Meijer sponsors the first Miller Park giveaway featuring Hank, “The Ballpark Pup,” on Aug. 6 at Milwaukee Brewers game

Brewers fans to receive full-size Hank beach towel at Aug. 6 game

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2014-8-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — As a new partner of the Milwaukee Brewers, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer Meijer will sponsor the first Miller Park giveaway featuring Hank, “The Ballpark Pup,” on Aug. 6 when the Brewers play the San Francisco Giants at 7:10 p.m.

“Hank has clearly taken Milwaukee by storm and Meijer is excited to give Brewers fans an opportunity to add Hank memorabilia to their collection,” Meijer Co-Chairman Hank Meijer said. “Meijer is proud to be a new member of the greater Milwaukee community and we look forward to cheering on the Brewers with Hank and all Brewers fans.”

Fans attending Hank Beach Towel Day will receive a full-size beach towel, featuring an illustration of Hank. “The Ballpark Pup” will also be available for a limited number of photos prior to the game.

“Milwaukee has embraced Hank in every way and after tickets became limited for the September 13 giveaway, we looked for an additional opportunity to capture the excitement,” Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger said. “We appreciate Meijer’s sponsorship of this promotion and their role in making August 6 another great night at the Miller Park.”

The 2014 season marks Meijer’s first year as a sponsor of the Milwaukee Brewers. Meijer will open stores in Grafton, Kenosha, Oak Creek and Wauwatosa in 2015.

About Meijer
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 213 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As a pioneer of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings. Additional information on Meijer can be found at www.meijer.com. Please follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/Meijer.

Contact: Christina Fecher, christina.fecher@meijer.com, 616-735-7968; Lori Richards, lrichards@muellercommunications.com, 414-390-5500

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Meijer sponsors the first Miller Park giveaway featuring Hank, “The Ballpark Pup,” on Aug. 6 at Milwaukee Brewers game

Meijer sponsors the first Miller Park giveaway featuring Hank, “The Ballpark Pup,” on Aug. 6 at Milwaukee Brewers game

Darty plc to sell its 60% shareholding in Datart International SA to SEW 1001 a.s. for EUR 5 million

LONDON, 2014-8-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Darty plc, a leading multi-channel electrical retailer, today announces that it has completed an agreement to sell its 60% shareholding in Datart International SA to SEW 1001 a,s  in a deal valued at Euro 5 million.

Régis Schultz, Chief Executive of Darty, said:

“Having concluded as part of our strategic review that Datart was a non-core business, I am pleased that we have found a satisfactory solution for our shareholding in Datart and to have completed the process of focusing Darty on our core businesses.”

Enquiries

Analysts:

Darty plc
Simon Ward
+44 (0) 20 7269 1400

Press:

UK
RLM Finsbury
Rollo Head
Jenny Davey
+44 (0) 20 7251 3801

France
Le Public Système
Ségolène de Saint Martin
+33 1 41 34 23 31 / +33 6 16 40 90 73

About Darty plc
Darty group is a leading multi-channel service led electrical retailer operating over 380 stores in five European countries and achieving over 13 per cent of its product sales on the web. It generated an annual turnover of over €3.5 billion in 2013/14 through operations in Darty France, Vanden Borre in Belgium, BCC in the Netherlands and Datart in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Its ordinary shares are listed with the UK Listing Authority and trade on the market for listed securities on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol DRTY.L. It is also listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris.

For further information, please visit the company’s website, www.dartygroup.com.

Certain statements made in this announcement are forward looking statements.  Such statements are based on current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any expected future results in forward looking statements. Unless otherwise required by applicable laws, regulations or accounting standards, Darty plc does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

Gap Inc. reports 5% net sales increase in July compared to same month last year

Guides to Second Quarter Earnings per Share Range of $0.73 to $0.74, Including Gain on Asset Sale

SAN FRANCISCO, 2014-8-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today reported that July net sales for the four-week period ended August 2, 2014 increased 5 percent to $1.17 billion compared with net sales of $1.12 billion for the four-week period ended August 3, 2013. For the second quarter of fiscal year 2014, Gap Inc.’s net sales increased 3 percent to $3.98 billion compared with $3.87 billion for the second quarter last year.

“We’re pleased to close out the first half of the year with a positive comp in July and look forward to the new product and marketing campaigns our brands will launch this fall,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and chief executive officer, Gap Inc.

July Comparable Sales Results
Gap Inc. comparable sales for July 2014 were up 2 percent versus a 1 percent increase last year.
Comparable sales by global brand for July 2014 were as follows:

  • Gap Global: negative 2 percent versus positive 7 percent last year
  • Banana Republic Global: positive 6 percent versus negative 1 percent last year
  • Old Navy Global: positive 3 percent versus negative 5 percent last year

Second Quarter Comparable Sales Results
Gap Inc. comparable sales for the second quarter of fiscal year 2014 were flat versus a 5 percent increase last year. Comparable sales by global brand for the second quarter of fiscal year 2014 were as follows:

  • Gap Global: negative 5 percent versus positive 6 percent last year
  • Banana Republic Global: flat versus negative 1 percent last year
  • Old Navy Global: positive 4 percent versus positive 6 percent last year

Second Quarter Guidance
The company expects diluted earnings per share for the second quarter of fiscal year 2014 to be in the range of $0.73 to $0.74. This compares to diluted earnings per share for the second quarter of fiscal year 2013 of $0.64.

The company noted that its second quarter of fiscal year 2014 diluted earnings per share range includes a benefit of about $0.05 from a gain on the sale of a building owned but not occupied by the company.

Excluding this benefit, the company expects its adjusted diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $0.68 to $0.69 for the second quarter of fiscal year 2014. Please see the reconciliation of adjusted diluted earnings per share, a non-GAAP financial measure, from the GAAP financial measure in the table at the end of this press release.

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 August 7, 2014 and available for replay until 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time on August 15, 2014.

Second Quarter Earnings
Gap Inc. will release its second quarter earnings results via press release on August 21, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time. In addition, the company will host a summary of Gap Inc.’s second quarter results during a live conference call and webcast on August 21, 2014 from approximately 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Pacific Time. The conference call can be accessed by calling 1-855-5000-GPS or 1-855-500-0477 (participant passcode: 8282339). International callers may dial 913-643-0954. The webcast can be accessed at www.gapinc.com.

August Sales
The company will report August sales on September 4, 2014.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release and related sales recording contain 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:

  • earnings per share for the second quarter of fiscal year 2014.

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 additional information may arise during the company’s close process or as a result of subsequent events that would require the company to make adjustments to the financial information.

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 August 7, 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, 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.

Investor Relations Contact:
David Davick
(415) 427-2164
Investor_relations@gap.com

Media Relations Contact:
Kari Shellhorn
(415) 427-1805
Press@gap.com

Banana Republic reveals new look

Fall Campaign Showcases the Brand’s Evolution and Tells the Story of Exciting Things to Come

SAN FRANCISCO, 2014-8-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starting today, Banana Republic is revealing a new look, anchored in the fresh styling point of view of the brand’s new Creative Director and EVP of Design, Marissa Webb. Fall signals a significant shift across the entire brand, from the product and styling of the collection, to the debut of the global marketing campaign, “The New Look of Banana Republic.”

“It’s a new day at Banana Republic,” said Jack Calhoun, Global President, Banana Republic. “This Fall collection and campaign bring us to a more modern, fresh place, that’s still deeply rooted in our heritage. Under Marissa’s creative direction, we’re embracing a bold aesthetic that’s more relevant to the way our customers live their lives. This is just the beginning of exciting things to come.”

In a strategic cadence to debut the new fall product in an exciting way, the brand offered customers a first view of things to come in fall product through a series of brand posts on Banana Republic’s social media channels, as well as organic posts on Webb’s personal channels, which elicited excitement and strong response from customers. As a way to reach new audiences, the brand teased the fall collection on Snapchat for the first time, giving fans a first look at fall behind-the-scenes with Webb. Later in August, Banana Republic extends its digital reach even further, as part of a select group of brands partnering with Instagram on paid advertising—a first-time amplification for the brand on the platform.

“The New Look of Banana Republic reflects our charge towards authenticity in storytelling, where fashion is front and center,” says Catherine Sadler, Global Chief Marketing Officer. “Fall is a continuation of the marketing platform we first introduced this spring, and now we’re excited to share the next chapter. This fall campaign reflects a strong stylish step forward in our evolution.”

The print campaign celebrates the brand’s heritage and commitment to authenticity by sharing product stories through the lens of real-life couples who embody the spirit of the modern day adventurer. Fall fashion is brought to life on singer / songwriter Aloe Blacc and his wife, recording artist and songwriter Maya Jupiter; couple Tenzin Wild, Creative Director & Founder of The Last Magazine, and actress, Tao Okamoto; couple Ben Hill and Zuzana Gregorova; couple Kel Markey and Miles Garber, among others.

Product stories told within the campaign are that of an effortless cool, blending easy-wearing pieces and textures. For her, materials of leather, chambray and cashmere are styled layered, abutting elegance with edge, while for him, we see varied textures and mixed proportions that push the style point of view. This youthful sense of hi-lo styling resonates throughout – offering the first true example of Webb’s creative influence.

“It’s been exciting for me to work with the Fall collection and push the fashion component even further through styling,” said Marissa Webb, Creative Director and EVP of Design of Banana Republic, “I’m excited to share what we’ve been working on and the direction we are headed.”

Join the conversation @BananaRepublic #thenewBR

About Banana Republic
Banana Republic is a global apparel and accessories brand focused on delivering modern American style. Dedicated to helping customers achieve their best in life’s moments big and small, both personally and professionally, Banana Republic offers covetable clothing, handbags, jewelry, eyewear and fragrance at accessible prices. Founded in San Francisco, Banana Republic is located in over 700 company-operated and franchise retail locations worldwide. Customers also can shop online or at (888) BR-STYLE. For more information about Banana Republic, a division of Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS), please visit bananarepublic.com.

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Delhaize Group reports its second quarter 2014 results

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 2014-8-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Delhaize Group reports its second quarter 2014 results

Financial Summary Second Quarter 2014
» Revenue growth of 3.7% at identical exchange rates (3.7% organic growth)
» Comparable store sales growth of 3.3% in the U.S. and -1.2% in Belgium
» Group underlying operating margin of 3.4% (3.6% in the U.S., 3.2% in Belgium)

» Impairment of €150 million in Serbia

 

Financial Summary First Half 2014
» Revenue growth of 3.2% at identical exchange rates
» Group underlying operating margin of 3.3% (3.8% last year)

 

CEO Comments

Frans Muller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group, commented: “Our operating performance in the second quarter was in line with our expectations. In the U.S., comparable store sales growth remained strong, driven by momentum at Food Lion and Hannaford. Our U.S. underlying operating profit began to stabilize as we started to cycle last year’s price investments.”

“In Belgium, our performance was impacted by weak sales and market share loss. In June, we announced our intention to implement a comprehensive Transformation Plan. Through significant organizational changes and accelerating the implementation of our commercial strategy, we aim to remain a differentiated and leading food retailer in Belgium with high quality, well-priced products and strong customer service.”

“In Southeastern Europe, we gained further market share in Greece, Romania and Serbia. In Serbia, our results continued to be impacted by macro-economic instability, negative GDP growth and retail deflation. While we are developing a new commercial strategy to strengthen our performance, the current economic outlook is not expected to improve in the near term. This has caused us to book a further impairment.”

“For the second half of the year, we are on schedule with our “Easy, Fresh & Affordable” initiative at Food Lion while we also have the firm intention to negotiate the implementation of our announced Transformation Plan at Delhaize Belgium. For the full year, we expect to generate a healthy level of free cash flow.”

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BRC-NIELSEN SHOP PRICE INDEX JULY 2014: Overall shop prices reported deflation for the fifteenth consecutive month, accelerating to 1.9% in July

LONDON, 2014-8-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Overall shop prices reported deflation for the fifteenth consecutive month, accelerating to 1.9% in July. This is the deepest level of deflation since the series began in December 2006. Food inflation fell to 0.3% in July – the lowest ever recorded. Non-food reported deceleration in deflation of 3.3% in June from 3.4% in June.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: “Shop price deflation deepened still further in July and marked fifteen consecutive month of falling shop prices for consumers. This is great news for households who are benefitting from fierce competition within the industry at a time when disposable incomes remain under pressure.

“The lowest ever recorded food inflation will be particularly welcomed by the lowest income households who typically spend around a third of their expenditure on food. Deep and widespread discounting across the grocery sector is intensifying with prices falling almost one per cent month-on-month – another record jump. After accounting for the use of multi-buys and vouchers, food prices are falling.

“Against a backdrop of stable commodity markets, the stronger sterling making imports cheaper and wavering retail spending, current levels of deflation are expected to continue. While this is great news for consumers, trading conditions across the industry remain challenging. Structural changes in retail are challenging existing business models which in many cases are squeezing margins while other costs, such as business rates, continue to rise.

“While we know retailers will be working hard to sustain low prices, continued support from Government will be key to maintaining a sustained recovery in the economy.”

Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight, Nielsen, said: “There is very little food inflation at the moment and this looks set to continue over the summer. Many supermarkets are reducing prices across ambient and seasonal fresh foods, which is helping shoppers make further savings on household bills. And on the non-food high street, retailers are maintaining the level and depth of price cuts and promotions to help drive footfall over the holiday period.”

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

MARKS AND SPENCER GROUP PLC RELEASES ITS QUARTER 1 2014/15 TRADING STATEMENT

MARKS AND SPENCER GROUP PLC
QUARTER 1 2014/15 TRADING STATEMENT
13 WEEKS TO 28 JUNE 2014

LONDON, 2014-8-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — ‘Womenswear in growth’

• Group sales 1 +2.3%
• UK: total sales +2.0%, like-for-like +0.3%
• GM: total sales -0.8%, like-for-like -1.5%
• Clothing: total sales +0.1%, like-for-like -0.6%
• Food 2: total sales +4.2%, like-for-like +1.7%
• M&S.com -8.1%
• International sales1 +4.7%

¹Stated on ex-VAT and constant currency basis. International sales at actual currency were +0.1% on the year for the quarter.
² Adjusting for impact of later Easter timing, total Food sales were +2.6%, like-for like +0.1%

Marc Bolland, Chief Executive said:
“We have seen a continued improvement in Clothing, although as anticipated the settling in of the new M&S.com site has had an impact on sales. We are pleased that the Womenswear business was in growth, driven by full price sales, in line with our increased focus on margin. Our Food business had another great quarter, continuing to outperform the market, through our focus on differentiation through quality and innovation.”

Trading summary
Womenswear sales were up as a result of stronger full price sales and uplift from seasonal and fashionable products.  In General Merchandise, we are continuing to see progress in our Clothing business with customers increasingly buying into the improvements we have made to quality and style. In line with our increased focus on margin, we were less promotional, both online and in stores. While this has affected the sales performance, particularly online, we are on track to deliver our full year gross margin guidance.

As anticipated, General Merchandise sales were impacted by the settling in of the new .com site. The new web platform has been technically resilient and we have received positive customer feedback on the website’s enhanced fashion and style content. As previously indicated, we are now focussed on optimising the website commercially, with updates made on a regular basis. We have recently seen a gradual improvement in sales performance, despite a lower level of promotional activity. We expect to return to growth ahead of our peak trading period.

Our Food business had a great quarter with our strategy to be more specialist setting us apart from the competition. We continue to outperform the market as customers continue to come to us for unrivalled quality and innovation, whether for their special events or great everyday value.  With value top of mind for customers, we remained price competitive while protecting our gross margin. We launched some 700 new products giving customers more choice than ever. We are on track with the pipeline of 150 new Simply Food stores opening over the next three years.

Our International business continued to perform well, with particularly strong performance in our priority markets. Trading conditions in the Republic of Ireland continue to be challenging. Sales performance in the Middle East was impacted by the timing of shipments to our franchise partners.

Guidance and outlook
Our full year guidance remains unchanged. Despite some improvement in consumer confidence, market conditions remain challenging. Our focus is on delivery in order to make M&S a stronger and more profitable business.

Marks and Spencer Group plc will report its second quarter trading and half year results on 5 November 2014.

Statements made in this announcement that look forward in time or that express management’s beliefs, expectations or estimates regarding future occurrences and prospects are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements reflect Marks & Spencer’s current expectations concerning future events and actual results may differ materially from current expectations or historical results. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including failure by Marks & Spencer to predict accurately customer preferences; decline in the demand for products offered by Marks & Spencer; competitive influences; changes in levels of customer traffic or consumer spending habits; effectiveness of Marks & Spencer’s brand awareness and marketing programmes; general economic conditions or a downturn in the retail or financial services industries; acts of war or terrorism worldwide; work stoppages, slowdowns or strikes; and changes in financial and equity markets.

– Ends –

For further information, please contact:

Investor Relations:
Majda Rainer   +44 (0)20 8718 1563
Helen Cox   +44 (0)20 8718 8491

Corporate Press Office: +44 (0)20 8718 1919
Out of hours calls:  +44 (0)20 8718 2000

Alliance Boots and Walgreens create first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise, Walgreens Boots Alliance

Nottingham, 2014-8-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Alliance Boots is delighted that Walgreens has exercised its option to complete the second step of its strategic transaction with Alliance Boots. The new company will be the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. The combined enterprise will be named Walgreens Boots Alliance and headquartered in the Chicago area. Boots will continue to be headquartered in Nottingham and the current support offices of Alliance Healthcare will remain across Europe.

The transaction is expected to complete in the first quarter of calendar 2015, subject to shareholder and various regulatory approvals.

Walgreens Boots Alliance will consist of four Divisions: Walgreen Co. (the largest drugstore chain in the US); Boots (the UK and Republic of Ireland’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer); Pharmaceutical Wholesale and International Retail (including Alliance Healthcare, Europe’s largest pharmaceutical wholesaler); and Global Brands.

The management team of the combined enterprise will comprise senior executives from both companies, led by Greg Wasson as President and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance. Stefano Pessina will be Executive Vice Chairman, responsible for strategy and M&A, and Chairman of a new strategy committee of the Board of Directors. In addition, the following appointments have been announced:

  • Ornella Barra, Chief Executive, Wholesale and Brands of Alliance Boots, will become Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President and Chief Executive of Global Wholesale and International Retail.
  • Jeff Berkowitz, President of Walgreens Boots Alliance Development GmbH, will serve as Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Pharma and Global Market Access, which will include responsibility for specialty pharmacy.
  • Alex Gourlay, Walgreens President of Customer Experience and Daily Living, will become Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Walgreens.
  • Tim McLevish, previously announced as Walgreens Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will serve in that role in a global capacity for Walgreens Boots Alliance.
  • Ken Murphy, Managing Director, Health & Beauty International and Brands of Alliance Boots, will serve as Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Global Brands.
  • Simon Roberts, Managing Director, Health & Beauty, UK and the Republic of Ireland of Alliance Boots, will serve as Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Boots.
  • Tom Sabatino, Walgreens Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, will serve as Executive Vice President and Global Chief Legal and Administrative Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance.
  • Tim Theriault, Chief Information, Innovation and Improvement Officer at Walgreens, will assume the role of Executive Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance.
  • Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, Walgreens Chief Human Resources Officer, will become Executive Vice President and Global Chief Human Resources Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Other members of the Alliance Boots senior executive management team will fulfil a variety of key roles within Walgreens Boots Alliance, including Marco Pagni, Group Legal Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer of Alliance Boots, who will work with Stefano Pessina on strategy and M&A. Further information on this role and the broader management team will be communicated in due course.

Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman, Alliance Boots, commented: “The expected creation of the new enterprise will represent the most significant milestone in the history of our Group and, importantly, a very positive step for the future of the healthcare industry as a whole. Together with Walgreens, we have already made good progress over the past two years and I strongly believe that the merger will bring significant growth opportunities for both mature and emerging markets. Today’s announcement reflects the great track record and accomplishments of our people to date and I am convinced that their skills, expertise and commitment will continue to make a positive contribution in the years to come. This combination is a true partnership, further evidenced by the composition of the future management team of Walgreens Boots Alliance.”

Greg Wasson, President and CEO, Walgreens, added: “We are excited to move forward with the next important step in becoming a new kind of global healthcare leader. Expanding globally with Alliance Boots will make quality healthcare more affordable and accessible to communities here in America and around the world. In addition, Stefano and I are pleased with the comprehensive plan we have announced today as part of Step 2. These elements will provide additional shareholder value creation, both in the near and long term. I congratulate our teams for getting us to this point and together we have a bright future.”

The Walgreens Boots Alliance merger combines two leading companies with iconic brands, complementary geographic footprints, shared values and a heritage of trusted healthcare services through pharmaceutical wholesaling and community pharmacy care, dating back more than 100 years each. Combining the companies will create a new global leader in pharmacy-led health and wellbeing retail with more than 11,000* stores in 10* countries and an unparalleled portfolio of retail and business brands, as well as increasingly global health and beauty product brands.

The full combination also will establish the world’s largest pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution network with more than 370* distribution centres delivering to more than 180,000* pharmacies, doctors, health centres and hospitals in 20* countries. Walgreens Boots Alliance will be the world’s largest purchaser of prescription drugs and many other health and wellbeing products. The combined size, scale and expertise will help Walgreens and Alliance Boots expand the supply, and address the rising cost, of prescription drugs in America and worldwide.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

* Figures include Alliance Boots associates and joint ventures.

About Alliance Boots

Alliance Boots is a leading international pharmacy-led health and beauty group delivering a range of products and services to customers. Working in close partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists, we are committed to improving health in the local communities we serve and helping our customers and patients to look and feel their best. Our focus is on growing our two core business activities of: pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing and pharmaceutical wholesaling and distribution, while increasingly developing and internationalising our product brands.

Alliance Boots has a presence in more than 25* countries and employs over 108,000* people. We have pharmacy-led health and beauty retail businesses in nine countries and operate more than 3,150 health and beauty retail stores, of which just under 3,050 have a pharmacy, with a fast growing online presence. In addition, Boots Opticians is one of the leaders in the UK optical market with around 600 practices, of which around 180 operate on a franchise basis, and we have a leading position in the UK hearingcare market through our associate, Boots Hearingcare, which operates in around 430 locations across the UK. Our pharmaceutical wholesale businesses supply medicines, other healthcare products and related services to more than 180,000 pharmacies, doctors, health centres and hospitals from more than 370 distribution centres in 20 countries.

In June 2012, Alliance Boots announced that it had entered into a strategic partnership with Walgreen Co., the largest drugstore chain in the US, to create the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.

* Figures are approximations as at 31 March 2014 and include associates and joint ventures.

For further information, please contact:

Media relations:

Yves Romestan/Laura Vergani/Katie Johnson/Julie Longton, Alliance Boots: +44 (0)207 980 8585
James Murgatroyd/Claire Scicluna, RLM Finsbury (UK): +44 (0)207 251 3801
Kal Goldberg/Kyle Giunta, RLM Finsbury (US): +1 646 805 2000

Investor relations:

Gerald Gradwell, Alliance Boots: +44 (0)207 980 8527 (UK)/+1 646 688 1336 (US)

By Sainsbury’s Mature Cheddar awarded Reserve Supreme Champion at this year’s Nantwich Cheese Festival

LONDON, 2014-8-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — By Sainsbury’s Mature Cheddar has been awarded Reserve Supreme Champion at this year’s Nantwich Cheese Festival, the biggest international cheese awards in the world.

The Sainsbury’s haul of 160 awards at the festival includes 14 trophies for Champion Cheeses and 46 Gold awards. The Reserve Supreme Champion winning by Sainsbury’s cheddar is made by the Taw Valley Creamery in Devon, made to a recipe developed by and exclusive to Sainsbury’s – it is only available in Sainsbury’s stores in pre-pack “red label by Sainsbury’s mature cheddar” and on Sainsbury’s instore deli counters. This champion cheese is a fabulous mature cheddar, aged between 10-12 months. It has a firm texture and long lasting, well balanced flavour with real depth and wonderful savoury notes.

Win Merrells, Sainsbury’s Cheese Product Developer said: “This fantastic win proves that great cheese does not have to be expensive. By taking good ingredients and using a carefully devised recipe, you can make a cheese that is very affordable but worthy of champion status.”

Win Merrells was amongst the senior judges at the show, where all of the tasting is done completely blind. While at the show, Win was invited to join the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers, with five other cheese experts, in recognition of their knowledge and services to the cheese industry. This is in addition to the Cheese Industry Award presented to Win in May 2014 by the British Cheese Board, recognising her outstanding contributions to the UK cheese industry during a career spanning 37 years, at least 10 of which she has dedicated to the dairy industry. Win became only the 2nd person from the retailing world to ever win the award.

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By Sainsbury’s Mature Cheddar awarded Reserve Supreme Champion at this year’s Nantwich Cheese Festival

Sainsbury’s gains full control of e-books platform Anobii Ltd. with the purchase of its remaining stake from Penguin Random House and HarperCollins UK

LONDON, 2014-8-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s has bought the remaining stake, previously held by Penguin Random House and HarperCollins UK, in the e-books platform Anobii Ltd. The deal gives the retailer full control of the company as part of its growing Sainsbury’s Entertainment digital offer.

In June 2012, Sainsbury’s bought a 64% share of Anobii from the HMV Group with Penguin Random House and HarperCollins owning 24% and 12% respectively.

Sainsbury’s subsequently created and launched the eBooks by Sainsbury’s retail site. New features and functionality have been added to the site including the ability for customers to be able to earn and spend Nectar points, and innovative deals such as Sainsbury’s offering the UK’s first film and book e-bundle. Earlier this year the site was awarded ‘E-Book Retailer of the Year’ at The Bookseller Industry Awards.

With full ownership, Sainsbury’s plans to offer customers an enhanced digital entertainment experience across film, music and books via Sainsbury’s Entertainment website.

Commenting on the announcement, Tim Lennox, Managing Director of eBooks by Sainsbury’s who will head up the new online entertainment business said: “This is the logical next step in our commitment to growing our digital entertainment offer for customers across film, music and books in a way which complements and connects with our broader Sainsbury’s business.

“Penguin Random House and HarperCollins have been invaluable in our ebooks development and we look forward to continuing our great working relationship with them.”

Ian Hudson, Deputy CEO, Penguin Random House, UK said: “Having helped launch Anobii in the UK, we would now like to wish Sainsbury’s every success in taking the platform forward to its next successful chapter.”

Simon Johnson, Group MD of HarperCollins UK, said: “We’re very pleased to have been a part of this slick, award-winning site. We wish Sainsbury’s continuing success with it and look forward to maintaining our strong trading partnership with them.”

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Sainsbury’s gains full control of e-books platform Anobii Ltd. with the purchase of its remaining stake from Penguin Random House and HarperCollins UK