Tesco, Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation join forces to raise millions of pounds to promote healthy living

Cheshunt, England, 2014-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Millions of people are set to benefit from a ground-breaking new partnership between the UK’s leading retailer and two of the country’s biggest charities.

Tesco, Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation have confirmed that they will join forces from early next year. The trio’s charity partnership – the first of its kind – aims to raise millions of pounds to promote healthy living.

In the UK today, there are seven million people living with cardiovascular disease. 3.5 million people are living with Type 2 diabetes, with a further 11.5 million at high risk of developing this condition.

The partnership aims to reduce the risk of both conditions by focusing on ways to encourage healthy eating and healthy cooking habits, including making it easier to choose foods lower in sugar, saturated fats and salt. The ultimate ambition for the partnership is to be a force for positive change in the health of the nation.

It will launch in early 2015 and will see Tesco, its customers, colleagues and suppliers aim to raise millions of pounds for the two charities.

Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “We are delighted to be part of this first-of-a-kind partnership, which is committed to improving the nation’s health and helping prevent Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“We have already been working with Tesco over the last 18 months and have seen the phenomenal efforts of Tesco staff and customers in raising millions of pounds that have made a real difference to the lives of people with diabetes or who are at risk of developing it. It is really exciting to be continuing working with them and our new partner, the British Heart Foundation, to make a real impact on reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Every year 24,000 people with diabetes die tragically young and many endure amputations, blindness and kidney failure. This innovative partnership with Tesco’s reach and focus on food and the combined expertise of the two charities backed up by real resources is an important contribution to helping families across the UK.”

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation said: “We’re thrilled to be entering into a partnership with Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, and Diabetes UK, another leading national health charity. We know that eating a healthy, balanced diet and increasing levels of physical activity can cut your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This ground-breaking partnership is a fantastic way to get healthy lifestyle messages to millions of people across the UK.

“The sad truth is that cardiovascular disease claims the lives of over four hundred people every day. Thanks to the generosity of Tesco and its customers we will be able to continue our fight for every heartbeat, and set a new benchmark for strategic partnerships between businesses and charities.”

Greg Sage, Community Director at Tesco, said: “We’re delighted to be part of this charity partnership – the first of its kind in the UK.  It’s great to be working with Diabetes UK again, and to be building a new partnership with the British Heart Foundation. We have enormous respect for the work they do, and want to help them do more.  Using our collective scale and expertise, we’re going to make a real and positive difference to millions of customers’ lives.  Over the next few months we’ll be working on the details of exactly how we’ll do that, so watch this space.”

Notes to editors

  • Last year Tesco announced a commitment to help customers and colleagues live healthier lives.  This partnership is part of the work Tesco is doing to meet that commitment, alongside The Tesco Eat Happy Project, which teaches children about the food they eat, sponsorship of Race for Life and the removal of sweets from all Tesco checkouts in January 2015. In the past year, Tesco customers and colleagues have raised £13m for Diabetes UK.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01992 644645

We are a team of over 500,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to providing the most compelling offer to our customers.

Home Retail Group updates on the trading of its second financial quarter covering the 13 weeks to 30 August 2014

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer, today updates on the trading of its second financial quarter covering the 13 weeks to 30 August 2014.

John Walden, Chief Executive of Home Retail Group, commented:

“The Group has had a good first half. Argos delivered its ninth consecutive quarter of positive like-for-like sales growth in the second quarter.  For the first time in many years, this sales growth was supported by an improved gross margin performance.

“Homebase performed well over its peak trading period, following up its good performance in the first quarter with broadly flat like-for-like sales in the second quarter. This is especially pleasing given that we achieved this against a strong 11% like-for-like in the same period last year.

“At this halfway point of the financial year we expect to deliver full-year Group benchmark profit in line with current market expectations, however, as always the full-year outcome will depend upon Argos’ Christmas trading period.

“We remain cautiously optimistic about the broader economic environment. Key economic indicators seem to be improving, however retail spending in general has been inconsistent across both product categories and geographies, suggesting that there is not yet a sustainable, broad-based consumer recovery.”

 

Q1

Q2

H1

(13 weeks to
31 May 2014)
(13 weeks to
30 August
2014)
(26 weeks to
30 August
2014)

ARGOS

Sales £868m £901m £1,769m
Like-for-like sales change 4.9% 1.2% 2.9%
Net space sales change (0.1%) 0.2% 0.1%
Total sales change 4.8% 1.4% 3.0%
Gross margin movement Down c.25bps Up c.25bps c.0bps

HOMEBASE

Sales £445m £390m £835m
Like-for-like sales change 7.9% 0.1% 4.1%
Net space sales change (2.4%) (2.9%) (2.6%)
Total sales change 5.5% (2.8%) 1.5%
Gross margin movement Down c.50bps Down c.75bps Down c.75bps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARGOS

Total sales at Argos grew by 1.4% to £901m. Net new space contributed 0.2% as we added a net 13 stores in the quarter as part of previously announced trials, including nine Argos concessions within Homebase stores and four small format stores. The Argos portfolio now comprises 747 stores.

Like-for-like sales increased by 1.2% in the quarter. Growth was driven by increased sales of electrical products as a whole, principally as a result of strong sales performances in TVs, video gaming and white goods, partially offset by a further decline in tablets. These increased sales more than offset small sales declines in furniture, homewares and jewellery.

Sales via the internet grew in line with total sales in the quarter and represented 44% of total Argos sales. Within this, mobile commerce grew by 36% and represented 22% of total Argos sales.

The approximate 25 basis point gross margin improvement was driven by a reduced level of promotional sales together with a number of other small positive items, partially offset by an adverse sales mix impact from the growth in margin dilutive electrical products.

HOMEBASE

Total sales at Homebase declined by 2.8% to £390m due principally to a reduction in net space of 2.9% as a result of a net six store closures in the quarter, which results in a total of seven closures in the first half. The Homebase portfolio has therefore reduced to 316 stores.

Like-for-like sales increased by 0.1% in the quarter. There was growth in sales of big ticket products, offset by a decline in sales of seasonal products following the very strong performance in this category in the same period last year. Sales in the remaining product categories were slightly up.

The approximate 75 basis point gross margin reduction was driven by the adverse impact of stock clearance activity in respect of the store closures, together with an adverse sales mix impact from the growth in margin dilutive big ticket products.

OTHER

A cash payment of £33.4m was made to the Home Retail Group Employee Share Trust during the period to fund the purchase of 18.8m shares. The shares are in addition to those already held by the Trust and are needed to satisfy obligations arising from employee share schemes. A cumulative payment of £50.0m to fund the purchase of 26.8m shares has been made in the current financial year.

No other material events, transactions or impacts on the Group’s financial position have taken place since the previously announced 1 March 2014 balance sheet date.

 

There will be a conference call for analysts and investors to discuss this statement at 7.30am this morning.  The call can be listened to live on the Home Retail Group website www.homeretailgroup.com. An indexed replay will also be available on the website later in the day.

Home Retail Group will announce its half-year results on Wednesday 22 October 2014. An Interim Management Statement covering the 18 weeks from 31 August 2014 to 3 January 2015 will be announced on Thursday 15 January 2015.

 

To view the announcement in PDF, click here.

To listen to the conference call, click here.

Information in this announcement is based upon unaudited management accounts. In addition, certain statements made 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 events or results to differ materially from any expected future events or results referred to in these forward looking statements.

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Kesko included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices DJSI World and DJSI Europe for the 12th time

Kesko was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices DJSI World and DJSI Europe for the 12th time. Kesko obtained its highest scores in risk and crisis management, codes of conduct and supply chain management. A new criterion in the assessment was tax strategy.

Helsinki, Finland, 2014-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) are the most respected worldwide sustainability indices. Kesko has been included in them since 2003.

Kesko’s President and CEO Matti Halmesmäki sees Kesko’s long presence in the indices as proof of the fact that responsibility is an integral part in all of Kesko’s business operations:

“Responsibility is a common success factor, to which all of our employees – from top management to store staff – are committed. The “Our responsible working principles” guidelines bind all Kesko employees in our eight operating countries to act in accordance with shared values and responsible operating practices. Our responsibility programme requires us to achieve the objectives we have set. We are proud that our long-term work for responsibility is appreciated worldwide,” says Matti Halmesmäki.

Kesko obtained its highest scores in the economic dimension
Companies are selected to the DJSI Indices on the basis of the sustainability assessment carried out by RobecoSAM. The assessment analyses companies’ operations in the dimensions of economic, social and environmental responsibility.

Kesko obtained its highest scores in risk and crisis management, codes of conduct/compliance/corruption&bribery and supply chain management. Kesko improved its performance in corporate governance and operational eco-efficiency by several scores.

Tax strategy was included in the assessment for the first time. Kesko scored above the average in its sector (Food and Staples Retailing). Kesko expanded its tax reporting for 2013 by including net-worth taxes paid and excise taxes, car taxes and customs duties remitted in its Corporate Responsibility Report.

Kesko is included in several significant sustainability indices
Kesko has been included in the FTSE4Good index since 2009 and in the STOXX Global ESG Leaders index since 2011.Kesko scored highest in its sector in the Nordic Climate Disclosure Leadership index (CDLI) rating in 2013.

In the RobecoSAM Sustainability Yearbook 2014, Kesko received the Silver Class distinction in the Food & Staples Retailing Industry category. Kesko has been included in ‘The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World’ list since 2005.

Further information is available from Matti Kalervo, Kesko’s Vice President, Group Corporate Responsibility, tel. +358 50 306 4081.
http://www.sustainability-indices.com
http://corporateresponsibility2013.kesko.fi

Kesko (www.kesko.fi ) is one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. We are a retail specialist whose chains have about 2,000 stores in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia, and Belarus. Our stores offer quality to the daily lives of consumers.

Sainsbury’s opens the first combined convenience shop and community pharmacy at Guy’s Hospital near London Bridge

LONDON, 2014-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s opens the first combined convenience shop and community pharmacy on a hospital site. The new store at Guy’s Hospital near London Bridge will employ 25 local people and offer improved choice, as well as a broad range of convenience goods for patients and visitors using the hospital. It will be open from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week.

Sainsbury’s has been providing a pharmacy service to outpatients at Guy’s Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital since 2012 but this will be the first-time any retailer has combined a pharmacy and convenience store in a hospital setting.

The retailer now runs over 200 convenience shops across London employing 6,000 people. It is planning to open up to 30 new stores in the Capital in the next six months creating a further 500 jobs (March 2015).

As part of its expansion plans Sainsbury’s opened a convenience training centre in Brixton earlier this year to train 700 convenience managers and team leaders.

Sainsbury’s Locals now account for 27% of the UK’s convenience market growth, with sales of £1.8 billion and year-on-year growth of 19%.  The company is currently opening about two convenience stores every week and serves six million customers each week.

Simon Twigger, Sainsbury’s Convenience Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to be opening our latest store in London. We know people want to shop locally and frequently, and that is why our stores are conveniently located in the places that people want and need them. We have a strong presence in London – it’s where our convenience business started, and our Local stores are going from strength to strength. Not only do they provide choice for local people, but they boost the local economy, and provide jobs.”

Jat Sahota, Head of Pharmacy and Healthcare at Sainsbury’s, said: “We have over 270 pharmacies and are always looking for new ways to serve our customers better. The new Guy’s store is a great example. It will provide hospital workers, patients and people visiting the hospital with a wide range of healthy products, and they can pick up prescriptions as well. It is a format we are keen to roll out to other NHS Trusts.”

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Sainsbury’s opens the first combined convenience shop and community pharmacy at Guy’s Hospital near London Bridge

Sainsbury’s opens the first combined convenience shop and community pharmacy at Guy’s Hospital near London Bridge

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB to present the nine-month results for 2014 at press conference on 25 September

Stockholm, Sweden, 2014-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB presents the nine-month results for 2014 at a press conference on Thursday 25 September at 9.30 CET. There will also be a telephone conference in English at 14.00 CET the same day.

The nine-month results for the period 1 December 2013 to 31 August 2014 is released at approximately at 8.00 CET on 25 September and thereafter published on hm.com.

The press conference starts at 9.30 CET in “Ljusgården” in H&M’s premises on Mäster Samuelsgatan 49, 3rd floor, in Stockholm. H&M’s CEO Karl-Johan Persson and Head of Investor Relations Nils Vinge will present the nine-month results followed by an open Q&A session. The press conference is held in Swedish.

Participants in the telephone conference can choose to pre-register at
https://eventreg1.conferencing.com/webportal3/reg.html?Acc=056083&Conf=191129 and receive log in details for the telephone conference.

Participants who choose to dial in on the telephone numbers below are kindly asked to call in at least ten minutes prior to the start of the conference in order to avoid a queue. Please quote ref 947775.

Sweden  +46 8 5052 0110 UK  +44 20 7162 0077 US  +1 334 323 6201

Presentation material will be available at hm.com under Investor Relations at approximately 10.30 CET on 25 September and arecording from the telephone conference as of 26 September.

Welcome!

GLOBAL MEDIA INQUIRIES

Only for media representatives
Phone: +46 8 796 53 00
Email: mediarelations@hm.com

Please note the contact details above are only for media representatives. For other enquiries contact H&M’s switchboard on +46 8 796 55 00.

Ahold included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indices (DJSI) for the sixth consecutive year

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold’s position as a responsible retailer has been confirmed, following its inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indices (DJSI).

Published today, the ranking recognizes the progress that Ahold has made in recent years with its Reshaping Retail strategy. Ahold scored an average of 75 (out of 100) in the Food & Staples Retailing sector in 2014 – improving on last year’s 74, and compared to an industry average of 48, with the sector lead scoring 76. This is the sixth consecutive year that Ahold has been included on the DJSI.

The company scored particularly high in a number of areas, including supply chain management practices, carbon emissions and waste reduction programs, and its active contribution to the health and safety of associates by offering multiple health and well-being programs.

Ahold CEO Dick Boer commented: “Responsible retailing is a fundamental element of our Reshaping Retail strategy and today’s recognition, which should make all of our 220,000 associates proud, fuels our ambition to be a better place to shop, a better place to work and a better neighbor, every day.”

Launched in 1999 as the first global sustainability benchmarks, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices track the performance of the world’s leading companies in terms of economic, environmental and social criteria. The indices serve as benchmarks for investors who integrate sustainability considerations into their portfolios, and provide an effective engagement platform for companies who want to adopt sustainable best practices.

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Ahold included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indices (DJSI) for the sixth consecutive year

UK retailers welcome historic court ruling to end excessively high fees retailers pay banks to process card payments known as interchange fees

LONDON, 2014-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — UK retailers have today welcomed an historic court ruling to end the excessively high fees retailers pay banks to process card payments (known as interchange fees).

Today’s judgement by the European Court of Justice comprehensively and decisively supports retailers’ decade-long campaign for a more competitive payments system and a reduction in unjustifiably high card fees, which cost UK businesses £1 billion a year, which would otherwise be invested in further improving value for the customer.

This ruling provides further support for on-going European regulatory developments to set a cap for interchange fees, for the benefit of businesses of all sizes and their customers.

Helen Dickinson, Director General of the British Retail Consortium, said: “We are delighted with this historic ruling. Capping these excessive and anti-competitive fees will support the UK retail industry and others, boosting our ability to invest and innovate while continuing to deliver lower prices and value for customers.

While retailers welcome the ruling, the UK is already falling behind other European countries that have introduced more immediate domestic caps and provided much needed redress for their retail businesses. France, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Hungary have started or already taken action – as have the USA, Australia and Canada outside of Europe.

Helen Dickinson continued: “While this is great news, the UK risks falling behind other countries who have already chosen to act to reduce the anti-competitive costs of interchange fees at a domestic level. There is a real opportunity for the Government and Payment Systems Regulator to go further and faster by taking more immediate action in the UK so that British consumers benefit as quickly as possible.”

With other countries taking a more proactive approach the UK needs to catch up urgently as failure to keep pace is harming UK companies’ ability to compete in Europe, because it costs them more to do business as a result. This is especially bad for small and independent businesses, undermining UK competitiveness, investment in jobs and the Government’s Digital Economy agenda.

Fifteen retail chief executives, representing a third of UK retail sales, recently wrote to the newly created Payment Systems Regulator, requesting it to act without further delay. These excessive costs cannot be allowed to continue to delay the introduction of effective competition in the banking sector, to the detriment of businesses both large and small.

Notes to Editors

1. 2000 – BRC filed original complaint against MasterCard.
2. 2007 – European Court ruled against MasterCard. MasterCard launched their Appeal.
3. 2012 – European Court dismissed the MasterCard Appeal. MasterCard filed the second and final appeal.
4. 2014 – In January the Advocate General (adviser to appeal judges) recommended that MasterCard’s second appeal be dismissed on all counts.

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Toys“R”Us® unveils plans for the 2014 holiday season at special preview event for business retail reporters in New York City

During a Special Preview Event, Hank Mullany, President, Toys“R”Us, U.S., Shares the Significant Steps Taken to Prepare for the Months Ahead; Company Announces Launch of New Rewards“R”Us Loyalty Program, Introduces Free Online Layaway, Plus “Here’s What’s Hot” and “Gift Express” Shops; The World’s Leading Dedicated Toy Retailer Focused on Making Gifting Easy for Shoppers, While Demonstrating Its Toy Category Leadership through Ownership of Hot and Exclusive Products, Breadth of Selection, Imaginative Marketing and Expert Employees

WAYNE, NJ, 2014-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us® today lifted the curtain on its plans for the 2014 holiday season at a special preview event for business retail reporters in New York City. Hank Mullany, President, Toys“R”Us, U.S., discussed steps the company has taken during the first half of the year to prepare its stores nationwide for the busy shopping season ahead, including building its leadership team, successfully concluding its inventory clearance event to make way for hot new holiday products, significantly improving its in-stock position, strengthening customer relationships with enhanced service offerings and redeploying capital for store maintenance.

Mr. Mullany also announced the launch of the company’s new Rewards“R”Us loyalty program, the introduction of free online layaway and ways it is making it easy and fast for shoppers to find the toys they want through its new “Here’s What’s Hot” and “Gift Express” shops, in-aisle “Top Gift” suggestions, as well as its curated online Gift Finder. In addition, Mr. Mullany discussed the company’s innovative brand marketing campaign and the important role its expert employees play in providing a differentiated shopping experience for customers. He also noted that the company will continue to offer Price Match Guarantee for store and online competitors, a $49 everyday free shipping offer and enhanced omnichannel capabilities including In-Store Pick Up.

“We are pleased with our progress and the foundational improvements we’ve made to the business in preparing for the busy months ahead,” said Mr. Mullany. “Our focus at Toys“R”Us for the 2014 holiday season is to make it easy for customers to shop with us both in-store and online. At the same time, we will clearly demonstrate our toy category leadership through our broad product assortment, by having hot toys in-stock when customers want them, and leveraging the expertise of our employees in helping gift-givers select the right toy for the child on their list.”

Launching New Rewards“R”Us Program: Loyal Customers Earn Rewards Faster, Maximizing Their Shopping Experience

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the company has launched a new Rewards“R”Us program to further deepen its relationship with its most devoted customers. The more than 18 million existing Rewards“R”Us members, and those who sign up in-store or online at Toysrus.com/myrewards, are now able to earn more rewards. The complimentary loyalty program enables members to simply earn one point per dollar spent* at Toys“R”Us or Babies“R”Us locations. For every $125 spent, Rewards“R”Us members receive $5 in “R”Us Rewards.

To maximize their membership, loyalty members now have the ability to accumulate points up to $200 in rewards, allowing them to save up and apply their rewards toward special purchases. In addition, members can register to receive rewards directly via email and enjoy an extended 60-day validity period when redeeming rewards. Plus, members have access to the dedicated Rewards“R”Us website where they can track their purchases, print rewards and receive exclusive access to special savings and partner offers from family-friendly brands that include global resorts, iconic attractions, entertainment and more.

To extend savings even further, Rewards“R”Us members who are also “R”Us credit cardholders, issued by Synchrony Bank, earn two points per dollar spent in-store or online at Toys“R”Us or Babies“R”Us, a total of $10 for every $125 they spend. They can also enjoy special financing and partake in 10% off** Thursdays at any “R”Us location. Plus, “R”Us MasterCard® cardholders also earn one point for every four dollars spent on purchases at stores other than Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us.

Rewards“R”Us members will also receive exclusive promotions throughout the holiday season and advance notice of sales, events and presale opportunities. To learn more, visit Toysrus.com/myrewards.

Introducing New Online Layaway for Holiday Season

Toys“R”Us has expanded its omnichannel capabilities with the introduction of online layaway, giving customers the ability to create layaway orders at Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com, make subsequent payments either in-store or online and choose to pick up their order in a local store or have it delivered right to their home. This offering is in addition to the company’s in-store layaway program. Toys“R”Us will once again offer FREE layaway for the holiday season, waiving the $5 service fee generally associated, now for both online and in-store layaway orders.

As the company strives to make it easy for customers to find and buy what they’re looking for, online layaway not only provides access to a wider assortment of products, but is also an exceptional shopping convenience for those who want to make a series of payments over time, but may not be able to get to a local store to create a layaway order and make regular payments. More details are available at Toysrus.com/Layaway.

It’s All About Gifting Made Easy

This fall, the company is introducing brand new navigational signage in its Toys“R”Us stores nationwide. This thoughtful and layered approach to making it easy and fast for gift-givers to find what they’re looking for includes a welcome map located at the front of the store featuring merchandise category locations, plus large overhead signage identifying major product categories and brands. Additional way-finding signage at aisle entry points and within each aisle breaks down merchandise selection even further, leading shoppers right to the item they came to find.

In addition, the company announced the launch of two new gift solutions shops located at the front of each store, providing shoppers with easy access to top gifts and helping to eliminate guesswork:

  • The “Here’s What’s Hot” shop showcases hot, new product arrivals and top trending toys for children of all ages. Featured products will change on a monthly basis, providing parents with instant knowledge of what kids are currently clamoring for.
  • For grab-and-go shoppers, a curated assortment of top items available for $30 or less is presented in the “Gift Express” shop, which is designed to help even the most indecisive gift-giver choose something great for the holidays, a birthday or other special occasions.

To further assist holiday shoppers select a gift sure to please, the company’s team of merchandising experts have chosen 16 “Top Gift” suggestions to showcase through in-aisle presentations. Identified by bright green signage, these items help focus shoppers on some of the hottest items within a large product category.

For online shoppers, a new curated Gift Finder will be available at Toysrus.com with fun gift ideas that will deliver big smiles. This specially selected guide, featuring top gifts for every toy category, allows shoppers to easily search items by age and price range, and then further narrow the results by brand and character.

Breadth of Assortment, Including Hundreds of Exclusive Products

This holiday season, Toys“R”Us stores nationwide will be THE destination for top licensed products based on kids’ favorite TV shows, movies and more, including Disney’s Frozen, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and PAW Patrol, among others. Consumers will be able to easily identify merchandise from these hit properties, as the company plans to showcase its product dominance with prominent feature shops, exclusive merchandise and engaging marketing activations throughout the fall.

Meanwhile, gaming enthusiasts will have much to look forward to in the coming season as they shop the company’s Electronics & Entertainment offerings, which will include the latest installments of games in the “Toys to Life” genre, such as Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) and Skylanders Trap Team™. Additionally, the highly anticipated launch of Destiny earlier this month from Activision Blizzard and Bungie Studios, the makers of the “Halo” franchise, has brought newness to the software category and is expected to develop a strong fan base as a brand-new gaming franchise.

The company will continue to offer exclusive products through partnerships with branded vendors, including new and upcoming introductions such as the inventive LEGO® FUSION segment, the highly collectible Charmazing™assortment, Little Live Pets Bird Cage Love Birds and Barbie® Malibu House™. Plus, Toys“R”Us continues to invest in its own private brand lines, including Journey Girls®, You & Me, The Home Depot®, Animal Planet®and EduScience, to further drive its category leadership and value proposition.

New Brand Marketing Campaign Shows the Magic of Toys in Fueling Little Imaginations

During the event, Mr. Mullany also discussed ‘C’mon, Let’s Play,’ the new Toys“R”Us brand campaign, designed in partnership with award-winning advertising agency The Escape Pod and ‘Action Movie Kid’ YouTube channel creator Daniel Hashimoto. The national advertisements, which debuted in August, showcase the company’s unique ability to facilitate fun and bring magical play moments to life through its distinctive shopping experience in Toys“R”Us stores and online at Toysrus.com.

The current flight of TV spots capture children playing with toys inside a Toys“R”Us store and illustrate how their imaginative dreams become a fun reality. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™ gear, for example, magically transforms kids into their favorite superheroes. Creating dolphin illustrations with fun, vibrant hues of Crayola® products turn the toy aisles into a whimsical underwater wonderland. And, the skating Elsa doll brings kids’ favorite scenes from Disney’s Frozen to life. These commercials are designed to showcase the remarkable potential a toy has to spark creativity when placed in a child’s hands and put Toys“R”Us employees at the center of creating fun play experiences. The campaign will evolve throughout the holiday season.

For more information on the “C’mon Let’s Play” campaign, please visit Toysrusinc.com.

Expert Employees Provide Differentiated Shopping Experience to Customers

Toys“R”Us is in the business of bringing joy to its customers 365 days a year, something its toy-trained experts take very seriously. Passionate for toys both on the job and in their personal lives, the company employs all sorts of plaything professionals, from LEGO fanatics and action figure collectors to gaming gurus, science enthusiasts, bike assembly wizards and more. The company’s U.S. network of nearly 40,000 non-seasonal employees are also moms, dads, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles, just like the customers who shop with Toys“R”Us.

These employees provide a differentiated shopping experience for customers seeking expert and knowledgeable toy shopping advice. Nearly 14% of  associates in Toys“R”Us stores nationwide have been employed by the company for 10 years or more – higher than the U.S. average of 9.7%***. In addition, more than 11,000 employees, or nearly 30% of the “R”Us population, have worked with the company for five years or more.

Fair Pricing and Service Offerings

In addition to new program introductions, the company will continue to offer the following during the 2014 holiday season:

  • Price Match Guarantee lets customers shop with confidence and know they’re getting the best value. Toys“R”Us will match a competitor’s advertised price on identical items when customers present a local competitor’s print ad or their website showing the item available for less. For more information, please visit Toysrus.com/PriceMatch.
  • On Toysrus.com, the company offers an everyday free shipping offer on purchases of $49 or more.
  • Once again, Toys“R”Us will offer an extended return period after the holidays.  Through January 22, returns accompanied by a sales or gift receipt or online packing slip will be accepted, regardless of whether or not the item was purchased within the company’s general 90-day window for returns. Those who want to start their holiday shopping early can do so worry-free knowing that Toys“R”Us will offer an extended return policy after Christmas.
  • The company’s omnichannel offerings have been enhanced, including its In-Store Pick Up option, which allows customers to shop online from wherever they are and pick up their ordered item at their local Toys“R”Us store in an hour or less.

As it enters the busy shopping season ahead, the company continues to implement its “TRU Transformation” strategy designed to position the business for sustainable long-term growth.

For company news and updates throughout the season, please visit the “R” Us Holiday Press Room.

*Some exclusions apply. Visit Toysrus.com/myrewards for complete details.
**Offer valid in-store only. Some exclusions apply. Subject to credit approval. Special financing purchases do not earn reward points.
***Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

About Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. Merchandise is sold in 877 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 710 international stores and over 195 licensed stores in 35 countries and jurisdictions. In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys in the brand’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites includingToysrus.com, Babiesrus.com, eToys.com and FAO.com, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products. Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys“R”Us, Inc. employs approximately 70,000 associates annually worldwide. The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need. Additional information about Toys“R”Us, Inc. can be found on Toysrusinc.com. Follow Toys“R”Us, Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz on Facebook at Facebook.com/Toysrus, Facebook.com/Babiesrus and Facebook.com/FAO and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Toysrusand Twitter.com/Babiesrus.

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Media Contacts:
Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Katie Regner
973-617-4381
Katie.Regner@toysrus.com

Linda Connors
973-617-4398
Linda.Connors@toysrus.com

Whole Foods Market to open second store in San Jose, California

New location on The Alameda features environmental innovation and company’s first in-store brewery in California

Emeryville, Calif., 2014-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — A new 35,000 square-foot Whole Foods Market store will open on December 10th at 777 The Alameda (at Stockton) in San Jose, California. This is the second Whole Foods Market location in San Jose, and the 42nd in Northern California. The store will bring an estimated 150 new jobs to San Jose.

This new store will be home to the first in-store microbrewery and tap room for Whole Foods Market in California. The two-story, 5,600 square-foot brewery building will also house a coffee and fresh juice venue, as well as offering plenty of seating and a restaurant-style menu. An in-house brewmaster will create signature beers for the tap room, and a total of 15 taps will offer a wide variety of seasonal and local brews, as well as some nationally-available favorites.

Whole Foods Market San Jose is also innovating with this store via environmental initiatives. The company is pursuing LEED certification for the store, and this project is one of the company’s most environmentally efficient. Locally manufactured, reclaimed, recycled and low- to non-emitting materials are being used in construction including reclaimed Western Red Cedar siding, high recycled content tile from Fireclay (based locally), Forest Stewardship Council certified decking, and high recycled content bricks made in Sacramento. An onsite Combined Heat and Power plant will provide continuous electric and thermal power, reducing the store’s dependence on the public grid by around 90 percent. This is also one of only a few grocery stores in the nation that will use nearly 100% natural refrigerants by relying on a state-of-the-art CO2 refrigeration system.

Additional environmental features include:

  • 38 new trees planted on the street and in the parking lot and plaza
  • Street light upgrade to energy-efficient  fixtures
  • Bio-filtration/retention for on-site storm water management
  • Four electric vehicle charging stations
  • Native Grasses and Wildflowers support local habitat
  • Low Water Plantings and drip irrigation reduce water usage

Jeff Giardinelli, who formerly ran Whole Foods Market’s Fresno store, has been hired as Store Team Leader. Michelle Hohmeier oversees local partnerships, sponsorships and charitable giving as the store’s Marketing and Community Relations Team Leader.

“We believe that while more and more people may be shopping online for groceries, there’s nothing that can replace the experience of sharing a great food destination with your friends. That’s why this new San Jose store is truly designed as a community gathering space,” said Giardinelli. “We’re hoping folks will stop by for a beer or a pizza on the way to or from a Sharks game, or that they’ll enjoy lunch in the breezeway. We’ve got plenty of space and are looking forward to serving this community with the highest-quality foods.”

As it brings redevelopment to the abandoned site within the Diridon Station Area Plan, the store will help create a dense, more walkable neighborhood. Five Percent Days, Nickels for Nonprofits, and food and fund drives will add to the store’s community support initiatives. Customers will find many local products on the shelves, too, as part of Whole Foods Market’s commitment to supporting local makers and growers.

More information on the brewery, local vendors, community partnerships and store features is forthcoming. For updates, customers can follow the store at facebook.com/WFMSanJose.

Media contact: Michelle Hohmeier, michelle.hohmeier@wholefoods.com

Whole Foods Market to provide customers with easy, secure & private way to make grocery purchases with Apple Pay

Whole Foods Market to provide customers with an easy, secure & private way to make grocery purchases at checkout registers

AUSTIN, Texas, 2014-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) today announces its participation with Apple Pay, a new category of service that will transform mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to make purchases from your iPhone.

“Our customers are going to love the convenience of Apple Pay, which will bring a faster, easier, more secure and private way to make purchases at Whole Foods Market,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. “We’re committed to providing innovative new choices and conveniences for our customers, and the ability to buy groceries with just a simple touch of a finger elevates convenience to a whole new level.”

With Apple Pay, Whole Foods Market customers will find it easier and faster than ever to grab their morning coffee from our coffee bar, a beer in our tap room after work, or a juice from our juice bars, as well as all of their grocery needs, from holiday turkeys to fresh produce and more. By seamlessly integrating Apple-designed hardware, software and services, Apple Pay creates a unique and incredibly intuitive and elegant experience for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch users.

Checkout lanes at all Whole Foods Market stores already accept industry standard Near Field Communication (NFC) payments via pads at store checkout registers. With Apple Pay, Whole Foods Market will accept even more payments using NFC technology.

This fall, Whole Foods Market is excited for its customers across America to enjoy easy, more secure and private transactions with the launch of Apple Pay.

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Target announces its integration with Apple Pay

MINNEAPOLIS, 2014-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — As if we need more reasons to love our Apple devices…

Today, Target is excited to announce its integration with Apple Pay, a new mobile payments service that will provide an easy, secure and private way to make purchases from iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

With Apple Pay, guests using the Target app for iOS will be able to conveniently and securely make purchases with one touch using Touch ID.

Read more on A Bullseye View

media contact

Eddie Baeb
p: 612-761-9658

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Target announces its integration with Apple Pay

Target and TOMS team up on limited-edition collection for the holidays

MINNEAPOLIS, 2014-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Listen up, Target and TOMS enthusiasts, because we’ve got news that’ll knock your socks (and canvas shoes) off: Target and TOMS are teaming up on a limited-edition collection for the holidays. Not only will you find pieces you’ll want to give – and get – but for each item purchased, you’ll be helping someone in need.

Buzz started to build minutes ago after Blake Mycoskie, TOMS Founder and Chief Shoe Giver, and Kathee Tesija, executive vice president and chief merchandising and supply chain officer, Target, surprised nearly 14,000 Target team members with news of the do-gooding partnership at Target’s annual meeting in Minneapolis. And now, we’re bringing you an exclusive first look at the full collection!

“Target’s holiday partnership with TOMS is the perfect marriage of both brands’ core values—great design that’s accessible to everyone and a commitment to giving back,” said Kathee.

“We’re excited to partner with Target for the holidays and take TOMS’ One for One® giving model further than ever before,” said Blake. “Every purchase allows Target’s guests to bring home a beautifully designed product and do good, providing nourishment, warmth and shoes to a person in need.”

media hotline

e: email
p: (612) 696-3400

We strive to return all media inquiries within one business day.

Darty plc announces Interim Management Statement for the period from 1 May 2014 to date

LONDON, 2014-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Darty plc today announces an Interim Management Statement for the period 1 May 2014 to date. Financial information is for the Continuing Group (excluding Datart) for the first quarter period from 1 May 2014 to 31 July 2014, based on unaudited management accounts.

  • ‘4Ds’ plan to Drive trading, Digitalise Darty, Develop the brand and Deliver cost efficiency
    • Successful World Cup and summer sales campaigns with total revenue up 5.9 per cent and up 1.7 per cent on a like-for-like basis
    • Continued market outperformance in France and share gains in the Netherlands
    • Overall underlying Group gross margin was down 60 basis points, in line with our expectations
  • Further strengthening of Darty’s leadership position in France through:
    • the opening of a further nine franchise stores in the period, taking the total to 13 as we expand into smaller catchment areas, and continued significant sales uplifts
    • the roll-out of Mistergooddeal.com’s collection network to Darty stores
  • Completed the process of focusing the Group on its core businesses with the completion of the agreement to sell its majority shareholding in Datart

Q1 revenue change (3 months to 31 July)

Total Like-for-like
France 7.1% 2.0%
Belgium and the Netherlands 1.7% 0.7%
Total 5.9% 1.7%

 

Régis Schultz, Chief Executive, commented:

“During the quarter we continued to see the benefits of our ‘4Ds’ plan to Drive trading, Digitalise Darty, Develop the brand and Deliver cost savings. We gained further market share and benefitted from very positive Vision sales ahead of the football World Cup. We built on our leadership position in France with continued strong performance as we roll out our franchise opening programme and the use of Darty’s infrastructure for Mistergooddeal.com to increase our share of the low price/low service segment of the market. While we are cautious in our view of the markets, our plans for the peak period put us in a good competitive position for the coming months.”

Continuing Group

Like-for-like sales were up 1.7 per cent and total Group revenue was up 5.9 per cent including Mistergooddeal.com and franchise stores. We saw strong sales in Vision, particularly in May and June reflecting a successful football World Cup campaign and further growth in Communication. White Goods were stable, not benefitting to the same extent as last year from weather related purchases of refrigeration and air conditioning products. We saw a decline in Multi-media due to slowing volume growth and declining average selling prices for Tablets and a poor Digital Camera market. Our web-generated sales continued to grow, and including Mistergooddeal.com were up nearly 27 per cent, now representing over 16 per cent of total product sales. Group gross margin was down 60 basis points reflecting both mix and rate factors and excluding the dilutive impact of both Mistergooddeal.com and the franchise business which each represented around a further 30 basis point dilutive impact on total Group gross margin.

France

Darty again outperformed the market for the period, with like-for-like sales up 2.0 per cent and total revenue up 7.1 per cent including Mistergooddeal.com and the franchise business. We were pleased with the customer response to the July sale, but a cooler summer led to lower White Goods sales in the period. Overall web-generated sales continued to grow, albeit in a slower market, to nearly 15 per cent of total product sales, and nearly 18 per cent including Mistergooddeal.com. Underlying gross margin was down 70 basis points excluding the dilutive impact from Mistergoodeal.com and the franchise business, reflecting the mix effect of continued growth in Communications and lower White Goods sales as well as competitive market conditions.

The performance of the first franchise stores is very encouraging with significant sales uplifts and we opened a further nine during the period, giving a total of 13 franchise stores.

In a very competitive on-line market, initial trading at Mistergooddeal.com has been weaker than expected. This, together with a revised integration timetable, will result in a full year retail loss approximately €5 million higher than previously anticipated. Nevertheless our overall integration plan remains on track and we remain confident these plans will improve performance. These plans include common sourcing and specific ranges that have been introduced to the offer and over half of Darty’s stores can now be used as customer collection points, already representing over a quarter of all collections.

Belgium and the Netherlands

At Vanden Borre in Belgium and BCC in the Netherlands overall revenue was up 1.7 per cent, and up 0.7 per cent on a like-for-like basis. Web-generated sales continued to grow, up over 7 per cent, to 11 per cent of total product sales. Overall gross margin was up 30 basis points.

With a new management team in place, BCC saw a further improvement in performance, first seen at the end of last year with positive like-for-like sales, market share gains in most product categories and an improvement in gross margin. Vanden Borre focused trading on margin, which saw a strong improvement, with some impact on revenue against a strong performance last year.

Discontinued operation – Datart

As announced on 7 August 2014, the Group completed an agreement to sell its 60 per cent shareholding in Datart International, in a deal valued at €5 million.

Financial position

Except as detailed above, there have been no material events or transactions impacting the Group’s financial position that have taken place since the previously announced 30 April 2014 balance sheet date.

Store numbers as at 31 July 2014

 

2014 2013
France 226 226
Belgium and the Netherlands 117 116
343 342
Franchise stores 13*
Total groupe 356 342

*Includes 11 stores in France and 2 overseas

There will be a telephone conference call for analysts at 08:00 on 11 September 2014. Dial-in number: +44 (0) 20 3003 2666. A recording of this call will be made available after 10.00. Replay dial-in number: +44 (0) 20 8196 1998, Access Pin: 8419957.

The Group will issue its Half Year Results on Thursday 11 December 2014.

Enquiries

Analysts

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

Media

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

France
Le Public Système
Ségolène de Saint Martin +33 1 41 34 23 31

About Darty plc
Darty group is a leading multi-channel service led electrical retailer operating over 340 stores in three European countries. It generated an annual turnover of nearly €3.5 billion in 2013/14 through operations in Darty in France, Vanden Borre in Belgium and BCC in the Netherlands. 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.