Delhaize Group shareholders approved the annual accounts for fiscal year 2013 and €1.56 gross dividend per share

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 2014-5-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Delhaize Group (Euronext Brussels: DELB, NYSE: DEG), the Belgian international food retailer, announced today that during its Ordinary Shareholders Meeting its shareholders approved the annual accounts for fiscal year 2013 and the distribution of a €1.56 gross dividend per share. After deduction of a 25% withholding tax, this results in a net dividend of €1.17 per share.

The 2013 dividend will become payable to owners of ordinary shares against coupon no. 52. The Delhaize Group shares will start trading ex-coupon on May 28, 2014 (opening of the market). The record date (i.e. the date at which shareholders are entitled to the dividend) is May 30, 2014 (closing of the market) and the dividend will be payable as from June 2, 2014. The ADR dividend record date is May 30, 2014 and the payment of the dividend to Delhaize Group’s ADR holders will be made through Citibank beginning on June 5, 2014.

During the Shareholders Meeting, Delhaize Group’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Frans Muller, confirmed its previously announced intentions for 2014 to spend €625 million in capital expenditures at identical exchange rates and to open 180 stores.

The shareholders approved the appointment of Mr. Johnny Thijs as independent director for a term of three years.

The speeches and presentations, the minutes of the Meeting and the results of the votes will be made available on the Delhaize Group website (www.delhaizegroup.com) in the coming days.

» Delhaize Group
Delhaize Group is a Belgian international food retailer present in nine countries on three continents. At the end of the first quarter of 2014, Delhaize Group’s sales network consisted of 3 520 stores. In 2013, Delhaize Group posted €20.9 billion ($27.8 billion) in revenues and €179 million ($237 million) in net profit (Group share). At the end of 2013, Delhaize Group employed approximately 160 000 people. Delhaize Group’s stock is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (DELB) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEG).

This press release is available in English, French and Dutch. You can also find it on the websitehttp://www.delhaizegroup.com. Questions can be sent to investor@delhaizegroup.com.

» Contacts 

Investor Relations: + 32 2 412 2151

Media Relations: + 32 2 412 8669

 

Ahold to settle class action pending in US for its former subsidiary U.S. Foodservice

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-5-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold announced today that it has signed a term sheet agreeing in principle to settle a class action pending in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut in respect of pricing practices of Ahold’s former subsidiary U.S. Foodservice in the period 1998-2005.

Under the term sheet that was signed today, Ahold has agreed to make a payment of $297 million into a settlement fund in return for a release from all claims from all participating class members in relation to these pricing practices.

Ahold indemnified U.S. Foodservice against damages arising out of this class action, referred to in Ahold’s annual reports as the “Waterbury litigation”, as part of the terms of Ahold’s sale of U.S. Foodservice in July 2007 to a consortium of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts & Co for a purchase price of $7.1 billion.

The class comprises any person in the United States who purchased products from U.S. Foodservice pursuant to an arrangement that defined a sale price in terms of a cost component plus a mark-up and for which U.S. Foodservice used a so-called “Value Added Service Provider” transaction to calculate the cost component.

The settlement is subject to approval by the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, which is anticipated to address the issue in late 2014 or early 2015 and is subject to potential reduction and/or termination based on the compensable sales volume attributable to class members that elect to opt out of the settlement (i.e. do not wish to be bound by the settlement). Upon becoming unconditional the settlement will definitively resolve this potential liability for Ahold.
Ahold will record a provision in the amount of €215 million in Q1, 2014. Ahold will be funding its payment to the settlement fund out of its available cash balances and expects this payment to take place in late 2014 or the beginning of 2015.

Commenting on the settlement, Lodewijk Hijmans van den Bergh, member of the Ahold Management Board and Chief Corporate Governance Counsel, said: “We are pleased to have reached this settlement which resolves a legacy litigation since 2006 related to our former subsidiary U.S. Foodservice. The settlement permits us to avoid more lengthy, time-consuming and costly litigation, and to focus our resources and attention to our current business.”

Cautionary notice

This press release includes forward-looking statements, which do not refer to historical facts but refer to expectations based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those included in such statements. These forward-looking statements include statements as to the court approval of and size, funding and timing of the payment under the settlement. Many of the above risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond Ahold’s ability to control or estimate precisely, such as discussed in Ahold’s public filings and other disclosures. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Koninklijke Ahold N.V. does not assume any obligation to update any public information or forward-looking statements in this release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as may be required by law. Outside the Netherlands, Koninklijke Ahold N.V., being its registered name, presents itself under the name of “Royal Ahold” or simply “Ahold”.

###

Intershop partners with multi-channel marketing specialist Querplex

  • Intershop steadily building network of top-performing partners
  • Omni-channel market leader joins hands with first-class implementation expert, yielding true added value for clients’ business
  • 13-year project experience highlights Querplex as specialist in Intershop installations

Jena, Germany, 2014-5-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Intershop Communications AG, leading independent provider of innovative solutions for omni-channel commerce, has formed a partnership with multi-channel marketing specialist Querplex. The partnership aims at supplying e-commerce managers with an unbeatable combination of the market’s leading e-commerce technology and first-class implementation expertise.

Querplex offers the services of a multi-channel marketing agency and the broad portfolio of an IT service company in one. The coming collaboration between the partners will put comprehensive expertise in the development and implementation of complex content management and shop systems in the hands of Intershop clients who are designing and realizing sophisticated e-business projects. Intershop’s flagship platform, Intershop 7, allows any business model, sales channel and customer touchpoint to be administered centrally, reducing operating costs and giving customers exactly what they are looking for at precisely the place they expect to find it.

“We have been managing international Intershop projects for over 13 years,” comments Angelika Benkert, CEO of Querplex GmbH. “What our clients particularly value is our long experience and the comprehensive expertise in realizing ambitious multi-channel environments that goes along with it. The new cooperative agreement between Intershop and Querplex signals our readiness to build on this combined effort.”

Udo Rauch, Intershop VP Channel, adds: “This partnership demonstrates that even agencies and their clients can achieve lasting and future-proof added value for their business with Intershop solutions. We look forward to stepping up our successful collaboration with Querplex in the future.”

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

The National Retail Federation disappointed from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s withdrawal of the patent reform bill

Today Marks a Victory for Patent Trolls

WASHINGTON, 2014-5-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French on the announcement that Senate Judiciary Committee has shelved the patent reform bill:

“Withdrawing the patent reform bill is a victory for patent trolls.

“We are deeply disappointed that groups representing the status quo have continued to stall and stymie attempts at effective patent reform.

“Even though this is a loss for Main Street merchants, end-users will continue to work with those committed to strengthening and reforming our patent system. Small business owners, retailers, grocers, banks, coffee shops and restaurants need patent relief now, and without Senate action the problem will only grow worse.

“We will not rest until the bipartisan compromise ironed out by Senators Schumer and Cornyn is brought before the Judiciary Committee for consideration.

“Let’s hope this setback marks the last victory for patent trolls.”

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

Stephen E Schatz
202-626-8119

press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

###

SRC-KPMG SCOTTISH RETAIL SALES MONITOR APRIL 2014: Total Scottish sales in April 2014 increased by 1.9% compared with April 2013

LONDON, 2014-5-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — In April 2014 total Scottish sales increased by 1.9% compared with April 2013, when they had decreased by 2.1%. Like-for-like sales increased by 1.1% on last April, when they had decreased by 3.0%. Taking account of shop price deflation, April total sales were up 3.3% in real terms.

Total Food sales were 1.1% up on April 2013, when they had decreased 1.4%. April 2014 benefits from a positive Easter distortion.

Total Non-Food sales increased by 2.6% on a year earlier when they had decreased 2.7%. Adjusted more comprehensively for the estimated effect of online sales, total Non-Food sales would have increased by 3.2%.

Total Scottish sales growth was 0.7% year-to-date, which is below the UK total growth and the Scottish 12-month average of 1.5%.

David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “The strong Footfall data published earlier this week translated into Clothing and footwear turning in the best performance in this category for over three years. This was driven by shoppers’ updating their wardrobes with seasonal wear and through purchases of children’s clothing. Sales of bigger ticket items such as furniture, gardening, DIY and materials for revamping the home also did well, and total food sales picked up too.

“What is most heartening is that a broader range of indicators crucial to the health of Scotland’s retail industry have begun pointing in a more positive direction. Retail sales and footfall are both up, and the number of empty retail properties has fallen. Retailers will of course work hard to sustain this. Government and local authorities however can play their part by channelling their collective energies into ensuring that the retail industry, which is after all Scotland’s largest private sector employer, is even better placed to be able to invest, expand and create jobs.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, said: “April’s bounce back due to a late Easter was more muted than hoped for in Scotland, reminding us how hard retailers are working to drive sales growth in this slowly recovering economy.

“Total sales in Scotland for the three months to April fell by 0.7 per cent on the prior year, mainly driven by negative trends in the food sector, which fell by 1.4 per cent in the quarter. This, set against an increase of 1.5 per cent in food sales for the 12 months to April 2014 reflects the harsh realities of the grocery sector. Targeted discounting may be great for consumers, but I fear it will have longer term consequences on suppliers.

“Other non-food sales for the quarter have been largely flat in Scotland save for clothing and footwear categories which have been spurred on by better weather and also, perhaps, from savings in food being diverted to the wardrobe.”

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

Red River Co-op’s new food stores in Winnipeg, Man. to offer fresh cut meat in time for barbecue season

Winnipeg, Canada, 2014-5-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Red River Co-op customers will be able to get a fresh cut of meat just in time for barbecue season.

General Manager Doug Wiebe said this is a unique offering, with many grocery stores now choosing to bring in meat that has been vacuum packed or gassed for a longer shelf life.

“This is actual product that has been cut in store by an individual versus on a production line,” he said. “It gives the opportunity to offer special cuts to individuals if they want a thicker steak or different sized roast.”

Because of this, Red River Co-op recruited employees to cut and wrap meat from seven positions were filled internally with another nine hired from external candidates.

These 16 employees are part of the 450 employees that will be retained as the four new Co-op food stores open. The Main Street location opened May 14 and Southdale opened May 15. While the new St. Vital opened yesterday, the new Grant Park store opened today, with a gas bar opening in St. Vital on May 26.

The transition is a large project, involving many people and having a significant impact on the Winnipeg economy.

“The total capital expenditures we have in our feasibility is $3.3 million…for the first 12-month cycle,” Wiebe said. “That includes all the rebranding of the stores, the renovations and adding new equipment.”

Wiebe added there were 320 Co-op employees, vendors and contractors on site at the Southdale location Wednesday.

###

Co-op customers will be able to get a fresh cut of meat at all four of Red River Co-op's new food stores in Winnipeg, Man.

ICSC and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index: Weekly retail sales slipped by 1.3% for the week ending May 17

NEW YORK, 2014-5-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Mother Nature once again kept the chill on retail sales as rain and snow left consumers soggy and constrained their ability to shop this past week. As a result weekly retail sales slipped by 1.3% for the week ending May 17, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index. On a year-over-year basis sales remained positive but slowed to 2.4% for the week.

“This past week’s slippage was mainly due to Mother Nature as a very slow moving storm left heavy snow in the Rockies and flooding in the East,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist. “Weather Trends International (WTI) reported that ‘It was the coldest second week of a retail May in four years and the wettest in more than 23 years.’ But despite the weather, business at more retail segments were positive than negative relative to the same week in the prior year—which is an encouraging sign,” Niemira added.

For May, ICSC research forecasts that monthly comparable-store sales will increase by 3.0% to 3.5%. Please note that next week’s report will be released on Wednesday, May 28, 2014.

Week Ending           Index 1977=100          Year/Year Change            Weekly Change
17-May-14                     560.9                             2.4%                              -1.3%
10-May-14                     568.4                             3.9%                              -0.1%
03-May-14                     569.2                             2.0%                              -2.1%
26-April-14                     581.1                            3.1%                               1.6%

[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
+1 201-401-2477
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

###

CAMPBELL LENNOX named managing director TOYS“R”US Australia

Mr. Lennox Will Oversee the Company’s 34 Stores, e-Commerce Operations and More Than 1,700 Employees in Australia

WAYNE, NJ, 2014-5-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us, Inc. today announced the appointment of Campbell Lennox as Managing Director, Toys“R”Us, Australia, effective May 26. Mr. Lennox will oversee all operations and business activities for the company’s 34 store locations and e-commerce site, as well as provide leadership for the more than 1,700 employees throughout the country. His responsibilities will include marketing, merchandising, store operations and customer service excellence. Mr. Lennox will report to Monika Merz, President, Toys“R”Us, Asia Pacific.

Mr. Lennox joins the company with over 20 years of retail and management experience, including a series of roles of increasing responsibility in operations and merchandising. He most recently served as General Manager, Merchandise Operations for Harvey Norman, an omnichannel retailer, incorporating an integrated retail, franchise, property and digital platform. In this role, he led a team, including the merchandising organization, administration and an operations group consisting of four state managers and 40 regional managers, in integrating the in-store and online shopping experience and ensuring a strong in-stock position through efficient supply chain management.

Ms. Merz said, “We are delighted to welcome Campbell to Toys“R”Us. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge of the Australian retail market, a strong track record of driving profitable sales, creating a customer-centric culture and building highly-engaged teams. We look forward to his contributions to our Australian business.”

Mr. Lennox stated, “The Toys“R”Us brand is known worldwide as being synonymous with bringing joy to children of all ages, and I’m looking forward to joining the team in driving the Australian business and providing a compelling shopping experience for our customers.”

Earlier in his career, Mr. Lennox served in leadership roles with some of Australia’s most notable companies such as Woolworths Limited, Kmart and Shell Australia. He holds an MBA from Southern Cross University and an Advanced Diploma of Management from the Australian Institute of Management.
About Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. Merchandise is sold in 873 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 700 international stores and over 190 licensed stores in 35 countries and jurisdictions. In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys in the brand’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.comBabiesrus.comeToys.com and FAO.com, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products. Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys“R”Us, Inc. employs approximately 70,000 associates annually worldwide. The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need. Additional information about Toys“R”Us, Inc. can be found on Toysrusinc.com. Follow Toys“R”Us, Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz on Facebook at Facebook.com/ToysrusFacebook.com/Babiesrus and Facebook.com/FAO and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Toysrus and Twitter.com/Babiesrus.

# # #

Media Contacts: 
Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Linda Connors
973-617-4398
Linda.Connors@toysrus.com

Meijer debuts new commercial featuring photos of local children riding its iconic penny pony Sandy

Retailer’s youngest shoppers co-star with iconic penny pony

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2014-5-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today Midwest retailer Meijer announced the debut of a new commercial featuring photos of local children riding its iconic penny pony, Sandy. The 30-second commercial will begin airing within the retailer’s five-state footprint – Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky – in June and a 60-second version of the commercial is online now. Meijer shoppers can also watch the ad on TV walls in the store’s electronics department.

Meijer selected 28 photos for the TV spot from more than 3,200 submitted during the Star with Sandy photo contest hosted on its Facebook page earlier this year. Four additional youngsters were chosen for the 60-second version. For a list of individuals featured in the commercial please visit the Meijer Newsroom and view the finalists’ photo submissions here.

“Ever since Meijer first opened its doors in 1934, we’ve been a family store – family-owned and dedicated to providing families with the best shopping experience possible,” said Nicole Laughlin, vice president of brand development for Meijer. “For decades, a ride on Sandy has been a very important part of that Meijer experience for millions of families. That’s something we’re incredibly proud of.”

For many families, Sandy is the highlight of their routine shopping trips and a reward for their children’s good behavior. Amanda Stark, of Grand Rapids, Mich., was thrilled to learn her 2-year-old son, Braevin, would appear in the commercial.

“At least once a month when we go grocery shopping it’s a good incentive for Braevin. I tell him that if he’s good that he will be able to ride Sandy,” Stark said. “I’m just so proud of him that he won.”

Sandy, the iconic mechanical pony, debuted at the opening of Thrifty Acres in 1962. The late Fred Meijer was inspired by a supermarket in Nebraska that offered 10-cent pony rides, but wanted to provide a more reasonable option. The price of one penny per ride has since become symbolic of the affordable shopping experience at Meijer.

“My dad believed in making things affordable for our customers and that included Sandy,” Meijer Co-Chairman Hank Meijer said. “Riding Sandy is a memory shared by so many children and parents who shop at our stores. But the real magic happens when those children grow up and bring their own kids back for a ride.”

Sandy has been a fixture at the front of all Meijer stores across the Midwest for decades, and is often the last thing a child remembers on the way out of the store and a source of joy for shoppers of all ages.

“I’ve been shopping at Meijer for years. It’s a family tradition,” said Sheri Miller, of Shipshewana, Ind. Her 6-year-old daughter, Katie, will co-star in the commercial. “Katie never leaves without riding Sandy. It’s her favorite part of the store.”

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 the inventor 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. For more information on Meijer, 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.

Contact: Christina Fecher, 616-735-7968, christina.fecher@meijer.com

###

Meijer debuts new commercial featuring photos of local children riding its iconic penny pony Sandy

Meijer debuts new commercial featuring photos of local children riding its iconic penny pony Sandy