IKEA submitted plans to the City of Renton, WA for new building to replace its current Seattle-area store

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA, 2014-7-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced it is submitting plans to the City of Renton, Washington for a new and updated building to replace its current store as the Swedish retailer’s Seattle-area presence. The application will mark the beginning of the governmental review process for this proposed onsite relocation. The new store will be built in part of the current parking area, with the older store ultimately being demolished to allow for more parking. Until the new, updated store opens as early as Fall 2016, customers can continue to shop at the existing Renton store.

The 398,000-square-foot current Seattle-area IKEA store is located on 29 acres in Renton, near State Highway 167, approximately 11 miles southeast of downtown Seattle. Built in 1979, the original, single-level structure previously had been utilized as a warehouse for aerospace electronics until IKEA converted it to be a retail store in October 1994. The proposed 399,000-square-foot new Renton store would consist of two levels, provide nearly 1,700 convenient parking spaces, offer a more current layout and reflect the same unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide.

“With the store’s success and high awareness among consumers, we are excited for the chance to build a new IKEA store from the ground-up, adjacent to the current store and on land we already own,” said IKEA U.S. CFO Rob Olson. “A new store at this same location would allow coworkers to offer customers an updated and enhanced shopping experience.”

A new, more spacious Seattle-area IKEA store would feature the full assortment of nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a larger restaurant for serving Swedish specialties. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the showroom, baby-care rooms, play areas throughout the store, and preferred parking. IKEA now also offers a product picking and delivery service, and an IKEA FAMILY loyalty program. In addition to the already 350 Renton coworkers as part of the global IKEA family, IKEA wouldgenerate even more annual sales and property tax revenue to the City and local schools.

IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flatpacks goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating environmental measures into the actual buildings with energyefficientHVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs, facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 selling only L.E.D. bulbs. IKEA also has installed electric vehicle charging stations at 13 stores, including the existing IKEA Renton,with roll-out planned for more locations.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 350 IKEA stores in 44 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSANews, @DesignByIKEA or IKEAUSA on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest.

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IKEA kitchen cabinets ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Kitchen Cabinets” by global marketing information company J.D. Power

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA, 2014-7-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA kitchen cabinets were recently ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Kitchen Cabinets” by J.D. Power, a global marketing information company that represents the voice of the customer.

The J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Kitchen Cabinet Satisfaction StudySM measured customer satisfaction using five factors: design, ordering and delivery, price, operational performance, and warranty. IKEA ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction with a score of 789 on a 1,000-point scale*. In particular, IKEA scored highest in two factors regarding its kitchen cabinets: affordable pricing and warranty. The IKEA AKURUM kitchen system comes with a 25-year limited warranty.

“Kitchen cabinets are a big, long-term investment for homeowners and we believe that everyone should have access to ones that are high-quality, beautiful and affordable,” said Patty Lobell, Sales Manager, IKEA U.S. “We’re incredibly proud that for the second time in three years, our customers have given our kitchen cabinets the top ranking.”

Consumers can find tools to help create their dream kitchens athttp://kitchenplanner.ikea.com/US. Details about IKEA kitchen service offerings, including measuring, planning, professional installation, total project management, and home delivery, are also available on the site. Additionally, shoppers can check out the IKEA kitchen inspiration flyer at IKEA-USA.com/flyer through July 29.

IKEA is also currently offering savings of up to 20% on a new kitchen**, valid through Sunday, August 24, 2014. Customers can save 10% on their entire kitchen purchase when they spend $3,500 or more on a new kitchen and 20% when they spend $4,500 or more.

* IKEA received the highest numerical score among cabinetry brands in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Kitchen Cabinet Satisfaction StudySM. Study based on 1,740 consumer responses measuring 10 companies and measures opinions of consumers who purchased kitchen cabinets within the previous 12 months. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed January-March 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.

** Includes free-standing kitchens, AKURUM cabinets, fronts, cover panels, moldings, drawers, hinges, countertops, knobs and handles, appliances, sinks, faucets, RATIONELL interior organizers and FASTBO wall panels. IKEA FAMILY membership required to receive kitchen discount at IKEA College Park and IKEA Portland.

ABOUT IKEA
IKEA strives to be ‘The Life Improvement Store,’ and since its 1943 founding in Sweden, has offered home furnishings of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 340 IKEA stores in 43 countries/territories, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings company, incorporates sustainable efforts into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, go to IKEA-USA.com.

Press Contact: Wendy Joong
Wendy.Joong@Ketchum.com

 

NRF and Hackett Associates report: retailers bring holiday merchandise into the country at record levels due to the expiration of West Coast port contract

WASHINGTON, 2014-7-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — With West Coast longshoremen still negotiating a new contract, retailers are bringing holiday merchandise into the country at record levels to protect against potential supply chain disruptions, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

Import volume at major U.S. container ports is expected to total 1.5 million containers this month. That’s the highest monthly volume in at least five years and follows a trend of unusually high import levels that began this spring as retailers worked to import merchandise ahead of any potential problems.

“We’re still hoping to get through this without any significant disruptions but retailers aren’t taking any chances,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Retailers have been bringing merchandise in early for months now and will do what it takes to make sure shelves are stocked for their customers regardless of what happens during the negotiations.”

The contract between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union expired on July 1. Dockworkers remain on the job as both sides continue to negotiate a new agreement, and NRF has urged both labor and management to avoid any disruptions that could affect the flow of back-to-school or holiday merchandise.

Retailers have a number of contingency plans in place, and Global Port Tracker numbers show that some importers have begun shifting cargo to East Coast ports: West Coast ports handled 59 percent of U.S. retail container cargo in May, down from 62 percent in January.

U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.48 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in May, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 3.7 percent from April and 6.6 percent from May 2013. One TEU is one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent.

June was estimated at 1.46 million TEU, up 7.6 percent from the same month last year, and July is forecast at 1.5 million TEU, up 4.3 percent from last year. August is forecast at 1.51 million TEU, up 1.6 percent from last year; September at 1.45 million TEU, up 1 percent; October at 1.49 million TEU, up 3.8 percent; and November at 1.39 million TEU, up 3.6 percent.

The first half of the year is expected to total 8.3 million TEU, up 6.7 percent over last year. The total for 2013 was 16.2 million TEU, up 2.3 percent from 2012’s 15.8 million TEU.

The import numbers come as NRF is forecasting 4.1 percent sales growth in 2014. Cargo volume does not correlate directly with sales but is a barometer of retailers’ expectations.

While the West Coast contract situation is driving the surge in early imports, Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said the increases in volume also reflect an improving economy.

“The economy is on the upswing,” Hackett said. “There’s been a sharp drop in unemployment, consumer spending has seen solid growth over the last three months, and there’s a strong level of consumer confidence.”

Global Port Tracker, which is produced for NRF by the consulting firm Hackett Associates, covers the U.S. ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades and Miami on the East Coast, and Houston on the Gulf Coast. The report is free to NRF retail members, and subscription information is available at www.nrf.com/PortTracker or by calling (202) 783-7971. Subscription information for non-members can be found at www.globalporttracker.com.

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.

Hackett Associates provides expert consulting, research and advisory services to the international maritime industry, government agencies and international institutions.

J. Craig Shearman
(202) 626-8134
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

NRF supports the National Day of Action for Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON, 2014-7-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay in support of the National Day of Action for Immigration Reform:

“The National Retail Federation strongly supports legislative efforts aimed at reforming our broken and ineffective immigration system, and commends activities that seek to raise awareness of this critically-important economic, humanitarian, security and workforce issue.

“The retail industry joins our partners in the business community in support of comprehensive immigration reform, which would spur economic growth, employment opportunities and consumer spending while also adding to our tax base and social safety net.

“We need President Obama and congressional leaders to roll up their sleeves and begin serious negotiations on bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform without delay in order to resolve this growing international and national crisis. Yes, the process will be difficult and fraught with political landmines, especially in an election year, but we firmly believe that our elected officials are up to the task.”

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

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Stephen E Schatz
202-626-8119
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Shop.org adds two new members to its Board of Directors

WASHINGTON, 2014-7-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Shop.org today announced the addition of two new members to its Board of Directors and welcomed back eight members that currently serve on the Board. Each member will serve a two-year term. The next meeting for new and returning Board members will be in Rancho Palos Verdes, California during Shop.org’s Online Merchandising Workshop in July.

New Shop.org Board members:

  • Bryon Colby, senior vice president of digital commerce, Cornerstone Brands / HSNi
  • Deepika Pandey, group vice president, customer experience, direct and digital marketing, Walgreen Co.

The Shop.org leadership team represents the needs of Shop.org members, provides strategic guidance on the operation and mission of the group, and contributes to Shop.org’s authority in the digital retail industry.

“We are thrilled to welcome both Bryon and Deepika to the Shop.org board of directors and look forward to learning from and collaborating with them on projects and initiatives throughout their time with us,” said NRF Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Shop.org, Vicki Cantrell. “Digital retail remains a powerful force, and I’m positive the combined knowledge and professionalism of the executives represented on our board will greatly benefit our staff as well as serve our communities as we explore retail innovations and digital capabilities.”

Incumbents who will remain on the Shop.org Board to serve another two-year term, include:

  • Brad Brown, senior vice president, digital retail, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)
  • David Brussin, founder and chief executive officer, Monetate
  • Michael Burgess, president, HBC digital, Hudson’s Bay Company
  • Peter Cobb, co-founder, executive vice president, eBags.com
  • Kevin Ertell, senior vice president, digital, Sur La Table
  • Nicolas Franchet, head of retail and e-commerce strategy, Facebook
  • Billy May, group vice president, Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Sucharita Mulpuru, vice president and principal analyst, Forrester

The newly elected and re-elected members join the rest of the Shop.org Board. View the entire current Shop.org Board members here.

Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, is the world’s leading community for digital retail, offering thought leadership through original research and gold standard events. The community is made up of exclusive networking groups and committees that lead the global conversation surrounding innovative e-commerce trends and digital retail. Shop.org members include some of the world’s largest most respected retail, technology, research, and consulting companies. www.shop.org.

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Kathy Grannis
(202) 783-7971
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

NRF appointed Paul Martino VP, Senior Policy Counsel and promoted Beth Provenzano VP for Federal Government Relations

  • Paul Martino Hired as Vice President, Senior Policy Counsel;
  • Beth Provenzano Promoted to Vice President

Washington, 2014-7-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today announced the hiring of Paul G. Martino as vice president and senior policy counsel, and the elevation of Beth Provenzano to vice president for Federal Government Relations. Martino and Provenzano will work with the NRF Government Relations Department and focus on emerging public policy priorities, including data security, payments, mobile and e-commerce, privacy and patent reform.

“The National Retail Federation looks for world-class talent within our ranks and beyond,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Beth and Paul have been valuable members of our team for a number of years whose in-depth knowledge of the retail industry and relationships on and off Capitol Hill will go a long way in advancing the retail industry’s public policy priorities.”

Martino joins NRF from the Washington office of the national law firm Alston & Bird LLP, where he served as a partner and co-chair of the firm’s Privacy and Data Security practice. He has worked with the retail community as a consultant to NRF on a number of retail industry issues since 2008. Before joining the firm, Martino served as majority counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee and principal advisor on privacy and e-commerce to its Chairman, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Provenzano has been with NRF since 2011. She has been leading the retail industry’s efforts on patent litigation reform and continues to play a crucial role in the debate over swipe fees. Before joining NRF, she served as deputy chief of staff for the Office of the Secretary of the Senate and staffed Senators John Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Bob Graham, D-Fla.

“As public policy and regulation advance in the technology and privacy realm, NRF is primed and ready for the challenge,” Shay said. “Beth’s promotion and Paul’s hiring send a strong signal that retail is a technologically driven and innovative industry, and that NRF is the voice of this consumer-driven industry.”

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

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Stephen E Schatz
202-626-8119
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

BRC-NIELSEN SHOP PRICE INDEX JUNE 2014: Overall shop prices reported deflation for the fourteenth consecutive month, accelerating to 1.8% in June

LONDON, 2014-7-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Overall shop prices reported deflation for the fourteenth consecutive month, accelerating to 1.8% in June.

This is the deepest level of deflation since the series began in December 2006.

Food inflation fell to 0.6% in June – the lowest ever recorded.

Non-food reported an acceleration in deflation of 3.4% in June from 2.8% in May- the lowest ever recorded.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: “June saw plenty of good news for cash-conscious customers, and confirms that retailers have continued to work hard to help budgets go that bit further over the summer.

“This is the deepest level of deflation in non-food and the lowest rate of inflation for food since 2006 when our reords began. Added to this, we see that consumer confidence is at its highest level since April 2005. Fierce competition among grocers has driven food price inflation to record low levels and with some grocers having announced plans to keep prices down, consumers stand to benefit for a while to come. While sports fans are doing well this summer with great deals to be found in Clothing, Footwear and Electricals.

“The backdrop was equally promising with stable commodity markets and the continued strength of sterling suggesting inflation is set to remain low in the medium term. Although of course, a strong pound is not so good for those retailers exporting – one exciting and growing area in British retail.

“However, it is clear that retailers are making sure these positive economic benefits in the home market are being passed on to consumers while they themselves will cheer on the very low Producer Price Index – an indication of the cost pressures they face.

“While the economic recovery continues to gather pace it was not all good news as household disposable incomes remain under pressure. Interestingly, while wage rises remain lacklustre throughout the economy the squeeze on disposable incomes is not coming from retail but other areas of the economy such as leisure and recreational activities.

“With shop price inflation at a record low this is undoubtedly an excellent time to go out and find a bargain”.

Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight, Nielsen, said: “Food inflation is still low, many supermarkets are price cutting and non-food prices remain deflationary, so the high street continues to generate little inflationary pressure. Little in the way of immediate seasonal or weather related price increases is anticipated so the outlook for the next three months is for relatively stable shop price inflation. Helped by the increases in consumer confidence since the start of the year, this should encourage shoppers to spend more freely over the summer months.”

Former secretary of defense and CIA director Dr. Robert Gates announced as closing speaker at the NACS Show from October 7 to 10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center

​ALEXANDRIA, Va.,  2014-7-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Dr. Robert Gates, former secretary of defense and director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has been announced as a Closing General Session speaker at the NACS Show, which takes place October 7 to 10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Dr. Gates served as the 22nd secretary of defense from 2006 to 2011 under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. He is the only defense secretary in U.S. history to be asked to remain in office by a newly elected president. President Obama awarded Gates the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, in 2011.

In 1966, Gates began his 27-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as an intelligence professional. During that period, he spent nearly nine years as part of the White House’s National Security Council, serving four presidents of both political parties. Gates served as CIA deputy director from 1986 to 1989 and as assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser at the White House from 1989 to 1991. He served as director of the agency from 1991 until 1993 — the only career officer in CIA’s history to rise from entry-level employee to director.

“Dr. Gates will deliver a compelling behind-the-scenes view of world events over the past quarter century, as well as the context for how current affairs could affect and reshape our political and retail landscape,” said NACS Vice Chairman of Convention Jack Kofdarali, president of J&T Management Company Inc. in Corona, California. “From the ever-changing landscape in the Middle East, specifically, Iran, to security and defense issues like drones, Dr. Gates will address some of the most significant events in the world today.”

Dr. Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal and the the Presidential Citizens Medal, and is a three-time recipient of both the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal and the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the CIA’s highest award. His book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, was published earlier this year.

NACS announced earlier this year that author and journalist David H. Freedman is a keynote speaker on Wednesday, October 8, during the Opening General Session.  Freedman is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and at Inc. Magazine, a contributor to Scientific American and a consulting editor for Johns Hopkins Medicine International. He is the author of five books, the most recent being WRONG, about the problems with the published findings of medical scientists and other experts. Much of his current work addresses obesity, nutrition and health-related behavioral change.

This year’s NACS Show features 400,000 net square feet of exhibit space, which officially sold out on May 2. Applications are being accepted for the booth waitlist. Expo hours will take place Wednesday, October 8, 11:30 am – 5:30 pm; Thursday, October 9, 11:30 am – 5:30 pm; and Friday, October 10, 9 am – 1:30 pm.

Attendees can also look forward to three days of general sessions and 65 educational sessions, as well as training sessions for small operators with five stores or less. Reflecting the growing international scope of the NACS Show, the general sessions will be once again translated into Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, and select educational sessions will be translated into Portuguese and Spanish.

In addition to online registration, the NACS Show website features the latest information about exhibitors, housing, speakers, educational sessions and evening networking events.

NOTE: A photograph of Dr. Robert Gates is available upon request.

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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.

Gap Inc. reports 1 percent sales increase in June 2014 compared to last year

SAN FRANCISCO, 2014-7-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today reported that June net sales increased 1 percent compared with last year. Net sales for the five-week period ended July 5, 2014 were $1.54 billion compared with net sales of $1.53 billion for the five-week period ended July 6, 2013.

“Old Navy’s performance was stellar this month, and we’re pleased to see the brand continue its strong quarter-to-date momentum,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and chief executive officer, Gap Inc. “Despite softer June results at Gap and Banana Republic, we remain focused on delivering in the upcoming Fall season.”

June Comparable Sales Results

Gap Inc.’s comparable sales for June 2014 were down 2 percent versus a 7 percent increase last year. Comparable sales by global brand for June 2014 were as follows:

  • Gap Global: negative 7 percent versus positive 5 percent last year
  • Banana Republic Global: negative 7 percent versus negative 1 percent last year
  • Old Navy Global: positive 7 percent versus positive 13 percent last year

Additional insight into Gap Inc.’s sales performance is available by calling 1-800-GAP-NEWS (1-800-427-6397). International callers may call 706-902-4949. The recording will be available at approximately 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time on July 10, 2014 and available for replay until 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time on July 18, 2014.

July Sales

The company will report July sales on August 7, 2014.

About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta, and Intermix brands. Fiscal year 2013 net sales were $16.1 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in more than 90 countries worldwide through more than 3,100 company-operated stores, over 350 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.