Chevron Corporation renews CBRE Group services for its US And Canada properties

Los Angeles, 2014-4-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — CBRE Group, Inc. announced that Chevron Corporation, a Fortune 100 company and provider of energy services for consumers and businesses in more than 180 countries, renewed its long-standing contract with CBRE.

Chevron has been a valued client of CBRE since 2006. Its scope of services includes Transaction Management, Project Management and Portfolio Services for portions of Chevron’s portfolio throughout the United States and Canada.

Bill Concannon, CEO of CBRE’s Global Corporate Services, commented: “We are excited that Chevron, a long-standing and valued customer, has elected to continue its relationship with CBRE as their real estate partner. We look forward to finding new ways to provide value to their real estate operations to help support their overall corporate mission.”

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

For Further Information:

Robert Mcgrath
Director, Sr
T +1 212 9848267
email

The National Retail Federation: Retail Employment Grows In March

WASHINGTON, 2014-4-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today issued the following statements from NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay and Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz in response to the March jobs report:

“After a long, harsh winter that put many retailers at a disadvantage in terms of inventory control and staffing their stores, merchants are eager to move forward with their spring hiring and operational plans,” Matthew Shay said. “Though we can report relatively positive figures for March, there’s still noticeable slack in the labor market; in order to see momentum in economic growth through 2014, it’s imperative our leaders in Washington put job creation and the economy back at the top of their agenda, giving businesses the confidence they need to grow and invest.”

In a recent consumer survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, more than half (51.9%) of Americans surveyed agreed the U.S. economy should be a top priority for Congress in 2014; 46 percent said job creation/unemployment should be a top priority.

NRF calculated month-to-month retail employment increased 18,200 in March and 229,000 year-over-year. The increase is consistent with recent positive economic indicator reports and bodes well for income and consumer confidence as the industry enters into the busy spring selling season.

“We’re encouraged by the progression seen in March related to hiring and other indicators that point to overall economic growth,” Jack Kleinhenz said. “First quarter results have been less than stellar thus far thanks to a variety of factors, including unusually bad weather in almost every part of the country. As the year progresses, I expect the job market to strengthen, which will put consumers in a position to feel even more confident about spending, bolstering the sub-par economic recovery.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Summary showed that March total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 192,000, short of analysts’ expectations. The unemployment rate remained at 6.7 percent.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. www.nrf.com.

Kathy Grannis or Bethany Aronhalt (855) NRF-PRESS
Press@nrf.com

Note to media:

View latest report in NRF’s Retail Insight Center

Download consumer survey results “What are the three most important issues you think Congress should focus on in 2014”

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Ahold repurchased 1,502,473 Ahold common shares for € 21.71 million between March 31 and April 4, 2014

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-4-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold has repurchased 1,502,473 Ahold common shares in the period from March 31, 2014 up to and including April 4, 2014.

The shares were repurchased at an average price of € 14.4483 per share for a total consideration of € 21.71 million. These repurchases were made as part of the € 500 million share buyback program announced on February 28, 2013 as increased by € 1.5 billion to a total amount of € 2 billion announced on June 4, 2013.

The total number of shares repurchased under this program to date is 93,444,873 common shares for a total consideration of € 1,194.60 million.

During the share buyback program, Ahold publishes a press release every Monday with a weekly update. Click here to view all the relevant information of these these weekly updates. Separate weekly press releases are available upon request. Please send an email to communications@ahold.com if you would like to receive one or more of these weekly releases.

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Johnny Thijs nominated as independent member of the Board of Directors at Delhaize Group

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 2014-4-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — Delhaize Group (Euronext Brussels: DELB, NYSE: DEG), the Belgian international food retailer, announces the nomination of Mr. Johnny Thijs to become an independent member of the Board of Directors.

At the Ordinary Shareholders’ Meeting, to be held on May 22, 2014, the Board of Directors of Delhaize Group will propose the appointment of Mr. Johnny Thijs as an independent director for a term of three years.

Mr. Thijs started his career in 1974 at Vanderelst N.V. (Rothmans group) as Product & Marketing Manager for Belgium. In 1981, he was named Marketing & Sales Manager at Masterfoods N.V. (Mars Inc.) for Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France. In 1986, he moved to Côte d’Or-Jacobs Suchard and five years later moved to Interbrew N.V. where he started as Executive Vice President before becoming CEO for Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa from 1995 to 1999. In 2000, he was named CEO of Ter Beke.  In 2002 Mr. Thijs joined Belgian Post, where he served as CEO until the end of February 2014. Mr. Thijs is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Spadel SA. He studied commercial sciences at the College of Economic Sciences of the University of Limburg, Belgium.

» 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 in revenues and €226 million in net profit. 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.

» Contacts

Investor Relations: +32 2 412 21 51

Media Relations: +32 2 412 86 69

National Retail Federation’s Association for Retail Technology Standards announced the release of its Change4Charity Standard

Standard to Enhance Retailers’ Charitable Programs Direct from Point-of-Sale

WASHINGTON, 2014-4-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Association for Retail Technology Standards, a community within the National Retail Federation, announced today the release of its Change4Charity Standard. Adoption by point-of-sale vendors and donation processors will lower costs for retailers and support greater participation in charity programs by smaller retailers and non-profits, ultimately raising more funds for those in need.

“As more consumers move to electronic payments, the idea of dropping change into a donation jar at the register is fading,” said NRF Vice President of Retail Technologies Tom Litchford.  “At the moment, the cost of integrating selling systems to separate charities is a barrier for smaller retail companies, and many smaller charities don’t have the resources to take advantage of electronic integrations. We are eager to push this out to retailers who want to make a difference in the communities they serve.”

The initiative for the Change4Charity standard grew out of a discussion at the Retail Orphan Initiative Super Saturday event during NRF’s 2013 BIG Show in New York City. Since then, industry leaders, retail executives and their business partners have worked together to discuss how to streamline and expedite charitable giving at the point-of-sale by allowing the donation to happen through a transaction terminal.

The goals for this standard are to support as many different types of selling systems as possible without increasing transaction times and to lower the integration costs for retailers, making it easier to adopt “Change4Charity” programs. Over $358 million was raised for nonprofits in 2012 from checkout charity campaigns. These programs allow retailers to provide charitable giving opportunities to their customers that directly benefit their communities.

In addition to solution providers and retail communities, ARTS worked with charity processors for their engagement and assistance. The work team was chaired by Oracle’s David Dorf with contributions from POS and loyalty solution providers and retailers from the United States, Europe and Asia. Other contributors were Cisco SystemsCumulus Data ServicesDemandwareDigital DonationsDonateWiseNowEpicorMicroStrategyMini DonationsPCMS Datafit,PricewaterhouseCoopersSAPStarmount and Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions.

The Association for Retail Technology Standards, a community of the National Retail Federation, provides the retail industry with the latest research and best practices through specialized technology standards, developments and educational programming. ARTS standards, products and programs are dedicated to fostering innovation and supporting the retail community by providing a more efficient retailer-to-consumer relationship. Through collaboration and partnerships, ARTS enhances retailers and their business partners’ ability to conduct business globally.  http://www.nrf-arts.org

Bethany Aronhalt or Kathy Grannis (855) NRF-PRESS
press@nrf.com

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Wesfarmers to sell the insurance broking and premium funding operations of its Insurance division to subsidiaries of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. for $1,010 million

Perth, Australia, 2014-4-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wesfarmers today announced it has agreed to sell the insurance broking and premium funding operations of its Insurance division to subsidiaries of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG) for $1,010 million. In addition to the purchase price, Wesfarmers will receive a distribution of approximately $150 million to repay funding of the premium funding operations.

On successful completion of the transaction, Wesfarmers expects to record a pre-tax profit on sale of approximately $310 million to $335 million.

Wesfarmers’ insurance broking businesses comprise OAMPS Insurance Brokers in Australia, OAMPS UK and Crombie Lockwood in New Zealand. The premium funding operations in Australia and New Zealand comprise Lumley Finance and Monument Premium Funding.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG) is one of the largest risk management and insurance broking companies in the world. Headquartered in Illinois, USA and founded in 1927, it employs over 16,000 insurance professionals in 25 countries.

The sale is subject to a number of conditions precedent including obtaining approvals from the Foreign Investment Review Board in Australia, Overseas Investment Office in New Zealand and the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Achieving satisfaction of the conditions precedent is expected to take several months.

The decision to sell the insurance broking and premium funding operations follows the agreement announced on 16 December 2013 to sell the Australian and New Zealand underwriting businesses of Wesfarmers’ Insurance division to Insurance Australia Group (IAG). While this sale continues to remain subject to regulatory approvals, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has confirmed in April that it would not oppose Insurance Australia Group’s proposed acquisition of the Australian underwriting operations.

On the assumption of all regulatory approvals being received, the sale transactions to IAG and AJG collectively constitute the entire business operations of Wesfarmers Insurance division. In aggregate the two transactions are expected to provide to Wesfarmers pre-tax
proceeds of approximately $3 billion and result in a pre-tax profit of approximately $1,010 million to $1,085 million.

Wesfarmers Managing Director Richard Goyder said the OAMPS broking businesses have been part of the Wesfarmers Group since 2006, Crombie Lockwood and Monument Premium Funding since 2007 and Lumley Finance since 2003.

“We believe this sale agreement with Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. is in the best interests of our shareholders while offering the customers and employees of our insurance broking and premium funding businesses the opportunity to join a leading global insurance broking company with ambitions to expand in Australia and New Zealand,” Mr Goyder said.

Mr Goyder said that the agreements to sell the insurance underwriting operations and the broking and premium funding businesses were consistent with the company’s focus on disciplined portfolio management having regard to the long-term interests of shareholders.

“I thank all teams in the Insurance division for their outstanding efforts in growing and improving their businesses under Wesfarmers ownership and, most recently, for their continuing focus and dedication during the processes involved with transition to new ownership,” he said.

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

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

Foodstuffs’ New World confirms sponsorship of the Silver Ferns

New World is excited to confirm its partnership through the elite sponsorship of the Silver Ferns will continue until at least 2016.

Waiheke, New Zealand, 2014-4-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — This is the 7th year New World has sponsored our national netball team and this year, for the first time,  New World are also proud to be the official supermarket of the five kiwi ANZ Championship teams; Northern Mystics, Kia Magic, Haier Pulse, EasiYo Tactix and Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel.

Netball New Zealand Chief Executive Hilary Poole is thrilled to have New World back on board for another three years.

“We’ve had a very successful relationship with the team at New World and we’re looking forward to what the next few seasons will bring. It’s also fantastic to have such a great brand on board for the New Zealand teams in the ANZ Championship.”

The new ANZ Championship sponsorship opens the door for New World to support community netball and the Lion Foundation Netball Championship. This new sponsorship element is a natural fit for New World as our stores are integral to the communities in which they operate. Just like the netball centres and those who play for and support them throughout New Zealand.

Foodstuffs New Zealand General Manager Marketing Steve Bayliss says as a 100 percent locally owned New Zealand supermarket, it makes sense to support a sport as ingrained into Kiwis DNA as netball.

“We are looking forward to seeing New World’s netball sponsorship really make a difference to both those playing the sport at an elite level and young players who dream of one day being a Silver Fern.”

“At New World we are passionate about supporting all things Kiwi and we’re right behind the Silver Ferns as they go on to achieve sporting success throughout 2014. We know they will do us proud at the Commonwealth Games and we want to encourage New Zealand to get on board and support the girls so they can go all the way,” says Bayliss.

New World has had a great relationship with Netball New Zealand over the years and it’s excited to be on board again to support the team, and netballers all around New Zealand.

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The ICSC Foundation Jean-Louis Solal Retail Sustainability Scholarship launched

NEW YORK, 2014-4-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — CSC announced today the creation of a new scholarship, through a $25,000 gift from developer Gerald D. Hines in honor of Jean-Louis Solal, a pioneer of the shopping center industry in Europe. The ICSC Foundation Jean-Louis Solal Retail Sustainability Scholarship will help pay for students to attend the ICSC European Retail Property School, in Berlin. The scholarship will pay tuition and travel costs for one European student per year to attend the Development, Design and Construction Institute at the Retail Property School for five years. As more contributions begin to roll in, more scholarships will be awarded. Hines was Solal’s partner in the creation of the landmark Diagonal Mar retail development, in Barcelona, Spain. “This is an extraordinarily generous gift,” said Michael P. Kercheval, ICSC’s president and CEO. “It is an act of great vision by Gerald Hines, honoring a man of great vision, Jean-Louis Solal.”

The announcement was made at the ICSC European Conference, in Istanbul. Those wishing to contribute are invited to do so here.

The ICSC Foundation Jean-Louis Solal Retail Sustainability Scholarship launched

The ICSC Foundation Jean-Louis Solal Retail Sustainability Scholarship launched

Wegmans Food Market urges its customers bring their clean, dry plastic bags to their stores to help The Nature Conservancy

ROCHESTER, NY, 2014-4-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — It’s not every day that one good turn earns double credit! But during April, customers who bring their clean, dry plastic bags to a Wegmans Food Market for recycling can feel good twice over: First, for recycling their bags, and second, for helping to increase the contribution Wegmans is making to an organization that’s a friend of the earth, The Nature Conservancy.

Last year in April, Wegmans customers recycled 177,000 pounds of plastic bags – the equivalent of about 11 million new bags. The company wanted to improve on last year’s record and came up with a plan to contribute at least $10,000 to The Nature Conservancy, the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect lands and water for nature and people. To inspire customers to scour closets, pantries and other storage areas for plastic bags to recycle, Wegmans pledged to contribute 50 cents to the Conservancy for every additional pound above last year’s total of 177,000 (with a minimum contribution of $10,000).

“Sustainability is a company-wide priority at Wegmans,” says Sustainability Coordinator Jason Wadsworth, “and the duty to protect air, land and water for people today and tomorrow belongs to all of us. We’re very proud of the steps we and our customers have already taken to reduce, reuse and recycle, but to keep moving in the right direction, we need to keep coming up with more and better ways to conserve these precious resources. It made sense to us to inspire customers to do their best too by working together on this recycling initiative.”

During April, signs near the recycling bins in the stores’ vestibules will remind customers to bring in their plastic bags for recycling, and Wegmans will track the total weight as the month goes by. In addition, on Saturday April 26 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., the first 300 customers at every store who bring in a bunch of clean dry plastic bags will receive a coupon for a Wegmans reusable bag.

“The reusable bags come in lots of designs and colors, and they’re actually the best option from an environmental standpoint,” Wadsworth says.

Since some customers prefer plastic bags, however, Wegmans has also looked for ways to increase the amount of plastic that is recycled. In January, Wegmans introduced new plastic bags with the slogan “Return to Sender.” The bags are made with 40% recycled plastic. “It helps people to know we put their plastic shopping bags to good use after they bring them back to the store. Our supplier uses those recycled bags as raw material for brand new bags. Last year, together with our customers, Wegmans recycled a total of 3.6 million pounds of plastic bags and wrapping.”

Today, every Wegmans store now uses on average 4,000 fewer plastic carry-out bags per day compared with 2007, the year Wegmans introduced reusable bags and began reformulating its carry-out plastic bags. That’s 120 million fewer bags each year.

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Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 83-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, founded in 1916, is recognized as an industry leader and innovator. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 17 consecutive years. In 2014, Wegmans ranked #12 on the list.

Contact Information:  
Jo Natale, director of media relations, 585-429-3627

Home improvement retailer Kingfisher entered into negotiations to acquire Mr Bricolage

London, 2014-4-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kingfisher, Europe’s leading home improvement retailer, has entered into exclusive negotiations with the principal shareholders of Mr Bricolage, the home improvement retailer, to acquire their shareholding.

Under the terms of the proposed transaction, Kingfisher would acquire 41.9% of the share capital of Mr Bricolage from ANPF (which is held by franchisees) and 26.2% from the Tabur Family at an agreed price per share of €15.  Subsequently, a mandatory offer to acquire the shares held by the minority shareholders at the same price, in accordance with applicable law, would be filed. At this level and including the level of net debt as at 31 December 2013 the overall enterprise value is around €275 million. As part of the transaction, Mr Bricolage’s existing franchisee and affiliate network would be maintained and its members offered improved commercial terms. The acquisition by Kingfisher of the stakes in Mr Bricolage held by ANPF and Tabur would be conditional upon anti-trust clearance. The whole process is likely to take until the end of Kingfisher’s 2014/15 financial year.

On 2 April 2014, a non-binding memorandum of understanding was entered into, marking the start of exclusive negotiations during which the operating businesses of Mr Bricolage and of Kingfisher in France (Castorama and Brico Dépôt) will meet with their respective works councils and the improved commercial terms will be proposed to the franchisees of Mr Bricolage. Depending on the outcome, a binding agreement would be entered into.

Commenting on the proposed transaction, Sir Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher’s Group Chief Executive, said:

“This would add a third, complementary strong business alongside Kingfisher’s existing two successful brands in France. The retention of Mr Bricolage’s excellent management team within the Kingfisher cadre, the addition to the Group of an established and successful international franchising operation and exposure to new territories makes this an attractive growth opportunity.”

Enquiries

Investors 020 7644 1032
Media 020 7644 1030

Kingfisher plc is Europe’s leading home improvement retail group and the third largest in the world, with 1,124 stores in nine countries in Europe and Asia. Its main retail brands are B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt and Screwfix. Kingfisher also operates the Koçtaş brand, a 50% joint venture in Turkey with the Koç Group.

Mr Bricolage SA is a home improvement retailer which encompasses (as at 31 December 2013) 81 directly owned stores and 435 franchised  stores in France. It also encompasses 69 franchised stores in 10 other countries and a network of independent affiliated stores in France that benefit from group purchasing. The Group operates primarily under the brands of Mr Bricolage and Briconautes and the consolidated net turnover for the year to 31 December 2013 was €552.1 million and pre-tax profit was €17.2 million.

Disclaimer

This press release is not and should not be considered to be a public tender offer for Mr Bricolage securities by Kingfisher. In accordance with French law, the documentation relating to the public tender offer will be subject to review by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). The offer will only open for acceptances once it has been approved by the AMF. This press release should not be released in any country where its distribution is restricted or prohibited.