Argos reported 90% YoY increase in sales of instant cameras in the last week

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-8-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Over the past week, sales of instant picture cameras have soared as Brits opt for the retro camera look to capture their precious memories while out and about this summer.

Digital retailer Argos has reported a 90 per cent year on year increase in sales of instant cameras in the last week, as snappy-happy Brits head to festivals, weddings and on holiday with friends and family.

Hasmita Patel, Camera Buyer for Argos said: “We have seen a real demand this year for instant cameras, with photo sharing sites like Instagram inspiring people to use cameras to achieve that retro, vintage look. What’s also clear is that our customers want hard copies of their photos reflecting times before social media became part of everyday life.

The cameras have proven especially popular with young people as they are a fun way to capture moments like birthdays, GCSE results days and on holiday. Cameras such as the FujiFilm Instax Instant Camera series allow users to develop their own photos on the spot, while looking fun and retro in their design.

We predict the next couple of weeks are going to be a big for camera sales, as families continue to make the most of the school holidays, as well as the run up to Christmas”.

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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 leadingUKdigital 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. Argosserves around 123 million transactions 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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Argos to launch full through-the-line campaign for its first ever home and furniture power brand ‘Heart of House’

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-8-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Argos is heralding the launch of Heart of House, its first ever home and furniture power brand, with a full through-the-line campaign, kicking off with TV advertising on Monday 25 August and running across press, digital, social and PR.

The campaign, which was created by agency Path WorldWide, celebrates the reality of family life and the true use of products in the home.  The TV advertisement features a series of ‘real life’ scenes, including a couple deciding where to put their sofa, a child making snow angels in a beautiful deep pile rug, a teenager using a pile of cushions as a laptop stand and children playing hide and seek in a pair of curtains.

Press and digital activities continue this theme, with photography of a striking chair being used as a dog basket and an elegant winged bed acting as an office space.

The advertisement will launch on Monday 25 August in primetime slots during Coronation Street on ITV1, Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5 and the live semi-final of Got To Dance on Sky One.  During the remainder of August, it will run across key programming on ITV, Channel 5, Sky and Channel 4 such as Double Your House for Half the Money and Cowboy Builders.

Print display advertisements will launch in women’s weeklies and newspaper supplements, followed by women’s monthlies and relevant home titles. Later in the year, customers will be able to engage with the Heart of House product range through interactive tablet advertisements on key national sites.  Social media activity includes the launch of a Heart of House branded Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Jack Wallace, Brand Controller for Heart of House, said: “The integrated launch campaign for Heart of House represents Argos’ biggest investment in own brands so far.  The campaign brings a new tone to the home market, which is based in the real world.  Our homewares and furniture have been developed to withstand the knocks and bumps of everyday family life and the campaign brings that to life through real family moments.”

Philip Slade, Strategy Director for Path WorldWide, said: “We were thrilled to be involved with the launch of such an exciting new brand, one that recognises that our homes are still at the heart of our world, just in a completely different and individual way. This isn’t about selling a lifestyle, but promoting products that fit in with the life we live now.”

Customers will be able to have a sneak preview of the TV advertisement on the Argos and Heart of House Facebook pages on Sunday 24 August.

 

-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.

 

TV Credits

TV Directed by Patrik Bergh

Via B Reel films

Creative team Steven Hanratty and Basil Mina

 

About Heart of House
Heart of House is a new homewares and furniture brand designed to meet the needs of real family life and homes.  It offers a wide range of homewares and furniture with more than 1,200 practical, stylish products that look great and are made to withstand the knocks, bumps and demands of daily family life.

Heart of House products are available through Argos’ websites and apps.  Customers can take advantage of Argos’ convenient Check & Reserve service available at 734 stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The launch of Heart of House is part of Argos’ drive to increase its appeal amongst broader customer groups, which supports its transformation strategy to become a digital retail leader.  Argos is committed to developing and growing its own brands to become a £1.5bn business which represents a third of its total sales by 2018.

Visit the Heart of House Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/HeartOfHouseUK

Visit Heart of House Twitter feed at: www.twitter.com/HeartOfHouseUK

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.

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Argos to launch full through-the-line campaign for its first ever home and furniture power brand 'Heart of House'

Argos to launch full through-the-line campaign for its first ever home and furniture power brand ‘Heart of House’

John Lewis to open two John Lewis Opticians in its Stratford City and Cardiff department stores this Autumn

LONDON, 2014-8-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — John Lewis has announced that it will open two John Lewis Opticians in its Stratford City and Cardiff department stores this Autumn.

The new venture will focus on building longstanding relationships between optician and patient and will offer customers the very best in eye healthcare.

John Lewis Opticians will feature the very latest diagnostic eye care equipment including optical coherence tomography (OCT), a non-invasive imaging test that uses light waves to take 3D cross-section pictures of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. This new technology can help with early identification of various eye conditions and will be part of every John Lewis eye test.

The concessions will offer brands including Giorgio Armani, Prada and Ray-Ban as well as a wide range of children’s frames.

Optical services are the latest step in the retailer’s strategy to expand the retail offer within its shops and the announcement follows the launch of Kuoni concessions in eight John Lewis branches and successful catering collaborations with Joe and the Juice in John Lewis Solihull, Hotel Chocolat in John Lewis Edinburgh and John Lewis York and Ham Holy Burger and Rossopomodoro in John Lewis Oxford Street. ‘little Waitrose at John Lewis’ also made its debut at John Lewis Watford in June last year and a further shop is due to open in John Lewis Southampton this September.

Sean Allam, director commercial operations, John Lewis said: ‘We want to give our customers compelling reasons to visit our shops and believe that the time is right to launch a service that provides the right mix of fashion leading product and top quality eye care. John Lewis shoppers rely on us to provide the very best in customer service and product assortment and John Lewis Opticians takes that one step further, offering top class eye care coupled with a range of world leading brands.’

Notes to editors
John Lewis operates 42 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, 10 John Lewis at home and a shop at Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. It is part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership where all 91,000 staff are Partners in the business.

John Lewis, ‘Multichannel Retailer of the Year 2014’¹, ‘Best Overall Retailer’² and ‘Best Retailer 2014’³, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 280,000 products, and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. (www.johnlewis.com). John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.
¹ Oracle Retail Week Awards 2014
² Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2014
³ Which? Awards 2014

About Luxottica
Founded in 1961 by Leonardo Del Vecchio, the Group is a vertically integrated organization whose manufacturing of sun and prescription eyewear is backed by a wide-reaching wholesale network and a retail network located mostly in North America, Asia-Pacific, China and Latin America. Quality of products, plants on the cutting edge, unique retail and wholesale distribution. This is Luxottica Group, a worldwide integrated leader. Luxottica’s products are distinguished by the excellent design and the high quality and they are known all over the world thanks to a strong and well balanced brand portfolio. Among the house brands are listed Ray-Ban, the most known sunglasses brand at worldwide level, Oakley, Vogue, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Arnette and Alain Mikli while the licensed brands include Armani, Bvlgari, Burberry, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Tiffany and Versace. The Group’s wholesale distribution network covers more than 130 countries across five continents and has nearly 50 commercial subsidiaries providing direct operations in key markets. Particularly revealing is the penetration in the emerging markets, as well as in the new channels represented by the large department stores, travel retail and e-commerce. Together with the direct control on wholesale, Luxottica has the most extended worldwide retail network, comprising over 7,000 stores worldwide as of December 31, 2013.
Enquiries
For further information please contact:

Carly Edwards
Communications Officer, John Lewis
Telephone: 020 7592 5459
Email: carly_edwards@johnlewis.co.uk

“Bake-Off effect” contributed to rise in bakery sales at Sainsbury’s

LONDON, 2014-8-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — With the show now in its fifth season, the “Bake-Off effect” has contributed to a rise in bakery sales at Sainsbury’s, with both ingredients and equipment seeing significant uplifts.

Sainsbury’s has reported a 30% increase in the sale of flaked almonds after Mary Berry featured Florentines in last week’s episode. Similarly Sainsbury’s has seen bakeware up a massive 200%. In addition rolling pins and cookie cutters are up 22% week on week, Cooks Collection Bakeware up 53%* and plain flour is up 16%.  Within Sainsbury’s exclusive Mary Berry collection of bakeware, the ‘Time for Tea Bell’ is the range’s best seller.

“There is clear evidence that our shoppers are immediately inspired when watching cookery shows like the Great British Bake Off’ says Susi Richards, Head of Own Brand Product Development at Sainsbury’s. “We have seen that sales of our kitchen equipment and bakery goods peak online between 7-9pm on a Wednesday, directly around the time the GBBO airs.

“We make sure we manage this for our customers by ensuring that there is always good stock of products in demand. For example we know freeze-dried raspberries are going to feature on the GBBO, so have plenty of these in store and we have also stocked up on yeast in preparation for this week’s bread theme on the show.”

The show’s ability to drive sales is the latest in a long line of TV and celebrity chef-influenced trends. Sales of goose fat rocketed at Sainsbury’s in 2006 when celebrity chef Nigella Lawson advocated it on TV, as well as nutmeg, where sales increased fourfold after Jamie Oliver recommended using it on pasta dishes.

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"Bake-Off effect" contributed to rise in bakery sales at Sainsbury’s

“Bake-Off effect” contributed to rise in bakery sales at Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s put their Back To School range to the test to create durable, high quality uniforms at surprisingly low price

LONDON, 2014-8-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — To make busy families’ lives easier, Sainsbury’s has put their Back To School range to the test to create durable, high quality uniforms at surprisingly low price points – offering exceptional value from ages 2 to 16.

From pull-tested seams and buttons to fabrics that retain their shape up to 100 washes, every item in the Tu school uniform range at Sainsbury’s has been rigorously trialled; ensuring garments will withstand the daily wear and tear of school life.

1: Colours stay true
The Perfect Colour sweatshirts, sweatshirt cardigans, polo shirts and joggers have been made using technologically advanced dye to improve colour retention, so that colours stay brighter for longer[1]. To assure quality that lasts term after term, the Easy Care White Polo Shirts have test washed up to 100 times and the unique cotton rich fabric is proven to retain its shape after washing.

2: No more ironing!

Many parents would agree that ironing is one of their least favourite household chores, and thankfully all packed shirts, including our stain resistant Bionic Shirt which is new for this season, are non-iron as standard[2]. Boys’ trousers are finished with a resin on the centrefold and pleats on woven skirts and pinafores are heat set to ensure creases look sharp after washing and wearing.

3: Wave goodbye to your sewing kit

To ensure they are stronger for longer, buttons on all garments and seams on woven trousers, skirts and pinafores have been pull-tested beyond the British industry standard. Secured hems on trousers mean no more mending, whilst adjustable waists guarantee longer lasting wear as your child grows.

4: Muck-proof shirts

Make sure your little ones stay looking smart and feel comfortable throughout the school day in the Bionic Shirt or 100% pure breathable cotton Bionic Polo Shirt – both are stain resistant and water repellent.

5: Super tough fabrics

The Advanced Technology Cardigan uses a special cotton rich blend knitwear, meaning reduced bobbling and shrinkage and retained colour after washing. Woven trousers, skirts and pinafores have been rub-tested up to 100,000 times to withstand hours of playground antics.

6. Let little ones learn

Sainsbury’s Back To School clothing range begins at age 2 and features easy-dressing elements to encourage younger children to learn how to dress themselves. From increased zip lengths on pinafores, no zips or buttons on trousers or skirts, and elasticated cuffs on long sleeved shirts – mornings just got easier for those up to age 5.

7. One step ahead

Tu has created breathable leather school shoes for girls and boys from size 8 to 6, some in wider fittings.  With a wipe-clean coating, Micro Fresh technology for reduced odours and cushioned padding – feet will feel comfortable all day long.

With an extensive range of school uniform, school bags, lunch boxes and stationery, Sainsbury’s is firmly committed to providing parents with quality products that will last the entire school year, and is undoubtedly the smartest choice when it comes to kitting out your child this September.

Sainsbury’s Head of Buying and Design for Childrenswear, John Carolan said:“Getting ready for the new school term can be a stressful and costly time, so we have taken the pressure off parents with our fantastic quality Back To School range, all available at great prices. To make life easier, the innovative fabric technology in our uniforms, such as the permanent crease trouser and non-iron shirt will save hours on household chores, giving parents the break they deserve!”

The Tu Back to School range is available in over 500 stores nationwide from 23rd July in sizes ranging from age 2 to16 years. Packs of two uniforms start from as little as £13.50 and include a 2-pack of sweatshirts (from £4), a 2-pack of skirts/trousers (from £6) and a 3-pack of polo shirts (from £3.50).

Price Points

PRODUCT PRICE PER ITEM MULTIPACK PRICE
Unisex White Polo Shirt From £1.17 From £3.50 (3 pack)
Unisex White Crew Neck T-Shirt From £1 From £3 (3 pack)
Unisex Sweatshirt From £2 From £4 (2 pack)
Boy’s Trousers From £3 From £6 (2 pack)
Girl’s Skirt From £3 From £6 (2 pack)
Girl’s Pinafore From £4 From £8 (2 pack)
Girls Cardigan From £3 From £6 (2 pack)
Boys leather shoes From £15  N/A
Girls leather shoes From £15  N/A

[1] The Perfect Colour Polo Shirts, Sweatshirts, Sweatshirt Cardigans, Joggers; and Woven Trousers, Skirts and Pinafores are colour fast for up to 20 washes.

[2] The Bionic Non Iron Shirts are stain resistant for up to 20 washes.

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Sainsbury’s put their Back To School range to the test to create durable, high quality uniforms at surprisingly low price

Sainsbury’s put their Back To School range to the test to create durable, high quality uniforms at surprisingly low price

NRF’s Back-to-School/College Surveys: Average family with children in grades K-12 completed 49.9% of their shopping lists as of mid-August, down slightly from last year’s 52.1%

Washington, 2014-8-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Recognizing that a number of the best deals of the summer are still to come, some families have only scratched the surface of their back-to-school shopping lists as of mid-August. According to NRF’s latest Back-to-School/College Surveys, the average family with children in grades K-12 completed just half (49.9%) of their shopping by that time, down slightly from last year (52.1%).

“As the shopping season draws to a close, budget-conscious parents are likely hoping that end-of-summer sales and promotions will be just what they need to wrap up their school lists,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Much of the delay this summer could also stem from families holding out for a sales tax holiday in their state, as well as from influential teenagers who want to first see what their friends are buying before they ask mom and dad to commit to their fall needs.”

According to the survey, as of August 12, fewer families had stepped out to take advantage of retailers’ special school savings opportunities; specifically, one-quarter (23.6%) had not started shopping yet, up from 20.9 percent last year. However, there were some who were eager to get started as they looked to spread out their spending: 15.7 percent say they have completed their lists, which is about the same amount as last year.

College families on the other hand, got a good jump on retailers’ sales and promotions this summer: 23.4 percent say they are completely finished with their lists, up from 20 percent last year. Additionally, slightly fewer families this year say they haven’t started shopping (26.2% vs. 28.8% last year.)

Hoping to trim the costs where they can, some back-to-school shoppers made it a point to look for coupons and sales while scouring for new footwear, supplies, electronic items and apparel. And, according to the most recent survey, 15.2 percent of back-to-school shoppers said 100 percent of their purchases were influenced by coupons, sales and promotions, the highest percent since 2011; 14.8 percent of college students and their families say 76- 99 percent of their shopping was influenced by coupons, also the highest for that range in the survey’s history.

In July, NRF found eight in 10 (81.1%) families with children in grades K-12 said the state of the economy would impact their school spending in some way; seven out of 10 (77.2%) college students and their families agreed.

In the survey, when asked what payment method back-to-school families used most often to purchase school necessities, 44.9 percent say they have or will use their debit cards more than cash (24.9%) and credit cards (27.9%). College students and their families have or will use debit cards (43.4%), followed by credit cards (33.7%) and cash (18.9%).

To wrap up their lists, most back-to-school shoppers will shop at discount (54%), department (47.7%) and clothing stores (35%), and online (24.8%). One-third (33.7%) will visit an office supply store and 10 percent will shop local and support small business.

Back-to-college shoppers will finish their shopping at discount (47.4%), department (40.3%) and clothing stores (26.8%). The most in the survey’s history – 37.4 percent – will wrap up their lists online.

NRF Asks About School Requirements for Supplies, Electronic Purchases

To gauge the level of influence a school may have on both back-to-school and college shoppers’ intentions to buy supplies and/or electronics, NRF asked parents this year about specific course/school requirements.

According to the survey, nearly one in five parents (18.2%) say that 100 percent of their back-to-college electronics purchases were influenced by course/school requirements.

For back-to-school families, whose lists often include supplies needed for the classroom, 21 percent of parents say that 100 percent of the supplies they buy are influenced by classroom and school requirements. When it comes to electronics, 16.4 percent said that every electronic item they buy is influenced by classroom lists and school requirements.

“As schools looks to parents more and more to help fund classroom needs, parents are looking for as many ways as they can to cut costs, and that could very well be why we’re seeing more people seek out coupons and sales this summer,” said Prosper Insights Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “Low prices at the end of the season will definitely drive more college and school families to shop last minute, especially for those with specific items they need in order to start the school year.”

View sample charts at NRF’s Retail Insight Center.

About the Survey
NRF’s 2014 Back-to-School and Back-to-College Surveys were designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to back to school spending and back to college spending. The surveys were conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The poll of 6,285 consumers was conducted from August 5-12, 2014. The consumer polls have a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3 percentage points.

Prosper Insights and Analytics delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, Prosper represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues.www.ProsperDiscovery.com

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

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

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SRC-KPMG SCOTTISH RETAIL SALES MONITOR JULY 2014: Total Scottish sales decreased by 1.8% vs. July 2013

LONDON, 2014-8-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — In July 2014 total Scottish sales decreased by 1.8% compared with July 2013, when they had increased by 4.0%, the strongest growth recorded in 2013. Like-for-like sales decreased by 3.7% on last July, when they had increased by 1.4%. Adjusted for deflation measured by the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index, Total Scottish sales increased by 0.1% in July.

Total Food sales were 2.8% down on July 2013, when they had increased 5.6%, the strongest Food growth recorded in 2013. This is the deepest decline since March. Over the last three months, total Food sales declined by 2.0%, compared to 0.1% growth over the last twelve months.

Total Non-Food sales decreased by 1.0% on a year earlier when they had increased 2.6%. Adjusted for the estimated effect of online sales in Scotland, total Non-Food sales would have increased by 0.7%, the strongest growth in the last three months.

The gap between the three-month average growth in the UK and Scotland has narrowed, both for Food and online adjusted Non-Food.

David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Despite a healthy rise in footfall witnessed on Scotland’s high streets and shopping centres in July, it didn’t translate into a commensurate increase in the actual value of retail sales. The total value of sales grew by a meagre 0.1 per cent in real terms, once shop price deflation is taken into account. The bright spot once again was sales of non-food items which, adjusted for the contribution of online retailing, rose by 0.7 per cent, its strongest growth over the past three months. This was driven by strong trade in outdoor furniture, DIY and home furnishings, as well as Commonwealth Games-related purchases.

“Further discounting across the grocery sector led to a fall in the total value of food sales, however comparisons with last year ought to be tempered as July 2013 was a high water mark for food related sales. A number of high profile sporting successes in the same period last year led to bumper demand for celebratory food and drink. “Going forward, retailers will be buoyed by further recent rises in employment and falling unemployment in Scotland, albeit forecasts for future wage growth over the short term remain tentative at best. Government can assist with policies which put money into people’s pockets, keep down the cost of doing business, and make it easier for retailers to invest and expand their premises.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, said: “Against a very tough set of comparables last year, when we were basking in a heatwave and a Scottish Wimbledon champion, the July sales numbers in Scotland are not as bad as the headlines perhaps suggest. Clothing and footwear have enjoyed a better spring and early summer this year and so it is not surprising they have cooled off relatively in the last couple of months against strong figures last year. The decline in other non-food is not as sharp as it was earlier in the year as homeowners feel a little more confident to spend on furniture, albeit the confidence is cautious. Scotland’s high streets saw improved footfall in July, no doubt boosted by Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games. However, as with the Olympics two years ago, these events may boost the restaurant trade but don’t always boost high street sales.

“The food and drink sector continues to be the drag on the statistics with competitive pricing amongst the grocers driving negative like-for-likes for the twelfth month in a row. The decline in Scottish food sales is similar to that felt in the rest of the UK and so we are not noticing regional variations on this theme.”

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

 

NACS asks U.S. Supreme Court to hear their appeal of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld the Federal Reserve’s debit swipe fee rules

WASHINGTON, DC, 2014-8-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), along with several merchant associations and companies, today filed a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the Court to hear their appeal of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld the Federal Reserve’s debit swipe fee rules. NACS challenged the Fed’s swipe fee rules soon after they became effective in 2011. The U.S. District Court agreed with NACS that the Fed’s rules did not follow the law, but the DC Circuit disagreed. That is why NACS has asked the Supreme Court to decide the case.

“Debit swipe fee reform was needed to address the price-fixing of debit swipe fees that the giant card companies engaged in for the nation’s largest banks,” said NACS President and CEO Henry Armour. “Unfortunately, the Fed overrode the language of the law and blunted the positive impact of reform. We need the Supreme Court to decide this case so that American merchants and their customers stop paying billions of dollars more than they should per year to the big banks.”

The other groups litigating the case along with NACS are: the Food Marketing Institute, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, Boscov’s department stores, and Miller Oil Company. The Fed initially proposed a debit swipe fee rule that was largely consistent with the law passed by Congress. It limited price-fixing by the card companies and largest banks to reduce debit card swipe fees that merchants and their customers pay. After heavy lobbying by the banks, however, the Fed abruptly changed its view of the law and dramatically inflated the amount of the fees that the big banks could charge. This resulted in the fees that many businesses pay actually going up rather than down.

NACS and the other groups filed suit to challenge the Fed’s rule because it does not follow the law. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon agreed with NACS and struck down the Fed’s rule in July 2013. Judge Leon found that the Fed’s rule ran “completely afoul of the text, design and purpose” of the law. While the DC Circuit disagreed with Judge Leon, NACS believes the DC Circuit overlooked the key language in the law prohibiting certain costs from being included in the price of swipe fees and applied the wrong legal standard to the case. It will now be up to the Supreme Court whether it will agree to decide a case that affects prices that consumers pay more than 100 million times every day.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 151,000 stores across the country, posted $696 billion in total sales in 2013, of which $491 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

NACS: Consumers’ buying decision on alternative fuels and vehicles driven by economics

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2014-8-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Consumers look at alternative fuels and vehicles the same way that they look at traditional fuels: economics drives the purchasing decision.

Consumers say that they consider fuel economy and the cost of the vehicle far more important than any other attribute when purchasing a new vehicle, according the results of a national consumer poll released by the Fuels Institute, a non-partisan think tank dedicated to evaluating the market issues related to consumer vehicles and the fuels that power them.

More than 8 in 10 consumers say that economic factors such as fuel economy (83%) and vehicle cost (81%) are influential to their vehicle purchasing decision. Safety features were a distant third (51%) followed by fuel or engine type (48%), according to the survey of 2,007 gas consumers conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC.

“The successful fuel and vehicle technology will be decided by the consumer,” said Fuels Institute Executive Director John Eichberger. “Understanding these preferences is critical for forecasting what the future of personal transportation will look like and for deciding which technologies and fuels should be brought to market.”

Consumers say that they are open to new alternative vehicles. Nearly 4 in 10 (39%) say that they would consider a non-gasoline vehicle, compared to 30% who say that they would not.

Hybrid vehicles are most appealing to those considering a new car purchase in the next three years, with 85% saying that they would consider a hybrid vehicle, which combines electric power with traditional gasoline power. Other alternative vehicles were also of some interest to consumers, including electric (55%), flex fuel (52%), diesel fuel (30%), or other fuels including propane or natural gas (22%).
“The results of this national survey provide a clearer understanding of the relative importance of economic considerations made at the pump and in the showroom. However, while economics may influence purchasing decisions within a specific class of vehicle, they may not necessarily change consumer preferences for a specific class of vehicle,” added Eichberger.

The survey results are featured in the new White Paper, “Consumers and Alternative Fuels: Economics Are Top of Mind,” which is available for download at www.fuelsinstitute.org. The Institute will be publishing three additional reports in September that more closely examine consumer perceptions about non-gasoline vehicle alternatives.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 151,000 stores across the country, posted $696 billion in total sales in 2013, of which $491 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

Gap Inc. to enter India through franchise-operated Gap brand stores in 2015

First stores to open in Mumbai and Delhi in 2015

SAN FRANCISCO, 2014-8-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today announced plans to enter India through franchise-operated Gap brand stores in 2015. Gap is partnering with Arvind Lifestyle Brand Limited, a subsidiary of Arvind Limited, which is one of India’s largest textile companies.  The first stores are expected to open in India’s two largest cities – Mumbai and Delhi – starting with Gap’s Summer 2015 collection for adults, kids and babies. The brand plans to open about 40 franchise-operated Gap stores in India.

“India is an emerging, vibrant market and an important next step in our global expansion strategy,” said Steve Sunnucks, Global President of Gap. “Gap is loved around the world for our American casual style and enduring value and quality, and we are so pleased to bring our brand and products to life for customers in India.”

As the world’s second most populated country with more than 1.2 billion people, India represents an important platform to bring American casual style to consumers around the world.

“More than half of India’s population is under 25 and they are actively embracing fashion in today’s retail environment,” said Ismail Seyis, Vice President of Gap Global Franchise. “We are thrilled to know that our brand awareness is very high and there is a deep affinity for Gap in India.  We look forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the marketplace and consumer needs to create the best possible Gap brand experience for the local consumers.”

Gap Inc. has a long-standing commitment to India having sourced products from the country for decades. India is one of the company’s top ten global sourcing locations and Gap Inc. has worked in an effort to build meaningful relationships and responsible practices with our vendor partners.  In 2007, Gap Inc. launched the P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement) workplace education program in India with one vendor in two manufacturing units. The program offers female garment workers the life skills education and technical training they need to advance at work and in life. Currently 25 of the 64 manufacturing facilities that participate in the program are based in India.

Since launching its first franchise-operated store in 2006, Gap Inc. has quickly expanded the international reach of its brands, which now includes almost 400 franchise-operated stores along with about 3,200 company-owned stores. The Gap brand now has a presence in nearly 50 countries, due to the rapid acceleration and commitment to the global expansion strategy.

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:

  • Gap brand franchise store openings in India.

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 August 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, 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 about 3,200 company-operated stores, almost 400 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.