H&M Conscious Foundation donates to victims and families affected by the tragic Rana Plaza collapse almost one year ago

Stockholm, Sweden, 2014-4-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (13 APR 2014 ) the H&M Conscious Foundation has decided to make a donation to the victims and the families affected by the tragic Rana Plaza collapse almost one year ago. H&M has never had any production in any of the factories situated in Rana Plaza, so the Foundation bases the decision for donation on humanitarian reason. The donation will go exclusively to support the victims and the families through the fund set up and managed by the UN body the International Labor Organization and will be 100,000 USD.

The mission of the Foundation is to contribute to positive long-term change for people and communities. The foundation is in certain cases providing disaster relief in the event of natural disasters and humanitarian assistance, especially supporting countries where H&M operates. The H&M Conscious Foundation have for instance earlier supported victims of the Haiyan typhoon in the Philippines, and flood victims in India.

H&M will also continue its work with fire and building safety issues, as these questions are very important to us. We have worked pro-actively with our suppliers for many years and H&M was also the first company to sign the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety in May 2013. As many as 158 brands in the textile industry have now signed the Accord to work together with the ILO, global unions IndustriALL and UNI Global and Bangladesh trade unions for a more safe industry.

Since Bangladesh is yet to ratify ILO convention 121, there are currently no clear governmental directives present and no legal framework regarding compensation to workers. We welcome ILO’s initiative with the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund as a temporary solution. However, H&M believes that a long-term compensation structure needs to be developed for the whole industry in Bangladesh based on ILO convention 121. We are now initiating work with our business partners and other stakeholders in the industry to create a new insurance mechanism that will guarantee adequate protection for all workers and employers in a situation where compensation is needed. The vision is that this system will be built in and integrated on industry level and thereby is applicable to everyone, regardless of which buyer or other international interests are present at any given time. Only in that way, can the industry properly protect the workers in a long-term sustainable way.


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

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

H&M next designer collaboration will be with New York based Fashion Designer Alexander Wang

Palm Springs, California, 2014-4-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — H&M announced yesterday during an event at the Coachella Music Festival, in Palm Springs, California, USA, that their next designer collaboration will be with Alexander Wang. This partnership marks the first time that an American designer teams up with H&M on the much anticipated designer collaboration.

The New York based Fashion Designer’s eponymous brand has firmly established itself by perpetually evolving and re-contextualizing the urban uniform, since it was launched on the runway in 2007. Alexander Wang’s core sensibility is a reflection on contrasts, blending seamlessly between the refined and the imperfect.  His collections have an unprecious outlook on fashion, and always reflect a sense of ease.

The Alexander Wang x H&M collection will feature apparel and accessories for women and men.  Typical for his irreverent approach, Alexander Wang will propose a new take on the lifestyle product offering that goes beyond fashion.  The full collection will be available in 250 H&M stores worldwide, and online starting November 6, 2014.

Alexander Wang says, “I am honored to be a part of H&M’s designer collaborations. The work with their team is an exciting, fun process. They are very open to push boundaries and to set a platform for creativity. This will be a great way for a wider audience to experience elements of the Alexander Wang brand and lifestyle.”

“Alexander Wang is one of the most important voices in fashion today. He understands exactly what people want to wear and does it with an energy and passion that’s infectious. It feels incredible to be collaborating with him this year,” says Margareta van den Bosch, H&M’s creative advisor.


For more information please contact:

Kristina Stenvinkel
Head of Communication
Phone: +46 707 96 54 40
Email: stenvinkel@hm.com


H&M next designer collaboration will be with New York based Fashion Designer Alexander Wang

H&M next designer collaboration will be with New York based Fashion Designer Alexander Wang


Sobeys research drives company’s commitment to get Canadians cooking for Food Revolution Day

STELLARTON, NS, 2014-4-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Research released today by Sobeys Inc. has revealed a generation gap when it comes to food knowledge and confidence in cooking skills. Only 31 per cent of 18 to 29 year olds feel confident in the kitchen versus 48 per cent of those 50 and older. The national survey conducted in late February also revealed Canadians are consuming too much processed or prepared foods with only 18 per cent preparing at least one meal per day made from scratch or with basic ingredients.

Both findings point to a trend in Canada that could lead to significant health consequences. A 2012 study¹ showed that approximately 62 per cent of dietary energy in Canada comes from ultra-processed products and states these products are unhealthy with significantly more fat, sugar, sodium and not enough dietary fibre. The study recommends diets that minimize processed foods in order to prevent obesity and chronic diseases.

“The research results are worrisome. We know a lack of confidence in cooking and food skills leads to less time planning and preparing healthy, wholesome meals,” said Cheryl Turnbull-Bruce, Registered Dietitian and Manager of Sobeys’ team of dietitians. Sobeys employs more than 40 in-store nutrition experts including dietitians and wellbeing counsellors.

To encourage more Canadians to get cooking, Sobeys is participating in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day, a global day of action for people to make a stand for good food and essential cooking skills.

“Sobeys is on a mission to help Canadians eat better and feel better and we know cooking skills are an important element of that. It’s why we’ve partnered with Jamie Oliver who is so passionate about sharing his food knowledge and inspiring people of all ages to get cooking,” said Doug Brummer, Senior Vice President, Marketing at Sobeys Inc.

On April 28, Sobeys will launch Canada’s Biggest Potluck Party challenging Canadians to host a potluck leading up to Food Revolution Day on May 16. When participants share a post or photo of their potluck with the hashtag #PotluckChallenge, Sobeys will donate $1 to the Cooking Toward Independence Project. The new initiative run by the Children’s Aid Foundation will improve the lives of young people leaving the child welfare system across Canada when they turn 18 by funding cooking skills workshops and creating access to healthy food.

“Food Revolution Day is all about cooking from scratch and sharing cooking skills and food knowledge. Sobeys’ research proves it – not enough Canadians have cooking skills to pass down. I’m excited to be working together to change that,” said Jamie Oliver.

Beginning today to April 28, Canadians are invited to test their own kitchen savvy and compare their skills against others with an interactive quiz available at www.BetterFoodForAll.com. The website also includes information about Food Revolution Day and, later this month, will feature potluck inspiration and the #PotluckChallenge photo stream.

Sobeys Inc.’s research also found that:

  • When cooking skills are passed down from generation to generation, there’s more enjoyment and collaboration in the kitchen.
  • Canadians who cooked with their parents (57 per cent) are much more likely to love cooking as adults and are more likely to involve others in their own cooking, fuelling a virtuous circle.
  • Two-thirds (67 per cent) of Canadians who say they love to cook also agree that tasty, healthy and cost-effective meals can be planned, prepared and served in a limited time.

About the research
In late February 2014, 1014 online interviews were conducted with Canadians between the ages of 18 and 80 years old, representative of the overall population by age, gender and region.

About Sobeys Inc.
Proudly Canadian, with headquarters in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Sobeys has been serving the food shopping needs of Canadians for 106 years. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX:EMP.A), Sobeys owns or franchises more than 1,500 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, and Lawton’s Drug Stores as well as more than 330 retail fuel locations. Sobeys and its franchise affiliates employ more than 124,000 people. The company’s goal is to be widely recognized as the best food retailer and workplace environment in Canada. More information on Sobeys Inc. can be found at www.sobeyscorporate.com.

About Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver is a phenomenon in the world of food. Most famous for his Emmy-Award winning television series, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on CBC, Jamie has become a campaigner for better school food and food education. The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation has created an annual global day of action – Food Revolution Day www.foodrevolutionday.com – inspiring people all over the world to stand up for real food, and Canada has been one of the most active countries for the past two years.

His television programs are broadcast on Food Network Canada and the accompanying bestselling cookbooks are published by HarperCollins Canada.

Jamie lives in London and Essex with his wife, Jools, and their children, Poppy, Daisy, Petal and Buddy.

¹Moubarec, J.C. et al. (2012). Consumption of ultra-processed foods and likely impact on human health. Evidence from Canada. Public Health Nutrition, 16, 2240-2248.


For further information, please contact:

Allison Colalillo
High Road Communications for Sobeys Inc.


Ahold repurchased 380,435 Ahold common shares for € 5.40 million between April 7 and April 11, 2014

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-4-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold has repurchased 380,435 Ahold common shares in the period from April 7, 2014 up to and including April 11, 2014.

The shares were repurchased at an average price of € 14.1909 per share for a total consideration of € 5.40 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 93,825,308 common shares for a total consideration of € 1,200.00 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.


National Retail Federation: Warmer spring weather spurred continued consumer spending and activity this March

Continued Optimism Expected with the Arrival of Easter & Tax Refunds

WASHINGTON, 2014-4-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Warmer spring weather spurred continued consumer spending and activity this March. According to the National Retail Federation – the world’s largest retail trade association – March retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, increased 0.8 percent adjusted month-to-month and 1.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“Consumers shed their winter coats last month for fresh, spring merchandise,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retail sales increased in most categories and sectors as consumers took to stores to purchase new spring attire and home furnishings in hopeful expectation of warmer weather. Sales should continue to remain positive this spring with the approach of Easter and expected tax refunds.”

Earlier this month, NRF’s Easter Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics reported that the average American consumer will spend $137.46 this Easter holiday on clothing, candy, gifts and more, with total spending reaching $15.9 billion.

March retail sales, released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, which include categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants, increased 1.1 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month ($433.9 billion). The Census also reported that retail sales increased 3.8 percent adjusted year-over-year.

“Improving economic conditions and consumer confidence should push consumers to return to spending habits this spring,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Consumers released some pent-up demand in March after two consecutive months of harsh winter weather that not only hampered employment opportunities but also retail sales. We remain optimistic that retail sales will continue their positive march this spring.”

Additional findings from NRF’s retail sales report include:

•    Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales increased 1.8 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 6.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•    Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales increased 1.0 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet decreased 2.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•    Electronics and appliance stores’ sales decreased 1.6 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 2.0 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•    Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 1.0 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 1.0 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•    General merchandise stores’ sales increased 1.9 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet decreased 0.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•    Health and personal care stores’ sales increased 0.3 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 4.0 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•    Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 1.7 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 8.0 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

•    Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 0.3 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet decreased 5.5 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

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


National Retail Federation to launch information-sharing platform for retail industry information security specialists

First Step in Establishment of Retail and Merchant Industry Information Sharing and Analysis Center for Cybersecurity

WASHINGTON, 2014-4-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation is moving forward with the creation of a program that will provide retailers access to information on cybersecurity threats identified by retailers, government and law enforcement agencies and partners in the financial services sector. The program, developed in consultation with the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), will launch with the establishment of an information-sharing platform for retail industry information security specialists, and plans call for a retail ISAC to be established in June.

“We believe a heightened and well coordinated information sharing platform such as a retail ISAC is a vital component for helping retailers in their fight against cyber attacks,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Establishing a new program takes time, but time is not our friend when it comes to stopping these sophisticated and unpredictable criminals. The willingness of the FS-ISAC to work with retailers provides our industry with a new and important tool as we explore all of the options available for merchants to protect their customers and their businesses.”

Responding to the NRF announcement, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) said, “Establishing a Retail and Merchant ISAC will allow the industry to better share information that could help prevent the types of widespread consumer data thefts we now are seeing. I am pleased to see FS-ISAC collaborating with retailers to establish a tool for real-time sharing of information and best practices around the serious and growing threat of hacking, cyber and identity theft.” In early February of this year, Senators Warner and Mark Kirk (R-IL) called for the establishment of a Retail and Merchant Industry ISAC in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission.

Cy Fenton, senior vice president, information technology (CIO) at Books-A-Million, Inc. said, “As an industry, it is critically important that we continue to work together and identify problems while providing solutions that prevent criminal hacking and the resulting data breaches. The safety and security of our customers unites retailers large and small, and information sharing is one of several important steps we are taking in order to achieve this mission critical goal.”

Fenton is chairman of the IT Security Council, a sub-committee of the NRF CIO Council, composed of CIOs and other technology experts from over 120 leading retailers and industry partners. The group has been meeting regularly to discuss existing cybersecurity programs as well as exploring new opportunities for retailers.

“In partnership with key stakeholders, NRF is committed to finding broad-based, long-term solutions to ensure that consumers’ sensitive information remains secure. It is a retailer’s top priority,” Shay said. “Implementing robust security solutions with innovative technologies and information sharing to protect consumer data and the integrity of our payment systems is a start, but we will always need to stay one step ahead of these determined criminals.”

Recently, representatives from NRF held in-depth discussions with the United States Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies for insight and guidance on how to improve communication, identify available resources and collaborate more effectively to help retailers combat criminal cyber activity.

NRF has also retained the services of Kim Peretti, a partner in the law offices of Alston and Bird, LLC. Peretti is part of the firm’s White Collar Crime Group and co-chairs the Security Incident Management and Response Team. She is also a former director of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ cyber forensic investigation unit and a former senior litigator for the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

As announced in January, the NRF is working closely with the cybersecurity professionals from The Chertoff Group, providing NRF members with the highest level of insight and guidance in risk management and cybersecurity expertise.

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

Stephen Schatz or Bethany Aronhalt (855) NRF-PRESS


Gap Inc. to host meeting for the investment community on April 16, 2014 at its headquarters in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, 2014-4-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today announced that it will host a meeting for the investment community on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at its headquarters in San Francisco. A live webcast of the presentations will take place from approximately 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

The following Gap Inc. executives will provide updates on corporate and brand strategies:

  • Glenn Murphy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
  • Sabrina Simmons, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  • Steve Sunnucks, Global President, Gap
  • Jack Calhoun, Global President, Banana Republic
  • Stefan Larsson, Global President, Old Navy
  • Art Peck, President, Growth, Innovation and Digital
  • Jeff Kirwan, President, Greater China
  • Sonia Syngal, Executive Vice President, Global Supply Chain
  • Tom Keiser, Executive Vice President, Global Product Operations

A live webcast will be accessible on Gap Inc.’s Financial News and Events page at www.gapinc.com/investors. In addition, audio of this meeting can be accessed by calling 1-855-5000-GPS or 855-500-0477 for domestic callers and 913-643-0954 for international callers. The conference passcode is 8783693. A replay of this event will be available on www.gapinc.com.


SM Investments Corporation won “2013 Global Chinese Business 1000” award by international affairs magazine Yazhou Zhoukan

Pasay City, Philippines, 2014-4-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — SM Investments Corporation (SM) was cited as a winner of the “2013 Global Chinese Business 1000” by international affairs magazine Yazhou Zhoukan.

The Global Chinese Business 1000 Awards assess all listed Chinese corporations around the globe based on their market value and award pioneers with outstanding business operations.

Founded in 1987, Yazhou Zhoukan is the world’s only Chinese language international affairs magazine. It pinpoints and analyses political, economic and cultural news from around the world. Readers of Yazhou Zhoukan are mainly from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and mainland China. The majority of readers belong to the high income and educational level brackets as well as senior management personnel and entrepreneurs.

“Our founder, Mr. Henry Sy, Sr. has always envisioned SM, with its Philippine roots, as a global market leader. It has been Mr. Sy’s dream to bring world class facilities, products and services to millions of Filipinos. That dream has now taken flight with SM expanding beyond the Philippines to China in just a few decades largely due to Mr. Sy’s core values of hard work, prudence which we all try to emulate,” SM Prime Holdings Inc. Vice President for the Premier Malls Division Steven Tan said.

# # #

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Corazon P. Guidote
Senior Vice President for Investor Relations
SM Investments Corporation
Email : cora.guidote@sminvestments.com
Tel. 857-0117

Accepting the award on SM’s behalf is SM Prime’s Mr. Steven Tan (right in photo). Presenting the award is Yau Lop-poon, Yazhou Zhoukan Editor-in-chief (left in photo).

Accepting the award on SM’s behalf is SM Prime’s Mr. Steven Tan (right in photo). Presenting the award is Yau Lop-poon, Yazhou Zhoukan Editor-in-chief (left in photo).

Vornado Realty Trust plans to spin off its shopping center business into new publicly traded REIT

NEW YORK, 2014-4-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Vornado Realty Trust plans to spin off its shopping center business consisting of 81 strip centers and four malls into a new publicly traded REIT. The strip centers are primarily located in the densely populated Northeastern U.S. The malls consist of Bergen Town Center, in Paramus, N.J.; Monmouth Mall, in Eatontown, N.J. and two malls in suburbs of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The 85 retail properties total approximately 16.1 million square feet and had average occupancy of 95.5 percent at December 31, 2013. The new REIT’s 2014 net operating income is estimated to be approximately $200 million.

Jeffrey S. Olson, currently CEO of Equity One Inc., will be the new REIT’s chairman and CEO. Robert Minutoli, executive vice president of Vornado’s existing retail segment, will remain with the new REIT as its COO. Steven Roth, chairman of the board and CEO of Vornado, will serve on the board of the new REIT, which is being called SpinCo until a name is chosen.

The new REIT’s portfolio average base rent is $18.75 per square foot as compared to the peer median of $15.66 per square foot, Vornado says.

Vornado will retain, for disposition in the near term, 20 small retail assets, which do not fit the new REIT’s’s strategy, valued at approximately $100 million. Further, Vornado will retain Beverly Connection and Springfield Town Center, both of which are under contract for disposition. Vornado’s business after these dispositions and the spin-off will be highly concentrated in New York City and Washington, D.C., and be comprised of its high quality office portfolios and the largest, most valuable portfolio of Manhattan street retail assets.