Sainsbury’s eBooks launched new online book club

LONDON, 2014-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s is launching a new online book club giving you the chance to discover exciting new books, add your own reviews, meet other book lovers, win prizes, and collect bonus Nectar points.

Sainsbury’s Book Club online follows the success of Sainsbury’s in-store book club. Members will be offered a new fiction ebook every two weeks at an exclusive discount, as well as monthly children’s and cookery ebooks at great value prices. Buy one of the book club titles to collect 50 bonus Nectar points, which can then be turned into treats elsewhere, or redeemed at eBooks by Sainsbury’s.

The Book Club will feature author pages with unique content including videos and interviews giving you the chance to learn more about your favourite authors and every month the best five reader reviews will win ebook vouchers.

Sainsbury’s Book Club will host a range of top titles from award-winning authors and famous faces. The first books featured will include Patricia Scanlan’s With All My Love (available at the special price of £3.49), David Walliams’ Ratburger (£3.49) and Mary Berry Cooks by celebrated TV chef, Mary Berry (£8.99).

Tim Lennox, Managing Director of eBooks by Sainsbury’s said: “Our customers like nothing more than to share their passion for reading, interact with others and publish their thoughts on books. We wanted to create an online forum that enables them to do just that, while offering them great deals and discounts in the process.”

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Sainsbury's Book Club launched new online book club

ShopRite Partners In Caring Annual Cheerios Contest raised $1.24m to support regional food banks in local communities

Store associates featured on a special-edition Cheerios box sold exclusively at ShopRite stores

Keasbey, NJ, 2014-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — ShopRite associates across six states banded together last September in a friendly competition sponsored by ShopRite and General Mills, the ShopRite Partners In Caring Annual Cheerios Contest. To help the hungry in local communities, ShopRite associates collected donations at check-out and held various events, raising $1.24 million to support regional food banks in communities served by ShopRite stores.

Each of the 40 winning stores was awarded with the selection of two ShopRite associates to be featured on 125,000 special-edition Cheerios boxes. These customized boxes, sold exclusively at ShopRite, will be unveiled at in-store celebrations during the month of March. Additionally, each winning store was awarded funds ($3,000 for the top 5 stores, and $500 for the remaining winning stores), that will be presented to local food pantries chosen by their store team.

“We’re grateful to our ShopRite associates, who care so deeply about the plight of the hungry.” said Christine Magyarits, spokesperson for ShopRite Partners In Caring. “Their dedication to the cause is heartwarming. We are equally grateful to our generous customers, who are so supportive of our efforts to alleviate hunger in local communities served by ShopRite stores.”

The winning stores are:
New Jersey:
Brookdale ShopRite in Bloomfield, ShopRite of Byram, ShopRite of Clinton, ShopRite of Essex Green in West Orange, ShopRite of Fischer Bay in Toms River, ShopRite of Flanders, ShopRite of Flemington, ShopRite of Franklin, ShopRite of Glassboro, ShopRite of Greenwich Township, ShopRite of Hackensack, ShopRite of Hamilton in Robbinsville, ShopRite of Hammonton, ShopRite of Hillsborough, ShopRite of Jersey City, ShopRite of Landis in Vineland, ShopRite of Lyndhurst, ShopRite of Mansfield, ShopRite of Marlton, ShopRite of Medford, ShopRite of Mullica Hill, ShopRite of Newton, ShopRite of Parsippany, ShopRite of Passaic, ShopRite of Ramsey, ShopRite of Somers Point, ShopRite of Succasunna, ShopRite of Union Mill Road in Mt. Laurel, ShopRite of Wayne, ShopRite of West Deptford

New York:
ShopRite of Croton in Croton On Hudson, ShopRite of Forest & Richmond in Staten Island, ShopRite of Garnerville, ShopRite of Stony Point

Pennsylvania:
ShopRite of Daleville in Covington Township, ShopRite of Hatfield, ShopRite of Mount Pocono, ShopRite of Stroudsburg, ShopRite of West Chester

Connecticut:
ShopRite of Bristol, ShopRite of Canton, ShopRite of Waterbury

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About ShopRite 
ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative based in Keasbey, NJ, and the largest supermarket cooperative in the United States.  With more than 250 ShopRite supermarkets located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, ShopRite serves more than six million customers each week.  A long-time supporter of key community efforts, ShopRite is dedicated to fighting hunger in the communities it serves.  Through its ShopRite Partners In Caring program, ShopRite has donated $33 million to 1,700 worthy charities and food banks since the program began in 1999.  As a title sponsor of the LPGA’s ShopRite Classic, ShopRite has raised more than $24 million for local organizations, hospitals and community groups.  Progressive Grocer named ShopRite its 2011 Retailer of the Year and Supermarket News awarded ShopRite its 2011 Retail Excellence Award.  For more information, please visit www.ShopRite.com.

About ShopRite Partners In Caring
ShopRite Partners In Caring is a year-round, community-based, hunger-fighting initiative that works with more than 50 food industry manufacturers to provide nearly $3 million annually to qualified charitable agencies in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania — all the states where our ShopRite stores operate. Since its inception in 1999, ShopRite Partners In Caring has donated nearly $33 million to more than 1,700 charities. ShopRite Partners In Caring supports emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, child care centers, battered women’s shelters, senior citizen programs, drug rehab centers, programs for the mentally and physically disabled, after-school programs and other organizations that aid those in need. The ShopRite Partners In Caring Fund was established in 2002 as a component fund of the Community Foundation of New Jersey to accept private donations that help fund its charitable endeavors. For more information or to learn how you can help, please visit www.shopritepartnersincaring.org.

About General Mills
General Mills is one of the world’s leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries around the world. Its brands include Cheerios, Fiber One, Haagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., USA, General Mills had fiscal 2013 worldwide sales of US $17.8 billion.

Publix VP of Distribution Richard Schuler to retire, Casey Suarez to succeed

Publix Vice President of Distribution to Retire; New Vice President Announced

LAKELAND, Fla., 2014-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — After 40 years of dedicated service, Publix Super Markets’ Vice President of Distribution Richard Schuler announced his decision to retire, effective May 2.

Schuler began his Publix career in 1973 as an unloader in the company’s Miami distribution center. In 1979, he was promoted to grocery supervisor, fresh pack supervisor in 1982 and produce department head in 1987. He moved to the Deerfield distribution center as dispatch superintendent in 1991 and transferred back to Miami in 1995 as Miami distribution manager. Schuler was promoted to his current position in 2000.

Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw said, “Richard has made significant contributions to Publix, most notable of which is developing a strong and viable distribution support function for our stores. Throughout his career, he has been dedicated to advocating for his customers and committed to the training and development of his associates. We wish him the very best as he begins the next chapter of his life.”

With this retirement, Casey Suarez has been named Vice President of Distribution, effective May 3.

Suarez began his Publix career in 1978 as a part-time produce clerk at store 112 in South Miami. After working in different capacities at several stores in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, he was promoted to store manager in 1988 and Miami Division district manager in 1994. In 2011, Suarez relocated to Lakeland to assume the position of director of warehousing.

“As a 36-year Publix veteran, Casey’s background in retail operations and in warehousing gives him the unique ability to have insights into both functions of our business,” said Sr. Vice President of Distribution and Manufacturing Mike Smith. “He has strong leadership abilities, which include engaging his associates, creating an inclusive workforce and promoting a strong sense of our Publix culture. We’re confident Casey and his team will continue to build a strong supply chain.”

Suarez and his wife Marilyn, Lakeland residents, have four children and four grandchildren. They are passionate about giving back to their community and are actively involved with the March of Dimes and United Way.

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Tesco launches Clubcard Fuel Save to help customers save up to 20p off a litre of fuel

Cheshunt, England, 2014-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today, Tesco, the largest fuel retailer in the UK, launches a new, industry-first initiative to help customers save up to 20p off a litre of fuel, just by doing their regular shop.

Clubcard Fuel Save is the only scheme of its kind in the UK. It is unlike other fuel promotions, which are generally short-term and involve a one-off minimum spend.

The launch follows new research by Tesco revealing over half of shoppers (51%) find it hard to take advantage of traditional fuel promotions when a minimum spend is required. Whilst a third (31%) say they don’t benefit at all from them because the terms are either too expensive or not promoted on the items they need to buy.

So now at Tesco, every time a Clubcard holder buys something in store or does their grocery shopping online, however small the shop may be, it counts towards a saving on fuel. A 2p fuel discount is awarded for every £50 spent across a month, but customers don’t have to spend £50 all at once.

Clubcard Fuel Save has been designed to put money back in customers’ pockets.

At a glance, what’s new for customers about this scheme?

  • The savings are significant, up to 20p per litre in one transaction
  • It is inclusive. There is no one-off minimum spend, which has historically been a barrier to customers on tight budgets
  • It is cumulative, every shop counts towards discount, no matter how small, you save 2p per £50 spend, but you do not need to spend £50 in one go, the discount accumulates across a month
  • It is simple. You redeem savings automatically at the pumps by swiping your Clubcard. There are no paper vouchers
  • It is available to all Clubcard holders in the UK – that’s around 16 million people
  • It has been trialed already in Wales where over 70% of users said it’d make a big difference to their household budgets

The move will help customers across the UK. Figures show that rises in fuel prices mean we are, on average, spending around £700 more per year on fuel now than 10 years ago.** And customers say that the cost of petrol is something that really affects their household budgets.

Chris Bush, UK Managing Director of Tesco, comments: “Petrol prices are forcing families to make tough choices. By introducing Clubcard Fuel Save, we can do our bit to make everyday life easier. Nearly three in four users who took part in the trial said the savings we’re offering would make a big difference to their budgets. We’re delighted to be rolling this out nationally.”

The RAC’s Pete Williams welcomes the scheme, saying: “The price we pay for fuel makes a massive difference to household budgets. By launching this, Tesco has created one of the most powerful fuel discount schemes we have ever seen as it has the potential to help everyone who shops with them on a regular basis to significantly reduce the amount of money they spend on petrol and diesel every month.

Williams continues: “This promotion breaks the mould of one-off supermarket fuel discounts, based on spending over a certain amount in store. When you consider the average family shopping bill is £323 a month, the 2p a litre discount for every £50 spent could mean some households regularly save 12p a litre on a fill-up.”

Clubcard Fuel Save will not only help save pennies at the pump, but will also help bring families together, with 42% of Brits feeling they are missing out on quality time with relatives.

One in 10 say they hardly ever visit their loved ones. For those forgoing family visits, 46% claim fuel prices stop them from seeing their family and friends.

With nearly three quarters of those surveyed (72%) claiming that having a vehicle is either very important or essential, it’s not just family time that’s sacrificed to keep it on the road. Almost one in five (17%) Brits are being forced to cut back on food so they can afford fuel for their vehicle. The top 10 things on which the nation is cutting back to afford fuel are:

1. Clothing for themselves (30%)
2. Going out (24%)
3. Holidays and weekends away (19%)
4. Food (17%)
5. Homeware (16%)
6. Electrical items (15%)
7. Evening activities e.g. going to the gym, evening classes (12%)
8. Buying birthday presents for a friend/family member (12%)
9. Buying Christmas presents for a friend/family member (11%)
10. Household cleaning products (11%)

And Brits are also having to swallow their pride with 24% admitting they ask their friends and family to contribute petrol money on shared trips.

Katie O’Donovan, Head of Communications and Partnership at Mumsnet, said: “Given that Brits now live on average 30 miles away from their immediate families, anything that helps with high fuel costs so they can get back on the road to visit friends and family is very welcome”.

For more information and terms and conditions please visit www.tesco.com/fuelsave. Follow the conversation on Twitter at #FuelSave.

Notes to Editors:

Clubcard Fuel Save example:

If you spend a total of £323 over a month in store and grocery online, you gain 2p off per £50 spent.

This means you get a discount of 6 x 2p = 12p. You can use this discount for a fill-up of your choice at a Tesco fuel station and have until the next calendar month to redeem it. A new balance starts accruing at the beginning of each calendar month. The discount is capped at a maximum of 20p per litre per transaction.

Survey conducted by OnePoll of 2,000 respondents.

*Response from RAC.

** Average cost of unleaded petrol in 2003 was 76.3p per litre vs 133.35p per litre in 2012. Average cost of diesel was 78.1p in 2003 vs 138.15p in 2012 (Source: ONS).

Average spend on groceries per month at £323 (Kantar, July 2013), average family mileage at 12,000 miles per year and average use of 100 litres per month.

Clubcard Fuel Save is cumulative – every shop counts and it doesn’t insist on a one-off minimum spend.  And it’s simple:  customers shop, scan their Clubcard and save up to 20p a litre. Whenever customers reach £50 they will receive 2p per litre (£50 gets them 2p off, £100 gets them 4p off… etc.) Customers don’t have to spend £50 all at once. So whatever they normally buy helps them gain a discount at the pumps, up to 20p per litre.

Whilst no minimum one-off spend is required with Clubcard Fuel Save, there is a threshold of £50 that customers need to reach  before they can start accruing savings – but this can be achieved via multiple shops, as per above.

Savings add up over the month and can be used immediately or be saved up and used by the end of the next calendar month. A new Fuel Savings balance will start at the beginning of each month and cannot be combined with the previous month’s balance. Customers may, for example, choose to accrue fuel savings over the course of a month and use them all in one transaction for a larger per litre discount (up to 20p). Customers have the choice of whether to redeem their discount or not when they re-fuel. They may, for example, choose to accrue fuel savings over the course of a month and use them all in one transaction for a larger per litre discount (up to 20p).

Spend across all store formats (Tesco Extra, Superstore, Metro, Express) and grocery online all count towards a discount. Clubcard points are accrued as usual.

Tesco has 500 petrol stations in the UK and around 60% of the population live within 10 minutes of one.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01992 644645

We are a team of over 530,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to bringing the best value, choice and service to our millions of customers each week. Our core purpose is ‘we make what matters better, together’.

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Kesko and If partner to give K-Plussa customers K-Plussa points for insurance policies marketed by If

Helsinki, Finland, 2014-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kesko and If have signed a cooperation agreement which will give K-Plussa customers K-Plussa points for insurance policies marketed by If starting from June.

The cooperation will be long term and the parties also include Mandatum Life responsible for Sampo’s life insurance business in Finland and Kaleva Mutual Insurance Company. K-Plussa points will be given for all insurance policies offered by If to private customers in Finland.

In addition to partnering with K-Plussa, the cooperation is aimed at developing new customer specific insurance products in the K-Group’s business areas. As Finland’s most extensive customer loyalty programme, K-Plussa provides a good basis for the development work. There are 3.9 million K-Plussa cardholders in 2.3 million households in Finland.

– The cooperation will enable us to offer our joint customers new possibilities to benefit from their customer relationships with both If and the K-Group. For our customers, it will mean safer daily lives more conveniently than before. We wish If’s insurance products warmly welcome to join the K-Plussa network, says K-Plus Oy’s Managing Director Ismo Riitala.

– Kesko will be a very important partner for If in Finland. The possibility to gain K-Plussa points for insurance policies is an excellent addition to If’s own centralisation benefits. Customers will gain real benefits from this cooperation, saysTimo Vuorinen, CEO of If Finland.

If is the leading property and casualty insurance company in the Nordic countries. If is part of Sampo Group and has approximately 3.6 million customers in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Further information:
Ismo Riitala, Managing Director, K-Plus Oy, tel. +358 105 339 400, ismo.riitala@kesko.fi
Tapio Näveri, Deputy Managing Director, K-Plus Oy, tel. +358 105 337 170, tapio.naveri@kesko.fi
Timo Vuorinen, CEO, If Finland, tel. +358 50 424 3887, timo.vuorinen@if.fi
Pasi Aho, Director, Business Alliances, If Finland, tel. +358 50 424 1036, pasi.aho@if.fi

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. Our stores offer quality to the daily lives of consumers.

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Nicolas Ghesquière’s debut show for Louis Vuitton capped the Fall/Winter 2014-2015 collections with triumphant style

Paris, France, 2014-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — The moment everyone was waiting for throughout the recently ended Paris Fashion Week did not disappoint. Nicolas Ghesquière’s debut show for Louis Vuitton capped the Fall/Winter 2014-2015 collections with triumphant style.

He knew everyone was waiting to see what he would do, and he more than met their expectations. “Today is a new day. A big day,” said Nicolas Ghesquière with modest affirmation, sharing his emotion just before the start of his first Louis Vuitton show. This was a powerful moment for the French designer, coming just four months after his appointment as creative director at the celebrated trunkmaker. His first collection thus marked the dawn of a new era, watched with eager anticipation by the entire fashion world.

In the heart of a Cour Carrée du Louvre bathed in magnificent winter sunlight, the set for the show signaled a change with its simplicity and luminosity. The clean labyrinth runway brought models up close in front of guests, their looks providing the first glimpse of the direction Mr. Ghesquière has in mind for Louis Vuitton.

“What Nicolas is going to be doing is creating a more focused vision of who the Vuitton woman is,” said Michael Burke, Chief Executive Officer of Louis Vuitton, speaking to theInternational New York Times. “That’s going to be his challenge.”

For this Vuitton woman the designer proposed a wardrobe where clothes, accessories and leather goods all work together to create structured, geometric silhouettes. The close-fitting pieces feature cinched waists and cropped cuts. Neutral seasonal colors are punctuated by blue and red splashes to set off more discreet tones. Noble materials harmoniously mix leather and wool. A tribute to the 60s, the overall impression is one of updated, contemporary vintage. The creations respect the history of the House while reinterpreting its codes, humble yet powerful.

The first collection and the show received an enthusiastic reception from the fashion world and on social networks. More than 4,000 tweets about the show were posted over a three-hour period on Wednesday morning. Influential fashion journalist Suzy Menkes, who was recently named International Editor at Vogue, was enthralled by the collection:  “Tweet the message from Paris to Shanghai: The Louis Vuitton show on Wednesday was a success — for its modernity, its clarity, its decency — and its respect for women,” she wrote in her post-show article.

The guests at the first show included a bevy of A-list names. In addition to actresses Catherine Deneuve, Fan Bingbing and Charlotte Gainsbourg, also attending were designers Jean-Paul Gaultier, Azzedine Alaïa and the young J. W. Anderson. All were wowed by this grande finale to a brilliantly creative Paris Fashion Week. And all were excited to be witnessing the beginning of a new story, a fresh start full of promise.

Argos unveils New Spring/Summer 2014 Home Range

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — The latest range from Argos is based on some of the latest trends with some great affordable ideas to update any room in the home.

Living
Create a clean, sharp style with monochrome tones, sleek high-gloss finishes, and contrast with neutral materials and simple typography patterns. Add a splash of colour for a vibrant contrast to create one of the hottest looks this season.

Fresh spring colours in shades of duck egg blue and cream, accentuated with mirrored surfaces, delicate silks and pretty floral prints, bring a touch of elegance to any room.

Bedroom
Textures and materials in complementary tones, and natural wooden furniture with antique style finishing touches, come together to create a warm and charming country theme.

Create a modern twist on a classic style with simple floral patterns, mixed with soft touch fabrics and delicate colours. For added style the Elphick Ottoman Bed features innovative storage and stylish touches such as a curved button back headboard detail and fabric frame. Combined with elegant bedroom furniture it creates a luxurious cosy look.

Children’s Rooms
The new ‘distressed’ metal ready assembled furniture range looks cool in bright colours and storage trunks are practical and look great with co-ordinating accessories. The cute Mia bedroom range features neat storage ideas and combined with the retro style metal frame bed, can be easily personalised with colourful accessories.

Giving teenagers their own space to express themselves and get creative with colour is easy this season with new metal lockers in vibrant lime green contrasted with black and grey accessories. A new bright pink and white glossy furniture range is easy to co-ordinate with the rest of the room and personal touches.

Outdoor Living
With a wide choice of easy to use small bistro patio sets it’s easy to maximise any small outdoor space. When entertaining on a larger scale, make a real impact with large family-sized furniture sets dressed with Moroccan styled accessories.

All products are available through argos.co.uk, with customers able to Check & Reserve items for immediate collection from around 735 stores nationwide.  Larger items are available for home delivery. The range is also available to buy through Argos’ fully transactional apps for android, iPhone and iPad. Prices are subject to change and customers are advised to check argos.co.uk for the latest offers.

You can view our Spring Summer 2014 Home digital lookbook by clicking the image below:

Argos unveils New Spring Summer 2014 Home Range

To download a PDF version of our lookbook and lifestyle or cut-out photography, please visit: http://homeretailgroup.bright-server.com/

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Notes to Editors:
For more information, please contact the Argos Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email: media.relations@argos.co.uk.  Follow us on Twitter at @argos_PR.

About Argos
Argos is a leading UK digital retailer, offering around 42,000 products through www.argos.co.uk, its growing mobile channels, stores and over the telephone.

Argos continues to be the UK’s largest high street retailer online with 635 million website and app visits in the 12 months to February 2013.  Argos serves around 124 million customers a year through its network of around 735 stores.

In the financial year to February 2013, Argos sales were £3.9 billion and it employed some 30,000 people across the business.

Argos is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

SM Supermalls, Project Headshot Clinic and Dream Project Philippines launch Inspire campaign and digital exhibit to celebrate Women’s Month

Manila, Philippines, 2014-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — In celebration of Women’s Month, SM Supermalls, Project Headshot Clinic, and the Dream Project Philippines are launching a campaign and digital exhibit called Inspire.

Inspire brings together 100 of the country’s most inspiring women from all fields and industries, such as Irma Adlawan, Andi Manzano, Cheska Garcia-Kramer, Kai Magsanoc, Margie Moran, Nene Chan, Angel Guerrero, Kara Alikpala, Wilma Galvante, Patricia Bermudez-Hizon, Ingrid Santamaria, and Merlee Jayme.

The diversity of the women chosen shows that regardless of background, beliefs, and preferences, empowered women who dream and act on those dreams are able to inspire and change their communities for the better.

Inspire is showcasing stories of women empowering others. To get a chance to be one of the 100 women featured in Inspire, applicants must answer the question, “How are you using your power as a woman to inspire change and enable dreams of your own and of others?” Their answers should be posted in any of the following social media accounts, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, starting with the hashtag #SMProjectInspire.

Applicants must also register via Headshot Clinic’s official website, www.headshotclinic.com, for their entries to be counted. Entries must be received by March 17, 2014.

Inspire is a joint effort of SM Supermalls, Project Headshot Clinic, and the Dream Project Philippines. It is one of the highlights of SM Supermalls’ national celebration of Women’s Month. To know the full schedule of events for March, please visit www.facebook.com/smsupermalls.

Project Headshot Clinic is digital platform that merges profile photos with campaigns and advocacies. The Dream Project Philippines is a volunteer-based community initiative that helps build the nation by shaping the dreams of the Filipino youth.

For more information about Inspire, go to www.headshotclinic.comwww.smsupermalls.com or in the SM Supermalls’ official Facebook page.

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PCATS announces three convenience and fuel retailing industry pioneers being inducted into the PCATS Hall of Fame

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2014-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — PCATS is pleased to announce that three convenience and fuel retailing industry pioneers are being inducted into the PCATS Hall of Fame: Henry Armour, president and CEO of NACS; Jenny Bullard, CIO of Waycross, Georgia-based Flash Foods; and Loring Perez, president of Columbus, Georgia-based Chattahoochee Oil Company.

“Henry, Jenny and Loring were early champions of our mission, through driving the formation of PCATS and putting to work the standards we created,” said Gray Taylor, executive director of PCATS. “These retailers embraced the idea that retailers need to take control of their technology future, and work closely with suppliers to create efficient and capable enterprise systems.”

The PCATS Hall of Fame honor is given to industry leaders who have been critical to the improvement of retail systems through interoperability, profitability and technology vision. The PCATS Technology Hall of Fame was established in 2011. Previous inductees include Teri Richman (NACS), John Hervey (PCATS), Greg Gilkerson (PDI), Bob Johnson (The Pinnacle Corporation), Brad McGuinness (VeriFone), Scott Hartman (Rutter’s) and Gene Gerke (Gerke & Associates).

The PCATS Annual Conference, attended by the industry’s leading technology experts and management, will be held at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona, April 28 through May 1, 2014.  The conference agenda includes face-to-face meetings of all PCATS Committees and Work Groups to further data exchange standards in device integration, payments, enterprise integration, mobile commerce, supply chain and data security. The conference will also include informational sessions, including IBM’s Chief of Retail Technology Vish Ganapathy, who will speak on impact of current technology on retail.  Each day will close with a social event, including the Hall of Fame event on April 28.

For more information or to attend the PCATS Annual Conference, go to www.pcats.org.

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About PCATS: The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) is a non-profit organization devoted to the development, maintenance and implementation of standards, education and best practices for the convenience store and fuel retail segments. Members of PCATS collaborate and focus on key industry challenges and initiatives, and their efforts influence the cost of ownership and interoperability within the industries that PCATS serves.

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

NACS Consumer Fuels Survey: Despite increase in gas prices, consumers continue to feel optimistic about the economy

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2014-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Despite a sharp increase in gas prices over the past month and consumer expectations that prices will climb higher over the next 30 days, consumers continue to feel optimistic about the economy, according the latest monthly NACS Consumer Fuels Survey that examines how gas prices affect consumer sentiment.

Consumers continue to say that gas prices affect their feelings about the economy — nearly 9 in 10 consumers (85%) say that gas prices affect their sentiment — yet consumer optimism marches upward even while consumers face rising gas prices. Two-thirds (68%) of consumers noticed that gas prices increased in the past month, with one in five (22%) saying that prices “are “much higher.” And nearly 3 in 5 consumers (59%) expect prices to increase over the next 30 days, the highest percentage expecting higher prices since July 2013.

Gasoline demand typically increases in the spring, adding pressure to the fuels system that is transitioning to producing summer-blend fuels. Last year, demand per day in August was 10.1% higher than in January. This demand increase of over 800,000 barrels is more than the production capacity of the largest refinery in the United States.

Despite the higher prices and expectations of more increases, nearly half of all consumers (44%) are optimistic about the economy, a steady increase from 43% a month earlier and solid jump from the 35% who expressed optimism in October 2013 when consumer sentiment bottomed out.

Consumer sentiment differed across the country. The Northeast, pummeled by a harsh winter, had the lowest optimism about the economy (39%), while the West was the most optimistic (47%).

Consumers’ miles per dollar decreased in March, dropping 3.9% to 6.92 miles per dollar. NACS added the metric in 2014 to gauge how consumer perceptions about their self-reported mileage and gas prices might also affect their moods.

“The latest increase in consumer optimism is great news for convenience stores and other retailers who saw slim sales as the harsh winter weather in early 2014 kept consumer spending in check,” NACS Vice President of Government Relations John Eichberger. “That fact that consumer optimism continues to increase while every other metric that we track related to consumer optimism trended down is a positive indicator for retailers, who typically see stronger sales inside the store as the weather heats up and daylight hours increase.”

Every month, the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) conducts a nationwide survey in partnership with Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC to measure consumer perceptions about gas prices and how they relate to broader economic conditions. For the February survey, 1,089 gas consumers were surveyed from March 4-6, 2014. The margin of error for the entire sample is +/-2.86 at the 95% confidence interval and higher for subgroups. The OPIS weekly national average price for gas was $3.452 on March 3, the week in which the survey was fielded. Summary results from this and previous surveys can be found at www.nacsonline.com/gasprices.

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

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NACS Consumer Fuels Survey Despite increase in gas prices, consumers continue to feel optimistic about the economy