prices. In all its activities Carrefour embraces its economic, social and environmental responsibilities, and is committed to the quality of its products and its customers’ satisfaction.

For more information, visit: www.carrefour.com (press area), www.carrefour.fr Or follow us on Twitter: @CarrefourFrance

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Carrefour introduces Origin & Quality lines

 

B&Q unveiled its seasonal home and garden ranges for Spring Summer 2014

London, UK, 2014-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — On Wednesday 29th January 2014 B&Q unveiled its seasonal home and garden ranges for Spring Summer 2014 and published its Spring Summer 2014 ‘look book’.

The products on display mixed style with innovation, ease of use and British design.

The new ranges began going into stores and onto www.DIY.com from the 9th of February 2014.

Key features of the new ranges include:

Innovative essentials from Kingfisher’s Group own brand products including

  • The ‘iQE’ halo which can control heating and hot water from inside or outside the home using an in-home control and a smartphone app.
  • ‘Blooma’ barbeques with dishwasher safe grills, foldaway counters, cutlery drawers and built in shelving to make outdoor cooking even easier.
  • Clever and stylish storage ideas from ‘Form’ to help de-clutter and create extra space
  • Clic kitchen cabinet carcasses from ‘Cooke & Lewis’ which don’t need screws but are as sturdy as traditional cabinets and can be put together much more quickly. See how easy to assemble they are here.

New ‘style house’ décor collections to provide decorating inspiration and help customers visualise how products will look in the home

  • Authentic – Inspired by the fresh, neutral aspects of coastal living, this collection is the perfect way to bring the outdoors into any room.
  • Contemporary – Decorated in a simple modern style with cosy furnishings, this collection takes bold patterns in contrasting palettes from neutral grey to blue, invigorated with splashes of tangy green
  • Heritage – Created with the bedroom in mind, this collection pairs the classic elegance of Paris with modern architectural elements.
  • Multicolour – add a splash of colour to the home with a bold colour palette which includes purple, lime green and turquoise blue, as well as multicolour stripes, which can be clashed or complimented for added impact.

Exclusive British designs such as

  • The ‘Farnall’ glass table lamp, which combines materials and textures in vivid, bright colours to create a big impression;
  • The ‘Barrow in a Box’, developed by the Walsall Wheelbarrow Company, which is intended for industrial and domestic use and can be put together in three minutes.See how it works here.

New Leisure Furniture ranges which have been designed to look just as good in the home as they do out in the garden

To see the full look book click here http://view.ceros.com/b-and-q/spring-summer-look-book-2014.

For more information, contact the B&Q Press Office on 020 7861 2790 or B&Q@goodrelations.co.uk.

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B&Q unveiled its seasonal home and garden ranges for Spring Summer 2014

B&Q unveiled its seasonal home and garden ranges for Spring Summer 2014

 

Automotive aftermarket parts provider Advance Auto Parts, Inc. appointed Geno Coradini Vice President, Real Estate

ROANOKE, Va., 2014-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE: AAP), the largest automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America, serving both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets, today announced the appointment of Geno Coradini as Vice President, Real Estate. Mr. Coradini will lead the Real Estate Function including Lease Administration, Real Estate Development, Construction, Store Planning and Design, Facilities and real estate research. He will be instrumental in leading the path to strategic store growth for Advance. Mr. Coradini will report to Bill Carter, Senior Vice President, Business Development and Integration and will be based in Roanoke, VA.

“I am thrilled to welcome Geno to the Advance team to play a key role in our growth strategy,” said Carter. “We look forward to the knowledge and experience Geno will bring to Advance’s Real Estate program as we continue to open stores and grow our presence across our operations.”

Prior to joining Advance, Mr. Coradini served as Executive Vice President, Retail at Jones Lang LaSalle. In this role, he led a Real Estate team that provided market research and planning, new store transactions, construction, lease administration and portfolio optimization support to national retailers.  Additionally, Mr. Coradini started his Real Estate career at AutoZone and subsequently has led Real Estate functions at FedEx Office and Family Dollar Stores. Mr. Coradini holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Memphis.

About Advance Auto Parts
Headquartered in Roanoke, Va., Advance Auto Parts, Inc., the largest automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America, serves both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets. Following the closing of the General Parts International, Inc. acquisition, Advance operates 5,297 company-operated stores, 105 Worldpac branches, and services approximately 1,400 independently owned Carquest branded stores. Advance has more than 71,000 Team Members in 49 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Canada. Additional information about the Company, employment opportunities, customer services, and on-line shopping for parts, accessories and other offerings can be found on the Company’s website at www.AdvanceAutoParts.com.

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Miss Piggy Designs Red Carpet Bag for Multimedia Retailer QVC

  • Fabulously Fashionable Miss Piggy Designs Red Carpet Bag for Multimedia Retailer 
  • QVC Launches Sweepstakes to Celebrate Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted

WEST CHESTER, PA, 2014-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The ever-stylish, ever-fabulous Miss Piggy appeared on QVC last night to announce her latest venture in the fashion world – Miss Piggy’s Haute Tote, which she designed especially for the multimedia retailer’s star-studded broadcast event “Red Carpet Style – Live from L.A.” Miss Piggy, star of the highly anticipated Disney’sMuppets Most Wanted, in theatres March 21, is also set to strut her stuff on the red carpet during the QVC broadcast Friday, February 28 at 9 PM (ET), when her trendy tote will be showcased.

Miss Piggy made her exuberant announcement to QVC Program Host Lisa Robertson and to her millions of fans, who have the opportunity to purchase a version of her design through the retailer.

“Naturally, moi has been chosen as this year’s mega-star attraction at QVC’s red carpet event! And as if having me there wasn’t enough, moi has also been chosen to design the 2014 ‘Red Carpet Style’ special-edition tote bag for this gala event,” proclaimed Miss Piggy, adding: “Rest assured, both moi and the Haute Tote will be tote-ally fabulous!”

On March 16, during the tour to promote their upcoming movie, the Muppets will join Miss Piggy on a QVC adventure with on-air guest appearances and surprises scheduled throughout the day. From now through their arrival, the multimedia retailer is featuring the QVC Sweepstakes Celebrating Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted.* Entrants have the chance to win exciting prizes and surprises – from QVC gift cards and Muppet merchandise to a trip to the Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted premiere.

“Miss Piggy is a brilliant businesswoman with a provocative personality and an impeccable sense of style,” commented Doug Rose, senior vice president of marketing and programming for QVC. “We’re honored to work with someone of her stature. Miss Piggy uniquely understands the aspirations of the modern American woman, and to have the opportunity to bring her fierce and fearless fashion sense to her millions of adoring fans is a thrill for all of us here at QVC.”

For more information about Miss Piggy’s Haute Tote, the Muppets’ March visit to QVC and how to enter the QVC Sweepstakes Celebrating Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted, go to www.qvc.com/muppetsmostwanted.

*No purchase necessary. Sweepstakes begins February 10, 2014 and ends March 16, 2014. Open only to eligible legal residents of 49 United States (excluding Rhode Island) and the District of Columbia who are at least 18 years old at the time of game play. Void in Rhode Island, Puerto Rico and where prohibited or restricted by law. For official rules, visit qvcsweepstakes.com.

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About QVC
QVC, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Interactive Corporation (NASDAQ: LINTA, LINTB), is the world’s leading video and ecommerce retailer. QVC is committed to providing its customers with thousands of the most innovative and contemporary beauty, fashion, jewelry and home products. Its programming is distributed to approximately 290 million homes worldwide through operations in the U.S.JapanGermanyUnited KingdomItaly and a joint venture in China. West Chester, Pa.-based QVC has shipped more than a billion packages in its 27-year history and the company’s website, QVC.com, is ranked among the top general merchant Internet sites. QVC, Q, and the Q Ribbon Logo are registered service marks of ER Marks, Inc.

About “Muppets Most Wanted”
Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid, Dublin and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine-the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit the Frog-and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Ricky Gervais. The film stars Ty Burrell as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon and Tina Fey as Nadya, a feisty prison guard. Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” is directed by James Bobin and produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. Bobin wrote the screenplay with Nicholas Stoller, who is also executive producer with John G. Scotti. Featuring music from Academy Award®-winning songwriter Bret McKenzie, “Muppets Most Wanted” hits the big screen March 21, 2014. For more information, visit Disney.com/Muppets, like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/Muppets, and follow us on Twitter: Twitter.com/TheMuppets.

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H&M Conscious Foundation donates SEK 180 million to UNICEF, WaterAid and CARE

With the aim of achieving long-lasting improvements in the areas of education, clean water and strengthening women, the H&M Conscious Foundation is to support UNICEF, WaterAid and CARE. These three separate global programs for change will start from February 2014 and they will receive a total of SEK 180 million over a three-year period.

Stockholm, Sweden, 2014-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The global programs with UNICEF, WaterAid and CARE aim to drive change within each focus area by supporting new policies and thereby help create long-lasting improvements.

“I congratulate the H&M Conscious Foundation for choosing to support programs in three areas that are critical to sustainable development. The donation can contribute to big breakthroughs in each area”, says Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs – Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals.

Investing in children’s early education and development– for the best start in life
The aim of the education program, driven by UNICEF, is to place early childhood development on the global agenda so that more children achieve their full developmental potential. The goal is that by 2017 73,600 children from the most vulnerable groups, will attend preschool education and thus be more prepared for learning.

“The new partnership with the H&M Conscious Foundation is an important example of an alliance that will help mobilise support and harness innovation to unleash the potential of children, everywhere”, says Leila Pakkala, UNICEF Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships.

Investing in clean water and sanitation in schools – to offer children a better future
The global program on clean water, driven by WaterAid, will change the lives of 250,000 schoolchildren by ensuring their access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene by 2017.The program will also seek to influence policies at national level and advocate for universal access to water and sanitation in the new global development framework.

“This unique partnership with the H&M Conscious Foundation will change children’s lives immensely. By ensuring that both girls and boys have an equal chance to stay in school and learn in a safe and healthy environment, we will allow them to fulfil their potential and provide a promising future. The H&M Conscious Foundation’s funding helps us in our aim to ensure that everyone, everywhere, has safe water and sanitation by 2030”, says Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid International.

Investing in women’s’ economic empowerment – a catalyst for positive change
The global program for change with CARE aims to focus on empowering women in poor communities economically and to inspire and offer advice on policy changes needed worldwide to allow women’s full participation in all walks of life. By 2017, the goal is for 100,000 women in developing countries to have access to tools, knowledge, skills or seed capital, enabling them to start or expand small enterprises in order to empower them economically.

“With the generous commitment and support of the H&M Conscious Foundation we can fulfil our mission and bring about lasting change in the lives of many women and girls, their families and communities around the world. We will be able to work on practical, innovative and sustainable solutions to one of the most important issues of our time”, says CARE’s Secretary General Dr. Robert Glasser.
Notes to Editors:

H&M Conscious Foundation’s focus areas: Education, clean water and strengthening women. All three focus areas derive from the UN Millennium Development Goals and were selected by H&M employees and customers through a global online voting process in October 2013.

Local programs: In addition to the global programs, H&M Conscious Foundation will, during this year, also initiate country specific programs in countries where H&M operates, mirroring the themes selected by the voting. These local projects will be implemented by other organisations than the three selected for the global programs.

Funding: Thanks to the Stefan Persson family’s substantial donation of SEK 500 million in 2013, it is possible for the H&M Conscious Foundation to make real impact for people and communities. The three programs for change will in total receive SEK 180 million to drive change during a three-year period.

www.makeadifference.hm.com

www.hm.com/consciousfoundation

For questions, please contact:

H&M Media Relations
Telephone: +46 8 796 53 00
E-mail: mediarelations@hm.com

The H&M Conscious Foundation is an independent non-profit global foundation initiated in connection with H&M’s 60th anniversary in 2007. The foundation is the philanthropic arm complementing H&M’s sustainability work. Through its support to programs and initiatives, the H&M Conscious Foundation strives to make positive impact on policy level and in the everyday life for people and communities where H&M operates. For further information, visit www.hm.com/consciousfoundation.

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Hostess snack cakes will be sold for up to 40% off at Big Lots locations

Digital marketing campaign tells customers the thrift is back!

COLUMBUS, OH, 2014-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Twinkie fans, rejoice! The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever™ just got sweeter. Big Lots (NYSE: BIG) is now the Official Hostess Thrift Outlet.

Starting today, customers will be able to enjoy fresh Twinkies®, CupCakes, Zingers®, Fruit Pies, and other great Hostess snack cakes at reduced prices at Big Lots locations. As the Official Hostess Thrift Outlet, Big Lots is the replacement for the Hostess Thrift Stores that were closed. Products will be sold for up to 40% off the suggested retail price.

“The Thrift Outlets were extremely popular,” said Big Lots CEO David Campisi. “We are thrilled to team up with this iconic brand and give customers a new destination to find outstanding savings on the products they know and love.”

Big Lots locations will receive a variety of fresh product every week. “The assortments will be different each week and will vary by store,” said Chief Customer Officer Andy Stein. “Customers who want the best selection will need to get there early and often. Like we say about the great deals found at Big Lots, when they’re gone, they’re gone.”

On February 10, Big Lots will promote the Hostess debut with a social media campaign called #thriftisback. A YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/biglots and ad campaign by Chicago agency O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul launch today to encourage customers to share their love of Twinkies and other snack cakes such as Zingers, CupCakes, Donettes®, and Ding Dongs®.

“There is a tremendous hunger for the Hostess brand and for saving money at Big Lots,” noted Stein. “We plan to welcome Twinkies in a big way.”

About Big Lots
Big Lots is America’s largest broadline closeout retailer, operating 1,493
BIG LOTS stores in 48 states. For more information, visit www.biglots.com.

Contact:
Andrew Stein
Senior Vice President, Chief Customer Officer
614.278.4768

Groupe Auchan finalized the acquisition of Real hypermarkets in Eastern Europe

Having obtained approval from the anti-trust authorities in Poland*, under certain conditions, Groupe Auchan has just finalised on February, 6th the last part of the acquisition of Real hypermarkets in Eastern Europe with the METRO GROUP.

Croix, France, 2014-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — With these additional 57 Polish hypermarkets, Auchan now has 85 hypermarkets in the country (the opening of an 86th hypermarket is scheduled for March 2014 in Lublin) and employs 22,000 people, after having received 11,000 new ex-Real employees.

In 2013, the Auchan Group had already integrated two hypermarkets in Ukraine (March), 16 hypermarkets in Russia (April) and 20 hypermarkets in Romania (September). Thanks to the strong involvement of the teams, the name change has already been completed in Russia and Ukraine and will be completed in late April in Romania. In these three countries, more than 9,000 new employees joined the company in 2013. In Poland, the name change will be phased in over the coming months. The rapid integration of these hypermarkets will be conducted parallel to the rent negotiation process with landlords.

Auchan progressively implements its commercial strategy throughout the former Real store network, including a changed pricing strategy. Auchan’s commercial strategy really matches the needs of consumers in these countries and reinforces its position as a responsible discounter whose goal is to improve the purchasing power and standard of living of the largest number of customers.

Groupe Auchan now operates 834 integrated hypermarkets, including 267 in Western Europe, 224 in Central and Eastern Europe and 343 in Asia as well as 362 shopping centres, including 86 in Eastern Europe.

www.groupe-auchan.com

Press contact:
François Cathalifaud – Tel. + 33 (0)1 58 65 08 10 – fcathalifaud@auchan.fr

Investor contact:
Vincent Schiltz – Tel. + 33 (0)3 20 81 68 54 – v.schiltz@auchan.fr