Ahold’s Chief Corporate Governance Counsel Lodewijk Hijmans van den Bergh to step down during the first half of 2015

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-10-14— /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold today announced that Lodewijk Hijmans van den Bergh, Chief Corporate Governance Counsel and member of the Management Board and Executive Committee, will step down during the first half of 2015.

Lodewijk joined Ahold on December 1, 2009, and his responsibilities include Ahold’s Legal Affairs, Corporate Governance, M&A, Product Integrity, and the company’s Responsible Retailing strategy.

Dick Boer, Ahold CEO, said: “On behalf of the Management Board and Executive Committee, I would like to thank Lodewijk for over 5 years of excellent service, during which he has successfully resolved some of the key legacy issues of Ahold. During his tenure, Lodewijk actively contributed to the development and execution of Ahold’s strategic agenda, including the ICA divestment, the acquisition of bol.com, and the recent acquisition of SPAR in the Czech Republic. Lodewijk has also played a pivotal role in developing Ahold’s Responsible Retailing strategy. Following these accomplishments, we agreed that this is the right time to change the legal role within Ahold. We wish Lodewijk all the very best for the future.”

Rob van den Bergh, Chairman of Ahold’s Supervisory Board said: “On behalf of all my Supervisory Board colleagues, I would like to thank Lodewijk for the significant contribution he has made to the company, and wish him every success in his new endeavors.”

The process of finding Lodewijk’s successor will commence and a further announcement will be made in due course.

Cautionary notice

This press release includes forward-looking statements, which do not refer to historical facts but refer to expectations based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those included in such statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond Ahold’s ability to control or estimate precisely, such as discussed in Ahold’s public filings and other disclosures. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Koninklijke Ahold N.V. does not assume any obligation to update any public information or forward-looking statements in this release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as may be required by law. Outside the Netherlands, Koninklijke Ahold N.V., being its registered name, presents itself under the name of “Royal Ahold” or simply “Ahold”.

John Lewis opens its first-ever railway station shop (3,000 sq ft) at St Pancras International

LONDON, 2014-10-14— /EPR Retail News/ — John Lewis has today opened its first-ever railway station shop at St Pancras International.  This new format for John Lewis will provide customers with a new and convenient way to shop at this key transport hub.

The 3,000 sq ft shop offers an edited selection of electronics, gifts, beauty, home and fashion accessories. Customers can also take advantage of the retailer’s Click and Collect service, ordering products from johnlewis.com for next day collection during their daily commute.

Opening hours for John Lewis St Pancras will be 7.30am to 9pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 7pm on Sundays.

Maggie Porteous, director of selling said: ‘Our customers show us that they want different ways to shop that are most convenient for them. John Lewis St Pancras is our latest shop format innovation to meet our customers evolving needs serving the station’s travellers.  Customers can shop and enjoy John Lewis St Pancras’s range of electronics, gifts, beauty, home and fashion products plus click and collect, or in this case ‘click and commute’, johnlewis.com purchases.’

Ben Pearson, branch manager at John Lewis St Pancras, said: ‘I’m immensely proud to be branch manager at this new type of John Lewis shop. My team and I look forward to delighting St Pancras travellers passing through the station each day, as well as the local residential population and playing an active part in the local community.’

The opening of John Lewis St Pancras sees iPads, laptops and cameras available at the station for the very first time, providing commuting and travelling customers a convenient way to shop for electronics coupled with the advice and customer service they expect from John Lewis. Electronics brands available at John Lewis St Pancras include:

Apple Sony Hewlett Packard Sennheiser
Toshiba Panasonic Nikon Lenovo
Canon Acer Microsoft Beats
Samsung Asus Skullcandy


As well as the latest technology, John Lewis St Pancras is home to a carefully curated range of fashion and home accessories from brands including Ted Baker, Orla Keily and Barbour and beauty ranges from Nails Inc, Molton Brown, Philosophy, Cowshed, Liz Earle and Nr Natty.

Wendy Spinks, commercial director of HS1 Ltd (owners of St Pancras International) said:’With the same proud Victorian heritage as St Pancras International, it is fitting that John Lewis has chosen to open its first train station store at one of London’s most historic and well-loved terminals. We have no doubt that the Click and Collect service will be a big hit with the 48 million people who visit the station every year and we are proud to welcome one of Britain’s best-loved retailers to join the broad range of retail available at St Pancras.’

Luxury gift food from Charbonnel et Walker, Bollinger, Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Hotel Chocolat, Nicolas Feuillatte and L’artisan Du Chocolat is also available.

Notes to editors:

John Lewis – John Lewis operates 43 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, ten John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. As part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership, all of John Lewis’s 30,000 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 250,000 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


For further information please contact:

Laura Tattam,
Senior Communications Officer, Corporate & Brand
Telephone: 0207 592 5715
Email: laura.tattam@johnlewis.co.uk

Sainsbury’s reduces alcohol content of its Taste the Difference Prosecco Conegliano without compromising on taste

LONDON, 2014-10-14— /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s is proud to announce the removal of nearly one million units from customers’ annual alcohol consumption through the reformulation of our Taste the Difference Prosecco Conegliano.

The sparkling wine’s average alcohol content (ABV) has been reduced from 11% to 10.5%, without compromising on taste.

As part of our 20×20 commitments, Sainsbury’s has pledged to double the sales of lighter alcohol wines by 2020. Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Prosecco is a DOCG status wine, sourced from the heartland of the Conegliano region and made by Cantine Riunite. It’s the biggest selling Taste the Difference drinks line and is available in a number of formats – 75cl bottle, a 1.5l magnum, a 20cl single serve and a 37.5cl half bottle – making it suitable for a variety of customer needs and occasions.

Sainsbury’s Winemaker Ryan Carter adds: ‘We take responsible drinking and the requirements of our customers very seriously. We were the first retailer to adopt the Department of Health’s guidelines on alcohol labelling and introduced calorie labelling on own brand wines earlier this year. This new liquid is the result of collaboration between Cantine Riunite’s winemakers and our in-house team. I am pleased to have been able to achieve this reduction to our Taste the Difference Prosecco – it is a technically challenging process and we worked hard for our customers to ensure it scored parity on taste with the 11% blend during customer taste testing.’

Public Health Minister, Jane Ellison said: “I very much welcome Sainsbury’s move to lower the alcohol content of their Taste the Difference Prosecco. This will help customers to reduce the alcohol units they consume and I would encourage all retailers to look at similar initiatives.”

To help customers make informed choices, the ABV information on Sainsbury’s own brand wines is printed in large font, positioned on the left hand side of the front label, making it as clear as possible for customers. Sainsbury’s has always championed simple, clear nutritional labelling across all own label food and drink products – we were the first to use traffic light labelling on front of pack nine years ago.


Sainsbury’s reduces alcohol content of its Taste the Difference Prosecco Conegliano without compromising on taste

Sainsbury’s reduces alcohol content of its Taste the Difference Prosecco Conegliano without compromising on taste

2,100 Starbucks district managers from around the world meet in Seattle for series of meetings to build upon past successes and lead the brand to new heights

SEATTLE, 2014-10-14— /EPR Retail News/ — “This is amazing. We’re in the center of where it all began for Starbucks,” said Jen Clayton from Ontario, Canada. “This is inspirational and invigorating.”

2,100 Starbucks district managers from around the world are coming together in the company’s home city of Seattle for a series of meetings to build upon past successes and lead the brand to new heights in the years to come.

Each Starbucks district manager leads a multi-unit, multi-million dollar enterprise. They are accountable for 10-12 company-owned stores or 18 and 20 Starbucks licensed stores. In all, Starbucks has 20,863 retail stores in 65 countries with about 300,000 partners (employees).

The average age of a Starbucks district manager is 42. He or she has generally spent 10 years with the company which includes five years as a district leader.

Over the next two days, managers will reconnect with Starbucks coffee heritage and interact with company executives including Howard Schultz – Starbucks chairman, president and ceo.

“I want to meet as many people as possible and absorb the Starbucks culture so I can take it back to my peers,” said Tammy Foss, from Calgary in Alberta, Canada

“This event gives us such a unique and personal view of Starbucks leaders,” said Pete Loibner from Little Rock, Arkansas. “It’s surreal to be standing in the first Starbucks a few feet away from Howard Schultz. This is a special experience.”

After Monday evening’s welcome event at Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market, managers will attend meetings at the Washington State Convention Center, Bell Harbor Conference Center and the Experience Music Project. The conference is expected to generate an estimated $3.7 million in economic impact for the City of Seattle, with attendees staying in five hotels and visiting 17 local restaurants.

They’ll also drink coffee. A lot of coffee.

Starbucks estimates each attendee will sample or drink up to 4.5 cups per day, or about 18,900 cups during the conference.

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


2,100 Starbucks district managers from around the world meet in Seattle for series of meetings to build upon past successes and lead the brand to new heights

2,100 Starbucks district managers from around the world meet in Seattle for series of meetings to build upon past successes and lead the brand to new heights

METRO start-up study: majority of hoteliers and food service providers would still opt for self-employment if they had to make the choice all over again

  • First start-up study for hotel, restaurant and catering sector
  • More than three quarters of hoteliers and food service providers are satisfied or very satisfied with owning their own business
  • Nearly two thirds would still opt for self-employment if they had to make the choice all over again
  • Four fifths consider the lack of qualified staff the biggest problem of this industry
  • More than two million people in Germany dream of opening their own café, restaurant or hotel
  • www.metro-startupstudy.com: More results of the study and video interviews with entrepreneurs

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2014-10-14— /EPR Retail News/ — Stress, worries, a lack of customers: this is what the daily life of many hoteliers and food service providers looks like according to relevant TV shows. The METRO start-up study, which for the first time in Germany analyses the start-up mentality of independent businesses in the hospitality sector, shows a different picture: the vast majority of these are satisfied or even very satisfied and would still opt for self-employment if they had to make the choice all over again. This is good news for the more than two million people in Germany who dream of starting up their own café, restaurant or hotel. A representative survey conducted by METRO Cash & Carry in cooperation with the German market research company Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK) showed that the biggest downside for these independent businesses is the lack of qualified staff.

The wholesale company METRO Cash & Carry, whose core customers in particular include hotel, restaurant and catering operators, initiated this survey on the occasion of its 50th anniversary and thereby presented the first representative analysis of the start-up mentalities in this sector in Germany. The survey focused on the motivations, aspirations and wishes of the entrepreneurs with a view to operating an independent business in this sector. What drives these people? Which challenges do they face? What is the recipe of success when it comes to being self-employed? These questions are relevant for a very large industry sector: besides the crafts and trading sector, the hospitality sector is one of the three most popular sectors for start-ups in Germany. In 2013, around 1.7 million people worked in the hospitality sector and generated a net sales value of nearly € 70 billion.

“Two aspects are particularly remarkable: on the one hand a very high level of satisfaction among the self-employed people surveyed despite all the burdens involved in this business. The hotel and food service industry appears to be a real source of happiness”, said Olaf Koch, CEO of METRO Cash & Carry and Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG. “On the other hand, there is an increasing lack of qualified staff, which is a cause for concern”.

77 per cent of those surveyed stated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their profession and around 65 per cent would again choose to run an independent business. Almost 90 per cent of them confirmed that they were very passionate about their business. Among the main motivations for starting their own business was the desire for independence and self-fulfilment, the realisation of their own ideas as well as doing something for the greater good. At the same time, an important aspect for 94 per cent of the entrepreneurs was being able to take responsibility for their actions.

For 79 per cent of the entrepreneurs surveyed, the lack of qualified staff is the primary concern when running their own business, ahead of bureaucracy and the burden of taxation. 51 per cent of those surveyed agreed with the assertion “I ultimately have to see to everything myself”. But even the challenges of daily working life can not reduce the high level of satisfaction of these independent entrepreneurs. Having the choice, the vast majority would do everything exactly the same way again.

The goal of starting up something on their own, being the boss in their own business and having and taking on a leadership role also motivate prospective entrepreneurs. Especially for start-ups, this independence is the deciding factor: 87 per cent highlighted that this desire for independence was the key criterion for venturing into self-employment. Family tradition also plays an important role. Especially in the hotel industry, family members taking over and continue operating the business is extremely common.

This is also the context in which the aspect of strengthening the local economy must be seen: for 70 per cent of those surveyed it is important to create new jobs, and consequently give something back to the local community. Almost three quarters of the entrepreneurs (71 per cent) want to take responsibility for themselves and others. In this regard, the large majority of the independent entrepreneurs seem to trust their own ideas and abilities: 88 per cent of those surveyed believe in their professional success. With this conviction, to make the customer happy is their own priority (65 per cent). 90 per cent of the people surveyed appreciate a direct feedback from their guests and see their business as a place where people can come together (60 per cent).

In the framework of this survey a total of 402 entrepreneurs were anonymously interviewed by phone during the period from March to April 2014, of which 68 per cent were men and 32 per cent women. The target group primarily comprised the founders of SMEs with two to 20 employees and with annual sales of 100,000 euros to 200,000 euros or upwards of 500,000 euros.

Further information on the METRO start-up study can be found at the website www.metro-startupstudy.com by browsing through the complete study brochure or by downloading it as a pdf. Video interviews with entrepreneurs who report on their experiences have been specially produced for this website. Visitors can also order printed copies of the brochure.

METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international retailing companies. During the financial year 2012/13 (pro forma), it generated sales of about €66 billion. The company operates around 2,200 stores in 31 countries and has a headcount of around 250,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale – Media Markt and Saturn – the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing – Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.