National Grocers Association (NGA) sent letter to USDA requesting extension on FSIS Meat-Grinding Rule

Arlington, VA, 2014-8-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (Aug. 19, 2014), the National Grocers Association (NGA), along with the American Meat Institute and the North American Meat Association, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requesting for an extension of the comment period on the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) recently proposed rule requiring retail supermarkets to keep detailed records on meat-grinding activities. NGA’s President and CEO, Peter Larkin, released the following statement:

“This proposed rule has the potential to significantly impact America’s independent supermarket operators; many of whom pride themselves on providing their customers with top-quality meat markets. NGA member stores commonly employ knowledgeable butchers who cut and grind ground beef fresh in-store multiple times a day, often upon a customer request. These departments help differentiate independent grocers from their chain competitors. It is important for NGA to have a sufficient amount of time to appropriately gather input and data from our membership so that we are able to convey to USDA the impact this proposed rule would have on our members’ store operations. NGA embraces a robust commitment of advancing policies that ensure the safety and soundness of the food supply, and we strongly believe that an extension of the comment period will result in a better informed rulemaking.”

The public comment period for USDA’s proposed rule expires on September 22, 2014. The proposed rule can be found HERE.

If you need additional information, please contact Laura Strange at 703-516-8808.

###

Toys“R”Us® raised over $2.2 million during its fourth consecutive nationwide fundraising and awareness campaign to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF)

#Stir4ACure Initiative Encouraged Customers to Show Their Support and Helped Raise Awareness in the Fight Against Childhood Cancer

Wayne, NJ, 2014-8-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us® today announced that it raised more than $2.2 million during its fourth consecutive nationwide fundraising and awareness campaign benefiting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for pediatric cancer. Throughout the two-month campaign, Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us® customers were encouraged to make a donation in-store or online and sign up to host an official Alex’s Lemonade Stand. To demonstrate further support for ALSF, the company launched a new consumer engagement initiative, #Stir4ACure, which invited social media users to spread awareness for the cause by sharing who or what they stir for – whether a cure, family member or all children fighting for cancer. The initiative followed in the footsteps of Alexandra “Alex” Scott, the inspiration behind ALSF, who “stirred for a cure” for all kids like her, before losing her battle with cancer at the age of eight.

“Once again, we are in awe of the support Toys“R”Us and its customers provided Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation,” said Liz Scott, Co-Executive Director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and mother of Alex Scott. “Year after year we’ve watched Toys“R”Us motivate children and families across the nation to carry out Alex’s mission and ‘stir’ for a cure. With the funds raised during this year’s campaign, we are hopefully one step closer to making Alex’s dream of curing childhood cancer a reality.”

Diagnosed just before her first birthday, Alex Scott began hosting lemonade stands at the age of four to help kids like her who were affected by pediatric cancer. Before she died in 2004, Alex raised $1 million through stands hosted in her name. Inspired by Alex’s determination, her parents, Liz and Jay Scott, established ALSF in 2005. Today, thousands of kids continue to host lemonade stands in Alex’s honor, “stirring” the most important ingredients of all into their lemonade – hope and support for the 263,000 new children affected by cancer worldwide each year. To date, Alex’s legacy has helped raise more than $80 million, showing that at any age, kids can make a lasting impact on their community and the world.

“Toys“R”Us remains dedicated to helping fight childhood cancer through our partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation,” said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman, Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund. “We are proud that, following this summer’s successful campaign, together Toys“R”Us and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund along with donations from customers, have now contributed more than $8.3 million over the past four years. These funds will be used to help fund pediatric cancer research projects and provide valuable resources to families affected by this disease.”

New to the 2014 campaign, Toys“R”Us engaged customers to participate in its #Stir4ACure initiative by sharing who or what they stir for via social media. Families from across the U.S. – including celebrity supporters such as actors Bailee Madison, Nolan Gould and Kristen Vangsness, as well as ALSF “heroes” – joined the #Stir4ACure movement.

Throughout the campaign, to further support the organization, Toys“R”Us partnered with children and families who have been affected by childhood cancer to host official Alex’s Lemonade Stands in select Toys“R”Us stores across the country. During the event, volunteers and ALSF advocates served lemonade and spoke about the importance of the organization, while generating donations and participation in the #Stir4ACure initiative.

Additionally, all Toys“R”Us stores across the country held an in-store event, which served as a nationwide platform to provide families with information about ALSF and encourage them to donate to the cause. Children in attendance enjoyed special giveaways and activities, including a take-home pledge inviting their family to set up an official Alex’s Lemonade Stand and participate in the company’s #Stir4ACure social media program.

To jump-start the 2014 campaign, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, a public charity affiliated with Toys“R”Us, Inc., provided a $100,000 grant to ALSF.

Charitable Giving at Toys“R”Us

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

About Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $80 million toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure, funding over 450 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit AlexsLemonade.org.

# # #

Media Contacts:
Toys“R”Us, U.S.
Jessica Offerjost
(973) 617-4766 / (646) 366-8854
Jessica.Offerjost@toysrus.com

Nicole Hayes
(973) 617-4371 / (646) 366-8862
Nicole.Hayes@toysrus.com

Wegmans Food Markets nutritionists outline ideas for turning the after-school “hungries” into snacks that give kids the real nourishment their growing bodies need

ROCHESTER, NY, 2014-8-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — As every parent knows, most kids get home from school wanting to eat – right now, if you please. So here’s a simple idea from the nutrition team at Wegmans Food Markets for turning the after-school “hungries” into snacks that give kids the real nourishment their growing bodies need, while helping to set healthier eating habits for years to come:

  1. Start with an empty ice cube tray.
  2. Fill cubes with assorted finger-foods and stick it in the fridge – try cut fruits and veggies, nuts, low-fat proteins, dairy, whole-grain crackers, cheese, and dips like hummus or flavored yogurts.
  3. After school, the ice cube tray becomes a mix-it-yourself snack bar for the kids!

“Think about using the ice cube tray to redefine after-school snacking, and include some of the nutritious foods your kids might have missed out on during the day, like fruits and veggies. Be sure to add some power protein too, like cheese cubes, hummus, or even organic yogurt,” says Wegmans Nutritionist Krystal Register, MS, RD, LDN.  “A smart way to make sure kids are eating right is to balance a snack the same way you would balance a healthy sit-down meal. Instead of filling up on chips or cookies, let them dip raw veggies, munch on whole grain crackers, and top off the snack with fresh or dried fruit and some crunchy nuts.”

What can go into your ice-cube snack tray? Here are some ideas – try different assortments to change things up and keep snacks interesting:

  • Fruits:  Berries, grapes, or wedges of apple, melon, or citrus fruit. Slices of kiwi or banana. Dried fruits.
  • Veggies: Mini sweet peppers, snap peas, cucumber or zucchini slices, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, raw broccoli or cauliflower florets.
  • Lean protein: Slices of deli meats such as ham, turkey, or chicken.
  • Nuts: Mixed nuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
  • Dairy: Chunks of mild cheddar, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or spoonfuls of cottage cheese or yogurt.
  • Whole grains: Whole-grain crackers, pretzels, or popcorn.
  • Dips: Hummus, nut butters, Greek yogurt dips in flavors such as onion, dill, or Mediterranean herb; or flavors that go with fruit such as lemon or French vanilla.

“Everybody likes variety,” says Register. “Go for a rainbow of colors with fruits and veggies – red, orange, green, yellow, purple. Mix up the textures too, like soft, smooth, crunchy, moist and dry. Kids will experiment and find their favorite combinations. Also, some kids who don’t care much for cooked vegetables do like raw veggies, especially if they can dip that cucumber slice or baby carrot in an onion-flavored yogurt dip!”

While the ice cube snack tray is quick to assemble, Wegmans also offers Fresh Cut Snacks, perfect for times when there seems to be no time at all to plan or prep. The Fresh Cut Snacks, available in the Prepared Foods area of most stores, are grab-and-go mini-meals that appeal to kids and grownups alike. They have wholesome, fresh ingredients like whole grain crackers, organic turkey, and cut carrots with hummus; whole grain rice cakes, apple slices, and celery with organic peanut butter; or blueberry Greek yogurt parfait.

Today, Americans are living in The Great Age of Snacking, according to consumer behavior research by the Hartman Group. We snack an average of 2.3 times a day – because we want a treat, or don’t feel like cooking, or just get an impulse to have a bite.

If you’ve grown up thinking it’s best to avoid snacking, maybe it’s time for a fresh look. A study published in 2012 by Cornell University researcher Brian Wansink, Ph.D. showed that kids who were offered a combination snack of vegetables and cheese were satisfied with fewer calories than a group of kids who had a snack of chips only. Wholesome ingredients, extra calcium and fiber, plus appetites satisfied with fewer calories? That sounds like a winning combination for an after-school snack! For even more snack ideas, print out the “Snack with the Power of 3” brochure from wegmans.com.

##

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, Wegmans’ director of media relations, 585-429-3627
Evelyn Carter, consumer affairs manager (Syracuse media only), 315-546-1110
Michele Mehaffy, consumer affairs manager (Buffalo media only), 716-685-8170

Target Corporation reported Q2 adjusted earnings per share of $0.78 and GAAP earnings per share of $0.37

Minneapolis, 2014-8-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Adjusted EPS of $0.78 and GAAP EPS of $0.37, Consistent with August 5 Update

  • Target’s digital sales, including flexible fulfillment, grew more than 30 percent in the second quarter, approximately double the industry growth rate.
  • Second quarter U.S. Segment transactions declined 1.3 percent, an improvement of onepercentage point compared with the first quarter.
  • Canadian Segment sales increased 63.1 percent to $449 million from $275 million last year.
  • Second quarter GAAP EPS reflects an accrual for what the Company believes to be the vastmajority of actual and potential claims related to the December 2013 data breach.
  • In second quarter 2014, Target paid dividends of $272 million, an increase of 18 percent from $231 million last year. In June, the Board of Directors increased the quarterly dividend 21 percent from 43 cents to 52 cents per share, beginning with the dividend payable on September 10, 2014.

MINNEAPOLIS (August 20, 2014) – Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) today reported second quarter Adjusted earnings per share1 of $0.78, a decrease of 20.6 percent from $0.98 per share in 2013, and GAAP earnings per share of $0.37. In addition to operating results, second quarter GAAP earnings per share reflect:

  • Net pre-tax data breach expenses of $111 million, or (11) cents per share2;
  • Pre-tax early debt retirement losses of $285 million, or (27) cents per share2;
  • Pre-tax impairment losses on undeveloped U.S. land of $16 million, or (1) cent pershare, and;
  • A (1)-cent impact related to the reduction of the beneficial interest asset2.

The tables attached to this press release provide a reconciliation of non-GAAP to GAAP measures. All earnings per share figures refer to diluted earnings per share.

“While results from the quarter didn’t meet our expectations, we are seeing some early signs of progress as we work to improve results in the U.S. and Canada,” said John Mulligan, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Target Corporation. “In the U.S., traffic trends continue to recover and monthly sales are improving, with July comparable sales up more than 1 percent. Better U.S. sales have continued into August, driven by early back-to-school results. In Canada, the team is making important changes to operations and the merchandise assortment with a focus on delivering improved results by this holiday season.”

“Target is an extraordinary company. I’m excited to join the team as we work to drive U.S. traffic and sales, improve Canadian operations and accelerate Target’s digital transformation,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and chief executive officer of Target Corporation. “In the coming weeks and months I will be focused on listening and learning from Target team members in the U.S. and Canada, and working with the leadership team to develop guest-focused, strategic plans to position Target for long-run success.”

Fiscal 2014 Earnings Guidance

In third quarter 2014, the Company expects Adjusted EPS, reflecting operating results in its U.S. and Canadian Segments, of 40 cents to 50 cents. This measure excludes approximately (2) cents related to the expected reduction of the beneficial interest asset2, as well as any future data breach-related expenses.

Target now expects full-year 2014 Adjusted EPS of $3.10 to $3.30, compared with prior guidance of $3.60 to $3.90. Full-year 2014 GAAP EPS is expected to be (48) cents below Adjusted EPS, reflecting:

  • Year-to-date net pre-tax data breach expenses of $129 million, or (13) cents per share2;
  • Pre-tax early debt retirement losses, recognized in interest expense, of $285 million, or (27) cents per share2;
  • Pre-tax impairment losses on undeveloped U.S. land of $16 million, or (1) cent per share;
  • Pre-tax expense of $13 million, or (1) cent per share, related to Target’s decision to convert existing co-branded cards to MasterCard in early 2015, and;
  • A (6)-cent impact related to the expected reduction of the beneficial interest asset2.

​​GAAP EPS guidance does not include an estimate of future data breach-related expenses.

1Adjusted diluted earnings per share (“Adjusted EPS”), a non-GAAP financial measure, excludes the impact of certain matters not related to the Company’s ongoing retail operations, such as data breach expenses, losses associated with the early retirement of debt, the reduction in the beneficial interest asset and land impairment losses.

2See the “Accounting Considerations” section of this release for additional information about expenses related to the data breach, losses on early debt retirement, and the beneficial interest asset.

U.S. Segment Results

In second quarter 2014, sales increased 0.7 percent to $17.0 billion from $16.8 billion last year, reflecting the contribution from new stores and flat comparable sales. Segment earnings before interest expense and income taxes (EBIT) were $1,160 million in second quarter 2014, a decrease of 12.8 percent from $1,330 million in 2013.

Second quarter EBITDA and EBIT margin rates were 10.0 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively, compared with 10.8 percent and 7.9 percent in 2013. Second quarter gross margin rate declined to 30.4 percent from 31.4 percent in 2013, driven by an increase in promotions. Second quarter SG&A expense rate decreased to 20.4 percent in 2014 compared with 20.6 percent in 2013, reflecting disciplined control of expenses across the organization, including the benefit from Target’s expense optimization efforts, partially offset by the de-leveraging impact of flat comparable sales.

Canadian Segment Results

Second quarter Canadian Segment sales increased 63.1 percent to $449 million from $275 million last year, reflecting the contribution from new stores partially offset by an 11.4 percent decline in comparable sales. Second quarter 2014 is the first period with reported comparable sales for the Canadian Segment, reflecting results in 48 Canadian stores that became mature at various points during the quarter. The second-quarter decline in comparable sales reflects the comparison to strong grand opening sales surges in 2013, combined with the impact of market densification later in 2013 which redistributed sales from earlier store openings. Segment EBIT was $(204) million in second quarter compared with $(169) million in 2013.

Second quarter 2014 gross margin rate was 18.4 percent, reflecting the continued impact of efforts to clear excess inventory, compared with 31.6 percent in second quarter 2013, which reflected unusually low clearance markdowns resulting from the short time stores had been open. SG&A expense rate of 48.3 percent in second quarter 2014 compares with 75.2 percent last year, reflecting increased scale in the Canadian Segment and pre-opening costs in last year’s results.

Interest Expense and Taxes

Second quarter 2014 net interest expense was $453 million, compared with $171 million last year, driven by a $285 million charge related to the early retirement of debt.

The Company’s effective income tax rate was 36.1 percent in the second quarter, compared with 36.4 percent in second quarter 2013. The decrease of 0.3 percentage points was due to a variety of factors, none of which was individually significant.

Capital Returned to Shareholders

The Company paid dividends of $272 million in second quarter 2014, an increase of 18% from $231 million last year.

In second quarter, Target repurchased 614 thousand shares of its common stock at an average price of $55.36, due entirely to the non-cash settlement of forward contracts related to the Company’s deferred compensation plans. Beyond this settlement, Target did not repurchase additional shares of its common stock.

Accounting Considerations

During fourth quarter 2013, Target experienced a data breach in which an intruder gained unauthorized access to its network and stole certain payment card and other guest information. In second quarter 2014, the Company incurred gross breach-related expenses of $148 million, partially offset by the recognition of a $38 million insurance receivable. Expenses for the quarter include an increase to the accrual for estimated probable losses for what the Company believes to be the vast majority of actual and potential breach-related claims, including claims by payment card networks. Given the varying stages of claims and related proceedings and the inherent uncertainty surrounding them, the Company’s estimates involve significant judgment and are based on currently available information, historical precedents and an assessment of the validity of certain claims. These estimates may change as new information becomes available and, although the Company does not believe it is probable, it is reasonably possible that the Company may incur a material loss in excess of the amount accrued. The Company is unable to estimate the amount of such reasonably possible excess loss exposure at this time. The accrual does not reflect future breach-related legal, consulting or administrative fees, which are expensed as incurred and not expected to be material in any individual period. Since the data breach in fourth quarter 2013, the Company has incurred total net breach-related expenses of $146 million, reflecting $236 million of gross expenses, partially offset by the recognition of a $90 million insurance receivable.

In second quarter 2014, Target completed tender offers in which the Company paid $1.0 billion to retire, at market value, $725 million of its long-term debt3. As a result, the Company incurred a pre-tax loss of $285 million, or (27) cents per share, which was recognized as net interest expense in Target’s second-quarter Consolidated Statements of Operations.

At the close of the sale of its entire U.S. consumer credit card receivables portfolio to TD Bank Group in first quarter 2013, Target recognized a $225 million beneficial interest asset, which effectively represented a receivable for the present value of future profit-sharing Target expected to receive on the receivables sold. The beneficial interest asset was reduced in second quarter 2014 by $11 million, compared with a $29 million reduction in second quarter 2013. Since the close of the transaction, the beneficial interest asset has been reduced by $127 million.

3See Target’s Form 8-K filed on July 16, 2014 for more information about the results of the tender offers.

Miscellaneous

Target Corporation will webcast its second quarter earnings conference call at 9:30 a.m. CDT today. Investors and the media are invited to listen to the call through the Company’s website atwww.target.com/investors (click on “events & presentations”). A telephone replay of the call will be available beginning at approximately 11:30 a.m. CDT today through the end of business on August 22, 2014. The replay number is (855) 859-2056 (passcode: 38951472).

Statements in this release regarding third quarter and full-year 2014 earnings guidance and excess exposure related to the data breach are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements speak only as of the date they are made and are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially. The most important risks and uncertainties are described in Item 1A of the Company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 1, 2014.

In addition to the GAAP results provided in this release, the Company provides Adjusted diluted earnings per share for the three- and six-month periods ended August 2, 2014 and August 3, 2013, respectively. This measure is not in accordance with, or an alternative for, generally accepted accounting principles in the United States. The most comparable GAAP measure is diluted earnings per share. Management believes Adjusted EPS is useful in providing period-toperiod comparisons of the results of the Company’s ongoing retail operations. Adjusted EPS should not be considered in isolation or as a substitution for analysis of the Company’s results as reported under GAAP. Other companies may calculate Adjusted EPS differently than the Company does, limiting the usefulness of the measure for comparisons with other companies.

About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,925 stores – 1,795 in the United States and 130 in Canada – and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit to communities; that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom. For a behind-the-scenes look at Target, visit ABullseyeView.com or follow @TargetNews on Twitter.

Download the full press release [PDF]

media contact

John Hulbert
Investors
p: (612) 761-6627

Eric Hausman
Public Relations
p: (612) 761-2054

New Zealand-owned supermarket New World funds the trial Hunger Provocation Programme started at Starship Children’s Hospital on 18 August

Waiheke, New Zealand, 2014-8-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — A groundbreaking pilot programme has just been launched at Starship Children’s Hospital, which aims to help hundreds of children get off feeding tubes, and learn to eat and drink again.

The trial Hunger Provocation Programme started at the national children’s hospital on 18 August.  The $45,000 needed for the programme is being funded by New Zealand-owned supermarket New World, which today announced it has come on board as the Starship Foundation’s newest five star sponsor.

Around 70 children each year are discharged from Starship with a feeding tube still in place, requiring their parents or caregivers to continue to give their child liquid feeds through a tube that is either inserted through their nose or surgically inserted into their stomach.  It is estimated there are currently more than 600 tube-fed children in New Zealand, with 1 in 4 identified as being appropriate for tube weaning.

While in hospital children may need to be fed via a tube for a variety of medical conditions, including prematurity, metabolic disease and heart defects. Unfortunately there are a number of children who, despite resolution of the medical condition, become dependent on the tube and unable to return to oral foods despite the physical ability to do so.  In some cases tube dependency can be life long.

“These tube-fed children may not learn the oral motor and sensory skills needed to eat and miss out on the social aspect of mealtimes.  As a result, some children will refuse to eat or drink. They rely on the tube for all their nutrition despite no longer having a medical requirement for it,” says Mandy Beatson, Starship Paediatric Speech Language Therapist. “The Hunger Provocation Programme at Starship is the first step towards ensuring these children are provided the support and opportunity to live more normal lives where they can eat and drink for themselves.”

There is currently no such programme in New Zealand, with the only option for parents to either travel abroad for treatment, attempt on-line supervision, or pay around $25,000 for an overseas therapist to try to manage the complex feeding programme in the child’s home without medical support.

A one-off trial was successfully completed at Starship with five year-old Thomas Morrison last year, and four more patients have just been selected for the roll out of the programme this month.  Each patient is required to attend an outpatient assessment followed by a three week daystay programme with intensive daily input from a primary consultant, dietitian, clinical psychologist, occupational therapist, speech therapist and nurse.

“It’s changed our lives.  I was out with Thomas shortly after completing the course. It was time for morning tea and I didn’t have the feed pump or anything for him.  I just popped into the supermarket, bought a banana and mashed it up,” says Thomas’s mother, Louise Morrison.  “It was so lovely to finally have a normal experience with food, and to be able to cook for my son is amazing.  Thomas is now at school and is able to go and eat with his classmates at lunchtime instead of just sitting there doing nothing with his pump going,”

Three year-old Nakiyah Reid travelled from her home in Wellington to begin the three-week programme on 18 August. As a baby she had an inverted jaw, found it hard to latch with breastfeeding had severe reflux and failed to thrive.  She has relied on a feeding tube to sustain her since she was born. “I’m super excited about the trial,” says Nakiyah’s mother Shoni Reid.  “I have dreamed about this day for so long.  It has been such a huge stress on us.  She deserves to eat like her sisters.  To have my baby eating means the world to me.”

Although New World is now formally on board with Starship, it is not the first time the organisation has had a positive impact within the hospital.  The supermarket’s hugely popular “Little Shop” promotional mini food items were used by Starship’s Consult Liaison Team in the treatment of children with extreme food anxiety problems caused by problems such as food allergies or oral aversion.

“We are thrilled to be able to become a key sponsor of Starship. To have a national clinical resource available to make a real difference to Kiwi children and their families is invaluable. We know without the support of organisations like New World initiatives such as the trial Hunger Provocation Programme wouldn’t be able to happen. We are pleased that our sponsorship means we are helping Kiwi families,” says Steve Anderson, Managing Director New World.

Also as part of its new partnership with the Starship Foundation, New World is providing weekly fresh fruit baskets onto the wards at the national children’s hospital, for parents and caregivers to enjoy.

“We are so grateful to New World for their generosity to Starship and for supporting the work we do to care for New Zealand children and their families,” says Ms Beatson.

Dollar Tree, Inc. reported 9.5% sales increase to $2.03 billion in its results for the second fiscal quarter ended August 2, 2014

  • Sales increased 9.5% to $2.03 billion
  • Comparable store sales increased 4.5%
  • Diluted EPS, including acquisition-related costs, increased 5.4% to $0.59
  • Excluding acquisition-related costs, diluted EPS increased 8.9% to $0.61

CHESAPEAKE, Va., 2014-8-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR), North America’s leading operator of discount variety stores selling everything for $1 or less, reported its results for its second fiscal quarter ended August 2, 2014.

Second Quarter Results
Consolidated net sales increased 9.5% to $2.03 billion from $1.85 billion in the prior year’s second quarter. Consolidated comparable store sales increased 4.5% on a constant currency basis. Adjusted for the impact of Canadian currency fluctuations, the comparable store sales increase was 4.4%.

Gross profit increased 7.0% to $694.1 million from $648.7 million in the prior year’s second quarter. As a percent of sales, gross margin decreased by approximately 80 basis points to 34.2%. The primary contributors to the decrease were increased freight costs and investments in higher-value products.

Selling, general and administrative expenses were 24.1% of sales compared to 24.1% of sales in the prior year’s second quarter. The quarter included approximately $7.5 million in acquisition-related costs related to the proposed merger with Family Dollar Stores, Inc. Excluding acquisition-related costs, selling, general and administrative costs were 23.7% of sales, a 40 basis point improvement compared to the prior year’s second quarter.

Net income, compared to the prior year’s second quarter, including acquisition-related costs, decreased approximately $3.2 million to $121.5 million, and diluted earnings per share increased by 5.4% to $0.59. Excluding acquisition-related costs, net income increased approximately $1.4 million to $126.1 million and diluted earnings per share increased 8.9% to $0.61.

“I am very pleased with our second quarter results,” said Chief Executive Officer Bob Sasser. “Expanded assortments of high-value product contributed to our strongest quarterly comparable store sales performance in two years. Pet supplies, hardware, household products, food, electronics and party goods all performed well in the quarter. Our 4.5% comp sales resulted from increases in both customer traffic and average ticket. I am particularly proud of our store associates. Our store teams continue to execute at a high level as the Company delivered its 26th consecutive quarter of positive comparable store sales growth. In challenging macro environments, consumers are increasingly relying on Dollar Tree to be part of the solution in managing their family’s budget. Our stores are well-stocked with incredible values and we are prepared for the fall selling season.”

The Company opened 90 stores, expanded or relocated 20 stores, and closed 4 stores during the quarter. Retail selling square footage increased to 44.8 million square feet, a 6.8% increase compared to the prior year.

First Six Months Results 
Consolidated net sales increased 8.4% to $4.03 billion from $3.72 billion in the first six months of 2013. Consolidated comparable store sales increased 3.2% on a constant currency basis. Adjusted for the impact of Canadian currency fluctuations, the comparable-store sales increase was 3.1%.

Gross profit increased 6.6% to $1.39 billion, or 34.5% of sales, compared to $1.30 billion, or 35.1% of sales, in the first six months of 2013.

Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 7.5% to $953.8 million, improving as a percent of sales to 23.7% compared to 23.8% for the first six months of 2013. Excluding acquisition-related costs, selling, general and administrative costs were 23.5% of sales, a 30 basis point improvement compared to the prior year’s first half.

Net income, compared to the prior year’s first six months, including acquisition-related costs, increased $1.5 million to $259.7 million, and diluted earnings per share increased by 8.7% to $1.25. Excluding acquisition-related costs, net income increased $6.1 million to $264.3 million and diluted earnings per share increased 11.3% to $1.28.

Company Outlook
The Company’s full-year guidance has been adjusted for actual first half performance, and its outlook for the back half is unchanged from the original guidance provided on February 26, 2014.

The Company estimates sales for the third quarter of 2014 to range from $2.02 billion to $2.07 billion, based on low- to mid-single digit positive comparable store sales. Diluted earnings per share are estimated to range from $0.61 to $0.66, excluding acquisition-related costs.

Full-year 2014 sales are now estimated to range from $8.44 billion to $8.55 billion. This estimate is based on a range of low- to low-mid-single digit positive comparable store sales. Diluted earnings per share, which includes $0.02 per share of second quarter acquisition-related costs, are expected to range from $2.94 to $3.06, excluding third and fourth quarter acquisition-related costs.

Conference Call Information
On Thursday, August 21, 2014, the Company will host a conference call to discuss its earnings results at 9:00 a.m. EDT. The telephone number for the call is 888-802-2239. A recorded version of the call will be available until midnight Thursday, August 28, and may be accessed by dialing 888-203-1112, and the access code is 6083217. A webcast of the call is accessible through Dollar Tree’s website, www.dollartreeinfo.com/investors/news/eventsand will remain online until midnight Thursday, August 28.

About Dollar Tree, Inc.
Dollar Tree, a Fortune 500 Company, operated 5,166 stores in 48 states and 5 Canadian provinces as of August 2, 2014, with total retail selling square footage of 44.8 million. To learn more about the Company, visit www.DollarTree.com.

A WARNING ABOUT FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS: Our press release contains “forward-looking statements” as that term is used in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements address future events, developments or results and typically use words such as believe, anticipate, expect, intend, plan, forecast, or estimate. For example, our forward-looking statements include statements regarding the timing and completion of the proposed merger with Family Dollar, acquisition-related expenses and financing costs, the benefits, results and effects of the merger, the combined company’s plans, objectives and expectations, the fall selling season, third quarter and full-year sales, third quarter and full-year diluted earnings per share, and third quarter and full-year comparable store sales. Risks and uncertainties related to the proposed merger include, among others, the ability to close the proposed merger on the proposed terms and schedule, or at all, Family Dollar’s ability to terminate the merger agreement under certain circumstances if a superior proposal is made by a third party to Family Dollar, difficulties related to integration of proposed merger and our ability to obtain cost savings and synergies contemplated by the merger, unexpected costs, charges or expenses resulting from the proposed merger, and the outcome of pending or potential litigation or governmental investigations. For a discussion of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could affect our future events, developments or results, you should carefully review the “Risk Factors,” “Business,” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections in our Annual Report on Form 10 K filed March 14, 2014, the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and other sections in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed May 22, 2014 and our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We are not obligated to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements contained in this press release to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this report and you should not expect us to do so.

dollar tree table 1 dollar tree table 2 dollar tree table 3

 

 

Intershop awarded Gold Partner status to SAP e-commerce specialist AGETO Service GmbH

  • SAP e-commerce specialist AGETO helps customers pave the way for success with its SAP expansion for Intershop 7
  • Expert partner with lengthy industry experience offers consulting and implementation services for international B2B and B2C omni-channel projects

Jena, Germany, 2014-8-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Intershop, the leading independent provider of innovative, comprehensive services for omni-channel commerce, has awarded Gold Partner status to AGETO Service GmbH. In doing so, Intershop recognizes AGETO’s in-depth consulting expertise in the implementation of e-commerce systems and the integration with SAP and other ERP/CRM systems. Intershop CEO Jochen Moll says: “With AGETO as our partner, we are able to offer our customers crucial advantages when it comes to implementing their online strategy with seamless, efficient e-commerce processes. In just one year of close cooperation with AGETO, Intershop has successfully acquired several new B2B and B2C customers, including the office supplies retailer Papier Liebl, the Munich, Germany-based Occhio GmbH, and the regional subsidiary of an American company specialized in the field of medical technology.

Intershop’s prerequisites for certification as a Gold Partner include joint sales and marketing activities, a track record of successful customer acquisition and guaranteed minimum resources for project realization. The first joint project between Intershop and AGETO was the introduction of SAP Cartridge for Intershop 7: a standard solution making it possible to link Intershop systems with SAP, which received an overwhelmingly positive response from customers.

In being certified as an Intershop Gold Partner, AGETO continues to expand its service portfolio for international omni-channel customers. AGETO CEO Sirko Schneppe says: “We have gained a wealth of experience through our work on countless e-commerce projects involving different technologies. For us, Intershop 7 is a sophisticated standard solution offering a versatile modular e-commerce kit that we can adapt and expand to accommodate the wide range of scenarios of our B2B customers.”

Intershop CEO Moll adds: “AGETO has been on the fast track to achieving Intershop Gold Partner status. Prompt implementation of the ambitious joint business development plan between our companies demonstrates how our partners can succeed, particularly with small and medium-sized companies, by combining their expertise with our solution.”

In the next phase of the cooperation, Intershop and AGETO plan a joint marketing campaign and will share a presence at various trade fairs this fall.

About AGETO Service GmbH
Founded in 2003, AGETO is an IT service provider for e-commerce, SAP, and e-security. The company specializes in the implementation of international B2B and B2C (omni-channel) business models and processes. The company has a unique advantage in this area: AGETO is one of the few IT service providers capable of offering e-commerce and SAP expertise from one source. AGETO advises on, implements, and operates e-commerce platforms, SAP applications, and e-security authentication solutions with the new personal ID card.

With over 90 employees at a current total of six locations (Jena, Bielefeld, Frankfurt, Munich, Leipzig, and Berlin), AGETO is capable of implementing the digital strategy of large companies and offering high-end SMEs the best support possible for B2B2C online business. They benefit from broad industry, project, and integration expertise in the areas of e-commerce and SAP.

AGETO is partnered with Intershop, hybris, SAP, and ITML. It is a founding member of the TowerByte eG e-commerce cooperative and a member of the Eclipse Foundation and BITKOM.

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

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

Intershop Public Relations
Heide Rausch

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

e-commerce industry veteran David Ricketts to lead Intershop’s sales organization in North America

  • E-Commerce industry veteran to drive growth in strategic region
  • Also adds additional talent in technical pre-sales

San Francisco, 2014-8-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Intershop, the leading independent technology vendor for omni-channel commerce solutions, today announced that it has appointed e-commerce industry veteran David Ricketts to lead the sales organization in North America. It has also added twenty-year industry veteran Mike Ensor as VP of Technical Pre-Sales and Managed Services. The addition of these top e-commerce talents reflects the continued growth and investment strategy by Intershop in its strategic US region.

Mr. Ricketts brings to Intershop nearly 20 years of experience in software sales and sales management – most of which was spent in e-commerce. Ricketts previously served as senior vice president of sales at Insite Software, vice president of sales, North America for hybris, executive sales at ATG (Oracle) and director of national retail sales at Sterling Commerce, Inc. (now part of IBM). His knowledge and experience gained in helping both b2c and b2b enterprise-level accounts grow their online sales and transform their approach to digital customer experience will be a significant asset as Intershop continues to expand its customer and partner portfolio in the US.

“Intershop is an e-commerce platform pioneer and is consistently ranked as a leader by the industry analysts; they’re perfectly poised to help companies transform their digital customer experience,” said Ricketts. “I’m delighted to have joined the Intershop team of experts and to both participate in the expansion of the company’s footprint in North America and help our customers realize their omni-channel goals and objectives.” Mr. Mike Ensor, VP of Pre-sales and Managed Services has also been added to the team bringing with him over 20 years of deep technology experience in e-commerce.

Mr. Ensor was most recently e-commerce practice principal architect at digital agency pioneer Acquity Group (now part of Accenture). Mike’s technology career also includes planning, analysis, recommendation and deployment of large technology solutions for companies such as AT&T, Carter’s/OshKosh, SkyMall, RealNetworks, Nintendo, VMWare and Kohls. Mike will lead Intershop’s technical pre-sales organization and directly assist and advise b2b and b2c organizations on best practice approaches to digital transformation via e-commerce.  He will also take on the leadership role for Intershop’s thriving managed services practice that hosts and manages clients’ e-commerce sites.

“The e-commerce market is unique and highly specialized,” said Jochen Moll, CEO, Intershop. “Hiring top talent with deep industry experience in our strategic growth region will help us better serve our customers, our partners and our shareholders. We are very pleased to have added David and Mike to our growing team in the U.S.,” Moll added.

To learn more about Intershop visit here.

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

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

Intershop Public Relations
Heide Rausch

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