BRC-GOOGLE ONLINE RETAIL MONITOR Q1 2014: UK clothing and footwear retailers continue to improve and increase appeal to international markets

LONDON, 2014-4-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “UK clothing and footwear retailers are already world-beaters. These new BRC-Google numbers show that they are continuing to improve and expand on their online and multichannel offers, increasing their appeal to international markets and boosting the economy with their exports.

“It’s particularly impressive to see the strength of women’s clothing brands and our department stores shining through in these figures. A 77 per cent increase in searches from international customers seeking out UK department stores on their smartphones for example, demonstrates how taking advantage of new technology to reach an increasingly diverse audience can pay off.

“This innovation and good use of new technology explains why the UK is now the world’s second biggest online retail exporter. We will be working hard with government to help this growth continue and give retailers all the support they need to attract even more new customers from international markets.”

Peter Fitzgerald, Retail Director, Google, said: “Apparel is a key driver of export for our UK retailers which is reflected in this report. China and Russia continue to represent a huge opportunity for retailers, with the fastest query growth for UK apparel. In addition, our fashion-led UK department stores see the fastest growth from overseas markets, demonstrating the consumer trend towards breadth of choice and availability.

“The importance of having a mobile strategy – both in the UK and abroad – is evident, as smartphones are shown to be the main driver of query growth worldwide. Interestingly we also see different search behaviour on smartphones, highlighting the impulsive nature of smartphone searches as users are able to search for anything, anywhere.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

AHOLD REPURCHASED 1,070,000 AHOLD COMMON SHARES FOR € 14.53 million BETWEEN APRIL 21 AND APRIL 25, 2014

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-4-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold has repurchased 1,070,000 Ahold common shares in the period from April 21, 2014 up to and including April 25, 2014.

The shares were repurchased at an average price of € 13.5824 per share for a total consideration of € 14.53 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 95,965,308 common shares for a total consideration of € 1,229.33 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.

###

Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft returns to Michigan this August, looks for volunteers

Golf Tournament Volunteer Registration Now Open

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2014-4-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — A large summer event for Grand Rapids is rapidly approaching, and your help could be invaluable. The LPGA tour returns to Michigan this August at Blythefield Country Club and is looking for volunteers.

The event, which takes place Aug. 4-10, will need approximately 600 volunteers to work every aspect of the tournament from assisting the media to being a walking scorer on the course.

“We have been overwhelmed with the positive support we have received from the community already. Now we need to rally that support for one of the most essential parts of the tournament: the volunteers,” said Lesley Baker, tournament director of the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft. “Volunteers are the heart and soul of the event, and you don’t have to know or love golf to volunteer. The experience for our volunteers is priceless.”

The volunteer fee is $55 and includes two official tournament golf shirts, tournament hat, a volunteer badge valid for weeklong tournament access and parking, four weekly grounds tickets for guests of the volunteer’s choice, an invitation to the annual volunteer appreciation party, and meals and beverages during assigned shifts.

If you are interested in a leadership position for the week, please contact Colleen Lienesch at colleen.lienesch@octagon.com for possible opportunities.

The Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft will host a full-field of 144 players playing 72 holes of stroke play over four days of competition. With Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer as title sponsor, the driving mission of the Meijer LPGA Classic is focused on feeding the hungry and improving the quality of life within the region. The tournament will coincide with the retailer’s Simply Give program, which has generated $8 million for food pantries in the communities it serves.

“This area has such passionate golf fans, and this tournament is a great way to get them engaged,” Meijer President J.K. Symancyk said. “We are pleased to partner with the LPGA to continue our fundamental philosophy of strengthening the communities where our customers and team members work and live.”

For more information on the tournament or to volunteer visit meijerlpgaclassic.com.

About Meijer Simply Give
Meijer is a family-owned retailer based in Grand Rapids, Mich. with a fundamental philosophy aimed at strengthening the communities it serves. Meijer operates 204 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, and proudly donates more than 6 percent of its net profit each year to charities throughout the Midwest. With hunger as a corporate philanthropic focus, Meijer partners with hundreds of food banks and pantries through its Simply Give and food rescue programs. Meijer also supports education, disaster relief, and health and wellness initiatives. For additional information on Meijer philanthropy, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

About Blythefield Country Club
Located just north of Grand Rapids, Blythefield has been providing families the best golf and social experience in West Michigan since 1928. With the Rogue River flowing through, Blythefield boasts one of the most beautiful championship layouts in Michigan. Previously, Blythefield has hosted the 1953 Western Amateur, the 1961 Western Open, won by Arnold Palmer, and the 2005 Western Junior won by Rickie Fowler. Beginning in 2014 Blythefield is honored to host the Meijer LPGA Classic. Learn more about Blythefield Country Club at www.blythefieldcc.org.

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: www.LPGA.comwww.facebook.com/lpga.official,www.twitter.com/lpga, and www.youtube.com/lpgavideo.

About Octagon Global Events
Octagon Global Events is a division of Octagon, the world’s largest sports and entertainment representation and marketing agency. Octagon Global Events focuses on premium event/property management, providing strategic corporate solutions. The division currently manages two Champions Tour events, two LPGA Tour events and the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. For more information, visit http://www.octagonglobalevents.com.

Contact: Lesley Baker, 616-426-6225, lesley.baker@octagon.com; Christina Fecher, 616-735-7968, christina.fecher@meijer.com

###

Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft returns to Michigan this August, looks for volunteers

Price Chopper announces winning schools for 2013-2014 school year “Tools for Schools” program

Schenectady, N.Y., 2014-4-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Price Chopper is pleased to announce that the top total points deposit winner is Fonda-Fultonville Central Schools in Fonda, N.Y. and the top value-to-student ratio winner is St. Marguerite D’Youville Academy/ Bishop Conroy School of Religion K-12 Program in Ogdensburg, N.Y. for the 2013-2014 school year “Tools for Schools” program. In addition, the Top 50 schools in both categories will receive a $250 Price Chopper gift card and basket of supplies.

“Our Tools for Schools program continues to provide participating schools with an opportunity to purchase necessary educational, technological and extracurricular equipment that may otherwise not be affordable,” said Mona Golub, Price Chopper’s vice president of public relations and consumer services. “This year, nearly 100,000 customers registered to support a school through the program, which represents a 17% growth in enrollment. Clearly, our customers understand and appreciate the value that Tools for Schools extends to the children in our communities.”

Hundreds of schools from throughout Price Chopper’s six-state footprint of 133 stores registered for this year’s “Tools for Schools” program. The program ran from July 28, 2013 through March 29, 2014 and allowed shoppers to use their AdvantEdge Card to earn points for their neighborhood schools to fund new equipment and educational materials. Designated shopping carts were also placed around the stores where shoppers could place purchased items to be distributed to teachers and students.

“In addition to parents of students, we have two churches in our community supporting us. I left sign-up flyers and pencils in the pews asking the congregation to sign up with their AdvantEdge cards to support our school,” said Celina Burns, principal of St. Marguerite D’Youville Academy/ Bishop Conroy School of Religion K-12 Program, the top value-to-student ratio winner. “We will be using our points to order supplies that we would not
otherwise be able to afford.”

“With tight budget cuts, it is difficult to purchase new items or replace the old,” said Robyn Rose, the Tools for Schools program administrator for Fonda-Fultonville Central Schools. “The funds will be used to purchase numerous Caliphone headsets, lots of recess equipment and several microscopes. The faculty, staff, parents and students are all very grateful for this program and appreciate all the free equipment Price Chopper has provided to us over the years.”

For the 2013-2014 school year program, Price Chopper donated more than $500,000 worth of educational equipment to 1,688 local elementary, middle and high schools.

-30-

About Price Chopper: Based in Schenectady, NY, the Golub Corporation owns and operates 133 Price Chopper grocery stores in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The American owned, family-managed company prides itself on longstanding traditions of innovative food merchandising, leadership in community service, and cooperative employee relations. Golub’s 22,000 teammates collectively own more than 51% of the company’s privately held stock, making it one of the nation’s largest privately held corporations that is predominantly employee-owned. For additional information, visit www.pricechopper.com

Contact:
Mona Golub
Price Chopper
518.379.1480
or
Jonathan Pierce, APR
Pierce Communications
518.427.1186

Magnit opens its 166th hypermarket in Perm, Russia

Krasnodar, Russia, 2014-4-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — OJSC “Magnit”, Russia’s largest food retailer (the “Company”; MICEX and LSE: MGNT), is pleased to announce the opening of the 166th hypermarket of a small format.

Please be informed that on April 26, 2014 the Company has opened its 166th hypermarket of a small format located at 15A Svetlogorskaya street, Perm, Volga federal district. Assortment of the hypermarket consists of about 9,600 SKUs, out of which about 77% are food items. There are 19 cash desks installed in the sales area. The outlet is owned by the Company. The hypermarket is open 7 days a week from 9am to 9pm.

For further information, please contact:

Timothy Post
Director, Investor Relations
Email: post@magnit.ru
Office: +7-861-277-4554 x 17600
Mobile: +7-961-511-7678
Direct Line: +7-861-277-4562

Dina Svishcheva
Deputy Director, Investor Relations
Email: Chistyak@magnit.ru
Office: +7-861-277-45-54 x 15101
Mobile: +7-961-511-0202
Direct Line: +7-861-277-4562

Company description:
Magnit is Russia’s largest food retailer. Founded in 1994, the company is headquartered in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar. As of March 31, 2014, Magnit operated 23 distribution centers and over 8,200 stores (7,341 convenience, 215 hypermarkets, and 700 cosmetics) in more than 1,905 cities and towns throughout 7 federal regions of the Russian Federation.

In accordance with the audited IFRS consolidated financial statements for 2013, Magnit had revenues of $18,202 million USD and an EBITDA of $2,032 million USD.

Magnit’s local shares are traded on the Moscow Stock Exchange (MICEX: MGNT) and its GDRs on the LondonStock Exchange (LSE: MGNT) and it has a credit rating from Standard & Poor’s of BB. Measured by market capitalization, Magnit is one of the largest retailers in Europe.

Carrefour to promote and introduce new French gastronomy products in China

Beijing, 2014-4-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — A show promoting French gastronomic specialities opened in a Carrefour store in Beijing on Thursday, in the presence of Fleur Pellerin. The show features 100 sweet delicacies such as chocolates, sweets, cakes and biscuits.

Thierry Garnier, the Executive Director of Carrefour China, announced at the inaugural ceremony that Carrefour would be holding five promotion campaigns this year to honour French gastronomy (including the current one) and that Carrefour’s 230 stores in China would be introducing 180 new products from France.

###

Carrefour to promote and introduce new French gastronomy products in China

Carrefour to promote and introduce new French gastronomy products in China

The John Lewis Partnership to publish Annual Report and Accounts alongside the Sustainability Review

LONDON, 2014-4-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The John Lewis Partnership today launches a fresh approach to annual reporting, which as an employee owned business puts Partner (employee) interests at the forefront of its content.

For the first time, the Annual Report and Accounts (ARA) has been published alongside the Sustainability Review, to help better communicate to Partners, bondholders and stakeholders the wider context of how the organisation operates and to inspire ownership and democracy in the business.

Both reports follow the theme, ‘In the hands of our Partners’, and include real life examples of how Partners across the business are involved in the democratic structure, as well as insights into the online growth of the business and bestselling products. The reports boast a more contemporary, visual design, with brighter colours and the use of infographics makes the content easier to digest and navigate through.

In addition to having a new look and feel, this year’s Sustainability Report includes new sections dedicated to the Partnership’s long‐term responsibilities and commitments towards the environment. This includes everything from the work being done to reduce the environmental footprint of buildings and supply chain, to the successful increase in Partner volunteer hours and efforts to put more sustainable products on the market.

Helen Weir, Finance Director said: ‘In this year’s Annual Report and Accounts, we’ve sought to show how we’ve performed and how the Partnership works. In 2013/14, the Partnership traded well, delivering good growth in sales and profit before exceptionals. This year’s Annual Report and Accounts is more vibrant, engaging and informative, with new content and a contemporary design. There’s also a new section which focuses on the work of the Partnership Council during the year. Most importantly, it is packed with real examples of how Partners from different areas and levels are involved in our democratic structure.’

Benet Northcote, Head of CSR, said: ‘The Partnership has committed to integrate our reporting to provide a more holistic view of our business. This will demonstrate the relationship between our strategy, governance and financial performance and the social, environmental and economic context in which we operate. Publishing the Sustainability Review alongside the Annual Report and Accounts, with more shared content than ever before, is the first stage in that journey.’

View an interactive PDF version of the ARA and Sustainability Review.

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, 315 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

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:
www.johnlewis.com/twitter
www.johnlewis.com/facebook
www.johnlewis.com/youtube.

Waitrose – Waitrose, Britain’s favourite supermarket*, has 315 shops in the UK and Channel Islands and is consistently achieving sales growth significantly ahead of the market**. Its strong performance has been driven by the success of the essential Waitrose range, Brand Price Match, the success of the myWaitrose card and free delivery for online shopping, as well as a long term commitment to sourcing the UK’s finest local and regional foods.

Waitrose combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced combined with high standards of customer service. (www.waitrose.com)

* Favourite Food & Grocery Retailer at Verdict’s annual Consumer Satisfaction Awards; Favourite Supermarket at Good Housekeeping Awards
** Kantar Worldpanel

Enquiries
For further information please contact:

John Lewis Partnership
Neil Spring
Senior Communications Manager
Telephone: 020 7592 6296

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby / Jos Bieneman
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited acquires Central Healthcare Pty Ltd for $24.5 million

  • Sigma has purchased Central Healthcare for $24.5 million
  • Further potential for an earn-out payment at 30 June 2015
  • Acquisition will be immediately earnings accretive and will generate approximately $3.5 million in additional annual EBITDA in first full year of operations
  • ACCC clearance already received

Victoria, Australia, 2014-4-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited (Sigma) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement to purchase all of the issued capital of Central Healthcare Pty Ltd (Central Healthcare) for $24.5 million, with the potential for a further earn out payment at 30 June 2015.

The acquisition has already received clearance from the ACCC.

Central Healthcare is a wholesaler and distributor of pharmaceutical products to hospitals and retail pharmacies and is an approved CSO distributor in Victoria, NSW, ACT and Queensland. Central Healthcare also owns and manages the Pharmasave retail brand.

Central Healthcare has annual sales revenue of over $200 million and is expected to initially generate approximately $3.5 million annual EBITDA.

Central Healthcare and Sigma will continue to operate as stand-alone businesses. Importantly, the current CHS and Pharmasave management teams will continue to be the driving force behind these businesses.

“This acquisition is strategically important to Sigma as it will open new avenues for growth and will be immediately positive for EBITDA.’’ said Sigma’s CEO and Managing Director, Mark Hooper.

“Central Healthcare also provides Sigma with an opportunity to diversify its service offering by establishing an independently operated wholesale and retail channel that can leverage Sigma’s financial strength and national infrastructure to expand and develop new business models to meet the changing needs of the Australian pharmacy landscape,’’ Mr Hooper said.

Since 2010 Central Healthcare and Pharmasave have developed innovative pharmacy retail services and distribution strategies that have seen the group become one of Australia’s fastest growing retail pharmacy brands servicing over 170 stores nationally.

Sue Morgan
General Counsel and Company Secretary

SIGMA PHARMACEUTICALS LIMITED
ABN 15 088 417 403
PO Box 2890 (3 Myer Place) Rowville Victoria 3178 Australia
Telephone: +61 3 9215 9215 Facsimile: +61 3 9215 9799

Leading Personal Property Evaluation Expert Allan Baitcher Provides Aon Insurance Wealth Managers the Tools for Success

Atlanta, GA, 2014-4-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The United States’ most recognized appraisal expert, Allan Baitcher, was recently the keynote speaker at an Aon Insurance corporate meeting. At the conference, Mr. Baitcher spoke to wealth management experts about a bank of portfolio strategies, including how wealth managers can provide assistance to clients with artwork or collectibles.

Mr. Baitcher encouraged Aon Insurance’s wealth management experts to maintain current appraisals, as well as to keep their clients’ insured valuables as part of a photographic inventory. “Specifically, items having a value of over $5,000 should be individually appraised and updated on a regular basis,” Mr. Baitcher encouraged. Since market trends are on the rise for antiques, art, and collectibles, annual appraisals should be conducted, and regular updates to appraisals should also be performed.

At the conference, Mr. Baitcher explained to wealth managers the importance of keeping their clients’ collectibles and valuable personal property in a wealth management portfolio rather than leaving those items as stagnant assets.

About Allan Baitcher
With over thirty years of experience as a professional appraiser, Allan Baitcher has gained national and global recognition as a valuable member of the appraisal field. In addition, Mr. Baitcher is one of the United States’ leading experts in personal property documentation and insurance.

As a world leading auctioneer, Mr. Baitcher looks forward to hosting the Share Our Strength auction at the Georgia Aquarium on May 8, 2014. The annual event features culinary creations from nationwide chefs. Share Our Strength has raised millions of dollars globally in an effort to provide food for the needy and end childhood hunger. Mr. Baitcher has hosted this event for the past ten years, and is proud to contribute to the fight to end childhood hunger.

Mr. Baitcher will also chair the live auction at the Lake Lanier Pirate Poker Run July 17-20, 2014. Truly an incredible event for an extremely worthy cause, proceeds from the poker run and live auction will benefit children in need. One of the preeminent poker runs in the South, the Lake Lanier Pirate Poker Run is attended by people from all over the United States.

Contact Details: Allan Baitcher
Phone: 404-869-7741
Website: www.AntiqueAppraisals.net

South African online retailer Zasttra.com announced free delivery on orders over R300

Kwazulu-natal, South Africa,  2014-4-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Zasttra.com was founded in 2013. It is a trusted South African online retailer.

Zasttra.com has an extensive range of Tablet PC Accessories, Phone accessories, Car Accessories, Clothing Accessories, Electronic Gadgets and Adult toys, giving their customers access to a wide variety of online products delivered directly to their doorstep with free delivery for orders over R300.

Zasttra.com makes online shopping with them EASY and they will provide you with the best online shopping experience, with a minimum of 3 months warranty on all goods.

Zasttra.com have designed their website to connect you with the best online products and services. Zasttra.com is the better way to shop.

Contact Details:
Address:3 Barnsley Road,
33-35 Campsdrift Park,
Campsdrift,
Pietermaritzburg
Kwazulu-natal
3201
Phone Number: 0338115035
Fax: 0866987318
Email: hello@zasttra.com
Website: www.zasttra.com