IKEA to celebrate traditional annual Swedish Easter Smörgåsbord on April 11

Conshohocken, PA, 2014-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA, the Life Improvement Store, invites consumers to join in celebrating the spring and the Easter holiday with an annual Swedish Easter Smörgåsbord known as Påskbord.

The traditional, all-you can eat buffet will be hosted in all IKEA Restaurants onFriday, April 11. Guests can enjoy an endless meal of classic Swedish food offerings such as Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes, smoked salmon, Swedish ham, and much more. The cost of the buffet is $9.99 per person or $2.49 for kids 12 and under for IKEA FAMILY* members ($12.99 per person/$4.99 for kids 12 and under for non-IKEA FAMILY attendees).

Because of long, cold winters in Sweden, Easter comes as a welcome sign of spring. Swedish homes are decorated with feathered birch twigs, chickens and decorated eggs. As part of the celebration, children dress up in costumes, paint eggs and play games. The festivities culminate with a big smörgåsbord spread of traditional Swedish favorites.

The IKEA Påskbord menu** includes:

First Course
Assorted Herring
Hard-boiled Eggs with Shrimp
Hard-boiled Eggs with Sillrom or Tångkorn

Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce
Gravad Lax with Mustard Sauce
Marinated Salmon with Mustard Sauce
Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Sauce
Poached Salmon

Second Course
Assorted Swedish Cheeses
Tossed Salad
Cucumber Salad
Red Beet Salad

Breads: Crispbread, Crisprolls, Softbread and Thinbread

Third Course
Swedish Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes or Boiled Potatoes with Dill
Jansson’s Temptation
Swedish Ham

Desserts & Beverages
Assorted Swedish Desserts and Cookies
Fountain Beverages and Hot Beverages

Space is limited, so purchase your tickets early. Contact your Local IKEA Store for more details and to purchase tickets.

*IKEA FAMILY is a benefits program that offers membership perks including special product discounts, sneak previews, free coffee and tea in the IKEA Restaurant, and more. Consumers can sign up for the free program online or in-store.
**Menu is subject to change due to product availability.

About IKEA
IKEA strives to be ‘The Life Improvement Store,’ and since its 1943 founding in Sweden, has offered home furnishings of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 350 IKEA stores in 44 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings company, incorporates sustainable efforts into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, go to www.IKEA-USA.com.

H&M to release its Conscious Actions Sustainability Report for 2013 on April 10

Stockholm, Sweden, 2014-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Thursday, April 10, H&M releases its Conscious Actions Sustainability Report for 2013.

Helena Helmersson, Head of Sustainability, presents the most important progress and challenges. The presentation will be followed by an open Q&A session. The press conference will be live streamed.
Date and time:             Thursday, April 10, at 10:00 AM CET

Location:                       H&M, Mäster Samuelsgatan 49, floor 3

Link to the live stream: http://new.livestream.com/hennesandmauritz/SustainabilityReport2013

The press conference, held in English, is only open to journalists and analysts. Please note that all hours are CET.

Interview requests:

Andrea Roos
Phone: +46 8 796 89 37

Please notify participation to:

Emelie Demsell
Phone +46 8 517 627 75

H&M comments on the Clean Clothes Campaign’s report “Tailored Wages”

Stockholm, Sweden, 2014-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — H&M was the first company to launch a roadmap for fair living wage in 2013, and we are in the forefront when it comes to how we address and work with the wage issue in our supply chain.

In the Clean Clothes Campaign’s (CCC) report “Tailored Wages” they have surveyed 50 of Europe’s leading clothing companies work on wages.

We are glad to see that H&M is one of the good examples in the report. We already today address nine of the ten steps which CCC thinks companies should to ensure a living wage. The main criticism against us is why we don´t adhere to the living wage benchmark recommended by the CCC. When reading the results of the report, it is important to remember that the report is the opinion of one campaign organization. Please see below for our comment.

The heart of our roadmap

The textile workers own perception of what a fair living wage is serves as our definition of a living wage. This approach is the heart of our fair living wage roadmap, introduced last year. For us, their voices are most important to listen to.

We believe that it is an outdated view that foreign companies should determine what a living wage is in for example Bangladesh. It is the textile workers own perception of what a fair living wage is that serves as our definition of a living wage. It is also important that the wages should be set by negotiation between the different parties of the labour market. Several knowledgeable voices such as Swedish trade union IF Metall, global unions and wage experts at International Labour Organization (ILO), are supporting the path we have chosen.

“We agree that wages should be set by negotiation. The road is long to go but the work we are doing together with H&M when it comes to developing social dialogue and industrial relations in for example Cambodia, is a step in the right direction,” says Mats Svensson, International Secretary at Swedish union IF Metall.

According to the ILO there is no universal benchmark on how to calculate a living wage, instead they raise the importance of promoting freedom of association and collective bargaining which are necessary for workers and employers to negotiate improvements in wages and conditions of work.

Strengthen the workers voices

Our role and responsibility is to help create a working environment in the factories where a skilled workforce have their wages reviewed annually and negotiated either on factory and/or sectorial and government level, involving freely elected trade union or worker representatives. Through our roadmap for a fair living wage we work to strengthen the textile workers’ own voices and industrial labor relations is therefore a big focus for us.

Right now we are testing how to best achieve a fair living wage in three model factories, one in Cambodia and two in Bangladesh. Here the wage should be set through fair negotiations where workers’ voices are heard, and also reflect the knowledge and experience of the worker. We will continuously measure the workers own perception of receiving a wage covering their basic needs as well as the actual wage development in monetary terms. The first evaluations will be ready during autumn 2014, and we will scale up the parts of the roadmap shown to be successful.

To learn more about our roadmap for a fair living wage, visit: www.hm.com/fairlivingwage


Only for media representatives
Phone: +46 8 796 53 00
Email: mediarelations@hm.comPlease note the contact details above are only for media representatives. For other enquiries contact H&M’s switchboard on +46 8 796 55 00.

Ingles Markets Inc’s Board of Directors announced quarterly cash dividend on its Class A and B Common Stock

ASHEVILLE, N.C., 2014-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ingles Markets, Incorporated (NASDAQ: IMKTA) today announced that its Board of Directors has declared a cash dividend of $0.165 (sixteen and one-half cents) per share on all its Class A Common Stock and $0.15 (fifteen cents) per share on all its Class B Common Stock.  This is an annual rate of $0.66 and $0.60 per share, respectively.  Dividends on both the Class A and Class B Common Stock are payable April 24, 2014, to all shareholders of record on April 10, 2014.

Ingles Markets, Incorporated is a leading supermarket chain with operations in six southeastern states. Headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina, the Company operates 203 supermarkets. In conjunction with its supermarket operations, the Company operates neighborhood shopping centers, most of which contain an Ingles supermarket. The Company also owns a fluid dairy facility that supplies Company supermarkets and unaffiliated customers. The Company’s Class A Common Stock is traded on The NASDAQ Stock Market’s Global Select Market under the symbol IMKTA. For more information, visit Ingles’ website www.ingles-markets.com.

Ron Freeman
Chief Financial Officer
(828) 669-2941 (Ext. 223)

British Retail Consortium agrees with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report

London, 2014-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report makes clear that the effects of climate change are already occurring right across the world. We agree with the report’s authors that climate-change adaption is not an “exotic agenda” that has never been tried. While significant climate changes are forecast to start in the period 2020-2030, UK retailers are already reviewing the potential effects of climate change on their direct operations, and crucially, their supply chains; and are taking action now to ensure their security.

In January we launched an update of our ambitious and challenging environmental initiative A Better Retailing Climate which highlights how retailers are building business resilient to severe weather. From developing integrated flood risk management strategies to designing buildings that reduce their reliance on polluting cooling systems, the UK retail sector is innovative, forward thinking and a true global leader in climate adaptation.

Retailers also understand that climate mitigation is absolutely essential. That is why signatories to the initiative have pledged to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 25 per cent by 2020, putting the industry on course to meet the 80 per cent overall target set by the UK Climate Change Bill.

But individual actions may have limited business benefits unless there are robust national plans in place. Retailers will continue to work closely with government, suppliers and their customers to make sure that they are doing their bit to reduce carbon emissions and ensure the UK is climate ready.

Helen Dickinson
Director General

The Milwaukee Brewers announced multi-year sports partnership with Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer

Ballpark Signage and Brewers.com Advertising Included in Deal With Retailer; Locations in Wisconsin Scheduled to Open in 2015

MILWAUKEE, 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Milwaukee Brewers today announced a multi-year partnership with Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer that begins this season. The partnership will include branding on both the right-center and left-center field walls at Miller Park. Additional advertising will also be featured on the official website of the Brewers, Brewers.com.  

This is the first sports partnership in Wisconsin for Meijer as the store plans on opening its first Wisconsin stores next year. The retailer currently has over 200 locations in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

“This partnership is just one example of Meijer’s commitment be an integral part of our community even before they open their doors to customers,” Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger said.  “We see this as a great way to welcome them to Wisconsin.”

Meijer supercenters offer customers the “one-stop shopping” concept and are a family-owned company led by brothers and co-chairmen Hank and Doug Meijer, who understand the importance of supporting the communities where its customers and team members work and live.

“We’ve been learning a lot about Wisconsin, and we’ve come to understand that the Brewers are part of the fabric of the Milwaukee community and that the team’s fan base is extremely loyal,” said Frank Guglielmi, senior director of communications for the company.  “We’re excited to be involved with the Milwaukee community and hope to make its citizens loyal fans of Meijer as well.”

The Meijer signage will be up for the Brewers exhibition games at Miller Park tonight and tomorrow, as well as Monday’s Opening Day and throughout the partnership.

Contact: Brewers Media Relations, 414-902-4500; Christina Fecher, 616-735-7968, christina.fecher@meijer.com



Walmart showcased its Futuristic Truck in support of its sustainability program

LOUISVILLE, Ky, 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ —  Walmart showcased its futuristic truck today at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Ky. The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience is a tractor-trailer combination that features leading edge aerodynamics, an advanced turbine-powered range extending series hybrid powertrain, electrified auxiliary components, and sophisticated control systems all in one package, developed in support of the company’s industry-leading sustainability program.

In 2005, Walmart, one of the nation’s largest private fleet operators, announced its goal to double fleet efficiency by 2015. Walmart trucks log millions of miles every year, so when it comes to sustainability and fleet efficiency, the goal is simple: deliver more merchandise while driving fewer miles on the most efficient equipment. As of last year, the company had achievedan 84 percent improvement in fleet efficiency over its 2005 baseline.

“Walmart is continually looking for innovative ways to increase our efficiencies and reduce our fleet’s emissions,” said Tracy Rosser, senior vice president of transportation at Walmart. “The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience is a bold step in transportation technologies that, although not on the road in its current form, will serve as a learning platform for the future that will accelerate our progress toward our goals.”

Innovation is key to improvement, and the project aims to demonstrate a wide range of cutting edge technologies and designs Walmart is considering in an effort to improve the overall fuel efficiency of its fleet and lower the company’s carbon footprint. Although the prototype currently runs on diesel, its turbine is fuel neutral and can run on compressed or liquid natural gas, biofuels or other fuels.

The prototype is the result of collaboration between Walmart and many vendors, including Peterbilt, Roush Engineering, Great Dane Trailers and Capstone Turbine. Almost every component on this vehicle is cutting edge and showcases innovations of the future that will drive increased efficiencies.

About the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience
Tractor: Walmart and Peterbilt have collaborated on aerodynamic, hybrid, electrification and alternative fuel projects in the past, each with incremental gains in fuel efficiency and emission reductions. The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience tractor combines many of these projects in a single vehicle.

“Peterbilt’s goals of producing the most fuel-efficient, aerodynamic, and lightweight trucks in the industry mirror those of Walmart,” said Landon Sproull, chief engineer at Peterbilt. “Our combined efforts help build a business case for these technologies in the future, as well as support one of our best customers.”

Aerodynamics: Designers used extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to optimize the truck’s styling. The truck’s shape represents a 20 percent reduction in aerodynamic drag over Walmart’s current Peterbilt Model 386. By placing the cab over the engine, the truck’s wheelbase is greatly shortened, resulting in reduced weight and better maneuverability. Walmart relied on product development supplier Roush Engineering to carry out the vehicle’s construction with these detailed design specifications.

“We work every day with customers from the automotive and aerospace industries, all of whom have a laser focus on maximizing efficiencies through improved aerodynamics,” said Tom Topper, Roush’s executive director of prototype services. “This design is revolutionary and truly world class.”

Range Extending Series Hybrid: Range extending hybrids are a synergy between electric trucks and series hybrids, and their design reduces the energy storage size required for trucks to run on batteries alone. With Walmart Distribution Centers now located closer to metropolitan areas, transport vehicles have shorter transit times to their delivery destinations. These shorter trips reduce the vehicles’ average trip speed and create more opportunities to recover energy through regenerative braking. The generator and energy storage on the truck are scalable based on the range desired.

Turbine Power: The truck features a microturbine Range Extender generator developed by Capstone Turbine Corporation. The company also engineered the truck’s integrated hybrid drivetrain solution. The use of a hybrid powertrain allows the turbine to remain at optimum operating revolutions per minute (RPM), while the electric motor/energy storage handles acceleration and deceleration. A longer-range version of this powertrain would feature a larger turbine and smaller energy storage system.

“We developed this microturbine hybrid electric drive system by assembling the best team of technology leaders in the industry,” said Steve Gillette, director of business development for Capstone. “We look forward to the day when these energy-saving features are standard offers for the market.”

Fuel Neutral Capability: Turbines by their nature are fuel neutral and produce very low emissions without the need for aftertreatment. Turbines are also appealing because of their few moving parts, low maintenance requirements and lighter weight.

Component Electrification: With automobiles moving to electrified accessories such as power steering and air conditioning, this truck scales those systems up for use on a larger vehicle. These electrified components are used only when needed and at peak efficiency.

Charge Mode: When keyed on, the truck automatically detects the state of charge of the batteries and starts charging them, if needed, using the turbine engine. Charge mode can be manually selected if an operator wishes to “top off” the batteries prior to shutting down.

Electric Vehicle Mode: For use in urban areas, the truck will run on electric power alone until the battery state of charge hits 50 percent. At that time the turbine will automatically start and begin charging the batteries.

Hybrid Electric Mode: For maximum range, this mode runs the turbine continuously, only shutting down if the batteries run out.

Trailer: The vehicle’s trailer, manufactured by Great Dane Trailers, offers a host of fuel-saving features. The trailer body is built almost exclusively with carbon fiber, including one-piece carbon fiber panels for the roof and sidewalls, saving nearly 4,000 pounds when compared to traditional designs. The trailer’s convex nose also enhances aerodynamics while maintaining storage space inside the trailer. Other special features of the trailer include special low-amperage LED lighting strips, composite trailer skirts, aerodynamic disc wheel coverings, a Posi-lift suspension, and a one-piece, fiberglass-reinforced floor panel with a 16,000 pound forklift rating.

“This road-ready prototype trailer is a bold step in transportation technologies,” said Adam Hill, vice president of product and sales engineering at Great Dane. “We look forward to further collaboration with Walmart to create more fuel-efficient vehicles of this type in the future.”

A number of vendor partners were involved in the design and creation of the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience. Key partners – in addition to Peterbilt Motors Company, Roush Engineering, Capstone Turbine Corporation and Great Dane Trailers – include Qualnetics Corporation, Allison Transmission, Transpower, New Eagle, Fiber-Tech Industries, Grote Industries, Inc., Laydon Composites Ltd., Isringhauser Seats, Graykon, LLC, Dometic Corp, RealWheels Corp, Corvus Energy, Parker Hannifin, Accuride, Milliken Chemical, SAF-HOLLAND USA, Inc. and Whiting.

“The creation of this showcase vehicle was only made possible through strong collaboration with our partners, and we thank each of them for their valuable contribution,” said Rosser. “It’s important that we continue to work collectively on future innovations and challenge ourselves to look boldly at fleet efficiency in new and different ways.”

For more information and to access related photos and videos, please visit http://corporate.walmart.com/truck.

About Walmart 
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 visitinghttp://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.

Walmart showcased its Futuristic Truck in support of its sustainability program


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Wesfarmers to hold free Centenary Community Concert at Northam on Saturday 12 April

Perth, Australia,  2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — From Somewhere Over the Rainbow performed by one of Australia’s finest classical singers to Tchaikovsky’s spectacular 1812 Overture, there will be something for everyone at the free Wesfarmers Centenary Community Concert at Northam on Saturday 12 April.

As the major public celebration of its centenary, Wesfarmers is about to take its principal arts partners the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and West Australian Opera to the Avon Valley to perform in the heart of the region where the company’s story began.

WASO and the WAO Chorus will be joined by two of Australia’s most versatile and popular classical singers, soprano Sara Macliver and mezzo soprano Fiona Campbell.

Sara will perform Arlen’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow and join with Fiona for the Flower Duet from Delibe’s Lakmé. Other well-known and much-loved pieces in this program of classical masterpieces and popular favourites include ‘O Fortuna’ from Carmina Burana, ‘Va Pensiero’ from Verdi’s Nabucco and the main theme from John Williams’ Star Wars Suite.

Wesfarmers is delighted to announce a special appearance by Gina Williams, who will join WASO for a performance of Iggy’s Lullaby, the first song Gina wrote in Noongar language.

The concert will be conducted by Guy Noble and also feature WASO’s Graham Pyatt in Massenet’s ‘Méditation’ from Thaïs.

Other talented young performers from around the region will be among the support acts entertaining concert goers in the lead up to the main event at 7pm.

The award-winning Perth Hills and Wheatbelt Band, made up of young musicians from Wheatbelt towns and the Hills suburbs, will perform ahead of a planned four week concert tour in 2015 of the battlefields of Europe coinciding with the centenary of the ANZAC Gallipoli campaign.

The band’s members include a descendant of Wesfarmers founder Walter Harper, French horn player Eoin John, and its program will include an original composition by 12 year old tuba player and former Northam Primary School student, North McLevie.

Aboriginal country rock band Patch Up from the Balladong area will kick off the entertainment soon after the gates open at 4pm and young Aboriginal hip hop dancers Kellerberrin’s Static Crew and Lil Sparks will add some high energy dance to the event.

Boys from the Northam Clontarf Academy will greet concert goers who arrive early with skills from their Drumbeat program and more music and dance will come from the members of the Northam PCYC Performing Arts Group.

A Children’s Fun Area will also provide plenty of activities for children up to 12 years of age.

Wesfarmers Chairman, Dr Bob Every AO, said he hoped the centenary concert would be an exciting and truly memorable event for Northam and surrounding towns and communities.

‘We encourage everyone to get a picnic together and come along – families, children, residents and visitors,’ Dr Every said.

‘Wesfarmers has been a supporter of WASO and West Australian Opera for nearly two decades and the principal partner of both for a number of years. It was a natural choice to celebrate our centenary by bringing these two brilliant arts companies together to perform at the gateway to the Wheatbelt where we began as a farmers’ co-operative in 1914.’

The Centenary Community Concert will be held on Henry Street Oval, part of the Northam Recreation Centre complex. Gates open at 4pm. Concert goers are welcome to bring a picnic or purchase food and soft drinks. It is BYO-only event; no alcohol will be for sale.

More details, including the full program, can be found at

For further information: Media
Cathy Bolt
Media & External Affairs Manager
+61 8 9327 4423 or +61 417 813 804

Carrefour to hire 5000 young people on apprenticeships and professionalisation contracts during its “Block-release Training Day”

PARIS, 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Carrefour is holding its “Block-release Training Day”, helping young people throughout France by opening up all its Carrefour hypermarkets and Carrefour Market supermarkets to them. In 2014, Carrefour will be hiring some 5000 young people on apprenticeships and professionalisation contracts. This event – designed to help young people establish a foothold on the job market – will introduce them to 120 Carrefour jobs, and they will be able to use it to apply for them.

A day all about youth employment
On 28 March, Carrefour will be opening up its stores throughout France to its future employees as part of an event designed to inform them and hire them on block-release training programmes. Carrefour’s teams will welcome the applicants, providing them with overviews of the jobs that they do and talking to them about jobs and careers opportunities. The students will then be able to take part in practice interviews and submit their CVs.

All these young people, no matter how many years they have spent studying or what qualifications they have, will be to find some opportunity at Carrefour at the end of this day. In fact, the retailer will be recruiting 5000 young people on block-release training programmes in 2014 throughout France – mainly for positions in stores and warehouses. In 2013, the same number of young people were also hired by Carrefour under the same conditions.

Carrefour has set itself the target of converting more than half of these contracts into permanent positions.

“Carrefour sees block-release training as a solution of the future for hiring and training both young people and people seeking to professionalise their experience. We recruit new talent at all levels throughout France… people with or without qualifications. Because taking these young people on within the framework of block-release programmes gives them guaranteed training, a job and a professional future”, says Isabelle Calvez, Head of human resources for Carrefour France.

Block-release training – a stepping stone to the future
As France’s leading private employer in France, Carrefour has made a pledge to promote the talents of this new generation. In 1999, it signed an agreement with the Conseil National des Missions Locales (the national body for local employment advisers) in order to create employment opportunities for young people and is actively involved in the “Entreprises et Emplois” group which is made up of companies that are all partners of the CNML. Through this commitment, it is able to source new recruits locally and provide young people with solid professional experience.

Block-release training contracts are the solution of the future for training young people and developing their professional experience. In addition to their classroom-based training, Carrefour provides them with an opportunity to acquire solid experience in the corporate world – either in stores or at head office. To do this, Carrefour has trained several thousand mentors and apprenticeship directors who pass on their knowledge and experience to these young people every year.

For further information, Carrefour has set up a special website all about blog-release training: http://www.alternance.carrefour.fr/


Carrefour to hire 5000 young people on apprenticeships and professionalisation contracts during its Block-release Training Day

Toys“R”Us, Inc. reports fourth quarter and full 2013 fiscal year financial results

WAYNE, NJ, 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us, Inc. today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of fiscal 2013 ended February 1, 2014.  For the fourth quarter, the company reported net sales of $5.3 billion and Adjusted EBITDA1 of $505 million.

Antonio Urcelay, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, Toys“R”Us, Inc., stated, “It was a challenging year, with declines in both our Domestic and International segments.  The U.S. business experienced the more significant downturn, primarily due to a decrease in net sales, margin pressure and one-time items, including the write-down of excess and obsolete inventory as we take the necessary and prudent steps to improve the business.”

Mr. Urcelay continued, “Over the past several months, the team has been focused on developing our strategic plan, which we strongly believe will address foundational issues needed to stabilize the business over the short-term, while allowing us to implement new initiatives to put the company on track for profitable growth in the future.  At the same time, we accelerated our expansion in China, where business has continued to be strong.”

“The company ended the year with a strong liquidity position of approximately $1.8 billion and reduced our total long term debt by $322 million to $5.0 billion.  In addition, we are pleased that last week we successfully refinanced our $1.85 billion senior secured revolving credit facility, a key component of our capital structure.  The execution of this transaction ensures our ability to appropriately fund the working capital needs of our operations at rates that are significantly lower than the prior revolving credit facility.”

“We are also pleased that the 2014 fiscal year has started off well, with a 3.5% comparable store net sales increase in the U.S. and a 0.2% comparable store net sales increase in our International segment through the first seven fiscal weeks.  The U.S. comparable store net sales results are largely attributable to the learning, juvenile and entertainment categories which were impacted by strong sales of hot movie-related products, both in-store and online, and an enhanced e-commerce shipping offer.”

Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2013 Highlights

  • Comparable store net sales were down 4.1% in the Domestic segment and 2.2% in the International segment. The overall decrease in comparable store net sales resulted primarily from decreases in the entertainment (which includes electronics, video game hardware and software), learning and juvenile (including baby) categories.
  • Net sales were $5.3 billion, a decrease of $503 million or 8.7% compared to the prior year.  Our reporting period for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 included 13 weeks compared to 14 weeks in the prior year, with the extra week in the prior year accounting for net sales of $152 million.  Excluding the impact of the extra week in the prior year and foreign currency translation, which decreased net sales by $117 million, net sales declined $234 million or 4.1%.
  • Gross margin, as a percentage of net sales, was 31.8% versus 34.1% in the prior year, a decrease of 2.3 percentage points primarily due to margin rate declines across all Domestic categories. The declines are due in part to our competitive pricing strategy and inventory clearance efforts, as well as an inventory write-down of $51 million recorded within the Domestic segment.
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 was $505 million, compared to $717 million in the prior year, a decline of $212 million.
  • Net loss was $210 million, compared to net earnings of $239 million in the prior year, a decrease of $449 million.  The decline was mainly attributable to $378 million of goodwill impairment and a $296 million decrease in gross margin dollars, which included an inventory write-down of $51 million recorded within the Domestic segment.  Partially offsetting the decrease was a $200 million decline in income tax expense predominantly due to the decrease in earnings before income taxes.

Full Year Fiscal 2013 Highlights

The following highlights combine the fourth quarter results being announced today with the results of the first three quarters of the fiscal year, which were previously disclosed:

  • Comparable store net sales were down 5.0% in the Domestic segment and 3.3% in the International segment. The overall decrease in comparable store net sales resulted primarily from decreases in the juvenile (including baby), entertainment (which includes electronics, video game hardware and software) and learning categories.
  • Net sales were $12.5 billion, a decrease of $1.0 billion or 7.4% compared to the prior year.  Our reporting period for fiscal 2013 included 52 weeks compared to 53 weeks in fiscal 2012, with the extra week in the prior year accounting for net sales of $152 million.  Excluding the impact of the extra week in the prior year and foreign currency translation, which decreased net sales by $329 million, net sales declined $519 million or 3.8% primarily as a result of a decrease in comparable store net sales, partially offset by an increase in net sales from new stores in the International segment.
  • Gross margin, as a percentage of net sales, was 35.0% versus 36.6% in the prior year, a decrease of 1.6 percentage points primarily due to margin rate declines across all Domestic categories. The declines are due in part to our competitive pricing strategy and inventory clearance efforts, as well as an inventory write-down of $51 million recorded within the Domestic segment. Partially offsetting these decreases was an increase in vendor allowances recorded within the International segment and improvements in sales mix away from lower margin products within the Domestic and International segments, predominantly in our entertainment category.  Gross margin dollars were $4,389 million, compared to $4,951 million in the prior year, a decrease of $562 million. Foreign currency translation decreased gross margin dollars by $110 million.
  • Selling, general and administrative expenses (“SG&A”) decreased by $31 million to $4,010 million, compared to $4,041 million in the prior year.  Foreign currency translation decreased SG&A by $98 million.  Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, SG&A increased primarily as a result of a $24 million increase in occupancy costs predominantly as a result of new stores and store improvements, a $20 million increase in litigation expense related to an adverse liability judgment, and a $17 million increase in accrued vacation expense resulting from a prior period correction.
  • Adjusted EBITDAfor fiscal 2013 was $588 million, compared to $1,015 million in the prior year, a decline of $427 million.
  • Interest expense was $524 million, an increase of $44 million from the prior year’s level of $480 million.  The increase in interest expense was primarily due to $77 million of incremental expense associated with the current year repayment of the $950 million 10.750% senior unsecured notes due fiscal 2017, which included a redemption premium of $51 million. Partially offsetting the increase was $19 million in savings associated with refinancing the unsecured notes to a $985 million senior unsecured term loan facility due fiscal 2019 at a lower rate of interest, as well as the prior year repayment of the $400 million 7.875% senior notes due fiscal 2013, which included a make-whole premium of $18 million.
  • Net loss was $1.0 billion, compared to net earnings of $38 million in the prior year.  The decline was mainly attributable to two significant non-cash charges, goodwill impairment of $378 million and an increase of $349 million in non-cash charges associated with the valuation allowance on deferred tax assets as the company has determined it is more likely than not that these assets will not be realized in the foreseeable future.  Excluding these items, the company would have a net loss of $312 million for fiscal 2013 primarily due to a decrease in gross margin dollars of $562 million, which included an inventory write-down of $51 million recorded within the Domestic segment.

Capital Spending and Depreciation

  • For the full year, capital spending was $238 million, compared to $286 million in the prior year, a decrease of $48 million.
  • Depreciation expense was $388 million, a decrease of $19 million from the prior year level of $407 million.

Liquidity and Debt

The company ended the year with cash and cash equivalents of $644 million and unused availability under committed lines of credit of $1.2 billion, which aggregated to approximately $1.8 billion of total liquidity.

Net cash provided by operating activities for fiscal 2013 was $144 million, a decrease of $393 million compared to the prior year amount of $537 million, primarily driven by the current year net loss.

Total long term debt, including the current portion, was $5.0 billion, a decrease of $322 million from the prior year balance of $5.3 billion, primarily due to the partial repayments of the United Kingdom and French credit facilities in conjunction with their respective refinancings, as well as current year loan amortization payments and prepayments associated with the company’s outstanding debt.

Recent Developments

On March 21, 2014, Toys“R”Us – Delaware, Inc. (“Toys“R”Us – Delaware”), a direct wholly−owned subsidiary, and certain of its subsidiaries amended and restated the credit agreement for its senior secured revolving credit facility (“ABL Facility”) in order to extend the maturity date of the facility and amend certain other provisions.  The ABL Facility as amended will continue to provide for $1.85 billion of revolving commitments, subject to certain conditions.  The ABL Facility has a final maturity date of March 21, 2019, with a springing maturity if the Toys“R”Us – Delaware term loans due fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2018, and the Toys“R”Us – Delaware secured notes due fiscal 2016 are not repaid 30 days prior to maturity.  The ABL Facility as amended bears a tiered floating interest rate of London Interbank Offered Rate plus a margin of between 1.50% and 1.75% depending on usage.

1 A detailed description and reconciliation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA, and management’s reasons for using these measures, are set forth at the end of this press release.

About Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the world’s leading dedicated toy and juvenile products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands.  Merchandise is sold in 872 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 700 international stores and over 180 licensed stores in 35 foreign countries and jurisdictions.  In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys in the brand’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.  With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.com, Babiesrus.com, eToys.com and FAO.com, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products.  Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys“R”Us, Inc. employs approximately 67,000 associates annually worldwide.  The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need.  Additional information about Toys“R”Us, Inc. can be found on Toysrusinc.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
All statements that are not historical facts in this press release, including statements about our beliefs or expectations, are forward-looking statements.  These statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including, among others, the seasonality of our business, competition in the retail industry, changes in our product distribution mix and distribution channels, general economic factors in the United States and other countries in which we conduct our business, consumer spending patterns, our ability to implement our strategy including implementing initiatives for season, the availability of adequate financing, access to trade credit, changes in consumer preferences, changes in employment legislation, our dependence on key vendors for our merchandise, political and other developments associated with our international operations, costs of goods that we sell, labor costs, transportation costs, domestic and international events affecting the delivery of toys and other products to our stores, product safety issues including product recalls, the existence of adverse litigation, changes in laws that impact our business, our substantial level of indebtedness and related debt-service obligations, restrictions imposed by covenants in our debt agreements and other risks, uncertainties and factors set forth in our reports and documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (which reports and documents should be read in conjunction with this press release).  In addition, we typically earn a disproportionate part of our annual operating earnings in the fourth quarter as a result of seasonal buying patterns and these buying patterns are difficult to forecast with certainty.  We believe that all forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions when made; however, we caution that it is impossible to predict actual results or outcomes or the effects of risks, uncertainties or other factors on anticipated results or outcomes and that, accordingly, one should not place undue reliance on these statements.  Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date when made, and we undertake no obligation to update these statements in light of subsequent events or developments unless required by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules and regulations.  Actual results and outcomes may differ materially from anticipated results or outcomes discussed in forward-looking statements.

The preliminary sales figures disclosed for fiscal 2014 speak only for the periods indicated above and sales for other periods, including for the first quarter of fiscal 2014, may differ materially from the results discussed above.

# # #

For more information please contact:

Lenders and Note Investors:

John D’Ambrosio, Manager, Corporate Treasury at 973-617-5913 or John.D’Ambrosio@toysrus.com


Kathleen Waugh, Vice President, Corporate Communications at 973-617-5888, 646-366-8823 or waughk@toysrus.com

condensed consolidated statements of operations (Unaudited)


Condensed Consolidated balance sheets


Condensed consolidated statements of cash flows


Non-GAAP Disclosure of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA

We believe Adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors because it is frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in the evaluation of companies in our industry.  Investors of the Company regularly request Adjusted EBITDA as a supplemental analytical measure to, and in conjunction with, the Company’s GAAP financial data.  We understand that investors use Adjusted EBITDA, among other things, to assess our period-to-period operating performance and to gain insight into the manner in which management analyzes operating performance.

In addition, we believe that Adjusted EBITDA is useful in evaluating our operating performance compared to that of other companies in our industry because the calculation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA generally eliminates the effects of financing and income taxes and the accounting effects of capital spending and acquisitions, which items may vary for different companies for reasons unrelated to overall operating performance.  We use the non-GAAP financial measures for planning and forecasting and measuring results against the forecast and in certain cases we use similar measures for bonus targets for certain of our employees.  Using several measures to evaluate the business allows us and investors to assess our relative performance against our competitors.

Although we believe that Adjusted EBITDA can make an evaluation of our operating performance more consistent because it removes items that do not reflect our core operations, other companies, even in the same industry, may define Adjusted EBITDA differently than we do.  As a result, it may be difficult to use Adjusted EBITDA or similarly named non-GAAP measures that other companies may use to compare the performance of those companies to our performance.  The Company does not, and investors should not, place undue reliance on EBITDA or Adjusted EBITDA as measures of operating performance.

A reconciliation of Net (loss) earnings attributable to Toys “R” Us, Inc. to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA is as follows:

Toys“R”Us, Inc. reports fourth quarter and full 2013 fiscal year financial results

(a) Represents litigation expenses recorded for certain legal matters.
(b) Represents the fees expensed to Bain Capital Partners LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., and Vornado Realty Trust (collectively, the “Sponsors”) in accordance with the advisory agreement.
(c) Represents a non-cash cumulative correction of prior period accrued vacation accounting in fiscal 2013.
(d) Asset impairments primarily due to the identification of underperforming stores and the relocation of certain stores.
(e) Represents the write-off of damaged assets and repairs from a hurricane that hit the east coast of the United States and other property losses, net of insurance claims.
(f) Represents the incremental compensation expense related to one-time executive awards, the fair market value remeasurement of existing liability awards and the repurchase of awards by the Company upon termination.
(g) Represents the incremental expense related to the write-down of excess and obsolete inventory.
(h) Represents the impairment of goodwill associated with our Toys-Domestic and Toys-Japan reporting units.
(i) Represents miscellaneous other charges consisting primarily of store closure costs and restructuring which were not individually significant for separate disclosure.
(j) Adjusted EBITDA is defined as EBITDA (earnings before net interest income (expense), income tax expense (benefit), depreciation and amortization), as further adjusted to exclude the effects of certain income and expense items that management believes make it more difficult to assess the Company’s actual operating performance including certain items which are generally non-recurring.  We have historically excluded the impact of such items from internal performance assessments.  We believe that excluding items such as Sponsors’ management and advisory fees, goodwill and asset impairment charges, restructuring charges, impact of litigation, noncontrolling interest, net gains on sales of properties and other charges, helps investors compare our operating performance with our results in prior periods.  We believe it is appropriate to exclude these items as they are not related to ongoing operating performance and, therefore, limit comparability between periods and between us and similar companies.



Two Weeks, $20,000 in Prizes Remain

Matthews, N.C., 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Last weekend, Saturday, March 22, 2014, the TIE Prize Patrol returned to Greensboro, N.C to give away another $10,000 as part of Harris Teeter’s Together in Education (TIE) $100,000 Giveaway.

During the $100,000 Giveaway, Weekly Contestants (“Winners”) are randomly drawn and awarded up to $10,000, the total prize being determined by the number of Harris Teeter Brands founds in their homes.  The winner(s) automatically receives $500, to be split evenly with the TIE school to which their VIC card is linked.  Additionally, for each Harris Teeter Brand product found in a winner’s home, Harris Teeter gives away another $100, to be split with the same school. The TIE Prize Patrol continues visiting homes until the entire $10,000 is awarded for a particular week.

Harris Teeter also selects and advertises a Bonus Item each week.  The Bonus Item is worth a total of $500.  The Week 8 Bonus Item, Harris Teeter All Natural Ice Cream, was found in one winner’s home; the Week 9 Bonus Item is Fresh Foods Market Pasta.

Weekly Contestant TIE School HT Brands Total Prize
Week 8 Winners – Greensboro, N.C.
Jared Black McNair Elementary School 61 $6,600
Hughes Antonie Page High School 5* $1,400
Margaret Dick General Greene School of
Science and Technology
n/a $500
Courtney Ageon Summerfield Charter Academy n/a $500
Terri Grant Page High School n/a $500
Priscilla Streeter Caldwell Academy n/a $500
Week 7 Winners – Greensboro, N.C.
Gerda Curtis Grimsley High School Athletic Boosters 37 $4,200
Page Kreager Academy at Lincoln 53 $5,800
Week 6 Winners – Arlington, Va.
Adele Siegmund St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School 30 $3,500
Jessica Hensley James K. Polk Elementary 15 $2,000
Farida Mansurova St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School and Alexandria Country Day School 15 $2,000
Lisa Nichols Campbell Elementary School NA $500
Allison Hyra Annandale UMC Child Development Center NA $500
Mary Stewart St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School NA $500
Stephen Kravitsky James K. Polk Elementary NA $500
John Hanley St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School NA $500
Week 5 Winners – Greensboro, N.C.
Mary Ann Hoffman Canterbury School 27 $3,200
Sara Strandberg Southeast Guilford High School 19 $2,400
Lydia Bolmer Erwin Montessori Elementary 9 $1,400
Mary Michaux High Point Friends School, Inc. NA $500
Nina Harmon Claxton Elementary School NA $500
Janice Roback Page High School NA $500
David Forster Early College at Guilford Robotics Club NA $500
Amy Ferguson Our Lady of Grace NA $500
Mary Wall Western Guilford High Soccer Program NA $500
Week 4 Winners – Winston-Salem, N.C.
Shannon Reed Paisley Magnet School 50* $5,900
Jeffery England Morgan Elementary School 22* $3,100
Bonnie Smith North Hills Elementary NA $500
Sandra LaHaie Hanes Middle School NA $500
Week 3 Winners – Matthews, N.C.
Kelly Turner Covenant Day School 39 $4,400
Andrew Cudahy Butler High School 51 $5,600
Week 2 Winners – Charlotte, N.C.
The Parada Family South Mecklenburg High School Lacrosse 95 $10,000
Week 1 Winners – Carrboro, N.C.
David Brown Carrboro High School PTSA 91* $10,000
*Including Bonus Item

Two weeks remain in the contest; be sure your VIC card is linked to a TIE school for a chance to participate in the $100,000 Giveaway.

Harris Teeter welcomes shoppers to its Shops at Canton Crossing store on Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Matthews, N.C., 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Harris Teeter is proud to welcome shoppers to its Shops at Canton Crossing store on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.  The company is celebrating its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. followed by a sampling event featuring Harris Teeter brand products.

Harris Teeter was established in 1960 when two North Carolina grocers merged operations.  Nearly 50 years later, the company opened its first Maryland location, and it is now excited to open its eleventh store in the state.

In each of its stores, including its newest in Baltimore, Harris Teeter strives to offer customers an excellent shopping experience on every visit.  An excellent shopping experience starts in the store with customer service, high-quality perishables along with variety and selection.  The Company also strives to be involved in the local community and will continue to support local schools and youth sports organizations, among other non-profit organizations.

Your Shops at Canton Crossing Harris Teeter will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight, and the Harris Teeter pharmacy will be open seven days per week, as well.

Fast Facts:

Store Address  Shops at Canton Crossing
3779 Boston Street
Baltimore, Md. 21224
 Grand Opening Date  Tuesday, April 8, 2014
 Grand Opening Time  5:30 p.m., ribbon cutting followed by sampling event
 Store Hours  6 a.m. to midnight
 Pharmacy Hours  9 a.m.–9 p.m. M-F; 9 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat.; noon–6 p.m. Sun
 Square Footage  52,000
 Check-Out Lanes  Eight checkouts and four USCAN checkouts

Features and Departments:
Full-service Butchers Market with Rancher Beef, HT Reserve Angus Beef and HT Naturals Natural Beef • Full-service Fishermans Market • Shrimp Party Trays • Farmers Market Produce • Full-Service Floral and Custom Floral Arrangements • Expanded Fresh Cut Flower Section • Fresh Fruit Bar • Produce Party Trays • Gift Basket Program • Full-service Fresh Foods Market Deli/Bakery • Sushi • Self-Serve Olives • Salad Bar • International Cheeses • European Pastries • Chef Prepared Foods to Go •  Custom Cakes and Ice Cream Cakes • Hot Asian Bar • Sub Shop and Made-to-Order Sandwich Program • Artisan Breads • Italian Meat Selection • Hot Foods Bar • Fresh Made Salads and Caesar Salads • Fresh Made Pizza • Party Trays • Boar’s Head Meats & Cheeses • Slicing Meats & Cheeses • Rotisserie Items • Starbucks • Organic, Natural and Specialty Foods • Expanded Olive Oil Variety • Expanded General Merchandise • Pharmacy • Double Coupons • Club 60 Discount • Carryout Service • USCAN • Western Union • Coinstar • Express Lane Online Shopping • Red Box DVD Rental Kiosk • Sit-down eating area


Harris Teeter welcomes shoppers to its Shops at Canton Crossing store on Tuesday, April 8, 2014

H&M announce Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 29 April 2014 at 3 p.m

Stockholm, Sweden, 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Shareholders of H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) are hereby invited to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 29 April 2014 at 3 p.m., at Victoriahallen, Stockholmsmässan, Älvsjö in Stockholm.

Shareholders who wish to attend the AGM shall

both  be entered in the company’s register of shareholders kept by Euroclear Sweden AB in their own name (not nominee-registered) by Wednesday 23 April 2014

and  notify their intention to attend the Annual General Meeting by Wednesday 23 April 2014 at the latest, in writing to the address H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB, Carola Ardéhn, 106 38 Stockholm, Sweden, by telephone to +46 (0)8-796 55 00, by fax to +46 (0)8 796 55 44 or on  the company’s website at www.hm.com/agm. The attendance of any assistants is to be notified to the same addresses by the same date.

Shareholders must state in the notice their name, civil identity number or corporate registration number, telephone number (daytime) as well as the number of shares held. In order to attend the meeting shareholders whose shares are nominee-registered must have their shares temporarily re-registered with Euroclear Sweden AB in their own name. Such re-registration must be effected by Wednesday 23 April 2014. In order to re-register shares in time, shareholders should make the request via their nominee in good time before this date. Such registration may be temporary. Passes for those attending will be sent out from 24 April onwards.

A proxy form is available on the company’s website at www.hm.com/arsstamma.


  1. Opening of the AGM.
  2. Election of a chairman for the AGM.
  3. Address by CEO Karl-Johan Persson followed by an opportunity to ask questions about the company.
  4. Establishment and approval of voting list.
  5. Approval of the agenda.
  6. Election of people to check the minutes.
  7. Examination of whether the meeting was duly convened.
  8. a. Presentation of the annual accounts and auditor’s report as well as the consolidated accounts and consolidated auditor’s report, and auditor’s statement on whether the guidelines for remuneration to senior executives applicable since the last AGM have been followed.
    b. Statement by the company’s auditor and the chairman of the Auditing Committee.
    c. Statement by the Chairman of the Board on the work of the Board.
    d. Statement by the chairman of the Election Committee on the work of the Election Committee.
  9. Resolutions
    a. Adoption of the income statement and balance sheet as well as the consolidated income statement and consolidated balance sheet.
    b. Disposal of the company’s earnings in accordance with the adopted balance sheets, and record date.
    c. Discharge of the members of the Board and CEO from liability to the company.
  10. Establishment of the number of Board members and deputy Board members.
  11. Establishment of fees to the Board and auditors.
  12. Election of Board members and Chairman of the Board.
  13. Establishment of principles for the Election Committee and election of members of the Election Committee.
  14. Resolution on guidelines for remuneration to senior executives.
  15. Closing of the AGM.

Election Committee 
The current Election Committee comprises Stefan Persson, Chairman of the Board and also chairman of the Election Committee, Lottie Tham, Liselott Ledin (Alecta), Jan Andersson (Swedbank Robur Fonder) and Anders Oscarsson (AMF and AMF Fonder).

Resolutions proposed by the Election Committee 
Item 2 
Proposed by the Election Committee: the lawyer Sven Unger is proposed as chairman of the AGM.

Item 10 – The Election Committee proposes eight Board members with no deputies. (previous year eight Board members and no deputies)

Item 11 – The Election Committee proposes that the Board fees for each member elected by the general meeting are distributed as follows: Chairman of the Board SEK 1,500,000; members SEK 525,000; members of the Auditing Committee an extra SEK 100,000; and the chairman of the Auditing Committee an extra SEK 150,000.

If the meeting approves the Election Committee’s proposal for the composition of the Board, and if the number of members of the Auditing Committee remains as before, the total fees will be SEK 5,525,000, which is an increase of SEK 500,000.

It is proposed that, as previously, the auditor’s fees be paid based on the invoices submitted.

Item 12 – The Election Committee proposes the following Board of Directors.
New members: Lena Patriksson Keller and Niklas Zennström. Re-election of the following current Board members: Anders Dahlvig, Lottie Knutson, Sussi Kvart, Stefan Persson, Melker Schörling and Christian Sievert.
Bo Lundquist has declined re-election. Mia Brunell-Livfors left the Board of H&M at her own request as of the end of 2013.

Chairman of the Board: re-election of Stefan Persson.

Information on proposed new Board members:
Lena Patriksson Keller:
Born 1969
Main occupation: Executive Chairman at Patriksson Communication
Professional experience: has worked in the fashion industry for more than 20 years, focusing on branding and communications but also in buying, distribution and product range.
Board assignments: positions on the boards of WESC and Elite Hotels, and chairman of the board of ASFB, the industry organisation Association of Swedish Fashion Brands.
Own shareholding in H&M: 700 shares
Related parties’ shareholdings in H&M: 9,450 shares

Niklas Zennström:
Born 1966
Main occupation: CEO of venture capital company Atomico, which focuses on fast-growing tech companies, and involved in Zennström Philanthropies, which supports organisations particularly associated with climate change, social entrepreneurship, the Baltic Sea environment and human rights.
Professional experience: co-founded companies including venture capital company Atomico,
IP telephony company Skype, file sharing service Kazaa and internet video service Joost.
Board assignments: member of the board of Rovio, Atomico, Zennström Philanthropies, Fon, Fab and The Climate Group.
Shareholding in H&M: 0 shares

More information on the proposed Board members can be found at www.hm.com.


The Election Committee’s proposal for members is based on previously applied principles for the composition of the Election Committee, namely that the Election Committee shall consist of the Chairman of the Board plus four others nominated by the four largest shareholders in terms of votes, as far as can be ascertained from the register of shareholders, other than the shareholder the Chairman of the Board may represent. In other aspects, the proposal is also based on previously applied principles. The Election Committee’s proposals for the election of members of the Election Committee are based on shareholdings as at 28 February 2014.

The Election Committee proposes that the 2014 Annual General Meeting passes the following resolutions.

  1. That the Annual General Meeting appoint the Chairman of the Board, Lottie Tham, Liselott Ledin (nominated by Alecta), Jan Andersson (nominated by Swedbank Robur fonder) and Anders Oscarsson (nominated by AMF and AMF Fonder) as the Election Committee. This Election Committee shall take up its duties immediately. Its term of office shall continue until a new Election Committee is appointed.
  2. No fees shall be paid to the members of the Election Committee. The Election Committee may charge to the company any reasonable costs for travel expenses and investigations.
  3. Unless the members of the Election Committee agree otherwise, the chairman of the Election Committee shall be the member representing the largest shareholder.
  4. The Election Committee shall submit proposals to the 2015 Annual General Meeting for:
    a)  election of the chairman of the meeting
    b)  resolution on the number of Board members
    c)  resolution on Board fees for the Chairman of the Board and for each of the other members of the Board (including work in Board committees)
    d)  election of Board members
    e)  election of Chairman of the Board
    f)    resolution on fees to the auditors
    g)  election of Election Committee, or resolution on principles for the establishment of the Election Committee, as well as resolution on instructions for the Election Committee.
  5. Should a shareholder that nominated Liselott Ledin, Jan Andersson or Anders Oscarsson notify the Election Committee that this shareholder wishes the person it nominated to be replaced (e.g. because the person concerned is no longer employed), the Election Committee shall resolve that the person concerned shall leave the Committee.
  6. Should a member leave the Election Committee before its work is complete and the Election Committee deems it necessary to replace this member, the Election Committee shall appoint a new member; in the first instance, a member nominated by the shareholder that the departing member was nominated by, provided that the shareholder remains one of the five largest shareholders in the company.
  7. Should a shareholder that nominated Liselott Ledin, Jan Andersson or Anders Oscarsson no longer be one of the five largest shareholders in the company, the Election Committee may resolve that the member nominated by that shareholder shall leave the Committee. In which case, and even in the event that the Election Committee resolves that the member concerned shall not leave the Committee, the Election Committee may appoint a new, or additional, member; in the first instance, a member nominated by the shareholder that is now one of the five largest shareholders.
  8. Should a shareholder invited by the Election Committee to propose a member decline to make a proposal, the Election Committee shall invite the next largest shareholder that has not previously nominated a member of the Election Committee.
  9. Changes to the composition of the Election Committee shall be published as soon as possible.

Resolutions proposed by the Board 
The Board has proposed a dividend to the shareholders of SEK 9.50 per share. The Board of Directors has proposed Monday 5 May 2014 as the record date. If the resolution is passed, dividends are expected to be paid out by Euroclear Sweden AB on Thursday 8 May 2014.


The Board considers it of the utmost importance that senior executives are paid competitive, attractive remuneration at a market level, as regards both fixed and variable compensation, based on responsibilities and performance. The Board’s proposed remuneration is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders from a growth perspective, since it helps motivate and retain talented and committed senior executives.

The Board’s proposal to the 2014 AGM differs from previous guidelines because the proposal to the 2014 AGM also contains supplementary guidelines for remuneration of certain senior executives. The Board has thus divided the guidelines for remuneration of senior executives into two parts: general guidelines and supplementary guidelines.

The general guidelines, which are the same as those adopted at the 2013 AGM, are aimed at a group of around 50 senior executives and are based on performance in the previous year, linked to certain quantifiable targets set in advance. The supplementary guidelines, which are aimed at around a third of these individuals, are based on a “stay on board” principle. The supplementary guidelines do not apply to the CEO, who is included only in the general guidelines.

The Board’s reasoning for the supplementary guidelines is as follows: in view of H&M’s strong expansion phase and the important development phase that H&M is in, including multi-brand and multi-channel developments, the aim is to ensure that these key individuals in senior positions remain with the H&M Group during this important development phase. The proposal was prepared by the Board with the assistance of external advisors.

Below is a more detailed account of the Board’s proposal to the 2014 AGM for general and supplementary guidelines:

General guidelines

Compensation for senior executives is based on factors such as work tasks, expertise, position, experience and performance. Senior executives are compensated at what are considered by the company to be competitive market rates. Senior executives are also entitled to the benefits provided under the H&M Incentive Program.

H&M is present in more than 40 countries excluding franchise markets and levels of compensation may therefore vary from country to country. Senior executives receive a fixed salary, pension benefits and other benefits such as car benefits. The largest portion of the remuneration consists of the fixed salary. For information on variable components, see the section below.

In addition to the ITP plan, executive management and certain key individuals are covered by either a defined benefit or defined contribution pension plan. The retirement age for these individuals varies between 60 and 65 years. Members of executive management and country managers who are employed by a subsidiary abroad are covered by local pension arrangements and a defined contribution plan. The retirement age for these is in accordance with local retirement age rules. The cost of these commitments is partly covered by separate insurance policies.

The period of notice for senior executives varies from three to twelve months. No severance pay agreements exist within H&M other than for the Chief Executive Officer.

Pension terms etc. for the Chief Executive Officer
The retirement age for the Chief Executive Officer is 65. The Chief Executive Officer is covered by the ITP plan and a defined contribution plan. The total pension cost shall amount in total to 30 percent of the Chief Executive Officer’s fixed salary. The Chief Executive Officer is entitled to 12 months’ notice. In the event that the company cancels the Chief Executive Officer’s employment contract, the Chief Executive Officer will also receive severance pay of an extra year’s salary.

Variable remuneration
The Chief Executive Officer, country managers, certain senior executives and certain key individuals are included in a bonus scheme. The size of the bonus per person is based on the fulfilment of targets in their respective areas of responsibility. The result is linked to the measurable profit targets (qualitative, quantitative, general, individual) set in advance within their respective areas of responsibility. These targets also include measurable targets for sustainability. The targets within each area of responsibility are aimed at promoting H&M’s development in both the short and the long term.

For the Chief Executive Officer the maximum bonus is SEK 0.9 m net after tax. For other senior executives the maximum bonus is SEK 0.3 m net after tax. Net after tax means that income tax and social security costs are not included in the calculation. The bonuses that are paid out must be invested entirely in shares in the company, which must be held for at least five years. Since H&M is present in markets with varying personal income tax rates, the net model has been chosen because it is considered fair that the recipients in the different countries should be able to purchase the same number of H&M shares for the amounts that are paid out.

In individual cases other members of executive management, key individuals and country managers may, at the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of the Board, receive one-off payments up to a maximum of 30 percent of their fixed yearly salary.

Supplementary guidelines
In addition to the general guidelines, the Board has prepared supplementary guidelines for certain managers, which are primarily aimed at executive management but also at certain other key individuals. The Chief Executive Officer is not, however, included in the supplementary guidelines. Overall, around a third of the senior executives who are covered by the above mentioned general guidelines are also covered by the supplementary guidelines.

The supplementary guidelines are based on a “stay on board” principle, which means that the remuneration linked to the supplementary guidelines is conditional upon the senior executive remaining employed within the H&M Group for at least five years. Provided that the 2014 AGM approves the programme, the five-year rule applies from and including May 2014 up to and including May 2019.

Cash remuneration in 2019
Provided that the “stay on board” principle is fulfilled, the senior executives covered by the supplementary guidelines are entitled to a cash payment after five years.

At individual level, the cash payment may vary between SEK 0.5 m and SEK 5 m net after tax; the exact distribution per individual will be decided by the CEO and the Chairman of the Board.

Cost to H&M: The total cost to the company is estimated at around SEK 30 m per year including social security costs over five years.

The Board of Directors may deviate from the guidelines for remuneration of senior executives in individual cases where there is a particular reason for doing so.
Information at the AGM
Shareholders are entitled to certain information at the AGM. The Board of Directors and the CEO shall, if any shareholder so requests and the Board of Directors believes that it can be done without material harm to the company, provide information regarding circumstances that may affect the assessment of an item on the agenda, circumstances that may affect the assessment of the financial situation of the company or its subsidiaries, and the company’s relations with another company within the group.
Anyone wishing to submit questions in advance may do so to:

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB
The Board of Directors
Attn.: Carola Ardéhn
106 38 Stockholm

Or by e-mail: hm29april@hm.com

Number of shares and votes 
There are 194,400,000 class A shares in the company with ten votes per share and 1,460,672,000 class B shares with one vote per share, with the result that the total number of shares in H&M is 1,655,072,000 and the total number of votes is 3,404,672,000.

The Annual Report for 2013 will be published at www.hm.com on 2 April 2014. It will then be available at H&M’s head office, Mäster Samuelsgatan 46A, 106 38 Stockholm and will be sent out to shareholders submitting such a request and stating their postal address. The Annual Report will be presented at the meeting, as will the auditor’s report, auditor’s statement and the Board’s reasoned statement concerning payment of dividend.

Stockholm, March 2014
The Board of Directors

Kristina Stenvinkel, Head of Communications +46 (0)8-796 3908
Nils Vinge, Head of Investor Relations +46 (0)8 796 5250
Jan Andersson, Member of the Election Committee +46 (0)76 139 5500

Press images and background information for editorial use can be downloaded from www.hm.com

The information in this notice is that which H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) is required to disclose under the Securities Exchange and Clearing Operations Act. It was released for publication at 08:00 (CET) on 28 March 2014.

The notice of the Annual General Meeting will be published on 28 March 2014 on the company’s website www.hm.com/arsstamma and on 1 April 2014 in the newspapers DN and SvD, as well as in Post- och Inrikes Tidningar on the website of Bolagsverket, the Swedish Companies Registration Office.

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was established 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 and & Other Stories as well as H&M Home. Today the H&M Group has more than 3,200 stores in 53 markets. In 2013, sales including VAT were around SEK 150 billion and the number of employees exceeded 116,000. For further information, visit hm.com. 

H&M performance report for 1 December 2013 – 28 February 2014

Stockholm, Sweden, 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — H&M performance report for 1 December 2013 – 28 February 2014

First quarter

  • The H&M Group’s sales including VAT increased in local currencies by 12 percent during the first quarter. Converted into SEK, sales excluding VAT amounted to SEK 32,143 m (28,392), an increase of 13 percent.
  • Gross profit amounted to SEK 17,641 m (15,679), an increase of 13 percent. This corresponds to a gross margin of 54.9 percent (55.2).
  • Profit after financial items amounted to SEK 3,486 m (3,234), an increase of 8 percent. The group’s profit after tax increased to SEK 2,649 m (2,458), corresponding to SEK 1.60 (1.49).
  • H&M Sport very well received in selected H&M stores in 18 countries and online. Continued roll-out to more stores and countries as well as further broadening of the sport range.


  • Sales during the period 1 March – 25 March 2014 increased by 12 percent in local currencies compared to the same period the previous year.
  • Australia, the Philippines and India will become new H&M countries in 2014.
  • Peru and South Africa will become new H&M countries in 2015.
  • Four new large H&M online markets are planned to open in 2014:
    – France has opened already, on 13 March, and has been very well received by customers
    – Spain and Italy will become new online markets in early autumn 2014
    – China is planned to become a new online market at the end of 2014
  • COS will open stores in four new countries in 2014 – in Australia, Switzerland,  South Korea and the US (New York and Los Angeles) as well as online in the US.
  • & Other Stories will open stores in three new countries in 2014 – in Belgium,  the Netherlands and in the US as well as online in three new countries: Ireland, Austria and the US.

Comments by Karl-Johan Persson, CEO
”Sales have got off to a good start with an increase of 12 percent in local currencies in the first quarter in a fashion retail market that in many places is still characterised by a challenging macroeconomic situation, and we have continued to gain market share.

Operating profit increased by 9 percent to SEK 3.4 billion, despite our substantial long-term investments in areas such as IT and online. These investments, which we see as very important, have enabled us – among other things – to open our online store in France already on 13 March. The initial response from our customers has been very positive. If we disregard cost increases for the long-term investments, operating profit would have increased by 14 percent compared to the corresponding quarter last year.

We are continuing to work intensively on the global roll-out of our online store to new countries. Spain and Italy will become new H&M online markets in early autumn. In addition, preparations are under way for the opening of our online shop in China at the end of the year.

In 2014 we plan to open a total of 375 new stores net including many interesting store openings worldwide. We will open more H&M flagship stores than last year, for example in the General Post Office building in Melbourne, at Piazza del Duomo in Milan, on East Nanjing Road in Shanghai and on Weinstrasse in Munich, as well as a further two new flagship stores in Manhattan – on Fifth Avenue and Herald Square.

New H&M countries for 2014 will be Australia in April and the Philippines and India during the second half; three important markets where there is great interest in H&M.

Expansion continues for our other brands. For example COS will open its first stores in the US, South Korea and Australia while the first COS store in Switzerland opened in February. Belgium, the Netherlands and the US will become new markets for & Other Stories stores in 2014. In addition to this, COS will open its online store in the US and & Other Stories will open its online store in Austria, the US and Ireland.

We have a strong customer offering with many great collections and we are constantly working to further develop and broaden our product range. One example of this is our extended H&M Sport range, which has been very well received by customers and will be launched in even more countries. Furthermore, we are continuing our focus on sustainability so that H&M is the more sustainable option for our customers. The fact that we have just been named by Ethisphere Institute as one of the world’s most ethical companies provides proof of our sound sustainability work.”
The information in this Interim Report is that which H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) is required to disclose under Sweden’s Securities Market Act. It will be released for publication at 8.00 (CET) on 27 March 2014. This Interim Report, and other information about H&M, is available at www.hm.com

Nils Vinge, IR                                   +46-8-796 52 50
Karl-Johan Persson, CEO             +46-8-796 55 00 (switchboard)
Jyrki Tervonen, CFO                         +46-8-796 55 00 (switchboard)

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ)
SE-106 38 Stockholm
Phone: +46-8-796 55 00, Fax: +46-8-24 80 78, E-mail: info@hm.com
Registered office: Stockholm, Reg. No. 556042-7220

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 3,200 stores in 53 markets including franchise markets. In 2013, sales including VAT were SEK 150,090 million and the number of employees was more than 116,000. For further information, visit www.hm.com.

H&M participates in Earth Hour on Saturday March 29th 8.30-9.30 PM

Stockholm, Sweden, 2014-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Earth Hour is the world’s largest collective environmental action, when millions of people all over the world show their commitment to the environment by turning off all non-essential lights at the appointed time for one hour. H&M has supported Earth Hour for many years and we will join this year as well.

Most of the lights in our stores and facilities are normally turned off on a Saturday evening, and will be so during Earth Hour on Saturday March 29th 8.30-9.30 PM (20.30-21.30). However, some lights still need to be lit during the evening for safety and technical reasons.

One of our seven Conscious Commitments is “Be climate smart.” Being Climate smart is a constant series of choices, big and small; H&M works actively in various ways to reduce our energy consumption in our stores, offices and distribution centers – and beyond. We also try to inspire those around us to make equally smart climate choices, such as washing their clothes at lower temperatures or skipping the dryer altogether. On this great occasion we will inform our staff about Earth Hour and let them know what they can do to show their support, like switching off the lights at home for Earth Hour.

Did you know:

– 15% reduction in electricity use per H&M store sqm since 2007.

– 18% of the electricity we used came from renewables. Our goal is 100%.

– Our own solar photovoltaic panels generated enough energy to supply 145 European households for an entire year.

Read more about our sustainability efforts on hm.com/sustainability


Only for media representatives
Phone: +46 8 796 53 00
Email: mediarelations@hm.com

Please note the contact details above are only for media representatives.
For other enquiries contact H&M’s switchboard on +46 8 796 55 00.

Rila’s letter to U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation highlights the retail industry progress in preventing cyber attacks

RILA Submitted Comments Wednesday Ahead Of Senate Commerce, Science And Transportation Committee Hearing

Arlington , VA, 2014-3-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — In a statement submitted today to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) highlights the progress retailers have made collaborating within the retail industry as well as with other stakeholders in the payments ecosystem to advance payments security to prevent future cyber attacks. The letter was submitted for the record ahead of the Committee hearing, “Protecting Personal Consumer Information from Cyber Attacks and Data Breaches.”

Retailers take the threat of cyber attacks extremely seriously and work diligently every day to stay ahead of the sophisticated criminals behind them.

In the letter, RILA calls on Congress, “to enact federal data breach notification legislation that is practical, proportional and sets a single national standard, replacing the patchwork of state laws currently in place. A federal standard will help ensure that customers receive timely and accurate information following a breach, and any legislation considered by Congress should include three essential provision.”

Creating a single national standard to replace the current patchwork of 46 state notification laws that add unnecessary complexity to the process is extremely important and a concept endorsed by Members of Congress as well as the Administration.

“RILA and the retail industry have taken strides to improve security and form strategic partnerships to improve information sharing,” Bill Hughes, senior vice president of government affairs at RILA, continued in the letter.

In February, RILA launched its Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Initiative. As part of the initiative, RILA called for collaboration among retailers, banks and card networks to advance improved payments security. The RILA plan focused on four major steps that should be taken to improve the security of debit and credit cards.

Another critical part of RILA’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Initiative is developing a threat information sharing network for retailers.  The Retail Cybersecurity Leadership Council (RCLC), established as part of the RILA Initiative, had its first in-person meeting at the NCFTA’s facility in Pittsburgh this week to begin exploring models for future information sharing across the retail industry and externally, and will defining next steps in the development of such a network.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.


Allie Brandenburger
Director, Communications
Phone: 703-600-2063
Email: allie.brandenburger@rila.org

Intershop to sponsor the Coffee Shop at this year’s Internet Retailing Expo at NEC Birmingham, 26-27 March

London, 2014-3-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Intershop is once again sponsor of the Coffee Shop at this year’s Internet Retailing Expo, which takes place from 26-27 March at NEC Birmingham. As the UK’s leading B2B exhibition for online and multi-channel retailers, Internet Retailing Expo offers a platform for retail industry leaders to meet and discuss strategy and innovation.

Intershop’s UK team will be available at the Coffee Lounge to discuss the latest trends and issues in omni-channel commerce, including how to simplify complex business processes and create rich and rewarding shopping experiences, and whether wearable devices will change the retail landscape in the near future.

Internet Retailing Expo is aimed at the progressive retail business industry. It comprises a traditional trade show with an extensive programme of learning and trade opportunities. For more information, visit www.internetretailingexpo.com.

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. 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 atwww.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.

Intershop Public Relations

Heide Rausch

Phone: +49 3641 50-1000
Fax: +49 3641 50-1309

The National Retail Federation to host its second Virtual Career Fair to connect students and young professionals with leading retailers

Register as a recruiter or a candidate at NRF’s Virtual Career Fair

J.C. Penney, Kmart, IKEA, Neiman Marcus, Bridgestone, Among Retail Participants

WASHINGTON, 2014-3-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today announced it will host its second Virtual Career Fair, designed to connect students and young professionals seeking entry-level careers and internships with leading retailers. Recruiters from companies including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Walgreens and Neiman Marcus will participate in the virtual event, offering one-on-one interviews for registered students and professionals. The career fair is free for jobseekers, open to all students and young professionals, and will take place Wednesday, April 2, from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT.

“Always on the cutting edge of technology, retailers are constantly seeking new methods to reach the modern-day job seeker, particularly students and young professionals,” said NRF Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the NRF Foundation, Ellen Davis. “The Virtual Career Fair is a valuable tool for retail companies to reach qualified talent across the country, and fill the amazing career opportunities retail offers, in an efficient, cost-effective manner.”

This second event builds on the success of NRF’s first-ever Virtual Career Fair held in October 2013 which attracted over 800 students and young professionals. Of the recruiters that participated in the event and completed the post-event survey, 100 percent said they would take part in an NRF Virtual Career Fair again.

As of March 25, participating employers for the April 2 event include:

•    Bridgestone
•    Gordmans
•    H-E-B
•    HSN
•    IKEA
•    J.C. Penney
•    Kmart
•    Macy’s
•    Neiman Marcus
•    Nordstrom
•    Total Wine & More
•    Walgreens

The career fair provides jobseekers with the opportunity to connect live and one-on-one with recruiters, share information about their background and experience, discuss their resume, and find out more about retail companies and opportunities offered. Following each virtual chat with a recruiter, jobseekers can go back to the “event lobby” and select additional recruiters to chat with from other companies.

Retailers can create their own fully customizable virtual booth that allows executives to engage in online chats with qualified students and young professionals, during which their resumes, work history and more will be available. Retailers can also rate their interactions and record notes about each candidate in order to conduct follow-up interviews with desired candidates.

To learn more about the Virtual Career Fair and the opportunities available for retailers and job-seekers visit http://web.nrf.com/virtualcareerfair.

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.

Kathy Grannis or Bethany Aronhalt (855) NRF-PRESS


The National Retail Federation unveiled new logo for the 103 year-old industry association

 View history of NRF logos

Logo includes distinguishable symbol for “Retail” and represents history of industry, association

WASHINGTON, 2014-3-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today unveiled a new logo for the 103 year-old industry association. The logo, revealed on NRF.com, reflects the progressive, innovative industry that NRF represents, and also recognizes the historic significance of retail and the National Retail Federation.

In an open letter to more than 12,000 member companies sent today and posted on NRF.com, NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay stated, “For more than 100 years, the National Retail Federation has been your eyes and ears – and your voice – on the most important issues of the day. Our rich history as an organization has mirrored the industry we represent – an industry that is exciting, resilient and one of the most dynamic in the world. And in that, we see a bright and limitless future.

“And now we’d like to introduce you to a new NRF…you’ll notice a new logo with a modern, updated image of NRF that speaks both to our past and our future.”

Because the industry has evolved in dramatic fashion over the past decade, NRF decided to remove the iconic shopping bag from its logo and instead add a shopping tag, indicative of all of retail – brick-and-mortar, online, omnichannel, large and small. The most recent logo change for NRF was in 1994.

The unveiling of the new logo is part of a multi-step strategic plan, created in 2010 by the Board of Directors when Shay came on board. As part of the strategic plan, NRF will also launch a new content-focused, user-friendly website and will move its headquarters in Washington D.C.

New York based full-service digital agency Rain designed the logo for NRF.

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.

Bethany Aronhalt or Kathy Grannis (855) NRF-PRESS


The National Retail Federation: PIN-Based Credit Cards must be adopted to reduce risk for merchants and their customers

Technologies Available to Reduce Fraud

WASHINGTON, 2014-3-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation told the Senate today that it’s time for an overhaul of the nation’s fraud-prone credit and debit card system, saying banks’ insistence on cards that use a signature instead of a Personal Identification Number puts merchants and their customers at risk. Indeed, card companies have continued to promulgate the use of fraud-prone signature cards despite their own research – conducted almost 25 years ago – that showed that PIN-based cards provided more security for consumers, retailers and banks.

“Everything a fraudster needs is right there on the card,” NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said, describing how the cardholder’s name and account number are clearly printed on each card along with the expiration date and security code. “The bottom line is that cards are poorly designed and fraud-prone products that the system has allowed to continue to proliferate.”

Duncan comments came in a statement submitted to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which is holding a hearing today on criminal cyber attacks in which consumer card numbers have been stolen. He said current magnetic stripe cards with signatures are too easy to duplicate and forge.

“There are technologies available that could reduce fraud,” Duncan said. “An overhaul of the fraud-prone cards that are currently used in the U.S. market is long overdue.”

NRF has long-advocated for replacing current cards where consumers sign to approve a transaction with next-generation cards that would require use of a PIN. With or without an embedded microchip, a PIN-based card would provide greater security for consumers and retailers alike, Duncan said.

“Protecting all cards with a PIN instead of a signature is the single most important fraud protection step that could be taken quickly,” Duncan said. “It’s proven, it’s effective, and it’s relatively easily implementable. PIN debit cards are close to ubiquitous worldwide, and readily producible in the U.S. Chip is a desirable add-on. If speed of implementation is of importance, then substituting PIN for signature is preferable to implementing chip.”

Along with switching to more-secure, PIN-based cards, NRF supports additional steps aimed at preventing fraud and data breaches, including end-to-end encryption of data, tokenization rather than storing data, and mobile payments.

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

Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers and local Habitat for Humanity affiliates to build homes in 10 cities across America

  • Hundreds of Lowe’s Heroes frame homes at Lowe’s stores and in Times Square
  • Visit Habitat.org/Lowes to learn how you can help

MOORESVILLE, N.C., 2014-3-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Hundreds of Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers teamed up with local Habitat for Humanity affiliates Friday to build homes in 10 cities across America and kick off “Hammers for Habitat,” a nationwide volunteer drive to mobilize 100,000 new volunteers to raise a hammer for Habitat this year.

From Seattle to Atlanta, volunteers framed homes in Lowe’s store parking lots and left several standing through the weekend to raise awareness of the need for volunteers to help Habitat reach its goal of serving one million people annually by 2018. In New York, volunteers from eight Lowe’s stores partnered with Habitat for Humanity in Monmouth County to raise the walls of a new home in the middle of Times Square.

“To help a family that was really hard hit, it’s just a great thing. It really does renew your faith in people,” said Leslie Morris, whose home of 16 years was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. “There are great people out there that want to do good things for people that had some bad things happen to them. Maybe that will inspire other people to get involved.”

In addition to New York City, homes were framed in Lowe’s parking lots in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, La., Charlotte, N.C., Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle and St. Louis. In the coming months, Habitat will work in partnership with local families in those cities to complete the homes. For downloadable photos and b-roll of the events, click here.

“Lowe’s has been one of the bedrock partners for Habitat for many years,” said Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford, who participated in the Times Square build. “We’re so excited about our long-term partnership, the effort to get 100,000 new volunteers active in Habitat’s work and the ripples of impact that will come from that.”

Lowe’s recently renewed its commitment to Habitat for Humanity with a five-year, $23.5 million donation that will bring Lowe’s total contributions to more than $63 million since 2003. In celebration of their renewed partnership, Lowe’s and Habitat launched Hammers for Habitat. They are asking men and women across America to give one day to help make the dream of home ownership a reality for a family in their community. Individuals interested in volunteering can find more information at Habitat.org/Lowes.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and supports a variety of funding models that enable families with limited resources to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer visit habitat.org. 

About Lowe’s
Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. The company’s signature education grant program, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education®, has donated more than $38 million to 8,000 K-12 public schools, benefiting more than 5 million schoolchildren. Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers support local community projects and our national nonprofit partners such as Habitat for HumanityRebuilding Together and the American Red Cross. Since 2007, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation together have contributed nearly $200 million to improve communities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. To learn more, visit Lowes.com/SocialResponsibility and LowesInTheCommunity.tumblr.com.

Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited to acquire Central Healthcare Pty Ltd for $24.5 million

• Sigma has purchased Central Healthcare for $24.5 million
• Further potential for an earn-out payment at 30 June 2015
• Acquisition will be immediately earnings accretive and will generate approximately $3.5 million in additional annual EBITDA in first full year of operations
• ACCC clearance already received

Victoria, Australia, 2014-3-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited (Sigma) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement to purchase all of the issued capital of Central Healthcare Pty Ltd (Central Healthcare) for $24.5 million, with the potential for a further earn out payment at 30 June 2015.

The acquisition has already received clearance from the ACCC.

Central Healthcare is a wholesaler and distributor of pharmaceutical products to hospitals and retail pharmacies and is an approved CSO distributor in Victoria, NSW, ACT and Queensland. Central Healthcare also owns and manages the Pharmasave retail brand.

Central Healthcare has annual sales revenue of over $200 million and is expected to initially generate approximately $3.5 million annual EBITDA.

Central Healthcare and Sigma will continue to operate as stand-alone businesses. Importantly, the current CHS and Pharmasave management teams will continue to be the driving force behind these businesses.

“This acquisition is strategically important to Sigma as it will open new avenues for growth and will be immediately positive for EBITDA.’’ said Sigma’s CEO and Managing Director, Mark Hooper.

“Central Healthcare also provides Sigma with an opportunity to diversify its service offering by establishing an independently operated wholesale and retail channel that can leverage Sigma’s financial strength and national infrastructure to expand and develop new business models to meet the changing needs of the Australian pharmacy landscape,’’ Mr Hooper said.

Since 2010 Central Healthcare and Pharmasave have developed innovative pharmacy retail services and distribution strategies that have seen the group become one of Australia’s fastest growing retail pharmacy brands servicing over 170 stores nationally.

Sue Morgan
General Counsel and Company Secretary

ABN 15 088 417 403
PO Box 2890 (3 Myer Place) Rowville Victoria 3178 Australia
Telephone: +61 3 9215 9215 Facsimile: +61 3 9215 9799

The Home Depot® Foundation announced additional $3.9 million in grants to support veterans’ housing

Foundation Announces Nearly $4 Million in Additional Grants for Veterans’ Housing, Part of Five-Year, $80 Million Commitment

ATLANTA, 2014-3-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (March 26, 2014), The Home Depot® Foundation announced an additional $3.9 million in grants to organizations across the country that address veterans’ housing needs. The recent round of grants brings the Foundation’s financial contributions to the issue to $65.7 million since launching its mission in the spring of 2011 of ensuring every veteran has a safe place to call home. To date, donations made by The Home Depot Foundation have impacted more than 10,200 units of veterans’ housing.

In the most recent round of grants, The Home Depot Foundation is providing project funding that includes:

• $1.7 million to nonprofits to repair or construct 323 units of permanent supportive housing for veterans, including 225 units that serve veterans with families.

• $800,000 to nonprofits that will provide transitional housing to 131 homeless veterans.

• $400,000 to a nonprofit organization that offers 58 women veterans and their families a permanent supportive housing solution.

• $875,000 to provide critical home repairs and maintenance to 126 single-family homes owned by veterans and their families.

“We know that too many veterans struggle with issues related to housing: nearly 60,000 U.S. veterans are homeless on any given night, and women veterans, many of whom have children, are the fastest-growing segment of this homeless population, while several million others live with a service-connected disability,” said Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation. “As we work toward our mission of ensuring every veteran has a safe place to call home, we are committed to funding nonprofit organizations that address veterans’ needs at every point on the housing continuum.”

The Home Depot Foundation’s latest grants to organizations that address veterans’ housing needs include: Grant Amount Organization Location Primary Focus of Grant
$500,000 Community Solutions Washington, D.C. Support the new construction of 125 units of affordable housing, including 60 for veterans; units targeted to formerly homeless veterans using Housing First model.
$300,000 Center for Veterans Issues Green Bay, WI Support construction of Veterans Manor, a new 50-unit permanent supportive housing facility for veterans.
$300,000 Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA Provide critical home repairs to 25 low-income veteran homeowners and their families.
$300,000 PATH Ventures Los Angeles, CA Support construction of Vermont Villas, which will have 80 one-bedroom permanent supportive housing units, including 41 units reserved for low-income and homeless veterans, veterans with small families and veterans with a caregiver.



$300,000 USO Fort Belvoir, VA and Bethesda, MD Support the construction of USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir, VA and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
$275,000 National League of Cities Washington, D.C./ Nationwide Support programs and events that aim to eliminate and prevent veteran homelessness in cities across the country.
$250,000 Longview Housing Authority Longview, WA Renovate three housing sites, totaling 25 units for homeless and low-income veterans and their families.
$200,000 HELP USA Philadelphia, PA Support the construction of an affordable housing facility that will have 60 units, including at least 12 specifically for veterans.
$200,000 Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA Provide critical home repairs and accessibility modifications for 35 veteran homeowners and their families.
$200,000 The Empowerment Program Denver, CO Support the construction of Odyssey Family Residences, 36 permanent affordable housing units for women veterans with children.
$200,000 Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN Support construction of new homes for two veteran families; provide critical home repairs to five veteran homeowners; and provide home repairs and accessibility modifications to 15 veteran homeowners.
$200,000 Veterans Village of San Diego San Diego, CA Support the construction of Women’s Veterans Center, 20 one-bedroom transitional affordable housing units for homeless women veterans.
$200,000 Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development Newington, CT Support the construction of a permanent supportive housing facility for 74 veterans and their families, including 22 women veterans.
$175,000 Meals on Wheels Atlanta Atlanta, GA Provide critical home repairs and energy-efficiency improvements for 44 veteran homeowners and their families.
$100,000 Buffalo Valley Nashville, TN Support development of Patriot Place, which includes 30 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless veterans and their families.
$100,000 Caritas Communities Boston, MA Convert vacant police precinct into Patriot Homes, a 24-unit affordable housing complex for veterans and their families.
$100,000 Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation Indianapolis, IN Renovate Warman Woods, a transitional housing facility that houses 47 veterans.
$85,000 Three Hots and a Cot Birmingham, AL Complete rehab and renovations on nine properties that offer permanent supportive housing to 44 veterans and their families.


For more about The Home Depot Foundation’s efforts to address veterans’ housing needs, follow The Home Depot Foundation on Twitter

@homedepotfdn, #TeamDepot, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/homedepotfoundation www.homedepotfoundation.org.

About The Home Depot Foundation
The Home Depot Foundation is dedicated to improving the homes of U.S. military veterans through financial and volunteer resources to help nonprofit organizations. The Foundation has pledged $80 million to these efforts over five years, and since 2011 has invested more than $65 million to ensure every veteran has a safe place to call home.

Through Team Depot, the company’s associate-led volunteer program, thousands of Home Depot associates volunteer their time and talents to positively transform neighborhoods and perform basic repairs and modifications to homes and facilities serving veterans with critical housing needs.

Since its formation in 2002, The Home Depot Foundation has granted more than $380 million to nonprofit organizations improving homes and lives in local communities. To learn more and see our associates in action, visit



For more information, contact

Lisa Walsh
The Home Depot Foundation

Ben Owens
The Home Depot Foundation
770-433-8211 x 84133

CBRE Group: Martin Samworth appointed CEO EMEA and Daniel Queenan CEO APAC

Los Angeles, 2014-3-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG) today announced the appointment of Martin Samworth as Chief Executive Officer of its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region and of Daniel Queenan as Chief Executive Officer of its Asia Pacific (APAC) region.  The appointments are effective immediately.

Mr. Samworth previously served as Managing Director, EMEA, where he oversaw operational management of the region. He will continue to report to Michael Strong, Executive Chairman, EMEA, who retains overall responsibility for the region.

Mr. Queenan previously served as Chief Operating Officer, APAC, where he shared responsibility for managing the region’s day-to-day operations with Robert Blain, Executive Chairman, APAC.  In his new role, Mr. Queenan will oversee operational management of APAC while Mr. Blain will retain overall responsibility for the region. Mr. Queenan will continue to report to Mr. Blain in respect of his APAC responsibilities.  In addition, Mr. Queenan continues to serve as Chief Executive Officer of CBRE’s development services subsidiary, Trammell Crow Company, a role in which he reports to Bob Sulentic, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBRE.

“These are well-deserved promotions for Martin and Danny,” said Mike Lafitte, Chief Operating Officer of CBRE. “They are very talented executives who are highly regarded by our people in their regions and around the world.  They are also strong leaders who, working in partnership with Mike Strong and Rob Blain in their respective regions, have put us on a path toward further growth, outstanding client service and operational excellence.”

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2013 revenue).  The Company has approximately 44,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through approximately 350 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.

For Further Information:

Steve Iaco
Director, Sr. Managing
T +1 212 9846535

Robert Mcgrath
Director, Sr
T +1 212 9848267


CBL & Associates Properties announced The Cheesecake Factory® and H&M are coming to Fayette Mall in Lexington, KY

CBL Announces Anchor Redevelopment Plans

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., 2014-3-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. (NYSE: CBL), today announcedThe Cheesecake Factory® and H&M are coming to Fayette Mall in Lexington, KY, as part of the redevelopment of the former Sears location. Designed to significantly enhance the offerings at the shopping center, the plans include redeveloping the former Sears store and expanding the mall entrance to create 115,000-square-feet of new retail space for a mix of fashion stores, home furnishings and fine dining options in the heart of the shopping center. The Cheesecake Factory and H&M are the first of many premier stores to be announced as part of the redevelopment, which has begun construction and is expected to be completed this fall.

“We are excited to bring both The Cheesecake Factory and H&M to Lexington to further solidify Fayette Mall’s status as one of the premier shopping destinations in Lexington and the region,” said Stephen Lebovitz, president and chief executive officer, CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. “The Cheesecake Factory will provide the Lexington area a quality dining experience they won’t soon forget. Additionally, H&M is an international fashion leader that will bring its fashion-forward styles for men and women to Fayette Mall.”

“For more than 35 years, The Cheesecake Factory has been known for creating delicious, memorable experiences for millions of guests around the country, and we’re excited about coming to Lexington,” said David Overton, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated. “We look forward to opening our doors at Fayette Mall later this year.”

H&M will open a two-level, 23,000-square-foot store adjacent to the new mall entrance. Additional stores and restaurants that are coming to Fayette Mall include Brighton, Clarks footwear, Jos. A. Bank, Michael Kors and Newk’s Eatery, with more top retailers to be announced as the project progresses.

Fayette Mall is a 1.4 million square-foot super regional shopping center featuring more than 150 specialty stores and eateries and is anchored by Dillard’s, Macy’s, JCPenney and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Recent additions to the mall include Forever 21, francesca’s, J.Jill, and Pandora. For more information visit ShopFayette-Mall.com or facebook.com/FayetteMall.

Businesses interested in obtaining leasing information about Fayette Mall should contact Travis Farren, Regional Director of Leasing, by telephone at 423.490.8360 or by email: travis_farren@cblproperties.com.

About The Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated created the upscale casual dining segment in 1978 with the introduction of its namesake concept. The Company operates 181 full-service, casual dining restaurants throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including 169 restaurants under The Cheesecake Factory® mark; 11 restaurants under the Grand Lux Cafe® mark; and one restaurant under the RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen® mark. Internationally, four The Cheesecake Factory restaurants operate under a licensing agreement. The Company also operates two bakery production facilities in Calabasas Hills, CA and Rocky Mount, NC that produce over 70 varieties of quality cheesecakes and other baked products. In 2014, the Company was named to Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. To learn more about the Company, visit www.thecheesecakefactory.com.

About CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.
CBL is one of the largest and most active owners and developers of malls and shopping centers in the United States. CBL owns, holds interests in or manages 150 properties, including 91 regional malls/open-air centers. The properties are located in 29 states and total 86.1 million square feet including 5.6 million square feet of non-owned shopping centers managed for third parties. Headquartered in Chattanooga, TN, CBL has regional offices in Boston (Waltham), MA, Dallas (Irving), TX, and St. Louis, MO. Additional information can be found at cblproperties.com.

CBL contact: Dan Summerlin, Director of Corporate Relations, 423.490.8315, dan_summerlin@cblproperties.com

Fayette Mall contact: Sandy Heymann, Regional Director of Marketing, 859.272.3495, sandra_heymann@cblproperties.com

The Cheesecake Factory contact: Susan Pasarow / Anna Whitlow / Jenny Burke / Suzanne Davis, Murphy Obrien Public Relations, 818.871.3038, cheesecake@murphyobrien.com

Wesfarmers accepts Insurance Australia Group’s proposed acquisition of the Australian underwriting operations of its Insurance division

Perth, Australia, 2014-3-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wesfarmers today announced it had received confirmation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that it will not oppose Insurance Australia Group’s proposed acquisition of the Australian underwriting operations of Wesfarmers’ Insurance division.

Wesfarmers Managing Director Richard Goyder said he was pleased that a key transaction milestone had been achieved.

“Wesfarmers welcomes the ACCC’s announcement regarding Insurance Australia Group’s acquisition of our Australian underwriting operations. This represents an important step in the sale process which we believe is in the best interests of our shareholders, while offering the customers of our underwriting businesses the opportunity to become part of an established leading insurance organisation”, Mr Goyder said.

The sale is subject to a number of conditions precedent which continue to be progressed, including obtaining approvals from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the Federal Treasurer, New Zealand Commerce Commission and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. The Overseas Investment Office in New Zealand granted consent earlier this month.

Wesfarmers expects completion of the transaction, subject to regulatory approval, in the second quarter of the 2014 calendar year.

For further information: Media
Cathy Bolt
Media & External Affairs Manager
+61 8 9327 4423 or +61 417 813 804

Mark Scatena
General Manager, Investor Relations & Planning
+61 8 9327 4416 or +61 439 979 398

Foodstuffs’ first grocery store Four Square to give away 400 reusable bags to local Waiheke shoppers

Waiheke, New Zealand, 2014-3-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — Four Square got behind Plastic-Free Friday by giving out 400 reusable bags to local Waiheke shoppers.

Plastic Free Friday is part of the BYO Bag initiative started by Debbie Lyttle last year to educate the community on plastic pollution and the harm plastic bags, in particular, have on marine life.

“Around one billion bags from all over New Zealand go to the tip every year and 10 percent of plastic ends up in the sea,” said Debbie.

“BYO Bag is feeling very proud of our community.  It seemed everyone was taking part, including the visitors to the island. Oneroa was full of people strolling in the sun and shopping with their new reusable bags.”

Co-founder Jennifer Fountain was thrilled that 80-90 percent of people were bringing reusable bags, some of which dated back many years showing that people own bags but just need a push to continue using them.

“People really do not seem opposed to reusable shopping bags, they just need some assistance to remember them and keep using them. Plastic-Free Friday was a big help with that. We found most people felt really good about avoiding single-use disposable plastic,” said Jennifer.

Four Square Oneroa owner, Tim Baker was overwhelmed by the response to the reusable bags.

“It was fantastic to see such a high number of shoppers saying no to plastic bags and using one of our reusable bags, or bringing their own instead. We hope to see shopper’s continuing to use the reusable bags and do their bit to protect our environment.”

Foodstuffs is committed to sustainability and a key part of its Sustainable Packing Strategy is to promote reusable bags in store. All stores have reusable bags at the checkouts for customers to purchase.

As well as giving out 400 bags on Waiheke’s Plastic Free Friday, Foodstuffs also gave away thousands of reusable bags when PAK’nSAVE Blenheim opened last year.


SM Investments Corporation expanded code of ethics to keep pace with emerging trends in the region

Manila, Philippines, 2014-3-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — SM Investments Corporation (SM) has approved an expanded code of ethics, further strengthening its corporate governance standards to keep pace with emerging trends in the region.

The revised code is a more comprehensive guide on how the company should deal with stakeholders, from investors, creditors, customers and employees to contractors, regulators, suppliers and the general public.

Salient provisions added pertain to policies on accountability, integrity and vigilance and non-discriminatory practices as well as enhanced provisions pertaining to conflicts of interest and avoidance thereof. The expanded form aims to strengthen the company’s defenses against potential wrongdoing and to enhance confidentiality and privacy protections.

“The code is very specific about the mere appearance of conflict of interest. The core principle is to ensure that the underlying ethical culture runs across all core business units of the Group and that they are always aligned with best practice,” said Jose T. Sio, SM  executive vice president and chief finance officer.

“The expanded code of ethics provides a broader framework to ensure we cover all areas of engagement with all our stakeholders,” Gil L. Gonzales, SM Vice President for Corporate Governance and Risk Management said.

However, the expanded code is not all about restrictions and consequences. A big part of the code is devoted to resolving governance-related issues in a fair, just and expeditious manner.

“After all, the ultimate goal of a code of ethics is to make things better for everyone concerned,” Sio said.

“We believe an ethical business environment makes good business sense,” he said. “We embed our code of ethics in everything we do, in the way we think, speak and execute things. It’s our way of fulfilling our responsibility to all who have been part of SM’s journey.”

#  #  #

Marie Therese Necio
Vice President – Corporate Communications
SM Investments Corporation
E: therese.necio@sminvestments.com
T: +632 857 0224

Aktia customers to receive K-Plussa points from the service fee when withdrawing cash in K-food stores

Helsinki, Finland, 2014-3-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kesko and Aktia have entered a cooperation agreement by which the bank’s customers will receive additional K-Plussa points from the service fee when withdrawing cash in K-food stores. The cooperation begins on 1 April. It is possible to withdraw cash with all Finnish debit cards in more than 700 K-food stores.

From the beginning of April, Aktia’s customers will receive 100 additional K-Plussa points for using the cashback service by showing their K-Plussa card when withdrawing cash. The value of the benefit corresponds to the service fee of 50 cents.

“We want to offer our customers an easy and inexpensive way of withdrawing cash. The wide network and long opening hours of K-food stores are an excellent complement to the current cash service options available to our customers. The service and additional K-Plussa points will be available to some 150,000 Aktia card customers,” says Senior Vice President Taru Narvanmaa from Aktia Bank.

K-food stores offer cash withdrawal service in over 700 K-food stores around Finland. When paying with a debit card, customers can withdraw up to €200 of cash. No minimum limit has been set for withdrawals. The ‘Osta&Nosta’ service was expanded to cover all Finland during the summer 2013. The service brings cash withdrawal even to locations where it would otherwise not be available or the distance to the nearest ATM is long. Customers have received the cash withdrawal service well.

“The service makes everyday life easier, since you can withdraw cash conveniently while doing your grocery shopping, and cash is available whenever the stores are open. We welcome Aktia customers to use the service,” says Vice President Eija Jantunen from Kesko.

An image of the ‘Osta&Nosta’ logo: http://aineistopankki.kesko.fi/kesko_en

Further information:
Eija Jantunen, Vice President, Finance & Accounting Services, Kesko Corporation, tel. +358 10 532 2500
Juha Andelin, Development Manager, Kesko Corporation, tel. +358 10 532 7360Taru Narvanmaa,Deputy Managing Director, Aktia Bank plc, tel. +358 50 590 9398
Teemu Korte, Director, Aktia Bank plc, tel. +358 40 502 8111

Kesko (www.kesko.fi) is one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. We are a retail specialist whose chains have about 2,000 stores in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia, and Belarus. There are 3.9 million Finnish K-Plussa cardholders in 2.3 million households.

Aktia Group (www.aktia.fi) offers its customers individual solutions from a wide selection of banking, insurance and real estate services. Aktia operates in the coastal areas of Finland and in centers of growth inland. Aktia has some 300,000 customers and some 1,000 staff providing them service in branch offices, on the internet and on the phone. Aktia shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd.

Sainsbury’s newly opened Convenience Training College in Brixton to train team leaders and store managers

Brixton, UK, 2014-3-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s has today marked the opening of a trailblazing new facility in London, which will run 2,000 training courses in the first year alone for its management teams in Local convenience stores.

The new Convenience Training College is based in Brixton and will train team leaders and store managers in a range of technical and behavioural skills. Over the next four years, Sainsbury’s has over 3,000 team leader and management positions in the pipeline to power the growth of convenience stores in Greater London.

Sainsbury’s is the only supermarket to open a facility of this kind, purely dedicated to leadership training. The news comes after a recent recruitment campaign in London to find 500 team leaders and 200 managers for its convenience stores, with 60 new stores due to open in London and the South East over the next year. There are currently 185 convenience stores in Greater London, employing over 6,000 people.

Director of Convenience for Sainsbury’s, Simon Twigger, said: “Our stores in London employ thousands of people, and this will only increase over the next few years. As a major employer, Sainsbury’s is always looking for new ways to give our colleagues the opportunity to train and develop with us – so the new Training College will not only benefit our convenience store growth, but it will give our managers the expertise and theoretical knowledge about what it means to be a leader in retail.

“Running a store is like running your own business, so being a good store manager is about knowing your customers, your community and your colleagues. This new training facility will now boost and support those skills with detailed management expertise, to go even further to help our colleagues run our stores and power our convenience growth in the Capital.”

The College has six training rooms and will be run by ‘Convenience Capability Trainers’, to ensure that everyone has the right skills for the job. It complements Sainsbury’s existing and established training facilities – the six Food Colleges and one Bakery College. The six Colleges are located at Murrayfield, Bradford, Oldbury, London Colney, Calcot, Hempstead Valley and Wellingborough.

Karen Skipper, a store manager in training from Wimbledon Broadway, will be one of the first candidates to use the College. She said: “I’m really looking forward to being one of the first through the door at the College. Having the space to focus and develop while you’re training in store is really important, and it will be great to share experiences with peers so we can continue to give our customers a great service.”

In November last year, Sainsbury’s was awarded a ‘Gold’ accreditation by industry body Investors in People for the second consecutive time. Sainsbury’s is still the first and only supermarket that’s been recognised in this way for developing, supporting and motivating their colleagues.

Notes to editors

  • For more information and to apply, visit the Sainsbury’s jobs website: http://sainsburys.jobs/
  • Over the next financial year, Sainsbury’s look to recruit 500 team leaders, 100 store managers and 100 deputy managers
  • Sainsbury’s opened its first convenience store in 1998 in Hammersmith
  • There are over 47,000 convenience stores in UK (IGD)
  • The value of UK convenience sector is £35.6bn rising to £46.2bn by 2018 (IGD)
  • The convenience market generated total sales of £35.6bn in the 12 months to April 2013. This equates to a 4.9% year on year increase (IGD)
  • Sainsbury’s employ 157,000 people across the UK in supermarkets, convenience stores, depots and offices
  • Sainsbury’s will create around 6,000 job opportunities across the UK in the next year
  • Sainsbury’s is the only UK food retailer to be given a ‘Gold’ accreditation by Investors in People for the second consecutive time, recognising how colleagues are engaged in the business and given training opportunities
  • There is training for development and growth through the retailers established ‘You Can Be’ initiative, helping people progress with practical training. Sainsbury’s colleagues can also get externally accredited City and Guilds training at one of Sainsbury’s Food Colleges


Sainsbury’s newly opened Convenience Training College in Brixton to train team leaders and store managers

Sainsbury’s newly opened Convenience Training College in Brixton to train team leaders and store managers