Emma Bunton launches new 26 piece girls’ clothing collection for Autumn/Winter 2014 designed exclusively for Argos

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-7-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Singer, Heart FM presenter and mother-of-two, Emma Bunton is launching a new 26 piece girls’ clothing collection for Autumn/Winter 2014, designed exclusively for Argos.

The new collection features sparkly sequins and touches of gold and silver, providing fun and fashionable clothes for girls aged two to nine years old.  Available from Saturday 26 July and with an extended range launching in October 2014, Emma’s collection is sure to draw the attention of girls across the nation.

Emma Bunton said: “I’m really excited to share my latest Autumn/Winter collection. This season I’ve decided to shake things up by adding some fabulous new designs and use sequins and beading to make the clothing fun and on trend. I love this collection as it’s both girly and stylish.”

Stephanie Hayward, Clothing Buyer for Argos, said: “It’s great working with Emma again on her latest kids wear collection. This is Emma’s sixth collection with Argos and it’s her best yet. Being a mother herself Emma really understands the importance of providing a kids clothing range that is great value, yet still fashionable. We hope our customers like this collection as much as we do.”

Emma Bunton added: “From experience with my own children, I understand that clothes need to be fun and fashionable, while remaining comfy and practical. I feel this range really does incorporate what parents like me look for in pieces, at the same time as appealing to the child.”

The new Emma Bunton range will be available in Argos stores nationwide and online at argos.co.uk from Saturday 26 July 2014, with an extended range following in October 2014.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors:
For more information, please contact the Argos Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email: media.relations@argos.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter at @argos_PR.

About Argos
Argos is a leading UK digital retailer, offering around 43,000 products through www.argos.co.uk, its growing mobile channels, stores and over the

Emma Bunton launches new 26 piece girls’ clothing collection for Autumn/Winter 2014 designed exclusively for Argos

Emma Bunton launches new 26 piece girls’ clothing collection for Autumn/Winter 2014 designed exclusively for Argos

telephone.

Argos continues to be the UK’s largest high street retailer online with 738 million website and app visits in the 12 months to February 2014.  Argos serves around 123 million customers a year through its network of 734 stores.

In the financial year to February 2014, Argos sales were £4.1 billion and it employed some 29,000 people across the business.

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

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Andrew Barton unveiled his new Argan Oil-Infused Premier Collection; available exclusively on argos.co.uk and in stores across UK from 26 July 2014

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-7-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton has unveiled his new Argan Oil-Infused Premier Collection, available exclusively on argos.co.uk and in stores nationwide from Saturday 26 July 2014.

The premium electrical styling range features four new products and combines advanced technology with Argan Oil-infused ceramics to promote shinier, healthier looking hair. With superior heat delivery and exceptionally smooth glide through the hair, styling becomes more nurturing; boosting shine and helping your hair to look and feel great.

 

Argan Oil-Infused Shine Volumiser (239/3605) is a spinning blow dry brush which features two heat and one cool setting. Two rotation speeds allow precision control with dual rotation for simple, convenient styling. With a salon-length cord and three-year guarantee, your style revolution starts here.

 

The Salon Sleek Styler (213/9254) is ready to use in just 12 seconds and heats up to 235°C for better hold. With 20 different temperature settings, it’s suitable for any hair type and style. With titanium ceramic plates it glides through the hair for ultimate smoothness and the rounded design makes it easy to create curl and movement. With auto-shut-off, heat protection wrap and salon-length cord, the Salon Sleek Styler is a must-have product for any style conscious fashionista.

 

Soft Curls (247/6986) is a 210°C salon styler with an Argan Oil-infused ceramic barrel for ultra-smooth results. The Soft Curls styler comes with a protective glove and heat protection wrap plus a salon length swivel cord and five-year guarantee. The extra-long spoonless barrel and five digital temperature settings, mean Soft Curls is perfect for all hair types, ensuring easy styling for creating soft waves and movement.

 

Every home needs a fantastic dryer and the Argan Infused Radiant Dry (238/3378) is a professional 2100W AC hairdryer with Argan Oil-infused ceramic technology for perfect balanced heat. Featuring high shine ionic conditioning, the Radiant Dry has three heat and two speed settings plus a cold shot, ensuring a flawless blow dry for every hair type. With a long-life salon AC motor and slim salon concentrator nozzle, you can bring that salon finish home.

The Andrew Barton hair styling range is exclusive to Argos and is available for Check & Reserve through argos.co.uk for pick up from more than 700 stores nationwide.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors:

For more information on the Andrew Barton styling tools range, please contact the Argos Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email: media.relations@argos.co.uk.

For video step by steps, images or to arrange an interview with Andrew Barton please contact Sharon Brigden at SLB PR on 0113 269 8100 or email: sharon@slbpr.co.uk

About Argos
Argos is a leading UK digital retailer, offering around 43,000 products through www.argos.co.uk, its growing mobile channels, stores and over the telephone.

Argos continues to be the UK’s largest high street retailer online with 738 million website and app visits in the 12 months to February 2014.  Argos serves around 123 million customers a year through its network of 734 stores.

In the financial year to February 2014, Argos sales were £4.1 billion and it employed some 29,000 people across the business.

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

About Andrew Barton
Andrew Barton is one of the UK’s most celebrated hairdressing names. His work graces global magazines from cover to editorial and his skill and personality are showcased on TV shows around the world. As the figurehead of his own hairdressing empire with his signature consumer; hair care range, electrical hair tools and brushes as well as his award-winning salon Andrew is in demand. Acclaimed as the “Best of British” Andrew is an authority on all things hair and holds British Hairdresser of the Year and British Hair Icon amongst his many industry and consumer awards. He is a brilliant voice for British Hairdressing and works tirelessly for its export and success. An Ambassador for the British Hairdressing Fellowship and The British Hairdressing Council, Andrew’s commitment to the industry is renowned. His clients book months in advance and include some of the world’s most glamorous woman having styled Eva Longoria, Jerry Hall and Elle McPherson.

 

Lowe’s launches new products for its Iris smart home solution that offer consumers added convenience, safety and efficiency

Iris’ open platform offers consumers energy-saving and home security solutions during the season they need it most

MOORESVILLE, N.C., 2014-7-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Lowe’s Companies, Inc. announced today the launch of new products for its Iris smart home solution that offer consumers added convenience, safety and efficiency this summer. The home improvement company continues to extend the breadth of connected devices with the addition of a smart garage door controller, electronic pet door, window blinds controller and hose faucet timer to make it easier to cut energy costs, reduce water usage and keep the home secure while consumers balance active summer schedules.

Since its launch in 2012, Iris has delivered on its promise to make home automation simple, affordable and scalable by giving consumers a single user interface that lets them monitor, control and customize a wide range of devices in and around the home. This new wave of products joins the 50 existing devices currently available for Iris – including security cameras, smoke detectors, water leak detectors and more. Iris offers the ultimate smart home experience with brand name products consumers already know and trust, including General Electric, Kwikset, Schlage, Whirlpool, Orbit Irrigation Products and PetSafe. Iris’ open platform also supports dozens of other Zigbee and Z-Wave-enabled devices.

“Iris is a simple and affordable smart home solution that helps makes homes safer, more energy efficient and easier to manage. We offer the most extensive array of connected products on the market that can be easily customized to meet consumers’ needs,” said Kevin Meagher, Lowe’s vice president and general manager, Smart Home. “These new products add more value to the smart home offering with new ways to improve home security and manage energy costs with DIY solutions to give our customers peace of mind year-round.”

The four new Iris-compatible products can be monitored and controlled anytime, anywhere from a computer, smart phone or tablet and are available in Lowe’s stores, nationwide:

  • Z-Wave Garage Door Opener Remote Command Controller with Tilt Sensor –Control your garage door from your smartphone while on the go and get alerts if you drive away and accidentally leave it open.
  • PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor™ – Monitor and control access for pets with a customizable schedule and record their movement. The device will even recognize a pet wearing the collar sensor so you can be sure you are not feeding the neighbor’s cat.
  • Iris Motorized Window Blinds Controller – Remotely control and schedule blinds for privacy or comfort. Better manage energy consumption during the hot dog days of summer.
  • Orbit Hose Faucet Water Timer – Easily installed on any hose faucet and allows consumers to remotely turn the hose on/off or schedule watering. Achieve greater efficiency by triggering rain delays from a smart phone.

Lowe’s was the first to target the mass consumer market with a broad home automation solution in Iris and the first to introduce a truly open platform – allowing devices across its stores to connect with one another. Iris offers a wide variety of connected devices from well-known brands, a simple user experience, value-priced products, an easy DIY system setup, free service from the day of installation, customizable rules to connect devices and more. Iris from Lowe’s was developed and designed for the consumer, using nearly 70 years of home improvement experience and input from its 15 million shoppers a week.

For the complete list of products available for Iris, please visit Lowes.com/Iris.

About Lowe’s
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 100 home improvement company serving approximately 15 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico. With fiscal year 2013 sales of $53.4 billion, Lowe’s has more than 1,830 home improvement and hardware stores and 260,000 employees. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com.’

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NRF praises the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety’s progress over the past year

WASHINGTON, 2014-7-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today released the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay, praising the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety’s progress over the past year:

“The National Retail Federation applauds the tremendous progress the members of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety have made this past year, demonstrating their true commitment to safer working conditions in the Bangladesh ready-made garment industry.

“The successful development of a strict and unified standard for structural, fire and electrical safety, the training of one million Bangladeshi factory workers and management on pertinent safety training programs, financial compensation for dislocated workers, and reinforced advocacy efforts before the Bangladeshi government are just a few of the Alliance’s achievements.”

“While the group has made great strides, we know more needs to be done. Only through shared responsibility by all stakeholders, including industry, government, and labor will change be realized.”

“We look forward to seeing continued progress in Bangladesh and providing the Alliance the support necessary to accomplish their goals.”

The Alliance today also released its first annual progress report, which details both the achievements realized and challenges faced in its efforts to dramatically improve safety in the ready-made garment sector since the Alliance was founded one year ago this month.

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.

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

Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety Contact: Guillermo Meneses (202) 445-1570

http://bangladeshworkersafety.org

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The National Retail Federation lowered its retail sales forecast for 2014; sales are expected to grow significantly faster over the next five months

WASHINGTON, 2014-7-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today lowered its retail sales forecast for 2014 because of slow growth recorded during the first half of the year, but said sales are expected to grow significantly faster over the next five months. NRF forecasted in January that retail sales would grow 4.1 percent in 2014 over 2013, but today’s revision lowers the forecast to 3.6 percent.

NRF calculated that sales grew 2.9 percent during the first half of the year and are expected to grow at least 3.9 percent during the second half. The numbers include general retail sales and non-store sales, and exclude automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants.

“No retailer was immune to the doldrums witnessed during the first quarter, and as a result, the year’s growth trajectory was impacted,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “That said, there is plenty of evidence that the second half of the year will be better for the industry as consumers begin to feel more optimistic about their spending decisions.

“And though we maintain realistic expectations of retail sales growth in 2014, we are optimistic that the chances for a stronger economy still exist,” continued Shay.

“The severe weather and other factors we experienced earlier this year have taken their toll on retail, but most of those problems are behind us,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “A second look at our forecast shifted our expectations slightly, but it’s important to note that the outlook is positive. Sales are growing and we expect them to continue at a moderate pace.”

In this month’s members-only Monthly Economic Review, Kleinhenz noted, “…one of the worst winters in recent memory kept shoppers home during the first quarter, and weak numbers for real estate, inventories and exports continued to hamper the economy through the second quarter. However, employment has grown at its strongest pace since 2005, business and consumer confidence have edged higher, manufacturing activity has expanded and inflation pressures remain tame, improving expectations for the second and third quarters.”

The revised forecast was announced as Kleinhenz, Shay and NRF Senior Vice Presidents Bill Thorne and David French held a conference call with reporters this morning on the state of the retail industry to discuss the economy, public policy issues and other topics affecting merchants.

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.

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

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SRC-KPMG SCOTTISH RETAIL SALES MONITOR JUNE 2014 – FASHION: In June 2014 total Scottish sales decreased by 1.1% compared with June 2013

LONDON, 2014-7-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — In June 2014 total Scottish sales decreased by 1.1% compared with June 2013, when they had increased by 2.8%. Like-for-like sales decreased by 2.6% on last June, when they had increased by 0.3%. Taking account of shop price deflation, June’s total sales were up 0.7% in real terms, the highest real term growth this year, excluding January and Easter.

Total Food sales were 1.4% down on June 2013, when they had increased 4.0%. Over the last three months, total Food sales declined by 0.8%, in contrast with a twelve-month average growth of 0.8%

Total Non-Food sales decreased by 0.8% on a year earlier when they had increased 1.8%. Adjusted for the estimated effect of online sales in Scotland, total Non-Food sales would have increased by 0.5%. Over the last three months, adjusted Non-Food sales increased 1.3% against 2.5% over the last twelve months.

Total Scottish sales growth was below the UK in June. When adjusted for the effect of online, Scottish Non-Food sales were 2.2% on a year-to-date basis, compared to 4.3% for the UK.

David Martin, Head of Policy and External Affairs, Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Despite June’s retail figures showing a slight improvement on the previous month they rounded off a disappointingly weak second quarter.

“Warmer weather at the start of the month helped to get shoppers out, but as the weather cooled down so did sales.

“It is clear that cash conscious consumers have grown comfortable with value, especially on food, and continue to benefit from competitive pricing driven by stiff competition between the major grocery retailers. The continued decline in like-for-like food sales in June is suggestive that last month wasn’t any different.

“Despite a slight set back in consumer confidence in June, overall consumer confidence has rebounded significantly throughout 2014 and where consumers have made savings, they now have the confidence to loosen their belts and increase spending on those discretionary non-food items.

“Fashion continues to benefit from this confidence, with clothing and footwear the best performing category in June and the only category to report positive total sales growth now for two consecutive months.”
David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, said: “What the consumer is saving in the battle of the grocers is not necessarily being recycled into the non-food categories.
“The decline in food sales in Scotland is similar to that in the rest of the UKý and is more reflective of price reductions from the grocers as they battle for share of wallet than significant volume shifts.

“In non-food, it is encouraging to see the fashion and footwear category performing well and with less discounting than recent years. However, the uplift in household and furniture sales seen earlier in the year has regressed with confidence levels receding again, perhaps caused by wage rate inflation not rising in real terms as hoped or through fears around a rise in interest rates. A few key months lie ahead to inject confidence in the economic recoveryý and translate that through the tills.”

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

BRC-BOND DICKINSON RETAIL EMPLOYMENT MONITOR Q2 2014: The equivalent number of full-time jobs fell by 2.5% in Q2-2014 vs. the same period last year

The equivalent number of full-time jobs fell by 2.5% in the second quarter of 2014 compared with the same period last year. 

LONDON, 2014-7-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — In the second quarter of 2014, the number of outlets rose by 2.5%, driven entirely by food retailers.

The average number of full-time equivalent staff per store fell to its lowest level indicating a drive towards smaller format stores – particularly in food.

The fall in the number of hours worked was driven by food retailers.

Director General of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson, said: “It’s clear that today’s figures come as a result of grocery retailer’s focus on boosting productivity in the face of ever more fierce competition. The grocery sector is changing dramatically and the statistics indicate that retailers are increasingly focused at how they can be more efficient in delivering the best possible value to the customer.

“Retailing, in particular grocery retailing, is an extremely low margin business. In order to continue to deliver high quality goods at affordable prices, retailers are keeping an increasingly close eye on their costs – the largest of which are their property and their people. The increasing upward pressure of business rates in recent years has meant that retailers have had less and less control over the cost of their property. This in turn has seen retailers ensuring that their workforce is as productive as possible and deployed across their stores in the most efficient manner.

“Retailing has always been a tough industry that thrives on an abundance of competition – and it will continue to be so. Retailers are well practiced at keeping their costs under control, however UK retailers will only be able to grow and create more jobs if the costs imposed by others, Government in particular, are similarly carefully managed.”

Christina Tolvas-Vincent, Head of Retail Employment at business law firm Bond Dickinson, said: “While the long term outlook for retail employment continues to be positive the landscape remains challenging. Though food retailers have largely weathered the recession storm, they have faced tough trading conditions of late, which have contributed to the fall in the number of hours worked despite the opening of new stores. Its changing market dynamics indicate that the sector continues to undergo significant transformation, not least from fierce competition from the discounters, who have a leading role in reshaping the grocery sector, but also from smaller format stores, online and the drive for convenience.

“From our research the majority of retailers intend to keep staffing levels the same or increase them marginally, with redundancy levels remaining low. Looking further afield, pop-up retailing, which has been among the fastest growing segments of the retail sector, has the potential to further bolster the sector over the coming 12 months. Furthermore, any amendments to business rates would allow for fundamental reforms providing retailers with a greater opportunity to focus on key areas of growth such as employment.”

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

The Retail Industry Leaders Association issues statement on the decision of NLRB to certify micro unions within the retail industry

Arlington , VA, 2014-7-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement on the decision of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to certify, for the first time, micro unions within the retail industry.

“Micro unions are incompatible with the operational structure of the retail industry and the needs of American consumers,” said Kelly Kolb, vice president of government affairs. “The conflict and complexity brought to workplaces by micro unions jeopardizes the flexibility and opportunity that make retail jobs attractive to millions of Americans, while eroding the high level of customer service consumers have come to expect from retailers.”

“The decision to validate these units, unnecessarily fragmenting retail workplaces, is just the latest example of the board pushing bad policy at the behest of Big Labor. The NLRB must re-evaluate its activist agenda and pursue policies that strike a fair balance between workers’ rights and economic growth,” said Kolb.

The concept of micro unions emerged from the NLRB’s August 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision. The decision redefined what the NLRB considered a proper bargaining unit, abandoning the past, business-wide standard in favor of one that allows union organizers to gerrymander a workplace by cherry-picking small groups of employees within a larger workforce to form a bargaining unit.

In 2013, Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) introduced the Representation Fairness Restoration Act (S. 1166) which is legislation designed to overturn the NLRB decision that created micro unions and address efforts of the NLRB to more widely apply the decision.

In addition, Representative Tom Price (R-GA) offered an amendment to H.R. 4320, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, introduced by House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) to strike down the NLRB decision in Specialty Healthcare, which created micro unions. The amendment was included in the bill reported out of the Committee.

“Now, more than ever, it is imperative that Congress act and pass pending legislation to prevent the further spread of the toxic labor practices associated with micro unions and reverse the Specialty Healthcare decision,” Kolb concluded.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

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Brian Dodge
SVP, Communications & State Affairs
Phone: 703-600-2017
Email: brian.dodge@rila.org

Gap Inc. to introduce the Gap brand to Slovenia and Austria

Gap Brand Set to Launch in Slovenia and Austria

SAN FRANCISCO, 2014-7-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Continuing to deliver on its global growth plans, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today announced that it will introduce the Gap brand to Slovenia and Austria through agreements with new and existing franchise partners. Magistrat International, a new partner, has been selected for the launch of Slovenia and Gottex, which currently manages the Gap franchise business in Israel and Hungary, will launch Austria.

“We are thrilled to be opening in Slovenia and Austria and can’t wait to meet customers when we open our doors for the first time in each capital city.  One of the best things about opening in a new country is the incredible welcome that Gap receives and the buzz that generates for our teams and our customers alike,” said Ismail Seyis, Vice President of Gap Franchise.

“Gap is known all over the world and we have grown our store presence significantly in recent years to help bring our casual style to more and more customers. We launched into five new markets last year; Hungary, Paraguay Peru, Brazil and Costa Rica, and with the opening of stores in Slovenia and Austria we now bring our iconic brand to customers through stores in almost 50 countries.” said Gap Brand President, Steve Sunnucks.

Slovenia

Gap has signed a new agreement with Magistrat International to open three stores for the first time later this year in the capital city of Ljubljana.  City Park, Slovenia’s largest shopping center, will be the location for the first two free-standing stores; one for Adult and one for Kids and Baby. The Emporium department store will feature the full collection of Mens, Womens, Kids and Baby.  All locations are scheduled to open by September this year showcasing the Fall 2014 collection.

Austria

Gap will also open its first store in Vienna, Austria this October through an existing relationship with Gottex Brands, which is a part of the Trimera Group. The free-standing Gap store will be located at the Donauzentrum Mall and will provide a full product assortment and branded store experience to the local consumers. As a great international city with a high tourism rate, Vienna offers an exciting platform for Gap to bring its casual American style and store experience to local and visiting customers alike.

Gap Inc. has expanded the international reach of its brands since launching its first franchise operated store in 2006. Over the last eight years, Gap Inc. has grown its store base and currently has over 300 franchise stores across the world.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than those that are purely historical are forward-looking statements. Words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “project,” and similar expressions also identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the following:

  • Expected franchise store openings and timing.
  • Global expansion strategies.

Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements.

These factors include, without limitation, the following:

  • the risk that changes in general economic conditions or consumer spending patterns could adversely impact the company’s results of operations;
  • the highly competitive nature of the company’s business internationally;
  • the risk that the company or its franchisees will be unsuccessful in gauging apparel trends and changing consumer preferences;
  • the risk that the company’s franchisees will be unable to successfully open, operate, and grow their franchised stores in a manner consistent with the company’s requirements regarding its brand identities and customer experience standards;
  • the risk that the company’s franchisees will be unsuccessful in identifying, negotiating, and securing new store locations and renewing, modifying or terminating leases for existing store locations effectively;
  • the risk that natural disasters, public health crises, political crises, or other catastrophic events could adversely affect the company’s operations and financial results;
  • the risk that acts or omissions by the company’s third-party vendors, including a failure to comply with the company’s code of vendor conduct, could have a negative impact on its reputation or operations;
  • the risk that the company will not be successful in defending various proceedings, lawsuits, disputes, claims, and audits; and
  • the risk that changes in the regulatory or administrative landscape could adversely affect the company’s financial condition, strategies, and results of operations.

Additional information regarding factors that could cause results to differ can be found in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 1, 2014, as well as the company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

These forward-looking statements are based on information as of July 21, 2014. The company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized.

About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies 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 about 3,100 company-operated stores, over 350 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.

Wegmans installs solar panels on the roof of office building near corporate headquarters and built two arrays of solar panels at the Wegmans Organic Farm

ROCHESTER, NY, 2014-7-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — The sun’s rays lift spirits and make flowers, fruits and vegetables grow. The sun is also an abundant source of renewable energy when solar panels convert its radiance into electricity. To learn how big a role the sun can play in helping Wegmans Food Markets meet its energy needs, the company has placed solar panels on the roof of an office building near corporate headquarters and also built two arrays of solar panels at the Wegmans Organic Farm overlooking Canandaigua Lake in the Finger Lakes.

“Reducing our carbon footprint is an ongoing priority. Over the past few years we have made a lot of progress in reducing our electrical consumption, meanwhile researching different renewable energy options. We felt the time was right for us to try solar,” said Jason Wadsworth, sustainability coordinator at Wegmans. “Solar panel technology keeps improving. Solar energy installation costs have come down, and NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) incentives are available to offset some of the cost. So, we identified two locations that made sense as starting points.”

More than 2,000 solar panels on the roof of a Wegmans office building at 100 Market St. in Rochester are now in place and are expected to produce almost enough power for one month’s worth of electricity for that building per year – the equivalent of powering nearly 50 homes for one year.

An installation at the Wegmans Organic Farm will be completed this summer. One solar array next to the main barn may generate enough power to meet 100% of the barn’s energy needs over a year. The other array, near the farm’s high-tunnel greenhouses, will supply about three quarters of the energy needed to operate them. The total of more than 300 solar panels at the farm will provide about the same amount of energy it takes to power 10 homes annually.

“Harnessing more of the power of the sun to grow the beautiful leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers and root vegetables we have at the Organic Farm is a perfect fit,” says Eben Kennedy, produce group manager overseeing the farm. “Thanks to the solar panels, our barn and high-tunnel greenhouses will extend the growing season at very little energy cost. That’s a triple win for us: it’s good for the environment, good for the business, and good for people.”

The NYSERDA funding was through the NY-Sun initiative, which is providing $1 billion to significantly expand solar capacity throughout the state and transform New York’s solar industry to a sustainable, subsidy-free sector. NY-Sun is part of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to protect the environment and lower energy costs for all New Yorkers by improving the efficiency and reliability of the electric grid.

Here’s how solar panels work:

  • The sun’s rays strike the solar panels, which convert their energy into direct current electricity. (The panels generate more electricity on sunny days, but can still produce minimal power under cloudy conditions.)
  • An “inverter” linked to the panels changes the direct current electricity into alternating current, the type of electricity used for heating and cooling systems, lighting, and appliances.
  • During the day, the solar panels can produce more electricity than the building needs. The excess power goes back onto the utility electrical grid and the utility meter spins in reverse.

“Using a bi-directional electrical meter to track the amount of power the building is consuming from the utility company versus how much it consumes from the solar panels is called ‘net metering,’” says Wegmans’ Scott Preston, facilities design project engineer. “At times when the building is using more power than the solar panels are producing, the building draws electricity from the utility and the meter spins forward.”

“We’re very pleased to explore how clean, solar energy can take us further along the sustainability path,” said Wadsworth. “We’ll learn more about how this technology works for us and make better decisions in the future about when and where solar energy makes sense. We’ve learned that over time even little steps can add up to a very big difference.”

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Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 84-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, founded in 1916, is recognized as an industry leader and innovator. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 17 consecutive years. In 2014, Wegmans ranked #12 on the list.

Contact Information:  Jo Natale, director of media relations, 585-429-3627  –

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People partners with Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. to increase the number of African-American owned franchise businesses in U.S.

Dunkin’ Brands and NAACP Launch Initiative to Increase the Number of African-American Owned Franchise Businesses in the U.S.

Baltimore, MD, 2014-7-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced today its partnership with Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN), the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, to create a Diversity Franchising Initiative to increase the number of African-American owned franchise businesses in the United States. Through the partnership, Dunkin’ Brands and the NAACP will collaborate to offer people of color in-depth franchising education and training as well as assistance in overcoming the financial challenges related to becoming a franchise owner. The partnership was announced at the NAACP’s 105th Annual Convention in Las Vegas.

“Franchising can be a powerful economic tool that further enables the African-American community and others to realize the American dream of business ownership,” said Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO of the NAACP. “We are excited to announce this unique partnership with Dunkin’ Brands and to improve opportunities for people of color in the franchising sector because of the substantial impact these agreements have on empowering and employing people of color.”

“The Dunkin’ Brands Diversity in Franchising Initiative will provide education, networking opportunities and information on critical topics including access to capital,” said Dedrick Muhammad, senior director of the NAACP Economic Department. “Ultimately, we hope this program helps to increase the number of African-American franchise business owners in the U.S in both the short and long term.”

This initiative is a part of Dunkin’ Brands’ ongoing efforts to provide resources to help qualified franchisee candidates overcome barriers associated with financing, including providing guidance on business plan development, facilitating access to capital, and forging relationships with local community lenders.

“We are proud to launch this partnership with the NAACP. Working together, our goal is to increase African American participation in the franchise industry, not just with Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, but across a wide spectrum of franchising concepts available in the marketplace,” said Grant Benson, CFE, vice president of global franchising and business development, Dunkin’ Brands. “Additionally, we believe this partnership will enable Dunkin’ Brands to build a larger, more diverse pool of franchise candidates, accelerate our expansion in new and existing markets, and continue to build customer loyalty for our two brands across the country.”

About the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Economic Department

The NAACP Economic Department was relaunched in 2011 and currently has four program areas: Fair Lending, Economic Education, Opportunity and Diversity, and Community Economic Development. The NAACP Economic Department is dedicated to ensuring that “every person will have equal opportunity to achieve economic success, sustainability, and financial security”. Learn more about the NAACP Economic work here.

About National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

About Dunkin’ Brands
With more than 18,000 points of distribution in nearly 60 countries worldwide, Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) is one of the world’s leading franchisors of quick service restaurants (QSR) serving hot and cold coffee and baked goods, as well as hard-serve ice cream. At the end of fiscal 2013, Dunkin’ Brands’ nearly 100 percent franchised business model included nearly 11,000 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants and 7,300 Baskin-Robbins restaurants. Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. is headquartered in Canton, Mass.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Michelle King
michelle.king@dunkinbrands.com