ALDI announced the results of the first-ever ALDI Fan Favorite Foods poll

ALDI Shoppers Voted on Favorite Products across a Broad Range of Categories

Batavia, Ill., 2014-3-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — The shoppers have spoken. In the first-ever ALDI Fan Favorites poll, shoppers selected 10 food and beverage items as their must-have, best-loved ALDI exclusive brand products. In the online poll of 4,021 respondents, Specially Selected Premium Roasted Ground Coffee was chosen as Best Beverage in the Coffee category and Friendly Farms Greek Yogurt ranked No. 1 in the Best Breakfast category. Other winners were chosen in categories including Wine, Dessert, Chocolate, Cheese, Snack Foods, Seafood, and Meal Starters.

“We’re excited about the participation in the Fan Favorites poll,” said Chuck Youngstrom, president of ALDI. “At ALDI, we know our customers count on us to deliver great-tasting, high-quality foods at impossibly low prices, and we are happy to hear their favorites.”

Smart shoppers have found that switching from national brands to ALDI exclusive brands can save them up to 50 percent* on more than 1,300 of the most commonly purchased, high-quality grocery items. The Fan Favorites poll surveyed ALDI fans online, including its Facebook community of more than 730,000, to determine the winning products.

“Love all the stuff you sell,” said Anne Kish Presterl, ALDI US Facebook Fan. “The vegetables, fruits, ice cream, snack foods, cashews, peanuts, milk, eggs, yogurt, butter and cheeses! Thanks for the great savings too!”

The full 2014 Fan Favorite product lineup includes**:

• Beverage – Juices/Sparkling Water/Milk

o Nature’s Nectar 100% Pure Squeezed Orange Juice Not From Concentrate (59 oz.) $2.49: Nature’s Nectar 100% Pure Squeezed Orange Juice is never from concentrate and comes in two varieties: with calcium and vitamin D or high pulp.Each 59 ounce container contains, on average, 16 oranges.

• Beverage – Coffee

o Specially Selected Premium Roasted Ground Coffee (17.6 oz.) $4.99: Roasted in Germany and made from 100% Arabic beans, Specially Selected Premium Roasted Ground Coffee is available in Mild or Medium Roast.

• Wine

o Landshut Riesling (750 mL) $4.99: This exquisite, well-balanced Riesling has a fruity bouquet with flavors of apricot and peach; a perfect accompaniment to light meals, desserts or simply on its own. Imported from Germany, Landshut Riesling derives its name from the castle that sits high above the famous German town of Bernkastel. The vineyards surrounding the town are noted for producing some of the best wines in the world, predominately from the Riesling grape.

• Dessert

o Baker’s Corner Fudge Brownie Mix (18.3 oz.) $1.29: A moist fudge brownie mix that is an instant family classic; can be made in a 8 x 8 inch pan for a thick and chewy brownie, or in a 13 x 9 inch pan for a family size traditional brownie.

• Chocolate

o Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate (4.4 oz.) $1.99: Offered in 70% Cocoa or 85% Cocoa varieties, Moser Roth Dark Chocolate is packaged as five convenient, individually wrapped bars. The chocolate is made with the finest quality ingredients, carefully prepared according to a classic European recipe.

• Cheese

o Priano Fresh Mozzarella (8 oz.) $2.69: This mozzarella is made with fresh milk that provides a delicate flavor with a creamy, soft texture. It pairs well with Moscato, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.

• Breakfast

o Friendly Farms Greek Yogurt (6 oz.) 85c: Friendly Farms Nonfat Greek Yogurt is a strained Greek yogurt made with only natural ingredients from rBST free milk. Both the Strawberry and Blueberry Fruit on the Bottom flavors contain twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt.

• Snack Foods

o Savoritz Cheese Crackers (13.7 oz.) $1.89: These cheesy little crackers are ideal for snacking, party trays or a fun addition to lunch. They are made with real cheese, no artificial flavors or cholesterol and have zero grams of trans fat per serving.

• Seafood

o Sea Queen Tilapia Fillets (16 oz.) $4.29: Boneless, skinless fillets from a lean, mild fish provide a medium-firm, flaky texture and a sweet, mild taste.

• Meal Starters

o Kirkwood Fresh Chicken Breasts $2.79 per lb.: Found in the fresh meat section of the store, Kirkwood Fresh Chicken Breasts are fresh, never frozen. They are Grade A, 100% natural with no artificial ingredients.

The award-winning products can be found at everyday low prices in nearly 1,300 ALDI stores in 32 states, and will be marked as “Fan Favorites” in advertising and on in-store signage

High Quality for Less
To ensure its exclusive brands meet or exceed the national brands on taste and quality, ALDI conducts rigorous testing on all products. ALDI stands behind this commitment to quality with a Double Guarantee: If for any reason a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with a food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product and refund the customer’s money.

ALDI was recently named 2014 Retailer of the Year by Private Label => Store Brands for its strong commitment to value and innovation-focused private brand product development. In addition, ALDI has been recognized as the nation’s low-price grocery leader for the third year in a row, according to a recent consumer survey*** conducted by Market Force Information, Inc., the world’s leading customer intelligence solutions company. When asked to rank the top grocers offering low prices, consumers ranked ALDI ahead of competitors such as Walmart, Costco and Sam’s Club.

ALDI also ranked high on Market Force’s “Delight Index,” which reveals the intersection between overall satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending a grocer to friends/family. The Delight Index placed ALDI among such industry leaders as Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Publix.

Over the last several years, ALDI has added, on average, 80 new stores each year, expanding the ability to bring grocery savings to more people every day. ALDI now has stores located in 32 states, serving more than 25 million customers each month.

ALDI recently announced a five-year strategic plan to open 650 new stores across the nation, accelerating its store openings to an average of 130 per year. When the expansion is complete, ALDI will have stores coast-to-coast and anticipates serving more than 45 million customers per month.

About ALDI Inc.
A leader in the grocery retailing industry, ALDI operates nearly 1,300 US stores in 32 states, primarily from Kansas to the East Coast. More than 25 million customers each month save up to 50 percent* on their grocery bills, benefiting from the ALDI simple and streamlined approach to retailing. ALDI sells more than 1,300 of the most frequently purchased grocery and household items, primarily under its exclusive brands, which must meet or exceed the national name brands on taste and quality. ALDI is so confident in the quality of its products, the company offers a Double Guarantee: If for any reason a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with any ALDI food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product and refund the purchase price. For more information about ALDI, visit www.aldi.us.

*Based upon a price comparison of comparable products sold at leading national retail grocery stores.

**All prices based on data from February 13, 2014; prices and availability at individual stores may vary.

***Consumers view ALDI as the affordable price leader among leading grocers, according to Market Force Information. The survey was conducted among more than 6,500 consumers across the United States and Canada in May 2013.

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Contacts:
Caitlyn Andre
(312) 988-2324
CAndre@webershandwick.com

Daniel Hernandez
(312) 988-2371
DHernandez@webershandwick.com

REWE extends contract of CEO Alain Caparros until end of 2018

COLOGNE, 2014-3-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — During its last meeting, the Supervisory Board of REWE Zentralfinanz eG prematurely extended the contract of the CEO of REWE Group, Alain Caparros, by two years to 31.12.2018.

Heinz-Bert Zander, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, explains: “The Supervisory Board of REWE Zentralfinanz eG has unanimously extended Alain Caparros’ contract by two years because future strategic tasks are to be implemented in REWE Group beyond the previous end of his contract in December 2016. These tasks have already been put in place and, as all members of the Supervisory Board agree, require continuity in the person of the CEO. Even if the turnaround at PENNY in Germany will already have been completed by 2016, our enterprise continues to have a highly demanding agenda of change and renewal which has been decisively influenced by Alain Caparros. This includes the further strengthening of business of the small and medium-sized independent retailers in the structural project “REWEformer 2.0”, the establishment of new business models in stationary and digital trade and the fundamental modernisation of national and international distribution networks. These are central requirements for the future viability of our cooperative group which have highest priority for the coming five years up to the end of 2018. We are convinced that an extension of the CEO’s contract will provide the requisite consequence and continuity. The extension of the contract expresses the Supervisory Board’s appreciation for Alain Caparros’ work as CEO since 2006 and above all for his willingness to revise his original plans for the end of his professional career in favour of our enterprise once again. The decision in favour of a premature extension by two years to the end of 2018 gives us a reliable planning period for a further five years whilst accommodating the personal plans of Alain Caparros.”

Alain Caparros explains: “In view of the size and complexity of the tasks ahead of us, the period up to the end of 2018 is a medium-term perspective to which I am fully committed. I wish to thank the Supervisory Board for its trust in my ability as CEO to ambitiously and systematically push ahead with the projects and reforms which have already been launched.”

The cooperative REWE Group is one of the leading trading and tourism groups in Germany and Europe. In 2012, the company generated a total external turnover of around 50 billion euros. REWE Group, founded in 1927, operates 15,500 stores with 328,000 employees in 13 European countries. In 2012, around 226,000 employees generated sales totalling 36 billion euros in about 11,000 stores in Germany. Our sales lines include supermarkets and consumer stores under the REWE, REWE CENTER, REWE CITY, toom and BILLA brands, the PENNY discounter brand, toom Baumarkt DIY stores and B1 discount DIY stores. Under the umbrella of DER Touristik, travel and tourism includes the tour operators ITS, Jan Reisen and Tjaereborg, as well as Dertour, Meier’s Weltreisen and ADAC Reisen, and the business travel division FCm Travel Solutions with over 2,100 travel agencies (including DER Reisebüro, DERPART), and the hotel chains lti hotels, Club Calimera and PrimaSol Hotels, and the direct tour operator clevertours.com.

Contact

REWE GROUP-Corporate Communications
Tel.: 0221 – 149-1050
E-Mail: presse(at)rewe-group.com

Contact

Alain Caparros

Alain Caparros

Delhaize Group announced 2013 results, group revenue up 2.6%

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, 2014-3-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Delhaize Group announced 2013 results, group revenue up 2.6%

Financial Highlights 2013

  • Group revenue growth of 2.6% at identical exchange rates; organic revenue growth of 3.1%
  • Food Lion phase roll-out completed
  • Underlying operating profit of €753 million (-4.2%) or €769 million at identical exchange rates (-2.1%)» Free cash flow generation of  €669 million
  • Adoption of a dividend policy to pay out approximately 35% of underlying Group share in net profit from continued operations. Proposed full year gross dividend of €1.56 per share, an 11% increase compared to 2012. 

Financial Highlights Fourth Quarter 2013

  • Group revenue growth of 3.0% at identical exchange rates; organic revenue growth of 3.2%
  • Solid comparable store sales growth at Delhaize America (+2.8%) driven by Food Lion and at Delhaize Belgium (+2.4%)
  • Underlying operating margin of 3.4%; impacted by continued price investments in the U.S.

Executive Committee Changes

  • Marc Croonen appointed as Chief Human Resources Officer and member of the Executive Committee
  • Dirk Van den Berghe appointed as member of the Executive Committee in combination with his role as CEO Delhaize Belgium & Luxembourg 

CEO Comments
Frans Muller, Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group, commented: “Since joining as CEO in November 2013, I have gained a thorough understanding of our Group, of the different markets in which we operate and of our banners. Our Group has strong foundations, with leadership positions in nearly all our markets, a solid balance sheet, and passionate associates. Since the beginning of the year, we continue to have positive momentum at Delhaize America while facing challenges in Belgium and Serbia.”

“In 2014, we will further differentiate our offer and support our core banners by focusing on maintaining or strengthening our local leadership positions. We will pursue operational efficiencies and exercise continued capital discipline in order to fund this.”

“For the current year, our capital expenditures will increase to approximately €625 million and we plan to open 180 stores. We intend to maintain or improve sales growth and continue to generate a healthy level of free cash flow.”

Full Delhaize Group 2013 results in PDF

Link Webcast Analyst meeting

National Retail Federation: February retail sales increased 0.2 percent adjusted month-to-month and 2.3 percent unadjusted YoY

WASHINGTON, 2014-3-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — American consumers powered through the winter weather lifting retail sales in February. According to the National Retail Federation – the world’s largest retail trade association – February retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, increased 0.2 percent adjusted month-to-month and 2.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“Today’s positive retail sales report indicates that the economy is primed for growth,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers and consumers endured the harsh winter and they’re hoping both the natural and man-made obstacles to growth will leave with the snow.”

“From new overtime mandates to persistent and political posturing on the minimum wage, retailers continue to face serious headwinds placed on them by policymakers in Washington. For the economy to fully recover, the Administration and Congress should quit politicking and focus on growth and job creation.”

February retail sales, released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, which include categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants, increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month ($472.2 billion). The Census also reported that retail sales increased 1.5 percent adjusted year-over-year.

“Despite a long and cold winter, consumers continued to persevere and spend in February,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “This month’s retail sales data is encouraging and above expectations. However neither the jobs nor retail data reflect the fundamental health of the economy. While the weather continues to play tricks on economic forecasts and figures, we expect much-needed clarity come spring as consumers release pent-up demand.”

Additional NRF findings from the February retail sales report include:

•    Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales increased 0.3 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 3.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•    Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales increased 0.4 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 2.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•    Electronics and appliance stores’ sales decreased 0.2 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 2.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•    Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 0.4 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and unchanged unadjusted year-over-year.

•    General merchandise stores’ sales decreased 0.3 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 0.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•    Health and personal care stores’ sales increased 1.2 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 5.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•    Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 1.2 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 6.8 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•    Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 2.5 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet decreased 5.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

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

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Stephen E. Schatz or Bethany Aronhalt (855) NRF-Press
press@nrf.com

Intershop congratulates Mexx online shop for their 2nd place in ServiceValue’s latest ranking of online shops

  • Rated “very good” in multiple categories
  • Mexx outperforms last year’s winner of the study

Jena, Germany, 2014-3-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — ServiceValue GmbH assessed more than 4,200 customer ratings of 24 fashion retailers with online shops and traditional storefronts in its latest study entitled “ServiceAtlas Fashion Shops 2014”. The study reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the respective fashion retailers as well as the reviews of their online shops.

Mexx came in ahead of last year’s winner of the study with an excellent 2nd place overall ranking of “Fashion Shops”. The Mexx online shop received an overall rating of “very good,” which it also achieved in the individual categories of delivery service and online customer service. Intershop used its software to develop and run the online shop for Mexx (www.mexx.de), which was live until a few days ago.

Axel Köhler, Senior Vice President Global Sales and Marketing, is very pleased with the excellent ratings: “Mexx was able to impress its customers with the online shop running on Intershop software, which makes it all the more a shame that Mexx has decided not to take advantage of this potential.”

 

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 at www.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
E-Mail

Belgian food retailer Delhaize Group announced senior management changes

  • Nicolas Hollanders to leave as EVP, Human Resources, Sustainability, and IT of Delhaize Group
  • Marc Croonen appointed as new Chief Human Resources Officer for Delhaize Group
  • Dirk Van den Berghe, CEO of Delhaize Belgium and Luxembourg, appointed to Delhaize Group Executive Committee 

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, 2014-3-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Delhaize Group (Euronext, Brussels: DELB, NYSE: DEG), the Belgian international food retailer, is pleased to announce today the appointment of Marc Croonen as Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) of Delhaize Group.  Mr. Croonen, formerly Human Resources Director of International Paper for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, will also become a member of the Delhaize Group Executive Committee.  He will start effective May 1, 2014 and lead the Group’s HR, Sustainability, and Internal Communications functions, succeeding Nicolas Hollanders who is leaving the company.  The IT functions that had been reporting to Mr. Hollanders will now report to Pierre Bouchut, the Group CFO.

“I want to thank Nicolas for his significant contributions to Delhaize Group over the last seven years and especially for his help with my recent transition into the Group,” said Frans Muller, President and CEO of Delhaize Group. “He has provided me with strong support during these past five months and I wish him well in his entrepreneurial endeavor.”

“I am very pleased to have Marc join my team,” said Mr. Muller, “as he brings deep experience across the range of HR disciplines, an international perspective, and a passion for organizational excellence.  I am looking forward to working with him.”

Mr. Croonen comes to Delhaize Group with more than 25 years of experience leading human resources functions in large multinational companies.  Prior to International Paper, Mr. Croonen was the Chief HR Officer of Dexia. He also held senior HR leadership roles at AB InBev, Danone, and Volkswagen and is a graduate of the Catholic University of Leuven with a Masters in Psychology of Organization and Work.

The Group is also pleased to announce the appointment of Dirk Van den Berghe, CEO of Delhaize Belgium and Luxembourg, to the Delhaize Group Executive Committee.

“I look forward to having Dirk join the Executive Committee,” said Mr. Muller. “He brings sound operational knowledge and keen strategic thinking that will help the Group in achieving its full potential.”

Mr. Van den Berghe has been CEO of Delhaize Belgium and Luxembourg for two years and has been with the Group for 15 years. He has held several roles at Delhaize Group, including leading operations in Eastern Europe (Delvita & Mega Image) and Asia (Super Indo), leading strategy for the Group, and running procurement, quality and supply chain for Delhaize Belgium and Luxembourg immediately prior to becoming its CEO.

Delhaize Group
Delhaize Group is a Belgian international food retailer present in nine countries on three continents. At the end of 2013, Delhaize Group’s sales network consisted of 3 534 stores. In 2013, Delhaize Group posted €21.1 billion ($28.0 billion) in revenues and €179 million ($237 million) in net profit (Group share). At the end of 2013, Delhaize Group employed approximately 160 000 people. Delhaize Group’s stock is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (DELB) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEG).

This press release is available in English, French and Dutch. You can also find it on the website http://www.delhaizegroup.com. Questions can be sent to investor@delhaizegroup.com.

NRF VP for Government Relations David French: Overtime Proposal ‘Contrary to the Goal of Job Creation’

WASHINGTON, 2014-3-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French in response to reports that President Obama will propose a change in federal overtime rules:

“We are skeptical of the politics of the proposal and certainly of the timing. This is not an issue that has been percolating – it has been a matter of settled law for 10 years and seems to be working. We think this is politically motivated.

“If implemented, this would have a significant job-killing effect. The last time these rules were looked at, an update was desperately needed because of the uncertainty around overtime rules and the bonanza it was creating for trial lawyers. There is no evidence that it is desperately needed now. Employers who carefully considered the proper classification of their workforce 10 years ago would have to go through that process all over again, and would again be faced with uncertainty, administrative burdens and costs that are contrary to the goal of job creation.

“At the very minimum, any new regulations on overtime need to go through the full, formal rulemaking process and be thoroughly debated with input from all sides.”

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

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

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Rob Green of National Council of Chain Restaurants calls on Senate to reject minimum wage hike

WASHINGTON, 2014-3-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Council of Chain Restaurants issued the following comments from Executive Director Rob Green on the hearing held today by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage:

“Today’s hearing is an exercise in rehearsed political talking points that ignore the practical reality of what yet another government mandate on businesses would mean in this fragile economy.

“The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that raising the minimum wage would result in significant job losses for the workers who are most in need of a leg-up in this time of high unemployment.  “Missing at today’s hearing are the voices and stories of the millions of Americans who started their working lives with a minimum wage job who are now successful business men and women and used these jobs as the first rung on the ladder to success.

“What we need Congress to focus on are policies that move the economy forward. Job creation should be at the top of that list, not mandates that make it harder for businesses to put Americans to work.”

The National Council of Chain Restaurants is the leading trade association exclusively representing chain restaurant companies. For more than 40 years, NCCR has worked to advance sound public policy that best serves the interests of restaurant businesses and the millions of people they employ. NCCR members include the country’s most-respected quick-service and table-service chains. NCCR is a division of the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade group.

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

Lagardère Services ASPAC: RELAY received number of accolades at Auckland Airport’s annual Retailer Excellence Awards

Auckland, New Zealand, 2014-3-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — March 11th marked the celebration of Auckland Airport’s annual Retailer Excellence Awards, recognising retail performance across both the International and Domestic Terminals of New Zealand’s busiest airport. This year we were delighted to receive a number of accolades, including the prize for ‘Best Specialty Retailer – Major’. This award recognises retailers within the International Terminal with stores over 120m2, who best excel in the fields of sales, customer service and participation in both retail excellence and marketing initiatives.

We were also honoured to make the finals for the Domestic Terminal specialty retailer of the year and extremely proud of our Store Manager MyLien Tran who received the Highly Commended Award for ‘Most Valuable Player’ in recognition of her hard work, commitment and great customer service.

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The Merchant and Financial Services Cybersecurity Partnership announced the operating structure for the group

Washington , DC, 2014-3-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today, the Merchant and Financial Services Cybersecurity Partnership announced the operating structure for the group and released a video featuring Sandy Kennedy, President of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), and Governor Tim Pawlenty, President and CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR), discussing the priorities for the partnership and the progress the group has made. Kennedy and Pawlenty, Co-Chairs of the Partnership, recently formed and led the first meeting of the Partnership’s Advisory Council.

During the meeting, the group agreed on the fundamentals of the Partnership, including the mission, goals and the structure for how the Partnership will operate going forward.

“We are focused on delivering substantial progress on the issues that matter most to enhance security across the payments system and protecting our customers from cyber threats. With both merchant and financial industries around one table, we were able to have a productive conversation and I’m confident this Partnership will produce results,” said Sandy Kennedy, President of RILA.

“Protecting consumers from cyber criminals is the ultimate goal of the Partnership and robust collaboration between merchants and financial institutions is critical to accomplish that goal,” said Tim Pawlenty, CEO of FSR.“We all face a common enemy and the time to act is now.”

The Partnership has reached consensus on how it will operate to improve overall security across the payments ecosystem, bolster consumer confidence in the security of their payment data, and innovate the technology systems used to process payments. The Partnership will consist of an Advisory Committee made up of the top executives from each of the participating trade associations and co-chaired by Pawlenty and Kennedy. The Advisory Committee will provide oversight and council to the Partnership and oversee the work of five working groups.

Participants in the working groups will be comprised of an equal number of merchant and financial services subject matter experts from member companies of the participating trade associations in the Partnership. The five working groups are:

1. Threat Information Sharing

Advance information sharing of cyber threats and vulnerabilities within and between the retail and financial services industries to enhance efforts to identify, thwart and defend against attacks.

2. Cybersecurity Risk Mitigation

Facilitate discussions with key stakeholders in the payments ecosystem to educate broadly on successful practices for cybersecurity and cyber risk mitigation.

3. Advanced Card Present Security Technology

Identify needs for technological innovation in the card present payments ecosystem, and promote such innovation to both enhance and protect the security of the data and to render stolen data useless to attackers.

4. Card Not Present and Mobile Security

Identify and collaborate on the development and implementation of methods to enhance payment security in the mobile and card-not-present environments.

5. Cybersecurity & Data Breach Notification

Identify and support legislative approaches necessary to enhance cybersecurity efforts and rationalize data breach notification standards

Customer payments occur in an ecosystem of retailers, banks, card companies, processors, security and technology vendors and others.  Cyber threats are most effectively thwarted when the ecosystem works together collaboratively, and each stakeholder does all it can to reasonably ensure the defenses of their internal systems are as robust and resilient as possible. The Advisory Council is confident that the agreed upon Partnership structure will drive stakeholders to achieve the Partnership goals for the benefit of customers.

The Associations participating in the Partnership include: American Bankers Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association, The Clearing House, Consumer Bankers Association, Electronic Transactions Association, Financial Services Forum, Financial Services Roundtable, Food Marketing Institute, Independent Community Bankers of America, International Council of Shopping Centers, International Franchise Association, Merchant Advisory Group, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, National Association of Convenience Stores, National Grocers Association, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, and the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

The video can be viewed here.

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Financial Services Roundtable represents the leading integrated financial services companies providing banking, insurance, payment and investment products and services to the American consumer. Member companies participate through the Chief Executive Officer and other senior executives nominated by the CEO. Roundtable member companies provide fuel for America’s economic engine, accounting directly for $92.7 trillion in managed assets, $1.2 trillion in revenue, and 2.3 million jobs. Learn more at FSRoundtable.org.

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

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