ICSC and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index: retailers’ 1st week of April sales down by 0.3% but improved to 2.3% on YoY basis

NEW YORK, 2014-4-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Warmer weather brought mixed results as some retail segments finally warmed up as others seemingly cooled down this past week. For the first fiscal week of April, retailers saw weekly sales decline slightly by 0.3%, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index. However, on a year-over-year basis sales improved to 2.3%–its strongest reading in more than two months.  

“As temperatures turned seasonally warmer for the week, retail business was stronger for discounters, dollar stores, wholesale clubs, office, and furniture stores relative to the same week of the prior year, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs consumer channel tracking survey. But some segments lagged for the week, including drug, department and apparel stores,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist. “Encouragingly, the year-over-year pace of sales advanced by its strongest rate since matching its February 18th performance and bodes well for April,” Niemira added.

For April, ICSC Research forecasts that monthly comparable-store sales will increase by 3.5% to 4.0%. This is taking into account the potential for a weather drag on sales as mild spring weather appears will be slow to roll in, but accounts for the lift from the later Easter.

Week Ending          Index 1977=100          Year/Year Change          Weekly Change
12-April-14                    569.9                             2.3%                             -0.3%
05-April-14                    571.5                            1.5%                               1.5%
29-March-14                  562.9                             0.6%                              3.6%
22-March-14                  543.4                             1.7%                             -1.5%

[Editor’s notes: The complete report will be available at 7:45 a.m. at http://www.icsc.org/research/publications. In addition, historical data from this index is available under the Research section on ICSC’s website. To view the data, visit and click on the “Weekly Chain Sales Tracking” link and enter the following member id number (1177584) and password (press2002pass) to obtain access to report and historical data.

The Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot is produced by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs. This index measures U.S. nominal same-store or comparable-store sales excluding restaurant and vehicle demand. The weekly index is constructed as a sales-weighted geometric average growth rate to preserve long-term consistency and is statistically benchmarked to a broad-based monthly retail industry sales aggregate that currently represents a sampling of leading retail chain stores, which also is compiled by ICSC. A representative sample of those major retailers has been used as a control group to extrapolate the weekly sales index. As such, the weekly index statistically represents industry sales and is not just a sum of sales for a handful of retailers. The standard period used for the index is Sunday through Saturday, even though some retailers use a different weekly accounting period. The weekly sales index is presented on an adjusted basis to account for normal seasonality and to counter other data anomalies. Weekly seasonal adjustment is at best difficult for chain store sales given that retailers can and often do shift promotions to counter typical shifts in the calendar. Nonetheless, the approach to weekly seasonal adjustment used follows from the Piser Method, which was popular in the early 1930s and became the standard for weekly adjustment.

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a bank holding company and a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. Goldman Sachs provides a wide range of services worldwide to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high net worth individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major financial centers around the world.

Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 60,000 members in over 90 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials.  As the global industry trade association, ICSC links with more than 25 national and regional shopping center councils throughout the world.  For more information, visit www.icsc.org.

ICSC Contacts:
Michael Niemira
+ 1 646-728-3472
mniemira@icsc.org

Jesse Tron
+ 1 646-728-3814
jtron@icsc.org

Malachy Kavanagh
+ 1 646-728-3495
mkavanagh@icsc.org

Goldman Sachs Contact:
Leslie Shribman
+1 212-902-5400

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QVC and Cosmetic Executive Women support Cancer and Careers through ‘Beauty with Benefits’ scheduled to air on April 17 at 8 PM (ET)

QVC and Cosmetic Executive Women Support Cancer and Careers Through Charitable Beauty Initiative

WEST CHESTER, Pa., 2014-4-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Two influential forces in the beauty industry are coming together once again to prove that a little makeup can make a big difference. “QVC and CEW Present Beauty with Benefits” is scheduled to air on QVCThursday, April 17 at 8 PM (ET). The best part is that 80 percent of the purchase price* of donated merchandise benefits Cancer and Careers, a program established by the Cosmetic Executive Women Foundation.

The two-hour event will allow viewers a special opportunity to support a great cause through a multiplatform shopping experience. A wide range of products including color cosmetics, fragrance, skin care and hair care will be available from brands such as FreshJosie MaranLaura GellerMally BeautyStriVectinWEN by Chaz Dean, and more. As an added bonus, shoppers will receive a gift with purchase which includes products from participating brands in a Sonia Kashuk-designed cosmetic bag.

“Beauty with Benefits is a powerful demonstration of the ongoing relationship between CEW and QVC,” said Claire Watts, CEO, QVC, U.S. “This initiative aligns with our charitable mission to support the success and wellness of women through the power of relationships. By working with CEW and their strong network, we aim to bring the beauty industry together to build more awareness and support for Cancer and Careers.”

Throughout the evening, viewers will be informed of the impact each purchase can make in the lives of individuals affected by cancer. Unique content created for the show is scheduled to include inspiring segments featuring those who have benefitted from Cancer and Careers. In order to build greater awareness, QVC is also planning to promote the event across all social platforms, which include FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagramQVC CommunityGoogle+ and to Gather. Plus, industry experts including Laura Geller, Peter Thomas Roth, Mally Roncal, Jamie Kern Lima and more will be sharing beauty tips and tricks that are guaranteed to leave everyone feeling beautiful.

“I am pleased to see CEW and QVC come together for the second ‘Beauty with Benefits’ show,” said Mally Roncal, creator of Mally Beauty. “Cancer has affected my family and loved ones just as it has affected so many others. I am honored to participate in the broadcast again this year to help inspire women, stress the importance of inner beauty and health, and get gorgeous for such a great cause.”

For additional information on “QVC and CEW Present Beauty with Benefits,” visit http://qvc.co/-Beauty-With-Benefits. Products featured as part of the event will be available while supplies last, through QVC.com, the QVC apps or by calling 800.345.1515.

# # #

About QVC
QVC, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Interactive Corporation (NASDAQ: LINTA, LINTB), is the world’s leading video and ecommerce retailer. QVC is committed to providing its customers with thousands of the most innovative and contemporary beauty, fashion, jewelry and home products. Its programming is distributed to approximately 300 million homes worldwide through operations in the U.S.JapanGermanyUnited KingdomItaly and a joint venture in China. West Chester, Pa.-based QVC has shipped more than a billion packages in its 27-year history and the company’s website, QVC.com, is ranked among the top general merchant Internet sites. QVC, Q, and the Q Ribbon Logo are registered service marks of ER Marks, Inc.

About  Cosmetic Executive Women
Cosmetic Executive Women, Inc. (CEW) is a nonprofit professional organization with over 5,000 female and male executives in the beauty, cosmetics, fragrance, and related industries. For more information, log on to www.cew.org. The CEW Foundation is the philanthropic arm of CEW, Inc., which runs Cancer and Careers, a groundbreaking initiative dedicated to empowering and educating people with cancer to thrive in their workplace by providing expert advice, interactive tools and educational events. For more information, see www.CancerandCareers.org.

*Purchase price excludes shipping, handling and tax.

2014 LPGA winners to attend ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer on May 26th through June 1st

Creamer, Thompson and Defending Champion Webb Expected to Visit the Shore This Year

Galloway, NJ, 2014-4-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — The winners of each of the first seven events on the 2014 LPGA schedule are expected to be in attendance when the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer tees off May 30-June 1 at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey. The group of champions includes Lexi Thompson – fresh off her first career victory in a major – as well as Paula Creamer, Anna Nordqvist, Jessica Korda and Karrie Webb, who returns as defending champion.

“The 2014 LPGA season highlighted by Karrie Webb’s two wins, Paula Creamer’s dramatic playoff victory and Lexi Thompson’s amazing performance at the Kraft Nabisco Championship is off to an amazing start,” said Tim Erensen, executive director of the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer. “We are thrilled to see these early commitments and look forward to watching the excitement build as just five events remain until the best players in the world arrive in Atlantic City.”

The ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer will be held Monday, May 26th through Sunday, June 1st. The 144-player field will compete over three rounds for a $1.5 million purse at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey. The tournament will be televised on Golf Channel. For more information visit http://www.shopritelpgaclassic.com.

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About ShopRite 
ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative based in Keasbey, NJ, and the largest supermarket cooperative in the United States. With more than 250 ShopRite supermarkets located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, ShopRite serves more than six million customers each week. A long-time supporter of key community efforts, ShopRite is dedicated to fighting hunger in the communities it serves. Through its ShopRite Partners In Caring program, ShopRite has donated $33 million to 1,700 worthy charities and food banks since the program began in 1999. As a title sponsor of the LPGA’s ShopRite Classic, ShopRite has raised more than $27 million for local organizations, hospitals and community groups. Progressive Grocer named ShopRite its 2011 Retailer of the Year and Supermarket News awarded ShopRite its 2011 Retail Excellence Award. For more information, please visit http://www.ShopRite.com.

About the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) 
The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950, the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 2,300 members representing more than 30 different countries. With a Vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while dedicated LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management. The Symetra Tour consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via: http://www.LPGA.com, http://www.facebook.com/lpga.official, http://www.twitter.com/lpga, and http://www.youtube.com/lpgavideo.
About Eiger Marketing Group

Eiger Marketing Group (EMG) – owner and operator of the Shoprite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer – is a sports and lifestyle marketing agency that specializes in connecting brands with their target consumers through development and execution of engaging events and experiences. EMG creates strategic marketing platforms by leveraging its experience in event management, partnership marketing and customer engagement to enhance brand affinity for clients such as Budweiser, Microsoft, Wakefern Food Corp. (ShopRite) and Johnson & Johnson. With offices in Seattle, Atlantic City and Greenwich, EMG, is led by a diverse group of professionals offering custom, client centric solutions delivering best in class results. For more information on EMG, please visithttp://www.eigermarketing.com.

About Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club 
Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway Twp., NJ is a historic seaside resort celebrating100 years of tradition in 2014. In 2010 it was purchased by The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, which updated and made improvements to the property to continue its tradition of elegant accommodations for vacations, golf outings, weddings and corporate events. Operated by Dolce Hotels and Resorts and Troon Golf, the resort seamlessly transitioned into the Stockton College community, where it plays an integral role in an expanding Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies program. Stockton students have the distinctive opportunity of studying, interning and living alongside industry experts. Located on 670 wooded acres of New Jersey pinelands, the resort features 296 guestrooms and suites as well as 36 holes of championship golf on two world-renowned courses, and 39,500 square feet of meeting and event space. Additional information is available at http://www.stocktonseaview.com.

About Acer 
Established in 1976, Acer is an information and communication technology company dedicated to the research, design, marketing, sale and support of innovative products that enhance people’s lives. Acer’s green supply chain delivers environmentally friendly PCs, displays, projectors, servers, tablets and smartphones — tools our customers need to explore beyond limits and experience more. Acer employs 7,400 people and ranks No. 4 for total PCs globally (IDC 2013). Estimated revenues for 2013 reached US$12.03 billion. Please visit http://www.acer.com for more information.

Supported in part by a grant from New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism.

Media Contact
Jon Show
704-953-3381
jon@shopritelpgaclassic.com

Kesko reported €794.3 million sales in March 2014, up 0.5%

Helsinki, Finland, 2014-4-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kesko Group’s sales, excluding VAT, in March 2014 totalled €794.3 million, up 0.5%.

In Kesko’s food trade, sales in March were €358.6 million, a decrease of 6.6% compared to the previous year. The fact that Easter fell in March last year affected sales performance.

In the home and speciality goods trade, sales in March were €110.1 million, a decrease of 9.4%. Sales performance was impacted by a decline in department store sales and changes in the Musta Pörssi network. Sotka and Kookenkä increased their sales from the previous year.

In the building and home improvement trade, sales in March were €246.5 million, an increase of 18.4%. In terms of local currencies, sales increased by 24.3%. Sales in Finland increased by 21.7%. Sales abroad increased by 14.8% in terms of euros and by 27.2% in terms of local currencies. Good sales performance can be particularly attributed to successful sales of building supplies and yard and garden products as well as Easter felling in April.

In the car and machinery trade, sales in March were €96.2 million, an increase of 3.6%. VV-Auto’s sales in March were €69.6 million, up 2.6%. Konekesko’s sales in March were €26.6 million, an increase of 5.9% from the previous year.

Kesko Group sales in euros, excluding VAT, in March 2014:

March 2014 1.1. – 31.03.2014
€ million Change, % € million Change, %
Food trade, total 358.6 -6.6 1,015.2 -3.6
Home and speciality goods trade, total 110.1 -9.4 314.7 -9.5
Building and home improvement trade, Finland 131.9 21.7 296.2 3.5
Building and home improvement trade, other countries 114.6 14.8 297.2 4.6
Building and home improvement trade, total 246.5 18.4 593.4 4.1
Car and machinery trade, total 96.2 3.6 278.2 9.6
Common operations and eliminations -17.1 -43.7
Grand total 794.3 0.5 2,157.6 -1.2
Finland, total 656.5 -2.6 1,805.0 -3.0
Other countries, total 137.8 18.3 352.6 9.6
Grand total 794.3 0.5 2,157.6 -1.2

Change, % indicates the change over the corresponding period of the previous year.

In March 2014, the number of selling days in Kesko’s wholesale in Finland was 21, which was one more than in the previous year. The total number of selling days in January-March was the same as in the previous year. The number of retail selling days in March was 31, which was two more than in the previous year. The total number of retail selling days in January-March was two more than in the previous year.

Kesko releases advance information on the K-Group’s retail sales quarterly, in connection with interim reports.

Further information is available from Vice President, Group Controller Eva Kaukinen, tel. +358 105 322 338.

Kesko Corporation

Merja Haverinen
Vice President, Group Communications

DISTRIBUTION
NASDAQ OMX Helsinki
Main news media
www.kesko.fi

John Lewis announces panel of external mentors to advise and judge entrants to JLAB, the retailer’s first ever technology incubator

LONDON, 2014-4-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — John Lewis today announces the panel of external mentors who will advise and judge entrants to JLAB, the retailer’s first ever technology incubator. The team of external mentors headed up by technology entrepreneur Stuart Marks* are a highly successful and experienced mix of technology entrepreneurs and investors, including Luke Johnson, Chairman of Risk Capital Partners, and Sara Murray OBE, founder of confused.com and Buddi.

The full list of JLAB mentors, including John Lewis leaders, is as follows:

  • Luke Johnson, Chairman of Risk Capital Partners
  • Sara Murray OBE, founder of confused.com and Buddi
  • Graham Clempson, Managing Partner of Quartic Capital
  • Dr. Stephanie Hussels, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Cranfield University
  • George Berkowski, Entrepreneur, author of ‘How to Build a Billion Dollar App’ and former Head of Product at HAILO
  • Bindi Karia, Vice President Entrepreneur banking at Silicon Valley Bank
  • Shaa Wasmund, Technology Entrepreneur and Founder of Smarta
  • Paul Coby, IT Director at John Lewis
  • Andrew Murphy, Retail Director at John Lewis
  • Simon Russell, Director, Retail Operations at John Lewis
  • Peter Cross, Communications Director at John Lewis
  • Craig Inglis, Marketing Director at John Lewis.

The panel of mentors will provide business advice and encouragement to the companies who make it to the 12-week final stage of JLAB – a partnership between John Lewis and Stuart Marks which aims to identify and develop technology innovations that will shape the shopping experience of the future. The mentors’ knowledge and skills will be matched to participating companies so they can provide the most effective and relevant guidance based on their own experiences. The panel will also be joined by a team of John Lewis leaders who will provide further expertise, listed below.

Paul Coby, IT Director at John Lewis, said: ‘The mentors represent some of the UK’s finest entrepreneurial minds, and we’re delighted to welcome them to JLAB. Working alongside John Lewis, they’ll advise each JLAB finalist during the development process helping to tune them to the needs of retailers and providing invaluable insight into making their ideas a success.’

Stuart Marks, technology entrepreneur, said: ‘I believe a fundamental part of JLAB’s success will be down to the quality of mentoring that the companies receive, both from this external team and the John Lewis mentors. Being able to assemble this hugely talented and diverse group of entrepreneurs, is what will make JLAB unique.’

Further information on each external mentor can be found below. JLAB – part of John Lewis’s 150 year celebrations – remains open to entries until Thursday 17 April. For more information or to apply, please visit www.jlab.co.uk.

Luke Johnson
Luke Johnson is Chairman of Risk Capital Partners, a private equity firm he co-founded in 2001. For six years until 2010 he served as Chairman of Channel 4 Television, and he became chairman of Career Colleges in 2013. He is chairman of StartUp Britain, and created a new think tank in 2013 called The Centre for Entrepreneurs. He also writes a weekly column for the FT and chairs an educational theatre charity called Stage One.

Sara Murray OBE
Sara Murray is the founder of the financial comparison site confused.com. She has since gone on to create Buddi, a personal monitoring device. After university Sara worked in management consultancy in the US, where she claimed she became very good at spreadsheets. She also suggested writing software which would effectively do most of her job. Meeting some resistance she set out on her own and founded her own marketing consultancy. She then created a website during the original dotcom boom called inspop.com which aggregated and compared insurance quotes. Sara is also a member of the government’s Technology Strategy Board backing UK innovation.

Graham Clempson
Graham has over 30 years of experience in the Private Equity and Credit Markets, from the development of the European Leveraged Finance and High Yield Markets and as a principal in many of the largest complex secondary private equity transactions over the past decade. In partnership with Coller Capital, Graham is Chairman of three private equity funds in the UK, US and France and serves as an Advisory Board member to MidOcean Partners (US) and Pearl Diver Capital (UK). Prior to founding Quartic Capital, Graham was co-founder and European Managing Partner of MidOcean Partners, DB Capital Partners and CEO of Morgan Grenfell Private Equity, following roles as co-head of European Investment Banking at Deutsche Bank and Bankers Trust Company. Graham is Chairman of Pilotlight (www.pilotlight.org.uk), a business mentoring charity in the UK.

Dr Stephanie Hussels
Dr Stephanie Hussels is a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Cranfield University. Her current research focuses on venture strategy and planning, entrepreneurial resilience, and on business survival. She runs the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital modules on the full-time and executive Cranfield MBA, which combines theory and practice through case studies and the development of business ideas. Stephanie is Director of the Cranfield Business Growth Club and has also been an invited member of the judging panel for the National Business Awards, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, and the Case Centre Awards.

George Berkowski
George Berkowski is an entrepreneur and author of a new book called ‘How to Build a Billion Dollar App’ and former Head of Product at HAILO – the Taxi app that operates in 15 cities around the world. His firsts startup – a video dating service called WooMe – was acquired by one of the biggest dating websites in the world – Zoosk. He was the Chairman of MIT Enterprise Forum UK – an organisation that produces programs to fuel ideas and innovation worldwide. The UK branch is 1 of 24 members of a global network covering the United States, Canada, Taiwan, Israel, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Bindi Karia
Bindi currently leads Silicon Valley Bank’s early stage efforts as Vice President, Origination and Entrepreneur Commercial Banking. She has devoted much of her career in and around the startup ecosystem, most recently as the Venture Capital/Emerging Business lead at Microsoft UK where for five years, Bindi led BizSpark in the UK. In 2013, Bindi was named by The Guardian as one of the ten women in Tech you need to meet and Tech City News named her as one of the 25 faces behind the success of Europe’s fastest growing Tech Cluster.

Shaa Wasmund
Shaa is the author of Stop Talking and Start Doing – the bestselling business book in W.H Smith for 14 months in a row. As founder and CEO of Smarta, she helps over 500,000 SME’s a month. The IoD voted Shaa as one of the best-connected people in the UK. In 1994 she started her own PR firm, with Dyson as her first client. She started working with Sir James Dyson before no one knew who he was. She spent the next 5 years building the brand into a global leader with over 60% market share in the UK alone. In 1998 she moved into the digital world, becoming a founding director, alongside Sir Bob Geldof of the very early travel site www.deckchair.com. She then went on to launch her own social networking site, Mykindaplace. Six years later, the site was sold to BSkyB.

Notes to editors
The John Lewis Partnership – The John Lewis Partnership operates 41 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores and 10 John Lewis at home), johnlewis.com, 312 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £10bn. It is the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership where all 91,000 staff are Partners in the business.

John Lewis – John Lewis, ‘Multichannel Retailer of the Year 2014’¹, ‘The Nation’s Best Retailer’² and ‘Best Retailer 2013’³, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 250,000 products, and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. (www.johnlewis.com). John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

¹ Oracle Retail Week Awards 2014
² Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2013
³ Which? Awards 2013

*Stuart Marks’ biog – Stuart founded his first business in 1990 and since then has built up and sold several tech based companies specialising in Big Data. These have ranged from managing customer loyalty programmes, such as the Reward Card, the predecessor of Nectar for Sainsbury’s to building complex web interfaces at Module Communications, one of the UK’s leading digital media agencies which was sold to Grey Advertising. In 1999, Stuart founded LSE listed ITIS Holdings which was a very early adopter of crowd sourced GPS data to provide real time traffic information across Europe. Having sold ITIS to Seattle based INRIX in 2011, Stuart established his own fund which invests in and mentors many start up and growth stage companies in the UK.

Enquiries
For further information please contact:

Vikki Speed
Press Officer, Corporate and Social Media
Telephone: 020 7931 4921
Email: vikki_speed@johnlewis.co.uk

Sainsbury’s research reveals kids’ perfect Easter starts with family at home

  • New survey by Sainsbury’s reveals kids’ perfect Easter starts with family at home
  • More than half of parents feel they need to opt for potentially expensive days out over family fun at home
  • Quality time with family ranks above going away on holiday and hanging out with friends for kids

LONDON, 2014-4-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Excitable kids during the long school break followed by a four day bank holiday weekend, means the Easter holiday period can be tricky to plan for parents. Research released today by Sainsbury’s reveals that it’s uncomplicated, special time with family that is most treasured by children and parents, however parents worry they should be doing more.

The nationwide survey asked 1,000 children aged 5-12 to describe their perfect Easter and 1,000 parents to share the plans they’ve made.  A third of kids (33%) ranked spending time with mum and dad at home above going away on holiday (21%), and hanging out with their friends (15%).  In contrast, nearly six-in-ten parents (58%) are organising separate activities to keep their children and their friends entertained, with more than half (55%) opting for potentially expensive days out at UK attractions over family fun at home.

Busy parents are also juggling different demands on their time, which makes it harder to set aside quality time with family at home: two thirds (60%) report that they will need to spend time getting on top of jobs around the house and sorting out the garden (68%) during the Easter break.

When asked to name their top five wishes for the perfect Easter, kids would most enjoy a family picnic, followed by an Easter egg hunt at home and seeing baby Easter animals.

“All I want for a perfect Easter”, as voted for by kids:

  1. A family picnic outdoors
  2. An Easter egg hunt at home
  3. Seeing baby Easter animals
  4. Winning an Easter egg race
  5. Baking Easter cakes and biscuits

UK mums and dads find it hard to come up with activities for the whole family to enjoy together.  While more than three quarters (77%) see Easter as important family time, nearly nine-in-ten (87%) say they struggle to find things to do that will appeal to both adults and children of differing ages.

If kids were to be granted a special wish this Easter, it would be to roll out the blanket and games for a picnic with their family, according to a survey released today by Sainsbury’s.  This Easter, Sainsbury’s is helping parents create special time together with family by offering food and entertainment inspiration in store and on the Sainsbury’s Live Well For Less website.

Liz Fraser, psychologist and family expert, commented: “Easter falls a lot later this year so both parents and children want a break to draw breath and relax more than ever.  As this research shows they feel under pressure to juggle organising exciting days out for the children with the need to get things done at home.  The psychological and restorative benefits of spending time together as a family are widely reported and quality time with immediate family is clearly something that children love too.

“It just goes to show that you don’t need to spend lots of money or even leave the house to create special Easter memories for children that will last a lifetime.  In fact, it is by leaving a few afternoons free to enjoy simple activities like having a picnic in the garden together as a family that parents will feel revived, rested and relaxed ahead of the busy summer term.”

Clare Barton, toy buying manager at Sainsbury’s added: “The long Easter holiday can seem daunting for some parents with seemingly endless amounts of time to fill and squeezed budgets.  However, it’s time together and simple celebrations with mum, dad, siblings and grandparents that children are looking forward to the most over the bank holiday weekend. We are delighted to inspire parents and kids alike to get active and be creative for a little less than they might have expected this Easter.”

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Sainsbury’s research reveals kids’ perfect Easter starts with family at home

Sainsbury’s research reveals kids’ perfect Easter starts with family at home

Tesco owned brand for affordable fashion F&F announces its first franchise stores in the USA

Cheshunt, England, 2014-4-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — F&F has announced its first franchise stores in the USA as it continues with its ambitious plans to become a leading global brand for affordable fashion.

F&F, which launched in the UK and Ireland in 2001, will be opening seven stores on the east coast of America this year in partnership with its US franchise partner, Retail Group of America.

The stores will feature full women’s, men’s and kids ranges with the first store opening near Boston in May. This will be followed by four stores in the world’s shopping capital, New York and stores in Philadelphia and Newport, Virginia.

F&F has also opened its first store in Armenia. The fashion label continued its partnership with Al Hokair in Europe and Central Asia by opening the store in the Armenian capital, Yerevan. F&F has already opened a number of stores in Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and Georgia in partnership with Al Hokair.

Jason Tarry, CEO of F&F said: “We’re delighted to be bringing F&F’s range of affordable fashion to customers in the USA this year, including four stores in one of the world’s fashion and shopping capitals, New York. We’ve had a really positive response from customers in all of our overseas markets so we’re hoping our American stores prove to be just as popular. F&F is fast becoming a true global brand, with franchise stores in 10 countries around the world and more planned for the future.”

Simon Marshall, Chairman of the Board of Retail Group of America, and CEO of Fawaz Al Hokair & Co, Saudi Arabia said: “We are delighted to extend our relationship with F&F and Tesco in to the USA.  We are now trading from over 20 stores in Saudi Arabia, and also represent F&F in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Armenia and were excited at the chance to bring a brand we cherish to the American consumer in line with our expansion strategy.  With New York being the shopping capital of the world, it’s a great opportunity to present a great brand to discerning customers in the biggest retail market on earth.  We look forward to growing our presence with F&F in a number of key markets and presenting F&F to the American customer”.

Grant Blackbeard, Commercial Director, Caucasus Region, Al Hokair said:  “We are happy to introduce F&F to Armenia.  As demand for fashion brands continues to grow in the Armenian market, our customers are continually on the look-out for international, high quality brands at affordable prices.  F&F fits this need precisely, and we are very proud to be part of its dynamic growth across the world.”

F&F will be opening franchise stores in the following locations in the US:

  • Springfield Holyoke Mall, Maryland
  • New York Palisades Centre, New York
  • Newport News Patrick Henry Mall, Virginia
  • New York Trumbull Mall, New York
  • Exton Mall, Pennsylvania
  • New York Sunrise Mall, New York
  • New York South Shore Mall, New York

Notes to editors

  • The F&F brand is owned by Tesco.
  • Launched in the UK and ROI in 2001, F&F is now a truly global fashion brand with stores in 21 countries.
  • Full list of countries with F&F stores: UK, Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Slovakia, Malaysia, Thailand, China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Gibraltar, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, The Philippines and Armenia.
  • F&F currently has 43 franchise stores in 10 countries – Saudi Arabia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Gibraltar, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, The Philippines and Armenia.
  • F&F also offers a delivery service to customers outside of the EU and delivers to over thirty countries worldwide including  the US, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Canada.
  • In 2010 Tesco opened its first F&F stand-alone store in Prague, Czech Republic. The second opened in Brno, Czech Republic in 2011, and the third in Warsaw, Poland in 2012.
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’.

Meijer expects strong sales for Easter basket goodies including candy, toys, and flowers

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2014-4-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — As the annual kick-off to Spring approaches and even though consumers are watching their spending, Meijer is still expecting strong sales for Easter basket goodies including candy, toys, and flowers. Customers are finding fun ways to personalize Easter décor and treats for their families.

  • Garden:  As warmer weather arrives, everyone is eager to get outside and start planting. Meijer expects to sell 15 million annuals at its garden centers as shoppers prepare their gardens and get ready to enjoy the holiday outdoors.
  • Candy: Not surprisingly, the Easter bunny loves to fill baskets with candy and sweet treats. Meijer expects to sell more than 1 million Easter bunnies this year, with jelly bean sales expected to hit 160 million – that’s more than 990 miles of jelly beans!
  • Grocery: As shoppers prepare their holiday meals, Meijer expects to sell more than 3.5 million pounds of ham. The majority of shoppers, more than 85 percent, celebrating Easter will spend an average of $43.18 to feed their loved ones.
  • Toys: Stuffed animals and games continue to be popular in Easter baskets among children of all ages. Through the Meijer “Save the Bunny” campaign, customers can save on favorite gift items from Fisher-Price and Mattel.
  • Apparel: Eager for a style refresh, consumers will kick off their winter boots and purchase spring dresses and shoes. Children’s dress sales are expected to rise, along with bright clothing for the whole family.

About Meijer
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 204 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As a pioneer of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings. Additional information on Meijer and the ability to shop for more can be found at www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

Contact: Joe Hirschmugl, 616-791-3943, joseph.hirschmugl@meijer.com

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Meijer expects strong sales for Easter basket goodies including candy, toys, and flowers

ShopRite to open seven-day-a-week pharmacy inside Doylestown Hospital this spring

Doylestown, PA, 2014-4-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — ShopRite will open a seven-day-a-week pharmacy inside Doylestown Hospital this spring, offering patients the same level of care and convenience that customers have come to expect at its traditional retail stores.

The pharmacy, perched just off the hospital’s north lobby, will mark ShopRite’s first location inside a medical facility. It is scheduled to open June 1, 2014.

“We are looking forward to working with the hospital to make access to medications and medical supplies convenient for all patients,” said Joe Cowhey, president of the Cowhey Family Supermarket, a family business owns and operates the ShopRite of Warminster.

In addition to filling prescriptions, the pharmacy will also offer a broad array of over-the-counter medications. Patients treated in the medical office next to the hospital can also have their prescriptions filled before they leave the hospital grounds.

“We are committed to partnering with Doylestown Hospital, following its high quality standards of patient care and service to the community,” Cowhey added.

Doylestown Hospital is located at 595 West State Street in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

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About ShopRite
ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative based in Keasbey, NJ,  and the largest supermarket cooperative in the United States.  With more than 250 ShopRite supermarkets located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, ShopRite serves more than six million customers each week.  A long-time supporter of key community efforts, ShopRite is dedicated to fighting hunger in the communities it serves.  Through its ShopRite Partners In Caring program, ShopRite has donated $33 million to 1,700 worthy charities and food banks since the program began in 1999.  As a title sponsor of the LPGA’s ShopRite Classic, ShopRite has raised more than $27 million for local organizations, hospitals and community groups.  Progressive Grocer named ShopRite its 2011 Retailer of the Year and Supermarket News awarded ShopRite its 2011 Retail Excellence Award.  For more information, please visit www.ShopRite.com.