Geek Squad, Best Buy to help more than 300 people bridge the digital literacy gap with EveryoneOn seminars this year

WASHINGTON, DC, 2014-2-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ricky Hester is a licensed electrician who knows full well the role computers will play as the 44-year-old advances further in his career.

“That’s what this era we are living in is all about – computers,” he said. “When I went through the apprenticeship for engineering, it took five years. But a lot of what I deal with now is computers. So any time I can take a class and learn how better to work with computers, that’s what I’m looking for.”

And that’s why Hester – alongside 15 others eager to learn on Wednesday – took part in the EveryoneOn training program that Best Buy and Geek Squad led at the Washington, D.C. Housing Authority’s Family Enhancement Center.

From explaining how email works to the difference between URLs and search bars – Geek Squad Double Agent Covert Tavis Sellers did his part to bridge the digital literacy gap that limits the potential for 60 million Americans, according to EveryoneOn.

When four in five teachers give homework online and more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies post job openings on the Internet only – those lacking computer skills get left behind.

“Technology is at the center of everything we do at Best Buy and these trainings help give people the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in this digital world,” said Best Buy Senior Director of Community Relations Susan Bass Roberts. “Our Best Buy blue shirts and Geek Squad agents live this stuff every day and they love it. This program allows them to share their expertise and help others in the process.”

That’s why this year, beginning in Washington D.C. and continuing in Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Detroit, Best Buy and Geek Squad will offer 20 two-hour EveryoneOn training sessions, helping more than 300 Americans get a leg up in the online world.

“It was a diverse crowd today — old folks, young folks, and middle-aged folks,” Sellers said. “I had one lady who had no computer knowledge at all. And everyone in the training session was OK with me devoting some special time to help her create an email and show her how it works.”

Best Buy has partnered with the national nonprofit EveryoneOn since its 2011 inception, with Geek Squad Agents successfully piloting the training program in February 2013.

In each city this year, the first of five sessions focuses on training the trainers, the community members who will help expand the program locally. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is using its network to assist EveryoneOn, with training sessions usually taking  place at HUD facilities.  The remaining four sessions are two-hour programs working directly with those who seek to better understand the online world.

As for Hester, he aimed to make the most of an opportunity in his own community.

“I want to thank the Best Buy people because folks in my community need this knowledge and information,” Hester said. “It’s so good to bring these classes to the people. I was happy to gain some knowledge today.”


Geek Squad and Best Buy will help more than 300 people bridge the digital literacy gap with EveryoneOn seminars this year. The year-long push began on Wednesday in Washington D.C. with Geek Squad Agent Tavis Sellers and 16 eager learners.

Geek Squad and Best Buy will help more than 300 people bridge the digital literacy gap with EveryoneOn seminars this year. The year-long push began on Wednesday in Washington D.C. with Geek Squad Agent Tavis Sellers and 16 eager learners.


NRF’s Senior VP David French comments on the Administration Leadership On Patent Trolls

WASHINGTON, DC, 2014-2-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation issued the following statement today from Senior Vice President David French before his meetings at the White House, where the administration will announce a series of steps aimed at protecting business owners and innovators from patent trolls:

“The National Retail Federation credits the administration’s attention to strengthening the United States patent system and proposing a series of measures aimed at protecting Main Street retailers and restaurants from abusive patent trolls. The president has recognized the economic harm caused by patent trolls, and we welcome the administration’s leadership on this priority. Further transparency, clarity, education and enforcement are all welcome steps for the nation’s business community.

“Patent litigation reform will require tough policy choices and decisions and ultimately the power rests with Congress to solve the patent troll problem. Congress needs to act this year on patent reform and address the lingering questions around demand letter transparency, the customer stay provision and expanded covered business method patents in order to fully protect local shops and stores from costly and abusive patent troll lawsuits.

“The administration has created a path forward for Congress to address patent trolls and we urge them to take up that responsibility now.”

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.

Stephen E. Schatz or Bethany Aronhalt (855) NRF-Press


J. C. Penney Company, Inc. to release its fourth quarter and full year 2013 financial results on Wednesday, February 26

PLANO, TX, 2014-2-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) announced today that it will release its fourth quarter and full year 2013 financial results on Wednesday, February 26 at 4:00 p.m. ET, followed by a live conference call and webcast conducted by Chief Executive Officer Mike Ullman and Chief Financial Officer Ken Hannah that will begin at 4:30 p.m. ET.

To access the conference call, please dial (877) 299-4454, or (617) 597-5447 for international callers, and reference 87742389 participant code or visit the Company’s investor relations website at

Telephone playback will be available for 90 days beginning approximately two hours after the conclusion of the meeting by dialing (888) 286-8010, or (617) 801-6888 for international callers and referencing 36233292 participant code.

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 ( and Twitter (

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

Media Relations:
(972) 431-3400 or

Investor Relations:
(972) 431-5500 or

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, 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

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, gross margin, 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. There 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.


Sainsbury’s research: 85% do not know how many calories in a glass of wine

LONDON, 2014-2-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — 85% of adults do not know how many calories there are in a glass of wine according to new research released today from Sainsbury’s. The study comes as the retailer launches calorie labelling on a selection of its new own-brand wines.

  • 85% do not know how many calories in a glass of wine
  • 63% do not include the calories from wine when counting calories
  • 2 in 3 would like to see calorie labelling on alcohol
  • More than half of adults surveyed (58%) do not know what the government guidelines for daily alcohol consumption are
  • Over 1 in 3 do try to control their alcohol in a bid to be healthier

The research shows that while an average of 74% of adults know what their recommended daily calorie intake is, less than half know what the guidelines for daily alcohol consumption (units) are.

The findings show that the primary motivation for cutting down on drinking  is health related; of those surveyed, 62% say they limit their alcohol consumption in a bid to be healthier and nearly half (44%) reveal they proactively try to limit their drinking in an effort to manage their weight.  Yet only 25% of those surveyed consider the calories consumed from wine when counting their daily total intake.

The research further suggests that consumers rely on clear on-pack food labelling to get their nutritional information and two in three (66%) would like the same labelling standards to apply to alcohol packaging to make calorie information more transparent. This is in stark contrast to the fact that at present, only 15% know how many calories there are in a glass of wine.

Helen Buck, chair of Sainsbury’s Responsible Drinking Steering Group said: “It is clear from our research that shoppers are confused regarding the calories in alcohol.   We hope that by clearly displaying this information on the bottle, we’ll be able to help our customers to make responsible choices more easily.”

Jane Ellison, Public Health Minister said: “The use of calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks is a key way the industry can help support responsible drinking. Clear labelling has an important part to play in helping customers make healthier choices.

“Sainsbury’s are once again helping to lead the way in providing consumers with the information that they need to make informed choices. We welcome this move and urge others to follow suit. Through the public health Responsibility Deal, this government continues to work with businesses to give consumers more of the information they want and need on alcoholic drinks and other products.”Sainsbury’s is introducing the labelling on 20 new bottles from its Winemakers’ Selection by Sainsbury’s  range and will continue rolling out calorie labelling throughout 2014 and 2015.


Sainsbury’s research: 85% do not know how many calories in a glass of wine

Sainsbury’s research: 85% do not know how many calories in a glass of wine

Dana Langley Birdsong joined National Association of Convenience Stores as political relations director

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2014-2-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Dana Langley Birdsong has joined NACS as its political relations director.Birdsong comes to NACS after several years of running her own consulting business working with former members of Congress, federal candidates and nonprofits on fund-raising and grassroots initiatives. Prior to consulting she was director for advocacy, grassroots & political action committee development at the American College of Cardiology.  Earlier in her career, she also served in advocacy roles at United States Telecom Association, MCI WorldCom, Inc. and CTIA – The Wireless Association.Birdsong earned a BA in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.


Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS ( is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 149,000 stores across the country, posted $700 billion in total sales in 2012, of which $501 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

Philippines: SM Prime Holdings to give warm welcome for winter Olympian and skating rink talent Michael Martinez

Pasay City, Philippines, 2014-2-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — SM Prime Holdings Inc., the property conglomerate of the SM Group of Companies, is all set to give a warm welcome for winter Olympian and homegrown skating rink talent Michael Martinez as he comes home on February 23, 2014 from a sensational performance at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia.

“We are very proud of Michael. Not only did he give honor to our country, but he is also a shining example for the youth as someone who saw no limits to what he can achieve. He has already inspired millions by following his dreams and by competing in the Winter Olympics. He will continue to inspire us all as he works towards earning medals in the future Olympic competitions,” SM Prime Holdings President Hans T. Sy said.

To honor Martinez, SM has surprise gifts when he arrives where he will be given a motorcade at the Mall of Asia grounds starting at 4 PM which will culminate in an awarding ceremony inside the mall.

During his formative years as a figure skater, Martinez frequented SM Southmall in Las Pinas and much later on, SM Mall of Asia for figure skating competitions despite frequent bouts of asthma. Since skating at 8 years old, Martinez has garnered 194 medals and trophies from various international and local competitions. He is currently ranked 19th in the world based on his recent performance at the Winter Olympics. Martinez clinched 7th place at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany that qualified him for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Through the years, SM and the Philippine Skating Union have conducted several figure skating competitions that have given birth to international champions such as Martinez. The excellence demonstrated by skaters especially during competitions is a mark of quality that the SM Ice Skating Rink can provide with its world-class venue and facilities.

Property conglomerate SM Prime Holdings, Inc. operates ice skating rinks through SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc. at the SM Megamall Building D in Mandaluyong, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay, and SM Southmall in Las Pinas.

# # #

For information, contact:
Ms. Nicole Mariz Deato
SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc.

The John Lewis Partnership: David Anderson to step down from the Board and Chair of the Partnership’s Audit and Risk Committee

LONDON, 2014-2-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The John Lewis Partnership announces that David Anderson has decided to step down from the Board and Chair of the Partnership’s Audit and Risk Committee for health reasons.

David Anderson joined the John Lewis Partnership Board in February 2011 and became Chair of its Audit and Risk Committee in August 2012. Baroness Hogg will act as Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee until September 2014 when she is due to retire from the Board.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership said: ‘I am very sad that it has become necessary for David to step down in these circumstances and would like to thank him for his contribution and leadership of the Audit and Risk Committee during his time on the Board.’

Notes to editors
The John Lewis Partnership – The John Lewis Partnership operates 40 John Lewis shops across the UK (30 department stores and 10 John Lewis at home),, 302 Waitrose shops, and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £9.5bn. It is the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership where all 85,500 staff are Partners in the business.

For more information please contact:
John Lewis Partnership
Neil Spring, Senior Communications Manager
Telephone: 020 7592 6296

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Jos Bieneman
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced it is significantly accelerating its capital plan for U.S. small store format openings for the current fiscal year

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2014-2-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Behind a real estate strategy focused on providing the broadest selection of products and convenient access through a digitally connected, multi-format portfolio, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) today announced it is significantly accelerating its capital plan for U.S. small store format openings for the current fiscal year.

The company is expanding its original capital forecast provided last October, and now expects to add approximately 270 to 300 small stores during the fiscal year, doubling the initial forecast of 120 to150 stores. Walmart U.S. will continue its plan to open approximately 115 new supercenters this year.

“Customers’ needs and expectations are changing. They want to shop when they want and how they want, and we are transforming our business to meet their expectations,” said Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. president and CEO. “Customers appreciate the broad assortment of our supercenters for their stock-up trips as well as our small store formats for fill-in trips. By unlocking this growth opportunity and further combining our supercenters and small store formats with an unlimited selection available through ecommerce, we provide our customers with anytime, anywhere access to our brand.”

The small store fleet has continued to deliver positive comp sales and traffic increases each quarter. Comp sales for Neighborhood Market stores grew approximately 4 percent for fiscal year 2014, driven by fresh and pharmacy.

“Neighborhood Market is performing comparable or favorable to leading grocers,” said Simon.  “Our small store expansion, in addition to providing customers access to a wide variety of products, including fresh, pharmacy and fuel, will help us usher in the next generation of retail. This will combine thousands of points of physical access with digital retail experiences that include initiatives such as Site to Store and Pay with Cash.”

Walmart currently operates 346 Neighborhood Markets and 20 Walmart Express stores. The Express units have performed well and are being expanded beyond the initial three-market pilot. As a result of its more aggressive plan, Walmart U.S. projects to end fiscal year 2015 with net retail square footage growth of approximately 21 to 23 million square feet across all formats, versus its original projection of approximately 19 to 21 million square feet. The projected capital expenditures and square footage details exclude the impact of future acquisitions.

“We have a healthy pipeline of stores in development, and we systematically work to improve our real estate and construction processes, reduce building costs and shorten the time needed to open our stores,” said Simon. “In addition to providing best-in-class one-stop shopping at supercenters, we believe that accelerating our small store expansion will allow customers to choose where and when to shop based on their needs. Our small store expansion will also strengthen our market share and create greater efficiencies in our supply chain through a tethered approach that uses supercenters as a supply chain base, links our resources and provides a unique and connected customer experience.”

To fund this additional growth, the company is revising its capital expenditures forecast for the Walmart U.S. segment to $6.4 to $6.9 billion, up from an initial range of $5.8 to $6.3 billion. This reflects the increased small store growth and the current pipeline of supercenters, which remain an essential part of the company’s strategy. In total, across supercenter and small store formats, Walmart U.S. plans to open 385 to 415 units in fiscal 2015, adding considerably to the more than 4,200 stores currently open.

NOTE: High resolution photos of Neighborhood Markets are available at:

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) 
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere — in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our 11,302 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and ecommerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2014 sales of over $473 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting on Facebook at and on Twitter at Online merchandise sales are available at and

Forward-looking statement

This release contains statements as to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. management’s forecasts of the number of new small format stores, the number of new supercenters and the total new stores of all formats that the Walmart U.S. operating segment of Walmart will open in the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2015, the net retail square footage growth of the Walmart U.S. operating segment in the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2015, and the range of the capital expenditures to be made by the Walmart U.S. operating segment during the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2015, and certain assumptions underlying those forecasts, as well as management’s expectations that the Walmart U.S. operating segment will combine thousands of points of physical access with digital retail experiences and that the small store expansion of the Walmart U.S. operating segment will strengthen its market share and create greater supply chain efficiencies that Walmart believes are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. These statements are intended to enjoy the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements provided by that act. Those statements can be identified by the use of the word or phrase “expects,” “forecast,” “plans,” “projects,” “will also strengthen … and create,” “will combine,” and “will continue” in the statements.  These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including:  general economic conditions; business trends and economic conditions affecting the specific markets in which Walmart may construct new units; competition from other retailers and other competitive pressures; consumer acceptance of the Walmart U.S. operating segment’s stores and merchandise in the markets in which new units are opened; consumer shopping patterns in the markets in which the small store expansion of the Walmart U.S. operating segment occurs; the ability of Walmart to obtain greater logistical and cost efficiencies in its supply chain; the amount of inflation or deflation that occurs; weather conditions and events and their effects; catastrophic events and natural disasters and their effects on Walmart’s business; public health emergencies; civil unrest and disturbances and terrorist attacks; commodity prices; transportation costs; energy costs; the availability of appropriate locations for new units; local real estate, zoning, land use, and other laws, ordinances, legal restrictions and initiatives that may prevent Walmart from building, or that impose limitations on Walmart’s ability to build, new units in certain locations; availability of persons with the skills and abilities necessary to meet Walmart’s needs for managing and staffing its new units and conducting their operations; availability of necessary utilities for new units; availability of skilled labor and labor, material and other construction costs in areas in which new units are proposed to be constructed; casualty and other insurance costs; accident-related costs; and other risks.  Walmart discusses certain of the factors described above more fully in certain of its filings with the SEC, including its most recent annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC (in which Walmart also discusses other factors that may affect its operations) and this release should be read in conjunction with that annual report on Form 10-K, together with all of Walmart’s other filings, including its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K, made with the SEC through the date of this release.  Walmart urges readers to consider all of these risks, uncertainties and other factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements contained in this release.  As a result of these matters, changes in facts, assumptions not being realized or other circumstances, Walmart’s actual results may differ materially from the expected results discussed in the forward-looking statements contained in this release.  The forward-looking statements contained in this release are as of the date of this release, and Walmart undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.