BRC/SPRINGBOARD FOOTFALL AND VACANCIES MONITOR APRIL 2014: Footfall in April 0.1% lower than a year ago

LONDON, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Footfall in April was 0.1% lower than a year ago, down on the 1.8% rise in March. High streets reported the largest decline, falling 1.4%, substantially down from the 2.6% rise in March while shopping centres experienced a 0.9% decline in footfall. Footfall in out-of-town locations fared the best with a 4.0% increase year-on-year. Northern Ireland reported the greatest increase in regional footfall, up 12.8% year-on-year.

The national town centre vacancy rate in the UK was 10.6% in April 2014, a decrease from January’s rate of 11.0%.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: “Hopefully the flat footfall growth witnessed in April will prove short-lived, coming as it does after a favourable expansion the month before.

“As we saw with our retail sales data released last week, purchases of big ticket items such as furniture, gardening, DIY and materials for revamping the home performed well, off the back of a pick-up in the housing market. Out of town retail locations have directly benefited as a result, whilst footfall on our high streets has dipped reflecting weaker sales of clothing, footwear and beauty products.

“The decline in the vacancy rate is heartening; however every tenth shop still remains unoccupied. This reinforces the need for an overhaul of the business rates system, which would increase retailers’ confidence about investing in property, create more jobs and help revive high streets.”

Diane Wehrle, Retail Insights Director at Springboard, said: “The 0.1 per cent drop in footfall in April is disappointing following the increase of 1.8 per cent in March, particularly as the month included the whole of Easter bank holiday period (in contrast with the split over two months last year) and benefited from mild weather, which tends to support activity in retail destinations.

“However, whilst footfall in high streets and shopping centres fell annually, in out of town locations footfall continued to increase with a rise of 4 per cent (the fourth month in a row that footfall in retail parks has increased). The disparity in performance between urban and out of town locations is at least in part due to rising house prices which tends to make consumers more enthusiastic about investing in home products, the greatest choice of which is found in retail parks. Indeed, this reflects sales in April which rose by 5.7 per cent, with furniture and floorcoverings being the best performing category and reporting the highest growth since April 2006.

“In overall terms however, the fact that footfall has dropped last month from an increase of 1.0 per cent in April 2013 against a backdrop of an improved economic situation, strongly suggests a new cautiousness amongst consumers. But despite this cautiousness, vacancy rates have dropped slightly over the last three months from 11 per cent to 10.6 per cent, suggesting that retailers are starting to take space in anticipation of an upturn in consumer demand.”

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

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Garden designer Adam Frost won gold medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the Homebase Garden – ‘Time to Reflect’

Milton Keynes, UK,  2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Award-winning garden designer, Adam Frost, secures another Gold medal at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the Homebase Garden – ‘Time to Reflect’, in association with Alzheimer’s Society. This is the third Gold medal won by the UK’s leading garden centre at this prestigious show.

The garden is a celebration of memories and creates the perfect environment to reflect on the important moments in time that make us who we are.

This year’s Chelsea Flower Show garden was extra special, as it was built with the assistance of the students from the first-ever Homebase Garden Academy. The award-winning garden is the culmination of all the time the Academy has spent with Adam learning about planting and landscaping, as well as working towards the RHS Level 1 Award.

Celebrating his success, Adam said: “This is my sixth Gold medal at Chelsea and I’m incredibly proud of this achievement. The garden is based on personal memories but is really a celebration of all memories – reminding us how important it is to stop and reflect, as well as making time to create new ones.

Matthew Compton, Head of Garden at Homebase added: “Winning Gold is a fantastic achievement but it’s really the icing on the cake to what has been an incredible journey for the Garden Academy.“This year has really stood out and nothing is more satisfying then helping young enthusiastic gardeners get their career in horticulture started – and this is only the beginning.”

“We hope the stories of everyone involved in making this year’s garden a great success inspire not only the next generation of gardeners through our Academy – but everyone to get outside and enjoy their garden.”

To apply for a place on the Garden Academy, visit homebasegardenacademy.com before Sunday 15 June 2014.

ENDS

Note to News Editors: For more information contact, Media Relations, tel: 0845 120 4365, email: media.relations@homebase.co.uk

For all the latest news and images visit www.homeretailgroup.com/news-and-media

Follow us on twitter @Homebase_PR

About Homebase
Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer selling around 38,000 products for the home and garden. It has 323 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland serving around 60 million customers a year, and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk. In the financial year to February 2014, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 18,000 people across the business.

Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

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Garden designer Adam Frost won gold medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the Homebase Garden – ‘Time to Reflect’

Garden designer Adam Frost won gold medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the Homebase Garden – ‘Time to Reflect’

Adam Frost

Adam Frost

Sir Michael Parkinson, Arlene Phillips and Alzheimer’s Society ambassador Fiona Phillips, reminisce about their memories in the ‘Time to Reflect’ garden.

Sir Michael Parkinson, Arlene Phillips and Alzheimer’s Society ambassador Fiona Phillips, reminisce about their memories in the ‘Time to Reflect’ garden.

Laura Muir announced kids can go free to Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix

LONDON, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Laura Muir (coach: Andy Young) today announced that kids can go free to Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, which takes place at Hampden Park on July 11-12 and will showcase some of the world’s greatest athletes in action.

To mark the occasion, the European U23 bronze medalist joined children from St Pauls RC Primary School in Glasgow, to promote one of the biggest sporting events in the calendar this year.

The first 1,000 people buying a ticket for each day will receive a free children’s ticket to see the Scottish contingent of Muir, world 4x400m bronze medallist Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), 3000m steeplechaser Eilish McColgan (Liz McColgan), world 1500m finalist Chris O’Hare, Paralympic silver medallists Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) and Stef Reid (Rana Reider) go head-to-head with the best in the world in the first visit to the UK of the IAAF Diamond League this year.

Muir, who is currently studying for a veterinary degree in the city, was quizzed by children between the ages of 10-11 asked a range of questions from how many races she’s competed in to what inspired her to take up athletics 10 years ago.

Twenty-one-year old Muir said: “Inviting thousands of children to go free to watch world-class athletes compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is a fantastic opportunity to inspire the next generation as well as make for a fantastic family day out.

“This will be the final time fans will be able to see the best Scottish athletes in action on the world stage before the Commonwealth Games, so it would be great to have a full crowd at Hampden cheering us all on.

“The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is going to be one of the highlights of the sporting year and it’s great to be a part of two of the biggest athletics events in the same city in 2014.”

After winning European U23 1500m bronze, the Dundee Hawkhill Harrier is aware of the pressure on her as one of Scotland’s leading hopes this summer, but believes the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will give her a feel for the atmosphere in the stadium and a gauge of the competition she might come up against two weeks later.

“I got to sample the Scottish crowd earlier this year at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match and I know this summer the Hampden crowd is going to be magnified even further.

“However, the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will give me that opportunity to take in the crowd and also compete against the best in the world. The UK always bring together the best fields for the Diamond League events, and I’m sure that will be no different come July.”

Double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar), Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) and Yohan Blake, the second fastest man of all time over 100m have all confirmed for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, with more of the biggest names in athletics to follow soon.

To purchase tickets for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, please visit britishathletics.org.uk

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Laura Muir announced kids can go free to Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix

Laura Muir announced kids can go free to Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix

Sainsbury’s invites their children’s book publishers to nominate up to two books for their first “Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards”

LONDON, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s, the UK’s third largest supermarket and a major player in children’s book retailing, has today announced details of the first “Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards”.

Sainsbury’s is inviting all their current children’s book publishers to nominate up to two books for each of the three award categories: Baby and Toddler, Picture Books; and Fiction for age 5-9 years.

The judging panel will be chaired by Louise Ward, Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Buyer and will comprise acclaimed author Phil Earle, award winning illustrator Sarah McIntyre and Sainsbury’s  children’s book buying team. The judges will shortlist three books per category. The winning author of each category will receive a prize of £1,000 and all winning titles and shortlisted books will be promoted in Sainsbury’s stores in the key trading period leading up to Christmas 2014.

Sainsbury’s sells children’s books in more than 300 supermarket stores across the UK.  In 2011 Sainsbury’s re-launched its range of own-brand children’s books and in 2013 was awarded the title “Children’s Bookseller of the Year” at The Bookseller Industry Awards.

Phil Carroll, Sainsbury’s Books Buying Manager announced the Awards saying; “We are really proud of our success in children’s books which has been made possible because of the great relationships we have with our publishers, authors and illustrators.

“We came up with the idea of doing our own awards as a way of highlighting to our customers the very best children’s books.”

The deadline for submissions is 5pm on 6 June 2014 and the nine shortlisted books will be announced in early October 2014.

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Sainsbury’s invites their children’s book publishers to nominate up to two books for their first “Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards”

Sainsbury’s invites their children’s book publishers to nominate up to two books for their first “Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards”

Sainsbury’s reduces fat content in its beef mince by an impressive 244 tonnes a year

LONDON, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — As part of its commitment to being the best retailer for food and health, Sainsbury’s has reduced the fat content in its beef mince by an impressive 244 tonnes a year.

All labels across its mince range – including pork, lamb and turkey – have been updated to make it easier for customers to understand the fat content of each product.

The reduction in fat in the beef mince has been achieved by selecting leaner cuts of meat, meaning that 2 billion calories annually will be removed from customers’ baskets. All the mince labels now clearly state whether they are 5%, 10%, 15% or 20% fat, whereas previous packaging stated ‘lean’ or ‘extra lean’.

As part of its 20×20 Sustainability Plan, Sainsbury’s has pledged to continue to reduce salt, saturated fat, fat and sugar on own brand products and will continue to lead the way on clear nutritional labelling, enabling our customers to make informed choices about their diet.

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Sainsbury’s reduces fat content in its beef mince by an impressive 244 tonnes a year

Sainsbury’s reduces fat content in its beef mince by an impressive 244 tonnes a year

AHOLD REPURCHASED 2,327,071 AHOLD COMMON SHARES FOR € 32.98 MILLION BETWEEN May 12 AND MAY 16, 2014

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold has repurchased 2,327,071 Ahold common shares in the period from May 12, 2014 up to and including May 16, 2014.

The shares were repurchased at an average price of € 14.1715 per share for a total consideration of € 32.98 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 102,775,818 common shares for a total consideration of € 1,324.25 million.

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

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Intershop to attend EcommerceDay 2014 on May 21 in Paris

Paris, France, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Intershop is to attend EcommerceDay, the one day event packed with updates on major trends in e-commerce and digital marketing, taking place on 21st May 2014 at the Hotel Concorde Opera Paris.

The omni-channel commerce company is holding one-to-one sessions for visitors to learn how commerce is breaking new ground, why it pays to think about tomorrow and also about Intershop solutions. Attendees can meet Intershop experts during the day and be inspired by how the Intershop commerce suite can manage varying brands, different regions, multiple touch points and multiple business models.

Aimed at e-retail, manufacturer, distributor and wholesale professionals alike, the Company will also be speaking between 2pm and 3pm in the Tosca Salon. The presentation, entitled, “A living omni channel experience; helping B2B and B2C organizations gain speed, flexibility and autonomy” will be delivered by Toufik Boudellal, Presales Consultant at Intershop.

Book an informal chat with Intershop at http://www.intershop.fr/evenement/ecommerceday-456.

About Intershop
Intershop Communications AG (founded in Germany 1992; Prime Standard: ISH2) is the leading independent provider of omni-channel commerce solutions. Intershop offers high-performance packaged software for internet sales, complemented by all necessary services including online marketing. Intershop also acts as a business process outsourcing provider, covering all aspects of online retailing up to fulfillment. Around the globe more than 500 enterprise customers, including HP, BMW, Deutsche Telekom, and Mexx run Intershop solutions. Intershop is headquartered in Jena, Germany, and has offices in the United States, Europe, Australia, and China. More information about Intershop can be found online at www.intershop.com.

This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial and operational performance of Intershop. Actual events or performance may differ materially from those contained or implied in such forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties that could lead to such difference could include, among other things: Intershop’s limited operating history, the unpredictability of future revenues and expenses and potential fluctuations in revenues and operating results, significant dependence on large single customer deals, consumer trends, the level of competition, seasonality, risks related to electronic security, possible governmental regulation, and general economic conditions.

Intershop Public Relations

Heide Rausch

Phone: +49 3641 50-1000
Fax: +49 3641 50-1309
E-Mail

Electrical retailer Trony goes online with the Intershop omni-channel commerce platform

  • Online presence within six months
  • Sophisticated back-end integration ensures customers are served by the stock of the warehouse or store geographically closest
  • Integrated with Trony logistics chain
  • Trony directors to present at Netcomm E-Commerce Forum in Milan, 20th May

Jena, Germany, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Trony has taken its business online for the first time at www.trony.it/online with the Intershop omni-channel commerce platform. The electrical retailer required an e-commerce solution for the Italian market that could seamlessly co-ordinate online stock availability with its 200 stores and warehouses. This ensures a superior customer experience for Trony’s online customers and logistics efficiency for the retailer.

Based on Intershop 7, Trony selected Intershop for its ability to implement a complex system over just a six-month period. A B2C site and microsites, the project included Click and Collect functionality and a full integration with Trony’s logistics chain.

Alessandro Bergamasco, Direttore IT co-direttore e-commerce at Trony explains, “Intershop’s functionality was the right fit for our specifications around product presentation, payment process, back-end management, flexible integration, microsite and adaptability to the graphics requests.”

Jochen Moll, Member and Spokesman of Intershop’s Board of Management said, “As a trusted e-commerce advisor for Trony with a reliable software platform, we were well placed to launch Trony’s e-commerce initiative. Working in partnership with SMC Consulting, Intershop offered the most comprehensive solution that could quickly be implemented over six months to meet dynamic market demands.”

At 2pm on 20th May, Alessandro Bergamasco, Direttore IT co-direttore e-commerce and Michele Pivello, Direttore Marketing co-direttore e-commerce at Trony will present on their omni-channel commerce project at the Netcomm E-Commerce Forum in Milan. Intershop and SMC Consulting will explain to stand visitors how commerce is breaking new ground, why it pays to think about tomorrow and even more about Intershop omni-channel commerce solutions. Make an appointment with them at www.intershop.com/event-details/netcomm.

About Intershop
Intershop Communications AG (founded in Germany 1992; Prime Standard: ISH2) is the leading independent provider of omni-channel commerce solutions. Intershop offers high-performance packaged software for internet sales, complemented by all necessary services including online marketing. Intershop also acts as a business process outsourcing provider, covering all aspects of online retailing up to fulfillment. Around the globe more than 500 enterprise customers, including HP, BMW, Deutsche Telekom, and Mexx run Intershop solutions. Intershop is headquartered in Jena, Germany, and has offices in the United States, Europe, Australia, and China. More information about Intershop can be found online at www.intershop.com.

This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial and operational performance of Intershop. Actual events or performance may differ materially from those contained or implied in such forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties that could lead to such difference could include, among other things: Intershop’s limited operating history, the unpredictability of future revenues and expenses and potential fluctuations in revenues and operating results, significant dependence on large single customer deals, consumer trends, the level of competition, seasonality, risks related to electronic security, possible governmental regulation, and general economic conditions.

Intershop Public Relations

Heide Rausch

Phone: +49 3641 50-1000
Fax: +49 3641 50-1309
E-Mail

National Association of Convenience Stores survey: Americans to travel more this summer

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Americans plan to put the severe winter weather in their rearview mirrors and travel more frequently this summer, according to the results of a consumer survey released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

One in four consumers (25%) say that they will spend more money this summer than they would otherwise because of the harsh winter weather, as opposed to 16% who say that they will spend less money. Consumers is in the Midwest are most likely to spend more money more this summer, with one in three consumers (33%) saying that they will spend money than otherwise expected this summer.

Convenience store owners also are optimistic about summer spending, with most saying that they expect sales to increase at both the pump and inside the store.

“We expect to see sales up at least 8% to 10% over last summer’s numbers, and we will be back to pre-recession sales numbers before the end of 2014,” said Theron Soderlund, president of TMS Enterprises, which operates the Country Corner convenience store on Orcas Island, WA.

Convenience stores sell 80% of the gas purchased in the country and will see plenty of traffic at the gas pumps this summer, especially when the weather is nice. Store owners surveyed by NACS said that weather conditions are the best determinant of sales, with two of three calling it important. The economy was the second-most important factor affecting sales, cited by nearly half of all retailers.

“People are tired of waiting on the economy to improve, but there are positive signs that it is improving,” said Sonja Hubbard, CEO of Texarkana, TX-based E-Z Mart Stores Inc. Sales also may be enhanced by more hours of daylight, which Hubbard said is a significant factor that drives strong summer sales.

Renewed housing starts and construction is also driving stronger sales at stores. “We are seeing construction crews in the mornings and afternoons that have been almost nonexistent for three years,” noted Sunderland.

Americans are expected to average more than two summer vacation trips of at least two nights away from home, and the bulk of this travel will be by car. More than 8 in 10 consumers (84%) say that they will drive for a summer vacation.

While gas prices are near highs for the year, consumers see driving as cost effective. A majority half of consumers (54%) cite affordability as the reason to travel by car, followed by the freedom to choose where to stop (52%).

Fully half of all consumers (50%) say that the gas price influences where they stop on their summer vacations, but they also are influenced by in-store offers. Four in 10 consumers (39%) say that seek out quality food options for stops, and 36% say that they seek out stores that have clean bathrooms.

It’s not surprising that clean bathrooms are a priority, given that consumers cite them as their top reason to stop. More than three in four consumers (77%) say that they stop to use the bathroom, 74% say that they stop to get gas and 67% say that they stop to get food or drinks. Services are also important: nearly 1 in 5 consumers (18%) say that they expect to use an ATM at a convenience store while travelling. Younger consumers, those ages 18 to 34, are the group most likely to buy a snack (68%), buy a sandwich (33%) or use the ATM (25%).

To capture more summer sales, retailers are particularly focusing on new deli programs, cookouts, fresh fruits and expanded beverage options.

“There is a continued interest in a store prepared food, and customers are buying more freshly made sandwiches and meals,” said Tom Moser, general manager of Westminster, MD-based Tevis Oil Inc., which operates Jiffy Mart stores.

“We’re doing new things like grilling outside a couple of times per week — and we’re seeing a lot of new faces so far this year,” added Robin Gabriel, president of DCT Inc., which operates a Shell station in Hinsdale, IL. Healthy snacks are also seeing strong sales in 2014, noted James Quakenbush, president of Lacombe Chevron Travel Center Inc. in Lacombe, LA.

Potentially strong sales over the summer months has retailers hopeful that the weak first quarter will be followed by strong summer sales.

“Consumers are feeling a little bit better,” said Leo Vercollone, president of Verc Enterprises in Duxbury, MA, and one of the many retailers who indicated that they very optimistic about the industry’s economic prospects this summer. “After all, we held our own this winter, when the weather couldn’t have been worse.”

The NACS consumer survey was conducted May 1-2 by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC and incorporates responses from 1,183 gas customers. NACS also surveyed dozens of retailer member companies, which range in size from one-store owners to large chains operating hundreds of stores, from May 8-14.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 151,000 stores across the country, posted $696 billion in total sales in 2013, of which $491 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

Toys“R”Us® introduces recyclable, reusable tote bag featuring a child’s artwork to benefit Save the Children®

Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund Provides $100,000 Grant to Kick Off Program; $1 from the Purchase of Each Bag Will Help Keep Kids Safe in the Wake of a Disaster

WAYNE, NJ, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us® has introduced an exclusive 100% recyclable, reusable tote bag featuring a young child’s artwork in its stores nationwide, from which a portion of proceeds will benefit Save the Children®, a global humanitarian organization that ensures the urgent needs of children are met in a crisis situation. Whether families are preparing their disaster emergency kit or looking for a keepsake alternative for gifting, these tote bags can serve as the perfect go-to carryall. One dollar from the purchase of each bag will be donated directly to Save the Children’s Domestic Emergency Fund, which serves to provide a safe environment for children and families when disasters strike. In conjunction with the reusable bag program, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund has provided a $100,000 grant to the Domestic Emergency Fund to further strengthen Save the Children’s disaster preparedness programs and relief efforts in the United States, reinforcing the company’s commitment to children and families during times of crisis.

“Save the Children continues to serve as the company’s primary disaster response partner due to its strong focus on the unique physical and emotional needs of children in times of crisis. Through this collaboration, Toys“R”Us has helped victims of numerous devastating events in the U.S. and around the world,” said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman of the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund. “With the beginning of hurricane season fast approaching, this reusable bag program provides customers with an easy way to support Save the Children’s efforts to be emergency ready and to help keep kids safe when disasters strike.”

“We are excited to expand our partnership with Toys“R”Us, engaging the millions of families who shop its stores to help us make a significant impact in children’s lives,” said Kathy Spangler, Vice President of U.S. Programs, Save the Children. “Together, Save the Children and Toys“R”Us have a shared mission of prioritizing the interests of children, when they need hope, comfort and safety most.”

Dedicated Safety Site Provides Tips to Ready Families for an Emergency

Being prepared before disasters strike can make all the difference in the safety and welfare of families. To help, Toys“R”Us and Save the Children have compiled disaster planning tips and checklists on the company’s dedicated safety site, Toysrusinc.com/Safety, where families can learn more about fundamental supplies for at-home and to-go emergency kits, determining a safe location if loved ones are separated and how to develop a communication strategy. In addition, the company’s “Safety Experts Say” blog will feature commentary from Jeanne-Aimee De Marrais, Senior Director of U.S. Emergencies, Save the Children, sharing her personal experience in disaster-affected areas and offering information about how Save the Children’s Domestic Emergency Fund directly affects families in shelters and community recovery sites.

Online Registry Provides Essential Supplies in Times of Crisis

Customers can also visit Toysrus.com/SaveTheChildren to view an official registry of products that can be purchased and sent directly to Save the Children to be used for kids during times of crisis. Items such as toys and games are distributed in “Child Friendly Spaces” within shelters and recovery centers to provide a sense of normalcy, in addition to basic supplies, such as diapers, wipes, clothing and hygiene items. By purchasing from this registry, contributors can help Save the Children support the smallest victims in the wake of devastating events.

For more than a decade, Toys“R”Us and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund have provided nearly $4.3 million to help Save the Children’s immediate relief and response efforts, as well as ensure the safety and emotional support of children in shelters and community recovery sites. In 2010, Toys“R”Us received the Corporate Recognition for Humanitarian Assistance honor for its disaster response work with Save the Children from InterAction, a coalition of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organization focused on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

To View Images of the Toys“R”Us Reusable Tote Bag Benefitting Save the Children, Click Here.

Charitable Giving at Toys“R”Us

The philanthropic mission of Toys“R”Us, Inc. and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund is to keep children safe and help them in times of need. The Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund contributes millions of dollars annually to various children’s organizations, including those providing disaster relief to victims of large-scale crises, as well as those supporting America’s military families. The Fund also provides grants to leading special needs organizations and has donated $1 million as the first Founding Partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. In addition to financial and product donations, Toys“R”Us, Inc. hosts in-store and online fundraising campaigns annually that raise millions of dollars for the company’s signature philanthropic partners.

About Save the Children

Save the Children invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we are dedicated to ensuring every child has the best chance for success. Our pioneering programs give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. Our advocacy efforts provide a voice for children who cannot speak for themselves. As the leading expert on children, we inspire and achieve lasting impact for millions of the world’s most vulnerable girls and boys. By transforming children’s lives now, we change the course of their future and ours.

# # #

Media Contacts: 
Toys“R”Us, U.S.
Jessica Offerjost
973-617-4766
Jessica.Offerjost@toysrus.com

Nicole Hayes
973-617-4371
Nicole.Hayes.@toysrus.com

Meijer launches “Meijer Free Thursday Nights” and continues “Meijer Free Tuesdays” admission to the Grand Rapids Art Museum each week

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — A generous gift from Meijer will launch “Meijer Free Thursday Nights” and continues the popular “Meijer Free Tuesdays,” a full night and day of free general admission to the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) each week, beginning this Thursday. The gift supports free admission for the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Tuesday and free general admission Thursday Nights from 5-9 p.m. through 2016, encouraging new and returning visitors to explore the galleries and take advantage of tours and other programs the museum offers on these dates.

“We are especially grateful to Meijer for their expanded support of GRAM and our service to the whole community,” GRAM Director & CEO Dana Friis-Hansen said. “The extension of Meijer Free Tuesdays and now, the addition of Meijer Free Thursday Nights, the museum will serve a broader range of the community as well as visitors with dynamic art exhibitions, ever-changing collection galleries, and exciting learning initiatives.”

“Our father was passionate about art, and believed it should be available for everyone to enjoy and discover,” said Hank Meijer, co-chairman of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. “We are pleased to honor him by offering Meijer Free Tuesdays and Thursday Nights at the Grand Rapids Art Museum so that others can learn, interpret and discover culture through a different lens.”

On select Tuesday afternoons, GRAM will offer docent (volunteer educator)-led tours of the galleries. Visit the calendar at artmuseumgr.org for specific dates and times.

Guests arriving over the summer can see the following exhibitions on view and concert series:

Admission to GRAM is regularly $8 per person, and free for GRAM members and children ages 5 and under. Special exhibition pricing may apply.

View more current and upcoming exhibitions, programs, and events at artmuseumgr.org.

About Meijer
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 207 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 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.

About the Grand Rapids Art Museum
Focusing on art, design, and creativity, GRAM provides diverse platforms for experiences, ideas, and dialogue that enrich the human spirit and build practical learning skills. Through dynamic exhibitions, collections, learning initiatives, and community collaborations, GRAM increasingly serves as a cultural beacon and civic anchor. Established in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, the Art Museum is internationally known for its distinguished design and LEED® Gold certified status. Established in 1910 as the Grand Rapids Art Association, GRAM has grown to include more than 5,000 works of art, including American and European 19th and 20th century painting and sculpture and more than 3,000 works on paper. Embracing the city’s legacy as a leading center of design and manufacturing, GRAM has a growing collection in the area of design and modern craft.

Contact: Leslie Haviland, 616-831-2917, lhaviland@artmuseumgr.org; Christina Fecher, 616-735-7968, christina.fecher@meijer.com

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