Kesko starts cooperation negotiations for the planned changes in its home and speciality goods trade, building and home improvement trade as well as the food trade

Helsinki, Finland, 2014-10-7— /EPR Retail News/ — Kesko seeks more competitive multi-channel home and speciality goods trade and aims to achieve synergies especially in the production of online services and the development of concepts. At the same time, a basis to improve profitability is formed, the organisational structure is evaluated, the combination of the building and home improvement trade division with the home and speciality goods trade division into the home improvement and speciality goods trade division is planned, and the non-food part of the K-citymarket chain, currently part of the home and speciality goods division, is planned to be integrated into Kesko Food operations as the grocery trade division starting from 1 January 2015.

In order for a more detailed discussion of the change plans, cooperation negotiations will be started in Kesko’s home and speciality goods trade companies and building and home improvement trade companies in Finland, as well as in Kesko Food Ltd, Kesko Corporation and K-Plus Oy. The planned changes would cause significant changes in the organisational structure and employees’ job descriptions, especially in functions that support sales and purchasing operations. A total of approximately 2,800 people will be included in the negotiations and the total reduction need in the companies is estimated at a maximum of 230 full-time equivalents. The impacts of the planned changes on personnel will be specified for the companies in more detail as the planning and the negotiations progress. Anttila, Kodin1 and K-citymarket department stores will not be included in the above cooperation negotiations.

Kesko has announced the matter previously in a stock exchange release on 24 September 2014.

A presentation of Kesko’s home and speciality goods division is available at

Cooperation negotiations for improving operational efficiency were also started in VV-Auto Group Oy and VV-Autotalot Oy on 23 September 2014. A total of approximately 700 people are included in the negotiations and the reduction need is estimated at a maximum of 49 full-time equivalents.

Further information:
Senior Vice President Matti Mettälä, Kesko Corporation, Human Resources and Stakeholder Relations, tel. +358 105 350 200.

Kesko Corporation

Merja Haverinen
Vice President, Group Communications

NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd
Main news media

Argos sees increase in sales of record players during the last three months versus the same period last year

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-10-7— /EPR Retail News/ — Vinyl record players are roaring back into fashion – providing stiff competition for other music devices such as MP3 players and smartphones.

Sales of record players at Argos have tripled during the last three months versus the same period last year.

A new generation of music lovers are rediscovering classics from the 60’s as they search for alternative musical experiences to top 40 chart songs.

Responding to the trend, rock artists like the Arctic Monkeys and Bruce Springsteen have also released their latest albums on vinyl as interest in the fondly-remembered platform grows.

According to the Official Charts Company, the top five selling vinyl albums of 2014 so far are:

Arctic Monkeys – AM

Mogwai – Rave Tapes

Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes

Elbow – The Take Off and Landing Of Everything

Warpaint – Warpaint

Ian Paton, Argos audio buyer, said: “Many people thought that vinyl had seen their day, but just like the recent resurgence of independent book shops, it’s spun full circle and is starting to take the music industry by storm once again.

“The crisp, deep sound that LP records offer is unrivalled, and offers listeners so much creative licence that they’re able to create their own take on a song by changing the speed of the track.

“Then there’s the LP album cover, which is so artistic in its own right, that they have become part of the furniture to add character to people’s homes.”


Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact the Argos Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email: Follow us on Twitter at @argos_PR.

About Argos
Argos is a leading UK digital retailer, offering around 43,000 products through, 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.


National Retail Federation expects sales in November and December to increase 4.1 percent vs. 2013’s 3.1 percent increase during that same time frame

Optimism Shines as National Retail Federation Forecasts Holiday Sales to Increase 4.1

Washington, 2014-10-7— /EPR Retail News/ — After a turbulent start to 2014, the National Retail Federation announced today it expects sales in November and December (excluding autos, gas and restaurant sales) to increase a healthy 4.1 percent to $616.9 billion, higher than 2013’s actual 3.1 percent increase during that same time frame.

Holiday sales on average have grown 2.9 percent over the past 10 years, including 2014’s estimates, and are expected to represent approximately 19.2 percent of the retail industry’s annual sales of $3.2 trillion. This would mark the first time since 2011 that holiday sales would increase more than 4 percent.

“Retailers could see a welcome boost in holiday shopping, giving some companies the shot in the arm they need after a volatile first half of the year and an uneventful summer,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “While expectations for sales growth are upbeat, it goes without saying there still remains some uneasiness and anxiety among consumers when it comes to their purchase decisions. The lagging economic recovery, though improving, is still top of mind for many Americans.

“Recognizing the need to keep household budgets in line, we expect shoppers will be extremely price sensitive as they have been for quite some time. Retailers will respond by differentiating themselves and touting price, value and exclusivity,” continued Shay.

While consumer confidence has been unstable much of the year, improvements over the past few months in key economic indicators will give way to increased spending power among holiday shoppers. Retail sales, jobs and housing data all point to healthy gains.

“Though we have only seen consumer income and spending moderately – and erratically – accelerate this year, we believe there is still room for optimism this holiday season,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “In the grand scheme of things, consumers are in a much better place than they were this time last year, and the extra spending power could very well translate into solid holiday sales growth for retailers; however, shoppers will still be deliberate with their purchases, while hunting for hard-to-pass-up bargains.”

NRF’s holiday sales forecast is based on an economic model using several indicators including, consumer credit, disposable personal income, and previous monthly retail sales releases. It now includes the non-store category (direct-to-consumer, kiosks and online sales.) For historic sales information visit NRF’s Holiday Headquarters and the Retail Insight Center. Forecasts Online Sales to Grow Between 8 – 11% This Holiday Season today released its 2014 online holiday sales forecast, expecting sales in November and December to grow between 8 – 11 percent over last holiday season to as much as $105 billion.** forecasts sales based on government data including, consumer credit, disposable personal income, and previous monthly retail sales releases. Holiday non-store sales in 2013 grew 8.6 percent.

img alt from entity

Infographic provided by National Retail Federation


NRF Forecasts Seasonal Employment to Grow Between 725,000 – 800,000

According to NRF, retailers are expected to hire between 725,000 and 800,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, potentially more than they actually hired during the 2013 holiday season (768,000). Seasonal employment in 2013 increased 14 percent over the previous holiday season.

“These holiday positions offer hundreds of thousands of people the opportunity to turn their seasonal position into a long-term career opportunity in retail,” said Shay.

img alt from entity

Infographic provided by National Retail Federation

PRESS AND ANALYSTS ONLY: Join NRF for a media briefing today at 11:00 a.m. with NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay and NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D. On the call, Shay and Kleinhenz will discuss the rationale and metrics behind NRF’s holiday forecast along with economic expectations for the remainder of 2014. Register for the briefing by emailing

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 $2.6 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.


Kathy Grannis
Treacy Reynolds
(202) 783-7971
(855) NRF-Press

More than 1,000 Starbucks partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan at Arizona State University

SEATTLE, 2014-10-7— /EPR Retail News/ — A quick learner and natural leader, Lauren Esveld didn’t need a college education to get ahead.

She landed her first retail job at the age of 16 and began managing a store two years later. After a dozen years of increasing responsibility with a clothing retailer, she joined Starbucks four years ago as a district manager overseeing 13 stores in the Washington D.C. area.

Though she’s done well without a degree, Esveld is going back to school.

“You can have a good career, like I did, without going to college. But I’ve always believed a college education is extremely important,” she said. “Now I’m the mother of two boys and I want to set a good example for them.”

Esveld will soon be sitting around the family’s dining room table doing homework with her seven and nine year old sons. She’s among the 1,000 Starbucks partners (employees) who will begin classes through Arizona State University. They’re the first group of partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

“Our first cohort of partners are taking advantage of nearly all the 40 undergraduate degree programs available, with business and psychology as the most pursued,” said Cliff Burrows, group president, U.S, Americas, and Teavana. “I am looking forward to following this new and exciting journey our partners are about to embark on, and supporting and celebrating with them as they achieve their personal dreams.”

Starbucks announced a unique collaboration with ASU’s online degree program this summer. Partners based in the U.S. who work an average of at least 20 hours per week are eligible for the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.

Starbucks chose ASU as its educational partner for two primary reasons: First, the university is committed to access for all academically qualified students, regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances. Second, ASU has one of the best online education programs in the world, taught by the same faculty who teach on its campuses, and it has the experience and scale to support students with a variety of interests through a broad selection of degree programs.

Partners admitted to ASU as a junior or senior will earn full tuition reimbursement to complete their bachelor’s degree. Freshmen and sophomores will be eligible for a partial tuition scholarship and need-based financial aid toward two years of full-time study. Nearly 70 percent of partners enrolled through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan are continuing their education at the junior or senior level. In addition to financial support, Starbucks partners will have a dedicated enrollment coach, financial aid counselor and academic advisor.

“ASU is thrilled to welcome more than 1,000 Starbucks partners to the Sun Devil family. They come from nearly every state and their presence will greatly enrich our student body,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “The new university model that we are pioneering at ASU is focused on inclusivity and degree completion, and we are proud that this public-private partnership will enable Starbucks partners to achieve the dream of a college degree and the lifetime of advantages that an ASU education provides.”

Starbucks partners from nearly every state will begin classes when ASU’s online Fall B session begins on October 15, 2014. Those pursuing a bachelor’s degree include district managers, like Esveld, store managers and baristas.

Shawn Walker, a Starbucks barista in New York City, always intended on completing his college education in graphic information technology. He stopped one year short of the finish line. Loans added up and weighed him down.

“Not having a degree and having loan debt made me feel hopeless at times,” he said. “Now I have a different range of emotions. Now, I see that it’s possible for me to move my life forward. I am confident I will be successful doing something I love and this opportunity is a new beginning for me.”

Adding online education to work and family commitments will take careful planning, according to Mary Hamm, a 12-year Starbucks partner in Virginia who trains store managers and assistant managers.

When Hamm first heard about the Starbucks College Achievement Plan she thought it was an “exciting” benefit for other partners. But she couldn’t stop thinking about the prospect of completing a bachelor’s degree – something she wanted to do “someday” after her teenagers were finished with college.

Someday starts in a couple of weeks for Hamm. She begins her junior year through ASU while her oldest daughter is a freshman, studying biology, at a university in Virginia.

“I would never be able to do this without Starbucks. This is a blessing,” said Hamm. “With one child in college and another getting ready for college it would have been too expensive for me to take on another loan. This is absolutely huge. Starbucks and ASU are giving me so much.”

Hamm intends to give back. She’ll study project management to support her own development and the non-profit organization she started three years ago called Project Dominic. The group provides basic, daily necessities to homeless people in her local community.

“I’m finally able to do something I’ve wanted to do for so many years. Being able to finish my degree is one more reason why I love this company so much,” she said.

Partners from Starbucks and its family of companies – Teavana, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange and Seattle’s Best Coffee – are enrolled in nearly all of ASU’s undergraduate degree programs. The most popular fields of study for partners this semester are business, organi­­­­­­­­­­­zational leadership, psychology and education.

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan is one example of public-private partnerships Starbucks is fostering to create pathways to opportunity – both within the company and in communities. Other initiatives include: The Retail Excellence Training Program, launched with the Schultz Family Foundation and YouthBuild USA, to provide customer service skills through classroom and on-the-job experience in retail or café settings; Solutions City, a national initiative conceived by Starbucks and the U.S. Conference of Mayors to unite local leaders, non-profit organizations and businesses in solving community challenges through a series of meetings held in Starbucks stores.

For more information on this news release, contact the Starbucks Newsroom.


More than 1,000 Starbucks partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan at Arizona State University

More than 1,000 Starbucks partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan at Arizona State University

Richard Cousins and Mikael Ohlsson to join the Board of Tesco as Non-executive Directors

Cheshunt, England, 2014-10-7— /EPR Retail News/ — Tesco PLC today announces that Richard Cousins and Mikael Ohlsson will join the Board of Tesco on 1 November 2014 as Non-executive Directors.

Richard has been Group CEO of Compass Group PLC since 2006.  He was a Non-executive Director of Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC from 2009 until May 2014 and of HBOS PLC and Bank of Scotland from 2007 to 2009.  He will bring valuable UK and international corporate experience to the Board.

Mikael was until September 2013 CEO and President of the IKEA Group.  He is a Non-executive Director of Volvo Car Corporation, Ikano S.A. and Lindengruppen.  He will bring valuable retail and international experience to the Board.

Sir Richard Broadbent, Chairman, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Mikael and Richard to the Board and know that their broad skills and experience will be a real asset to the Company in the coming years.  Mikael and Richard have been updated on and are wholly supportive of the steps being taken by the new management team to rebuild trust in Tesco and to focus all the resources of the business to deliver value to our customers.”



Richard Cousins

Prior to joining Compass in 2006, Richard worked for 15 years for BPB PLC, most recently as Group Chief Executive from 2000 to 2005, as well as a variety of roles including Corporate Planning and Business Development; Group Financial Controller; Managing Director, UK & US paper and packaging companies; and President of BPB Canada. Richard’s early career included roles at Cadbury Schweppes PLC and BTR PLC.

He is a member of the advisory board of Lancaster University Business School.

Richard holds a BSc in Mathematics from Sheffield University and an MA in Operational Research from Lancaster University.  He is married and has two children and lives in Buckinghamshire.

There is no other information required to be disclosed pursuant to LR9.6.13R in respect of Richard Cousins.

Mikael Ohlsson

Mikael worked for 34 years for IKEA, carrying out a wide range of roles across the business, including as store manager, marketing manager for IKEA in Sweden, MD and Country Manager IKEA Belgium, MD and Country Manager IKEA Canada, Managing Director IKEA Sweden and Regional Retail Manager for Europe, Southern Europe and North America in combination with responsibility for Group Staff Retail, becoming CEO and President of the IKEA Group in 2009.  Mikael was a member of the Executive Management Group of the IKEA Group from 1995 until 2013.

Mikael holds a diploma in Industrial Economy from Linköping Tekniska Högskola.  He is married and has three children and lives in the Netherlands.  He enjoys photography.

There is no other information required to be disclosed pursuant to LR9.6.13R in respect of Mikael Ohlsson.


For further information:

Media: Tom Hoskin 01992 644645
Investors: Chris Griffith 01992 644800

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.

Walmart expands its Centers of Excellence program to provide services for Breast, Lung and Colorectal Cancers with Mayo Clinic

Centers of Excellence Program to Provide Services for Breast, Lung and Colorectal Cancers

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2014-10-7— /EPR Retail News/ — Building on its innovative program that has enhanced the quality of health care for its associates, Walmart announced it is expanding its Centers of Excellence program to include three cancers with Mayo Clinic, one of the nation’s leading health care providers.

Effective Jan. 1, 2015, Walmart associates and family members enrolled in the company’s health reimbursement account plans or health savings account plan who are diagnosed with breast, lung or colorectal cancer can obtain a review of their medical records by Mayo Clinic, and when recommended, receive care covered at 100 percent for on-site visits at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center locations in Rochester, Minn., Jacksonville, Fla., or Phoenix, Ariz.

“We are proud to expand our Centers of Excellence with Mayo Clinic to help ensure that our associates and their covered family members who are diagnosed with cancer receive the best care,” said Sally Welborn, senior vice president of global benefits at Walmart. “The three cancers covered under our program are among the most prevalent experienced by associates on our health care plans.”

“We are pleased that Walmart approached us to help its associates diagnosed with breast, colon and lung cancer,” said Jan Buckner, M.D., deputy director for practice at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. “Our coordinated approach to cancer care offers patients the latest advances in treatment in a compassionate and caring environment.”

Walmart’s Centers of Excellence cancer program will provide a review of an associate’s medical record, or their covered family member’s medical record, by Mayo Clinic oncologists following a diagnosis of breast, lung or colorectal cancer. The review will determine if they would benefit from an on-site visit at a Mayo Clinic location. On-site visits will be covered at 100 percent and will include recommended treatment, such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery without deductible or coinsurance, plus travel expenses for the patient and a caregiver.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reports that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer, with about 235,000 new cases expected in the United States in 2014. Lung cancer, with over 224,000 cases expected this year, and colorectal cancer, with a projected 136,000 new cases in 2014, also rank among the most common cancers in the U.S.

Walmart launched its first-of-a-kind Centers of Excellence program in January 2013, which focused on select spine and cardiac procedures. In 2014, Walmart partnered with the Pacific Business Group on Health to extend the Centers of Excellence program to include knee and hip replacement procedures. Walmart first partnered with Mayo Clinic in 1997 for associates in need of organ transplants.

Walmart remains committed to making healthcare affordable for its associates. Hundreds of associates and their family members have elected to receive Centers of Excellence care since 2013.


About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better — anytime and anywhere — in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 250 million customers and members visit our 11,053 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2014 sales of over $473 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting on Facebook at and on Twitter at

About Mayo Clinic
Recognizing 150 years of serving humanity in 2014, Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit 150 years.mayoclinic.org and

Rite Aid’s brings the hocus pocus this Halloween season with expanded selection of costumes, accessories, party supplies, pumpkin carving kits and more

CAMP HILL, Pa., 2014-10-7— /EPR Retail News/ — From spooky to whimsical, Rite Aid’s nearly 4,600 convenient nationwide locations are bringing the hocus pocus this Halloween season. With an expanded selection of costumes, accessories, party supplies, pumpkin carving kits and more, Rite Aid is your one-stop-shop for those who plan ahead or the last minute shoppers. According to National Retail Federation’s 2014 Halloween Consumer Spending Survey, total spending on Halloween this year will reach $7.4 billion.

“With Halloween falling on a Friday this year, we know many of our customers will make it a weekend affair,” said Tony Montini, Rite Aid executive vice president of merchandising. “Whether it’s last minute shopping before trick-or-treating with the kids or hosting a thrilling party, Rite Aid makes this year’s Halloween preparation easy thanks to our convenient locations, great values and large selection of merchandise from enchanting to chilling.”

Rite Aid has all the Halloween candy lovers’ desire. Shelves are stocked with festive favorites such as Snickers Pumpkins, Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins, Russell Stover Caramel Pumpkin Candy, and Twix Ghosts. Or go traditional with candy trick-or-treaters love, M&M’s, Kit Kats, Skittles, Twizzlers, Candy Corn and more. Be sure to stock up on variety bags, perfect for the big night!

From face masks to full costumes, Rite Aid has kid and adult costumes covered. Choose from Zombie Hunter, Spiderman and Transformers for boys and butterflies, witches and doctor costumes for girls. Complete any costume with accessories including multicolored wigs, beards, half and full face masks, capes, stockings and hats of all kinds. Create your own look with a make-up kit or washable color hairsprays. From Dracula to zombie, clowns and more, any look from gory to comical can be achieved.

Turn any home into a haunted house with graveyard decorations including tombstones, yard stakes, spider webs and caution tape. Host a boo-tiful party and pickup monster mash essentials such as decorative candy bowls, platters, skull drinking mugs and placemats. Create an eerie atmosphere with spooky lighting, gloomy door covers and frightening wall art.

Not into spooky or scary? Rite Aid carries a wide array of indoor and outdoor harvest home décor. Welcome fall with autumn door wreaths, decorative table tops and wall hangings, artificial pumpkins and floral arrangements, scarecrows, bales of hay, owl candle votives and pumpkin gel clings.

Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with nearly 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fiscal 2014 annual revenues of $25.5 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at

# # #


Media: Kristin Kellum 717-975-5713

Harris Teeter to open its Madison & St. Asaph store at The Kingsley on October 21, 2014

Matthews, N.C., 2014-10-7— /EPR Retail News/ — Harris Teeter is proud to welcome shoppers to its Madison & St. Asaph store at The Kingsley on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014.  The company is celebrating its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. followed by a sampling event featuring Harris Teeter brand products.

Harris Teeter was co-founded in 1960 by North Carolina grocers W.T. Harris and Willis Teeter. There were 15 stores in operation; Harris Teeter now operates over 228 stores, including 45 in the state of Virginia.

In each of its stores, including its newest in Virginia, Harris Teeter strives to offer customers an excellent shopping experience on every visit.  An excellent shopping experience starts in the store with customer service and high-quality perishables along with variety and selection.  The Company also strives to be involved in the local community and will continue to support local schools and youth sports organizations, among other non-profit organizations.

Your Madison & St. Asaph Street Harris Teeter at The Kingsley will be open 24 hours, and the Harris Teeter pharmacy will be open seven days per week, as well.

Fast Facts:

Store Address: The Kingsley
735 St. Asaph Street
Alexandria, Va. 22314
Grand Opening Date: Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014
Grand Opening Time: 5:30 p.m., ribbon cutting followed by sampling event
Store Hours:  24 hours
Pharmacy Hours:  9 a.m.–9 p.m. M-F; 9 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat.; noon–6 p.m. Sun
Square Footage:  52,302
Check-Out Lanes: Eight checkouts and six USCAN checkout

Features and Departments:

Full-service Butchers Market with Rancher Beef, HT Reserve Angus Beef and HT Naturals Natural Beef • Full-service Fishermans Market • Farmers Market Produce • Full-Service Floral and Custom Floral Arrangements • Fresh Fruit Bar • Produce Party Trays • Gift Basket Program • Full-service Fresh Foods Market Deli/Bakery • Sushi • Salad Bar • International Cheeses • Chef Prepared Foods to Go •  Custom Cakes and Ice Cream Cakes • Sub Shop and Made-to-Order Sandwich Program • Artisan Breads • Italian Meat Selection • Hot Foods Bar • Fresh Made Salads and Caesar Salads • Fresh Made Pizza • Party Trays • Boar’s Head Meats & Cheeses • Slicing Meats & Cheeses • Rotisserie Items • Organic, Natural and Specialty Foods • Expanded General Merchandise • Pharmacy • Double Coupons • Club 60 Discount • Carryout Service • USCAN • Western Union • Coinstar • Express Lane Online Shopping • Red Box DVD Rental Kiosk • Sit-down eating area.