Ahold repurchased 4,286,262 Ahold common shares for €55.57 million between February 10 and 14, 2014

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-2-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold has repurchased 4,286,262 Ahold common shares in the period from February 10, 2014 up to and including February 14, 2014.

The shares were repurchased at an average price of € 12.9651 per share for a total consideration of € 55.57 million. These repurchases were made as part of the € 500 million share buyback program announced on February 28, 2013 as increased by € 1.5 billion to a total amount of € 2 billion announced on June 4, 2013.

The total number of shares repurchased under this program to date is 81,959,116 common shares for a total consideration of € 1,037.41 million.

During the share buyback program, Ahold publishes a press release every Monday with a weekly update. Click here to view all the relevant information of these these weekly updates. Separate weekly press releases are available upon request. Please send an email to communications@ahold.com if you would like to receive one or more of these weekly releases.


Delhaize Group updates its policy on Responsible Palm Oil Sourcing

Delhaize Group commits to sourcing traceable, deforestation-free palm oil

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, 2014-2-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Delhaize Group today announces an updated policy on Responsible Palm Oil Sourcing that outlines our commitment to source only traceable, No-Deforestation palm oil. Building upon the work we began in 2012 to increase the transparency in the sourcing of the palm oil used in private brand products, we have updated our policy to reflect our new goals. We are working to ensure that by 2020, all the palm oil we source for our private brand products is 100% traceable and deforestation-free, and we plan to reach 80% by 2018.

Acting as a responsible company is one of the key elements of Delhaize Group’s strategy. We recognize the impact of deforestation on climate change, habitats, and forest communities. Our updated policy includes the commitment to protecting peatlands, High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests and High Conservation Value (HCV) areas, including wildlife habitats. It will also respect the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous and local communities in the development of new plantations.

Our updated commitment comes after a year and a half of building knowledge of our palm oil sourcing, with the help of the global non-profit organization, The Forest Trust (TFT). It aligns with our 2020 Supergood strategy and our commitment as a board member of the Consumer Goods Forum to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.

It is important that our customers have the confidence that the palm oil used in our products has been responsibly sourced from known and verified sources that do not contribute to deforestation. We will be working to achieve our aims in an open and transparent manner, producing annual reports on our progress.

“We are pleased with our progress to date in increasing the visibility and transparency of palm oil in our private brand products and are happy that, with added knowledge about our supply chain, we can accelerate our commitment to responsibly sourcing 80% of our palm oil by 2018,” said Megan Hellstedt, Delhaize Group Vice President of Sustainability. “Reaching this commitment, however, will take collaborative effort across the palm oil supply chain.  We look forward to continued engagement with our suppliers, other retailers, NGOs, and palm oil producers in the transformation to responsibly-sourced palm oil.”

TFT Director Bastien Sachet believes Delhaize Group’s plans take great courage: “There are no ready-made solutions out there for the retail industry when it comes to successfully verifying traceable No-Deforestation palm oil supplies, but the commitment shown by Delhaize Group will be a big driver for innovation and solutions.”

As a member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Delhaize Group is also maintaining its current commitment to have 100% of the palm oil we use in our private brand products adhere to the RSPO guidelines by the end of 2015.  The company is on track to meet this commitment through a mix of GreenPalm Certificates, Mass Balance, and Segregated certified palm oil. After 2015, we will move to Mass Balance and Segregated certified palm oil for our key product categories.

Policy on Responsible Palm Oil Sourcing



BRC Global Standards announce two new members of the BRC team in the Americas

LONDON, 2014-2-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — BRC Global Standards are pleased to announce two new members of the BRC team in the Americas. Luis Arturo Saucedo based in Mexico and Miguel Gortari based in Uruguay, both long term supporters of the BRC Global Standards program, will act as a local contact points and provide local technical expertise for businesses in South America.

Luis Arturo Saucedo has many years’ experience in the food industry, specifically in the area of food safety program development and food safety auditing. Luis is a BRC Approved Training Provider, speaking both Spanish and English, and is based in Puebla, Mexico. Luis works closely with the industry, certification partners and the Government in Mexico in many aspects of food safety.

Miguel Gortari has been involved in the food industry for over 25 years, he is an expert in food safety and audit methodology with a background in both veterinary sciences and formal audit specialization. Miguel is a BRC Approved Training Provider (since 2003), speaking both English and Spanish. He is based in Montevideo, Uruguay and works throughout Latin America in a wide range of industries.

Mark Proctor CEO of BRC Global Standards said “I’m delighted that we have been able to strengthen our team in South America. With these appointments, BRC Global Standards demonstrates its commitment to the development of food safety certification throughout Latin America which is an important growth market for us. These additional resources will enable BRC to continue to grow the certification program while maintaining the high level of rigour, integrity and customer service that BRC Global Standards is recognised for.”

Notes to Editors:

About the BRC’s Global Standards
BRC Global Standards are the world’s biggest provider of safety and quality Standards’ Programs for food manufacture, packaging, storage and distribution. BRC Global Standards are generated with the help of technical specialists, retailers, manufacturers and certification bodies from around the world, so everything is based on practicality, rigour and clarity.

The BRC Global Standards certification scheme offer comprehensive support to help new and established businesses to achieve and maintain their quality and safety aims.

For more information please visit www.brcglobalstandards.com.

Media Contacts:
BRC Press Office +44 (0)20 7854 8924 / +44 (0)7921 605544

Giant Hypermarket Malaysia donates additional RM470.000 for food aid to low-income households

Shah Alam, Malaysia, 2014-2-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — GIANT, one of MyKasih Foundation’s earliest partners, has Increased its contribution to bring food aid to low-income households by donating an additional RM470.000 to its programme.

The cheque was handed over by GCH Retail Malaysia Sdn Bhd marketing director Ruben Brusch to MyKasih managing director Jeffrey Perera recently.

“Under this partnership, the Giant network of stores selves as a distribution channel where recipient families have easy access to daily necessities at everyday low prices,” said Ruben.

“In line with our corporate responsibility objective, we contribute a percentage from the sales of goods purchased through this programme back to MyKasih Foundation to further help the foundation’s community development activities,” added Brusch

With the amount handed over, GCH Retail Malaysia’s contribution to the programme last year now totals RIv1800,000.

“We are committed to this partnership and the management of Giant are particularly keen to support children’s education through the MyKasih ‘Love My School’ student bursary programme, and are working with the foundation to expand our role.” he added.

Last year, GCH Retail Malaysia also initiated a recruitment and job placement programme for members of recipient families, empowering the underprivileged to become financially independent.

“We believe in helping those from low-income households earn a better living. We hope that by working with Giant, the MyKasih recipients are able to receive a stable income and no longer need to be dependent on food aid.”

A series of job interviews for MyKasilf recipient families were held at three Giant hypermarkets — in Puchong & Batu Caves and Cheras. Of the 40 MyKasih applicants interviewed, eight have been offered jobs and have started working at the Giant outlets closest to their homes.

Giant Malaysia
Giant pioneered the concept of modern supermarket shopping – buying everyday groceries, fresh produce and fresh foods under one roof and in a hygienic environment. As the pioneer, Giant sets the pace and standards for the industry with innovative marketing, store design and product pricing and variety.


Giant Hypermarket Malaysia donates additional RM470.000 for food aid to low-income households


Philippines: SM Investments Corporation (SM) announced the issuance of up to P15 Billion Fixed Rate Peso Retail Bonds

Manila, Philippines, 2014-2-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — SM Investments Corporation (SM) announced today that its Board of Directors approved the issuance of Fixed Rate Peso Retail Bonds worth Php10 Billion with an option for oversubscription for another Php5 Billion. The bonds will be offered in one or two tranches with tenors of 7 and/or 10 years.

SM has appointed BDO Capital and Investment Corp. as issue manager for the offering. The proceeds of the bonds will be used to refinance maturing debt and for various expansion projects.

The Board of Directors also authorized the management to negotiate and finalize the terms and conditions, including pricing, tenor and any increase in issuance amount, and execute any and all documents necessary, to implement the retail bond issue.

For further information, please contact:
Ms. Corazon P. Guidote
Senior Vice President for Investor Relations
SM Investments Corporation
Tel. No. 857-0117


H&M Group reports its January sales increased by 15 percent vs. the same month last year

Stockholm, Sweden, 2014-2-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — In January, the H&M Group total sales including VAT increased by 15 percent in local currencies compared to the same month last year.

The total number of stores amounted to 3,184 on 31 January 2014 versus 2,808 on 31 January 2013.

Percentage sales development for the month of February and the total sales in SEK for the first quarter (December-February) will be published in a separate press release on 17 March 2014 at 08.00 (CET). The Three-Month Report, covering the period 1 December 2013 to 28 February 2014, will be published on 27 March 2014.

Karl-Johan Persson, CEO

Contact person: Nils Vinge, Head of IR +46-8-796 5250

The information in this press release is that which H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) is required to disclose under Sweden’s Securities Market Act. It was released for publication at 08.00 (CET) on 17 February 2014.

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is quoted on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm. The company’s business concept is to offer fashion and quality at the best price. In addition to H&M, the Group includes the brands COS, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories as well as H&M Home. The H&M Group has more than 3,100 stores in 53 markets. In 2013, sales including VAT were approximately SEK 150 billion. The number of employees amounts to more than 116,000. For further information, visit hm.com.

Sales development in January 2014


Wincor Nixdorf presents its new tablet-based BEETLE mobile POS solution at EuroShop

Paderborn, Germany, 2014-2-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wincor Nixdorf is presenting its new tablet-based BEETLE mobile POS solution at EuroShop. The solution is designed to meet the requirements of international retail companies that wish to offer their customers a more attractive shopping experience with mobile POS functionalities. In addition, Wincor Nixdorf will present its new B2B marketplace for Android-based apps that retailers can use to enhance their sales and payment processes and offer their customers value-added services. A design-oriented, multifunctional payment tablet is the enabling technology for this innovative software concept. The “Aevi” solution portfolio represents the culmination of all Wincor Nixdorf’s experience and know-how in the area of cashless payment transaction processing.

Thanks to its flexibility, the tablet-based BEETLE mobile POS solution can either be used on the shop floor, both as a mobile information terminal for intensive customer support and as a mobile payment terminal, or linked to back-office systems to carry out administrative tasks such as stock taking or inventory ordering. At the same time, the tablet solution can also be used as a fully functioning stationary checkout, when locked into its purpose-built docking unit and POS Device Hub. All relevant interfaces are available to connect the tablet with a cash drawer, receipt printer, customer display, checkout scale or any other device.

The tablet will be available in 8.3” and 10” format and runs on both Windows 8.1 and Android platforms. Developed in cooperation with Aava Mobile, it offers maximum performance based on the latest Intel Atom processor. For use as a mobile payment terminal, the tablet includes state-of-the-art technology that supports both traditional magnetic stripe card and chip card transactions and ensures compliance with international EMV requirements and PCI security standards.

Moreover, Wincor Nixdorf has extended and bundled its portfolio of solutions for processing cashless payment transactions. The Aevi portfolio comprises three solution blocks: Aevi Pay, Aevi Money and Aevi Marketplace.

Aevi Pay provides solutions for connecting EFTPOS devices, with the payment server software allowing for the operation of payment terminals from different manufacturers. The solution is already being used by leading service station companies to process transactions. Wincor Nixdorf also has a solution for processing mobile payments: the white label wallet Aevi Wallet. It was originally developed to use QR codes, but is now also ready for the future’s contactless NFC payments.

The transaction solution Aevi Money covers the authorization, switching and routing of ATM transactions, including the operation of ATM networks. For this purpose, leading standard software was integrated into Wincor Nixdorf’s solution blueprint to enable the company to offer an end-to-end platform as a flexible managed services solution. Moreover, Wincor Nixdorf is addressing the needs of the growing market in mobile money applications through a solution that enables people who have mobile telephones but no bank accounts to use ATMs to top up their mobile wallets, withdraw cash, and transfer funds to bank accounts or to other mobile wallets.

Lastly, Wincor Nixdorf is also presenting its Android-based software concept, the Aevi Marketplace. “Our goal is to make applications available that enable an optimal customer experience and can do more than just process payments,” said Miroslav Pekarek, Head of Cashless Payment Solutions at Wincor Nixdorf. Examples include apps that retailers can use to re-order merchandise or that enable restaurant bills to be split easily.

In order to offer a variety of apps quickly, Wincor Nixdorf provides freelance software developers around the world with a software development kit, assumes responsibility for the quality of the apps, and ensures their distribution. Retailers or banks can download the apps from a B2B platform onto “Albert” – a multifunctional, Android-based payment tablet and the first of its kind worldwide with an integrated card reader, receipt printer, and touchscreen module for encrypted PIN entry (Touch EPP).

Together with the new BEETLE mobile POS solution, Wincor Nixdorf offers larger retailers a mobile end-to-end POS solution and a future-proof investment in mobile applications.

Wincor Nixdorf at EuroShop: Hall 6, Booth A76



Wincor Nixdorf prepares the next release of its store software TP.net for May 2014

Paderborn, Germany, 2014-2-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Modern retail software needs to integrate the online and offline worlds and meet all the requirements of functionality, architecture and international orientation in multi-channel sales. This is because, for example, today’s consumers gather information online but make their purchases in stores – or vice versa. And in the process, they expect consistency and the same quality everywhere.

Against this backdrop, Wincor Nixdorf is preparing the next release of its store software TP.net for May 2014 in order to optimize the mapping and control of all processes for international multi-channel retailers. Retail companies will be able to use the new version – TP.net 5.5 – to connect their sales channels congruently and control them more efficiently. Among other things, TP.net 5.5 ensures a consistent link between sales and merchandise management data flows so that, for example, order processes and item availability can be coordinated across channels. The new release also enables cross-channel control of marketing and loyalty activities. Moreover, TP.net 5.5 connects the stationary checkout systems in stores to multiple mobile applications on end devices running iOS and Android operating systems, and ensures the successful integration of POS peripheral devices in mobile processes.

Wincor Nixdorf takes over software installation and testing in addition to implementing updates and providing 1st, 2nd and 3rd Level Support for the store staff. A standardized procedure based on areas of responsibility defined by the customer and Wincor Nixdorf enables the rapid transfer of the solution to the entire store network while ensuring complete process transparency.

One element of this cross-channel solution is Wincor Nixdorf’s new checkout software mobile POS. “The extension of our proven, standards-based framework TP.net with these and other cross-channel functions offers retail companies a solid foundation for a uniform omnichannel customer experience. This will help them to win and retain today’s ‘networked customers’,” comments Thomas Fell, Senior Vice President Retail at Wincor Nixdorf.

TP.net 5.5 is part of Wincor Nixdorf’s comprehensive, modular TP Application Suite, which addresses the entire range of checkout processes required by large, international retailers. And Wincor Nixdorf ensures support for its solutions around the world through its closely-meshed delivery and service network. “Through a considerable investment in R&D, we have once again enhanced the functionality and performance of our strategic retail software platform, thus ensuring that it meets the omnichannel requirements of retailers when it is implemented on a global scale”, says Nicolas Pelletier, Vice President Retail Software at Wincor Nixdorf.

In an analysis by the renowned American market research company Forrester Research from November 2012, TP Application Suite was awarded the highest number of points for its functionality and performance.
Wincor Nixdorf at EuroShop: Hall 6, Booth A76



The University of Leeds and Marks & Spencer work on new research to drive opportunities for economic growth and expansion in retail

Leeds, UK, 2014-2-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — The University of Leeds is working with Marks & Spencer on new research into innovation in international business models, which aims to drive opportunities for economic growth and expansion in retail.

Using a £200,000 grant from the Economic and Social Research Council, experts from Leeds University Business School (LUBS) will look into a range of retail business or operating models, such as franchise, wholly owned or joint ventures, in emerging markets. The research will determine the drivers of success internationally within the context of cultural and institutional factors.

The project will be informed by M&S’s diverse and established franchise model, which is the major focus of its international business and aims to reduce the company’s dependency on the UK economic cycle. All of M&S’s stores in the Middle East operate using this model and the company works in partnership with organisations such as Relay France in Paris, BP in the Netherlands and Supermarkets 1960 in Malta, which is a relationship that dates back to 1962. Approximately 36% of M&S’s international revenues in 2011/2012 came from its franchise operations and it now aims to grow this to 50%.

LUBS will apply M&S’s knowledge and understanding of international cultures and markets and how it has adapted its approach to suit different territories, as well as engaging its strategies on future growth to become a leading international multi-channel retailer.

Focusing on United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Turkey, the results of the year-long project will be a valuable contribution to the retail sector. The findings will be made available for UK businesses looking for sustainable international growth strategies to retain their competitive positions in the market, enhancing future prospects for the UK economy.

Professor Richard Thorpe, Pro-Dean for Research and Innovation at LUBS, said: “We are pleased to be working collaboratively with M&S to deliver research that will outline a best practice approach to international business models in retail. M&S has been one of the UK’s great success stories internationally, so this research will give us the opportunity to share knowledge to inform economic growth.”

Steve Finlan, Director of International Operations at M&S, said: “Our knowledge of individual markets, their motivations and challenges has been developed over more than 50 years and we are pleased to be able to share this expertise to deliver future economic benefit, giving back to the retail sector and learning more ourselves. As businesses seek to reduce their dependency on the UK economic cycle, we recognise that sustainable international expansion is vital and, as a business, it remains one of our important growth areas to become a leading, multi-channel retailer around the world.”

Professor Mat Robson, Professor in the Marketing Division at LUBS, is leading the project. He said: “It was immediately clear from discussions with the international team at M&S that we could create real synergies with them through this project. This is a truly exciting opportunity to create and exchange cutting-edge knowledge on a business mode that could prove crucial to UK retailers as they seek to internationalise.”

A unique partnership exists between M&S and the University of Leeds which was initially formed in 2009. The M&S Company Archive and an exhibition charting the history of the company, Marks in Time, are based on the campus and the partnership represents a new model of engagement between industry and education focusing on research and innovation.

The concept of an operational division of M&S working alongside academics on a leading University campus has opened up possibilities for partnership activity across multiple channels, including mutual priority areas such as research, student engagement and community outreach.

M&S was founded over 129 years ago and currently has over 770 UK stores and over 430 international stores across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The company has 250 franchise stores in 31 territories around the world.

Further information 

Professor Mat Robson is available for interview. Please contact Ben Jones, Press Officer, on 0113 343 8059 or email B.P.Jones@leeds.ac.uk


The University of Leeds and Marks & Spencer work on new research to drive opportunities for economic growth and expansion in retail