North America’s leading shopping centers operator Kimco Realty Corp. closed new $1.75 billion unsecured revolving credit facility

NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y., 2014-3-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kimco Realty Corp. (NYSE: KIM), North America’s largest publicly traded owner and operator of neighborhood and community shopping centers, announced that it has closed on a new $1.75 billion unsecured revolving credit facility with commitments from 23 lending institutions, replacing the company’s existing $1.75 billion unsecured credit facility. The new facility, which can be increased to $2.25 billion through an accordion feature, is scheduled to mature on March 17, 2018 with two additional six-month options to extend the maturity date at Kimco’s discretion to March 17, 2019. Interest accrues at an annual rate of LIBOR plus 92.5 basis points on drawn funds. In addition, the facility includes a $500 million sub-limit which provides the company the opportunity to borrow in alternative currencies including Canadian dollars, British pounds sterling, Japanese yen or euros.

“The new credit facility’s competitive terms demonstrate the strength of Kimco’s balance sheet,” said Glenn G. Cohen, Kimco executive vice president, CFO and treasurer. “We appreciate the support of our bank group, which provided commitments totaling $2.8 billion, as this new credit facility provides us a meaningful level of liquidity and financial flexibility over the next five years.”

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC and RBC Capital Markets served as Joint Bookrunners, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as Administrative Agent, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., RBC Capital Markets and The Bank of Nova Scotia as Syndication Agents, with Bank America N.A., Citibank N.A., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., PNC Bank N.A., Regions Bank, UBS Securities LLC and Union Bank N.A. as Documentation Agents

About Kimco
Kimco Realty Corp. (NYSE: KIM) is a real estate investment trust (REIT) headquartered in New Hyde Park, N.Y., that owns and operates North America’s largest publicly traded portfolio of neighborhood and community shopping centers. As of December 31, 2013, the company owned interests in 852 shopping centers comprising 125 million square feet of leasable space across 42 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and South America. Publicly traded on the NYSE since 1991, and included in the S&P 500 Index, the company has specialized in shopping center acquisitions, development and management for more than 50 years. For further information, please visit www.kimcorealty.com, the company’s blog at blog.kimcorealty.com, or follow Kimco on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kimcorealty.

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CONTACT:
David F. Bujnicki
Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Kimco Realty Corporation
1-866-831-4297

Sainsbury: Strong progress in our 20×20 Sustainability Plan with our ‘Value of Values’ campaign reaching consumers and colleagues

LONDON, 2014-3-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Strong progress in our 20×20 Plan with our ‘Value of Values’ campaign reaching consumers and colleagues

  • Joint top in fish sustainability league from Marine Conservation Society and recognised as market leaders in Greenpeace’s tinned tuna league
  • Signed a new long-term deal with British Athletics and proud sponsors of the record breaking GB Paralympic Team in Sochi 2014
  • Introduced calorie labelling on 20 of our new Winemakers’ Selection wines
  • 125,000th PV panel installation, retaining our position as largest multi-roof solar panel operator in Europe
  • Welsh Community Grant Fund established to award over £50,000 to local charities
  • Major recruitment campaign launched for our Local stores in London

Justin King, Chief Executive, said: “It has been another quarter of good progress towards our 20×20 Sustainability Plan with significant achievements across all five values, and a focus on engaging our customers in the ‘Value of Values’.

“With the re-launch of our basics range we have shown how great value products can also have strong ethical credentials. For example, our basics smoked salmon trimmings come from Scottish farms where fish have room to swim around and thrive in a healthy environment, and our basics eggs all come from hens that are free to roam.

“We have also created a series of online films called ‘Little Stories, Big Difference’ where colleagues in store celebrate everything from reduced packaging to the removal of salt from our products demonstrating how our values make us different.”

1. Best for food and health

  • Healthier Baskets: In January, we ran a ‘healthier swap’ campaign, designed to encourage customers to switch to a healthier product. The campaign was supported with sampling in store as well as highlighting the calorie saving for swapping to an alternative, healthier product online. The online campaign saved just under 250,000 calories from our customers’ baskets across a three week period. We also introduced six new lines to our My Goodness!range, expanding the choice to 26 products.
  • Alcohol: In February we became the first major retailer to introduce calorie labelling on 20 of our new Winemakers’ Selection wines. The rollout will continue on all our own brand wines across 2014 and 2015.
  • Allergens: In November we removed nut and sesame seed allergen warnings from 13 salad and dips lines including top selling lines such as Taste the Difference coleslaw, by addressing processes within the manufacturing site.

2. Sourcing with integrity

  • Sustainable seafood: We received the ‘Gold’ award and were rated joint first in the Marine Conservation Society Supermarket Survey assessment of retailer seafood policies, pricing and labelling, in recognition of our work to support sustainable fish and aquaculture industries. We were also recognised as market leaders in the Greenpeace Tuna League 2014, recognising our use of sustainable tuna in own brand products, including in sandwiches and salads.
  • Fairly traded: We launched a new “women grown” Taste the Difference Kopakama Fairtrade Ground Coffee. Grown in Rwanda, Kopakama supports women farmers who are widows of the genocide, and is fully traceable, with a premium paid to the growers.
  • International development: We are partnering with DfID on two new projects. In Kenyaa new radio show will address issues such as financial literacy, nutrition and health to benefit up to 26,000 farmers and workers, their families and communities who supply our vegetables, flowers and tea. In South Africa we will deliver a training programme for fruit supply workers.

3. Respect for our environment

  • 125,000 PV Installation: In March we reached a significant milestone in renewable energy with the installation of our 125,000 photovoltaic solar panel. With 29.5 MWp now installed across 217 stores and depots, this is equivalent to powering over 3,000 houses for a year, helping to reduce our total CO2 emissions by around 13,750 tonnes pa, making us the largest multi-roof solar panel operator in Europe.
  • Carbon Assessments: Our Farmer & Grower Development Groups are now in their sixth year of carbon foot printing and have reduced their collective carbon footprint by 128,000 tonnes, with an environmental bonus now being paid to our Dairy Development Group.
  • Christmas Card Recycling: This year we extended our Christmas card collection points to over 1,000 supermarkets and convenience stores. We collected 64.5 tonnes of cards and made a donation of over £9,000 to the Forest Stewardship Council to help their work to promote responsible management of the world’s forests.

4. Making a positive difference to our community

  • Welsh Community Fund Grant: We created a new fund of over £53,000 for charities and local community groups in Wales, linked to the new flat rate charge for carrier bags, through our online deliveries in Wales. Shortlisted projects will receive up to £500 each.
  • Active Kids: Our voucher collection scheme launched marking Active Kids’ 10th year. With a renewed focus on cooking, this year’s catalogue includes over 100 new cooking items in support of changes to the national curriculum on practical cooking.
  • British Athletics: We have signed a new long-term deal with British Athletics, building on the momentum of our involvement in 2012 Paralympics. This includes sponsorship of a number of athletic events including January’s Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham, where para-athletics continued to play a starring role in the athletics calendar, and Sainsbury’s Grand Prix in Glasgow from 11– 12 July 2014.

5. A great place to work

  • Convenience store jobs: In January we launched a major recruitment campaign to find up to 500 Team Leaders, 100 Store Managers and 100 Deputy Managers, to power the growth of our Local convenience stores with 60 new stores due to open in London and the South East in the next year.
  • Employment: Over 2,500 of the temporary seasonal jobs we created for Christmas and the New Year were made permanent.
  • Engagement: ‘Talkback’ is our annual colleague survey providing feedback from colleagues about working at Sainsbury’s. We received some of our highest ever scores from colleagues working in supermarkets, which have seen a four percentage point increase year on year.

Our values

Sainsbury’s 20×20 Sustainability Plan

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Sainsbury Strong progress in our 20x20 Sustainability Plan with our ‘Value of Values’ campaign reaching consumers and colleagues

General Growth Properties to report first quarter 2014 on April 28; conference call on April 29, 2014

CHICAGO, 2014-3-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — General Growth Properties, Inc. (NYSE: GGP) will report financial and operational results for the first quarter 2014 after the close of business on Monday, April 28, 2014, and host a conference call for investors and other interested parties at 9:00 a.m. CDT (10:00 a.m. EDT) on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. The information to be discussed during the call will be contained in the earnings release and supplemental financial package which will be available in the Investors section of the company’s website at www.ggp.com after its release.

The conference call will be accessible by telephone and through the Internet. Interested parties can access the call by dialing 877.845.1018 (international 707.287.9345). A live webcast of the conference call will be available in listen-only mode in the Investors section at www.ggp.com. Interested parties should access the conference call or website 10 minutes prior to the beginning of the call in order to register.

For those unable to listen to the call live, a replay will be available for approximately two weeks after the conference call event. To access the replay, dial 855.859.2056 (international 404.537.3406) conference ID: 15511925.

ABOUT GGP
General Growth Properties, Inc. is an S&P 500 company focused exclusively on owning, managing, leasing, and developing high-quality retail properties throughout the United States. GGP is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol GGP.

CONTACTS:

INVESTORS
Kevin Berry
(312) 960-5529

MEDIA
David Keating
(312) 960-6325

SM Investments Corporation received Anvil Award from Philippines’ Public Relations Society

Pasay City, Philippines, 2014-3-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — SM Investments Corporation recently received the Anvil Award organized by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP).

 

SM received an Award of Merit for its 2012 Annual Report with the theme “We Build to Serve Millions”. In the photo are Anvil Juror Dr. Severino Sarmenta, Jr.; immediate past PRSP VP-Internal Jika M. Dalupan, APR; Corazon P. Guidote, SM Senior Vice President for Investor Relations; Therese Necio-Ortega, SM Vice President for Corporate Communications; SM Assistant Vice Presidents Aileen M. Malabuyoc and Elizabeth S. Lacson; PRSP President Ramon R. Osorio and Anvil Juror Norman Agatep.

SM Investments Corporation received Anvil Award from Philippines Public Relations Society

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Corazon P. Guidote
SVP for Investor Relations
SM Investments Corporation
Email: cora.guidote@sminvestments.com
Tel.no.: (+632) 857-0117

Argos promotes John Walden to Group Chief Executive

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-3-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Home Retail Group today announces a new management structure for Argos as a result of the promotion of John Walden, formerly Manager Director of Argos, to the role of Group Chief Executive.  All changes are effective immediately.

As Group Chief Executive, John Walden will continue to provide guidance to Argos, particularly on its strategic direction, transformation priorities and cultural development.  In addition, the existing Argos leadership team will be restructured as follows:

David Robinson, currently Argos Commercial Director, is promoted to the new role of Chief Operating Officer of Argos. Reporting to John Walden, he will have responsibility for day-to-day business operations and for the delivery of commercial strategies and financial plans.  In addition to his current commercial team, several key Argos functions will now report to David, including retail operations, marketing, finance and human resources.

Bertrand Bodson, currently Argos Digital Director, is promoted to the new role of Chief Digital Officer for the Group.  He will continue to lead the digital strategy for Argos, including digital development, trading and other functions, catalogue and new media, and the overall commercial and financial performance of the digital business. Bertrand will further assume broader responsibility for Argos information systems, and for the growing digital strategies across the Group.

John Walden said:

“As I step into the new role as Chief Executive of Home Retail Group, it is critical that Argos continues its current positive trading momentum and delivers on its ambitious transformation plan. I will naturally remain involved with Argos, and be committed to the success of that plan.  The restructuring of the Argos leadership will help strengthen that team as they assume some of my former responsibilities.

“I am delighted that David and Bertrand have proven their readiness for further responsibilities.  David has led a substantial upgrade in the capabilities of the Argos trading function in the past two years, and the strong trading performance of the business over that period is a reflection of his leadership.  Bertrand, having joined Argos only last year, has significantly elevated the vision and digital capabilities of Argos as a whole, and overseen good progress across digital channels.  I look forward to the continued partnership of David, Bertrand, and the rest of the Argos executive team.”

 

-ENDS-

Note to News Editors: 
For more information contact Media Relations, tel: 0845 120 4365, mobile: 0771 3064079, email: media.relations@homeretailgroup.com

About Home Retail Group
Home Retail Group is the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer with sales of around £5.5 billion in the financial year to February 2013. We sell products under three distinct and complementary retail brands – Argos, Homebase and Habitat. The Group employs some 48,000 people across the business. For more information visit www.homeretailgroup.com

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Waitrose to open first national distribution centre at its Magna Park development in Milton Keynes in Summer 2015

Bracknell, UK, 2014-3-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Waitrose is to open a state-of-the-art national distribution centre (NDC) to be developed by Gazeley at its Magna Park development in Milton Keynes in Summer 2015.

The retailer is in talks to transfer the operation at the nearby Kuehne+Nagel-run Celestia depot – which services Waitrose – to the national distribution centre. TUPE is expected to apply, and, over the next few months, consultation will begin with K+N employees at Celestia.

The NDC, which will be the size of twelve Premiership football pitches, will handle the distribution of around 25,000 nationally available grocery and Home department lines that can be found in Waitrose branches and on Waitrose.com.

The NDC will deliver the national lines via Waitrose’s four regional distribution centres [RDCs]. It also simplifies the supply chain and improves the efficiency of handling nationally available lines that have historically had to be sent between RDCs. This enables more sustainable growth.

David Jones, Waitrose Supply Chain Director, said:

‘The decision to open our first National Distribution Centre marks a pivotal moment in our supply chain history and reflects our phenomenal growth. Waitrose has outperformed the market for five years and we have ambitious plans to open 38 shops in 2014 and continue to expand our online platform.

‘By simplifying our supply chain, we improve its resilience and greatly improve our ability to serve our branches now and in the future.’

Notes to editors
Waitrose – Waitrose, Britain’s favourite supermarket*, has 307 shops in the UK and Channel Islands and has consistently achieved sales growth significantly ahead of the market**. Its strong performance has been driven by the success of the essential Waitrose range, Brand Price Match, the success of the myWaitrose card and free delivery for online shopping, as well as a long-term commitment to sourcing the UK’s finest local and regional foods. Waitrose combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced combined with high standards of customer service.
* Favourite Food & Grocery Retailer at Verdict’s annual Consumer Satisfaction Awards; Favourite Supermarket at Good Housekeeping Awards
** Kantar Worldpanel

About Gazeley – Gazeley, a leading global investor and developer of sustainable logistics warehouses and distribution parks, is part of the Brookfield Property Partners Group and, along with Industrial Developments International (IDI), based in Atlanta GA, forms a global industrial platform.

Gazeley has operational platforms in the UK, Asia, and Continental Europe and, through IDI, North America. It is one of the world’s longest running developers of high quality, cost effective ‘Build-to-Suit’ logistics warehouses that accommodate many of the world’s leading brands and largest companies.

Its customers from across the retail/FMCG, transport and logistics, industrial, pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors and include Walmart, P&G, Amazon, adidas, John Lewis, Tesco, H&M, DHL and Volkswagen.

In partnership with IDI, Gazeley currently owns and operates a combined global industrial property portfolio comprising of approximately 68 million sq ft of occupied industrial warehouse space with an additional 79 million sq ft of assets under development. To date the company has developed in excess of 75 million sq ft of sustainable warehouse space for over 130 customers worldwide and currently controls a land-bank of 1,050 hectares.

Gazeley is among the foremost pioneers of environmentally sustainable warehouse development and is committed to delivering high quality buildings that are cheaper to operate and maintain, that also meet and exceed the world’s most stringent sustainable development standards.

For more information, please visit the Gazeley website (www.gazeley.com).

You can follow Gazeley on Twitter: http://twitter.com/GazeleyGlobal

Enquiries
For further information please contact:

Rob Cadwell
Senior Press Officer, Waitrose
Telephone: 01344 826182
Email: rob_cadwell@waitrose.co.uk

TV presenter Caroline Flack showed support for Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games by running on checkout at Sainsbury’s!

LONDON, 2014-3-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — X Factor TV presenter, Caroline Flack, worked up a sweat today on an unusual type of treadmill – a supermarket checkout at Sainsbury’s!

Wearing the official Sport Relief T-shirt, Headband and Socks, the unique workout took place at Caroline’s local Sainsbury’s store in Whitechapel, East London.

Caroline accepted the challenge to show her support for the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games which take place from Friday 21st until Sunday 23rd March.

Caroline commented: “I was challenged to do the ultimate supermarket sporting challenge – the Sainsbury’s checkout treadmill! It was hilarious to do my workout where I usually do my shopping, especially with store colleagues and shoppers looking on, but now I have the official kit I’m all set for the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games. It felt great to get involved and I encourage everyone to get your gear from Sainsbury’s and sign up to run, swim or cycle at sportrelief.com!”

With a donation from each sale going directly to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the UK and around the world, Sainsbury’s is inviting everyone to show their support for Sport Relief by picking up the official Fairtrade certified T-shirt, Headband and All-in-one from their nearest store.

A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s commented that: “It’s not everyday you get a TV personality in our store – and it’s even more unusual to see a celebrity running on our checkout! It was fantastic to see Caroline donning the official T-shirt and getting ready for the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games.

“We’ve been a supporter of Comic Relief since 1999 and for Sport Relief 2012 we raised a huge £5.5m; but this year we’re hoping that the T-shirts, Headbands and All-in-ones help make an even bigger difference to those in need both here in the UK and across the world.”

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TV presenter Caroline Flack showed support for Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games by running on checkout at Sainsbury’s!

TV presenter Caroline Flack showed support for Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games by running on checkout at Sainsbury’s!

Tesco Group CEO Philip Clarke presented at The Guardian Changing Media Summit 2014

Cheshunt, England, 2014-3-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Our Group CEO has delivered a keynote presentation at The Guardian Changing Media Summit 2014.

Thank you for inviting me here today.

You might think this is an unusual platform for the CEO of a supermarket chain. After all, we’re retailers, not a media company. In fact Tesco is the largest retailer in the UK and the second largest in the world.

But I’m going to use the next 20 minutes or so to tell you why our industries are facing pretty similar challenges, and why digital media is absolutely at the heart of my strategy to create the leading multichannel retailer for the future.

I’ve spent my 40 year career in retailing, but even to someone from outside the media, it’s clear how profoundly your industry is changing.

Retailing is changing too. Retailers are having to shape our businesses to lead in the digital age.

The word multichannel and other terms like omnichannel are bandied around a lot in retail, but my definition of it is simple.

It’s about putting the customer in control, and enabling him or her to engage and transact with Tesco in whatever way best suits them – physically or digitally, transactionally or non-transactionally.

This change is being driven by the consumer – the demanding connected, discerning 21stcentury consumer.

The changing way in which people are shopping is presenting some well-documented challenges for businesses like Tesco.

Not everyone wants to shop in big stores anymore. Convenience stores are the growth format. And people are increasingly choosing to shop online, especially for non-food products like televisions or entertainment. They are no longer going to big stores for them.

But while these changes bring short term challenges, we at Tesco are not trying to resist them. We are embracing the change.

And that’s because the digital revolution brings opportunities too. Opportunities to offer our customers products and services they’d never before have expected from Tesco. Opportunities to surprise and delight them, to strengthen our relationship with them and their families, making everyday life that little bit more fun.

Today I’m going to talk about some of the ways we’re doing this, but first, I want to explain why it’s so important for us to engage with customers in different ways.

For any consumer facing business, the most precious commodity is loyalty. But in an age where customers have more choice than ever in how to shop and who to shop with, loyalty is harder to come by, and easier to lose, than it ever has been.

In the past, being big and ubiquitous was a strength for a business like ours. Today, bigger does not automatically mean better.

But what we can do is demonstrate how we can use our scale to do more for our customers, and to deliver a genuinely tailored offer for all our shoppers – a personalised Tesco serving every customer in whatever way suits them best.

You can’t do this if you don’t know who your customers are, but we have a unique advantage in this regard, which is Clubcard.

43 million people around the world hold a Tesco Clubcard, and through the insight it gives us it means we can tailor our offer to best suit their individual needs.

It enables us to send our customers tailored offers which are relevant to their weekly shop.

And we are fortunate that we own Dunnhumby, world leaders in the analysis of customer data. The insight they provide helps us understand our customers’ lifestyles, their needs and wants in a way few other retailers can.

We have this unique relationship with customers. But why does it need to be restricted to their weekly grocery shop?

While the food people eat matters – and clearly we share our customers’ passion for food – it’s clearly not all that matters.

Entertainment is one of the things which binds us together as families.

And it’s a sector which is being transformed, transformed by an internet driven revolution in home entertainment.

One thing which unites both media and retail is the importance of content. Looking at the programme for this conference it is clear to see that compelling content is what drives success in the media.

Your content is different to that which we retailers have traditionally provided. You provide words and images.  For us, it’s about the content we offer our customers in our stores, on our website. Innovating for the customer, and investing in our offer.

We have spent tens of millions of pounds in the last year alone on product development, creating new products which reflect the changing ways customers live their lives.

As one example, we’ve seen a big shift towards customers wanting to live healthier lives, and interested in products related to their wellbeing, and we’ve shifted the uses of space in our stores to reflect that.

And it’s this longstanding focus which means we are well-placed to provide a content-based offer in other areas not related to the traditional weekly shop.

Let me explain in a bit more detail why we have invested in digital entertainment. There are three main reasons why it sits very naturally with our core business:

Firstly, it is a powerful way of engaging with customers. People have a high emotional connection with books, music and films, and they are consumed frequently. They’re passions, and vital parts of how we live and enjoy life today. And so they work powerfully to strengthen our relationship with our customers.

Secondly digital entertainment helps us build a connection with customers through the devices on which they are increasingly living their lives and which are driving ecommerce growth.

The mobile phone is the ideal device through which to listen to music – a tablet is perfect for reading a book. And these are the growth devices for ecommerce more broadly as customers migrate from stores to online. So there is a clear synergy here with how our core business is evolving.

And thirdly, it helps with brand perception. We are moving from being a traditional bricks and mortar business to one which offers a much broader range of services and products, reflecting the way customers are living their lives today.

We are not the first company to recognise the strategic value of entertainment – iTunes drove Apple’s growth, while subsequently all the mobile phone operators have bundled entertainment to drive growth. In the USA, Samsung has introduced Milk Music, a free music streaming service with a library of 13 million tracks available for free on Galaxy devices.

The new digital entertainment services we are offering bring to life our commitment to serve our customers in different and exciting ways.

We have seen a fundamental shift in how people consume media.

As in retail, consumers are more demanding – they want to be in charge, and consume the product how, where and when suits them.

And they expect the experience and service to be faultless – good enough is no longer good enough.

Physical is replacing digital, schedules are a thing of the past – today is about on-demand, at a time of the customer’s choosing

It’s no longer about products and ownership, it’s about services and access.

And the TV is just one of a variety of screens through which people consume media today, alongside their phones and their tablets.

The services we have developed have sought to reflect and meet these changing consumer demands.

When we invested in Blinkbox it was already the UK’s leading movie streaming business. Today we have grown the business into music and soon into books.

Blinkbox movies now offers 20,000 of the world’s best movies and TV shows to buy or rent, without subscription.

Blinkbox music has 12 million songs, free of charge, on PC, tablet and mobile

While Blinkbox books will offer all the bestsellers on PC and the most popular tablets and mobiles.

These are all great services meeting clear customer demands in today’s digital, connected world.

But there is a much broader benefit to Tesco.

All the evidence we have tells us that customers who shop across channels with Tesco spend more – interestingly both online and their core spend with Tesco in the shop, because it builds their emotional connection with the brand.

This loyalty is reinforced when we offer them additional products and services they wouldn’t have expected from Tesco.

These are services our customers and their families love. What they love is that we’re surprising them, by offering them a little thank you, from us to them, in their own homes.

And this is why – and our research backs up – that the more services a customer uses, the more likely they are to stay loyal customers to Tesco.

We aren’t just giving consumers access to content though. We see part of our role as being to democratise technology.

After all, I see one of the greatest achievements of supermarkets over many decades as having been to make products accessible which had previously been unattainable to the many.

In the past it might have been the avocado. Today’s avocado is the tablet computer.

I’m guessing in an urbane audience like this many people take tablet technology for granted. But let me tell you, outside the metropolitan bubble, it has remained inaccessible to many. Last summer we commissioned research which found that 70pc of families didn’t have access to tablet technology.

That was what prompted us to develop the Hudl.

It is our attempt to make tablet ownership accessible to all, creating a product comparable with the best in the market but at an affordable price.

We spent two years working on it and the reviews – and the sales – suggest that we were right to.

It sold out at Christmas and we are selling them as quickly as we can get them in stock – we’ve sold over 500,000 already.

But this is more than just a new product in the best traditions of Tesco. It’s also a driver of loyalty, a strengthener of the bond with our customers. The T button on the Hudl seamlessly connects the customer to the world of Tesco on their tablet, opening up a world of movies and music via Blinkbox, as well as our home shopping apps for groceries, clothing and even TVs.

It has served as a catapult for our online businesses, driving significant increases in traffic to Blinkbox movies and Blinkbox music. It has driven a ninefold increase in Blinkbox movies and a 5 times increase in Blinkbox music. And it will be an ideal device for consumers to read books from Blinkbox when that product launches shortly.

Our digital media businesses have had an energising effect on Tesco as a whole.

We have an app development centre in London’s Clerkenwell, with 40 dedicated colleagues working on maximising the benefit of the latest technologies for our customers.

They sit alongside the 800-strong team which runs Blinkbox and is continuing to develop the Blinkbox offer.

But these parts of the business are not kept at arms-length. Quite the opposite. We have brought digital skills into the heart of the business, and they are proving invaluable in helping us ensure Tesco is the leader in the multichannel era of retailing.

So for instance, Michael Comish, co-founder of Blinkbox, is now our Group Digital Officer, and playing a key role in our evolution as a business. Robin Terrell, one of Amazon’s first employees in the UK and the man who drove multichannel at John Lewis, is now our Group Multichannel Director.

To conclude, let me summarise how our digital entertainment businesses fit into the broader Tesco picture.

Our over-riding goal at Tesco is to become the leader in the multichannel era, serving the customer in whatever way suits them best.

Digital entertainment is one part of that. There are many other ways in which our team is working to deliver a seamless multichannel experience for our customers across all aspect of the business.

But it demonstrates how technology is now at the heart of what we do. It enables us to delight our customers, and differentiate ourselves from being seen as purely a traditional supermarket like some of our peers.

I have said before that those retail businesses which fail to evolve and differentiate themselves will not succeed in the second curve retail world.

We at Tesco are determined not to fall into that category – that’s why we are changing the way we work and focusing on innovations that will help us win in this new world.

I said at the start that in today’s consumer environment, bigger is not necessarily better.

And that’s true. But by building new products and services which can strengthen Tesco’s relationship with its customers, which surprise them and delight them, we can create a business which is greater than the sum of its parts.

Digital entertainment is at the heart of our drive to achieve that.

Thank you for listening.

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’.

Walmart makes video games even more affordable with new trade-in service and pre-owned offering

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2014-3-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Walmart is giving the more than 110 million gamers across the U.S. a new way to unlock value in their current purchases and save even more when it comes to one of the fastest-growing forms of entertainment.

Starting Wednesday, March 26, customers will be able to trade in their video games and apply the value immediately towards the purchase of anything sold at Walmart and Sam’s Club, both in stores and online. The traded-in games will then be sent to be refurbished and made available for purchase in like-new condition at a great low price.

“Gaming continues to be an important business for us and we’re actively taking aim at the $2 billion pre-owned video game opportunity,” said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Walmart U.S. “When we disrupt markets and compete, our customer wins. They’ll save money on video games and have the flexibility to spend it however they want.”

How it Works

Walmart’s video game trade-in program is easy.

  • Customers bring their working video games, in the original packaging, to the electronics department.
  • Associates scan the UPC code on the case and evaluate the game for obvious damage such as deep scratches or cracks.
  • The customer is then provided with a trade-in value for each game to accept.
  • The total value accepted by the customer is awarded immediately and can be applied at checkout in a Walmart store or Sam’s Club, or online at Walmart.com or SamsClub.com

Available at more than 3,100 Walmart stores nationwide, the new trade-in service will accept thousands of games for popular consoles like the Sony PlayStation3 and Microsoft Xbox 360. Trade-in value will vary.

Certified Pre-Owned Video Games in Stores Later this Year

Later this year, Walmart customers will also be able to purchase pre-owned video games in stores and on Walmart.com. The video games will be labeled “Certified Pre-Owned” which means the product is fully refurbished and in like-new condition.

“While new releases will remain the focus of our gaming business, we’re glad to give our customers the option to buy pre-owned games,” added Mac Naughton.

Walmart’s Trade-In Continues to Grow In-Store and Online

Walmart’s in-store video game trade-in program builds on its existing trade-in offerings. In-store, customers can trade in tablets and smartphones and apply the trade-in value towards the purchase of a new device. Online at www.walmart.com/gadgetstogiftcards, customers can receive credit for a larger range of products such as MP3 players, cameras and laptops, in addition to smartphones, tablets and video games.

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 10,955 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and ecommerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2013 sales of approximately $466 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://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

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