Marks & Spencer installs UK’s largest single roof mounted solar panel array on its East Midlands distribution centre in Castle Donington

LONDON, 2014-10-23— /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced that it is installing the UK’s largest single roof mounted solar panel array on its East Midlands distribution centre in Castle Donington.

The project, which is expected to be completedin early 2015, is being worked on in partnership with Amber Infrastructure. The solar PV system will span the site’s 900,000 sq ft roof and will generate over 5,000 MWh of electricity per year, enough to power 1,190 houses.

The 24,272 PV panel structure will lower M&S’s carbon footprint by 48,000 tonnes over 20 years. The energy generated will be enough to make the fully automated distribution centre, which is big enough to hold 11 football pitches, close to self-sufficient during daylight hours.

The solar PV roof is one of a number of onsite renewable projects set to be announced by M&S over the next 12 months.These projects will helptake the retailer one step closer to fulfilling its commitment to ensure 50% of the electricity used in our building operations comes from small scale renewable sources by 2020.

Hugo Adams, Director of Property at M&S, said:

“This further enhances the sustainability credentials of our BREEAM Excellent Castle Donington site. Coupled with one of Europe’s largest solar thermal walls, the new solar PV system will make the building one of the most sustainable distribution centres in the world. We look forward to working with Amber Infrastructure on what is an industry leading project in terms of scale.”

Amber Infrastructure will be supplying and installing the 6.1MWp solar panel system. M&S has agreed a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement to purchase all of the electricity generated by the solar PV system.

Tom O’Shaughnessy, Partnerat Amber Infrastructure, said:

“M&S’s Plan A commitment is industry leading. The project is aligned with Amber’s pioneering approach to the provision of renewable generation and energy efficiency solutions and will create a template for the delivery of similar schemes across the UK, supporting the stated objectives of DECC and wider UK Government. We look forward to revealing the finished array in 2015.”

– Ends –

About Plan A
Plan A is Marks & Spencer’s 100 commitment eco and ethical programme that tackles both today’s and tomorrow’s sustainable retail challenges. Launched in 2007, the plan has helped M&S send no waste to landfill, become carbon neutral and win 190 industry awards. Organised around four pillars – Inspiration, In Touch, Integrity and Innovation – it aims to make M&S the world’s most sustainable major retailer. To find out more please visit the Plan A website –http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/plan-a.

For further information on M&S, please contact:

Berry Yirrell, Press Officer
0208 718 0758

Amber Green
Amber Green is the specialist brand and team created by Amber Infrastructure to advance Amber’s work in the energy efficiency, renewable generation, regeneration and sustainability arenas. Amber Green manages three JESSICA funds on behalf of the European Union, UK Government and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Amber ISIS Renewable Energy
Amber ISIS Renewable Energy (AIRE) is a joint venture between Amber Infrastructure, a specialist infrastructure management company, and the principals of ISIS Renewables, an experienced renewable project developer.

AIRE is a developer and financial advisor for projects which target the reduction of carbon emissions, energy consumption and energy costs for commercial and institutional clients.

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bol.com marks the opening of its new sportswear store; launches auction of items signed by some of the Netherlands’ best-known sportspeople

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-10-23— /EPR Retail News/ — To mark the opening of its new sportswear store, bol.com today launched an auction of 14 items signed by some of the Netherlands’ best-known sportspeople. All proceeds will go to Spieren voor Spieren (“Muscles for Muscles”), the Dutch charity that raises awareness for spinal muscular atrophy as part of the charity’s “Wintertime Challenge” appeal.

Bol.com expands range with new sportswear store

Bol.com’s new sportswear store goes live today with 55.000 items of clothing and footwear. To date, bol.com’s Sports & Leisure category has been the place to go for all of customers’ sports and leisure equipment needs, from suitcases and bicycles to camping and hiking gear – some 20,000 items in all. By adding sportswear, bol.com has massively expanded its range and now offers both novice sportspeople and pros all they need to practice their sport.

Auction for charity

The collector’s items will be auctioned at a special page: bol.com/sportveiling. Bidding is open to anyone looking for a chance to own a signed item of clothing belonging to their favorite sports star and support a great cause at the same time. People can bid as often as theylike and don’t need to be bol.com customers.

The auction will close at Spieren voor Spieren’ Wintertime Challenge, the fundraising drive on October 25 and 26 that will see over 130 locations in the Netherlands host sporting events. Bol.com has committed to top up the auction proceeds with a €10,000 donation. The charity uses donations to invest in ground-breaking research into muscle ailments affecting children, setting up centers of expertise and funding fun days out for young sufferers and their families.

Daniel Ropers, bol.com’s General Manager, comments: “We’re delighted to have 14 special items of clothing to auction off at the same as opening our new sportswear store. So join us and rise to the Wintertime Challenge: help us raise as much money as possible for Spieren voor Spieren!”

Marjolein Bolhuis-Eijsvogel, Director of Spieren voor Spieren, adds: “This is the fourth year in a row that we’ll be running the Wintertime Challenge when the clocks are turned back from summertime to wintertime. The Challenge encourages companies and private individuals to take part in some kind of sporting activity to raise money for more research into muscular diseases in children. We truly appreciate the effort that bol.com is putting into this event and hope that by reaching their many millions of customers it’ll get even more people eager to contribute.”

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2014 NACS Show attendance increased by 6.1%, the second-highest figures ever recorded for the Show

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2014-10-23— /EPR Retail News/ — Attendance for the 2014 NACS Show increased 6.1% to reach 23,624 attendees, with 9,176 classified as buyers (retailers, grocery wholesalers and distributors). Both totals, which include Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) buyer registration, are the second-highest figures ever recorded for the NACS Show. Attendees from 60 countries were at the NACS Show, with total international attendance reaching 2,465 delegates.

The 2014 NACS Show, which took place October 7-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, also featured a record-setting 403,000 net-square-foot expo, ranking it among the top 50 trade shows in the country, according to Trade Show News Network.

The size of the NACS Show expo increased 2% over 2013, with 1,114 exhibiting companies—of which 134 companies were new to the NACS Show. Exhibiting companies increased their booth footprint size over last year by an average of 10%. Extending the value of the expo to both retailers and suppliers, the popular Cool New Products Preview Room featured 290 products and services. More than 1,800 visitors to the Preview Room averaged 19 product scans per person and set a new NACS Show record of 34,260 total product scans.

In addition, the NACS Show featured three days of general sessions, 69 educational sessions and four independent operator-training sessions. The educational sessions drew 12,400 attendees, averaging 175 attendees per session—the most ever recorded. Reflecting the growing international scope of the NACS Show, the general sessions were translated into Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, and select educational sessions were translated into Portuguese and Spanish.

New this year to the NACS Show, Technology Edge provided retailer technology professionals with a more robust educational track, offering 12 new sessions including four facilitated discussions with a deep dive on topics from mobile commerce to IT security. More than 250 retailers participated in these new technology educational sessions.

“The impressive number of retailers who attended this year’s NACS Show proves to me that our industry is committed to developing world-class operations that exceed consumer expectations, improve store efficiencies and deliver new and exciting products to our customers,” said NACS Chairman Steve Loehr. “The NACS Show is truly is an essential event for everyone in our industry, whether you are part of a one-store company or one with 1,000 stores.”

Also during the NACS Show, the Partnership for a Healthier America announced that Sheetz has made a two-year commitment to deliver more nutritious options across its 475 convenience stores, joining Kwik Trip, which had also made the same commitment earlier this year. The Marine Corps Exchange was also recognized for making a similar commitment to enhancing its healthy options at its 123 convenience stores.

At the conclusion of the NACS Show, more than 59 tons of leftover product from exhibitors was donated to the Three Square Food Bank, which provides food to Southern Nevada residents in need.

The NACS Show is also a business meeting. At the conclusion of the event, Steve Loehr, vice president of operations support at La Crosse, Wisconsin-based Kwik Trip, was named the association’s 2014-15 chairman. Loehr also chairs the NACS Executive Committee, which provides strategic direction and financial oversight to the association.

Also named to the NACS Executive Committee were the following NACS retail members:

  • Vice Chairman-Treasurer: Jack Kofdarali, president at Corona, California-based J&T Management Inc.;
  • Vice Chairman, Legislative: Peter Tedeschi, president and CEO at Rockland, Massachusetts-based Tedeschi Food Shops;
  • Vice Chairman, Convention: Wendy Chronister, CEO of Chronister Oil Company (Qik-n-EZ)
  • Vice Chairman, Research: Joe Sheetz, president and CEO at Altoona, Pennsylvania-based Sheetz Inc.;
  • Vice Chairman, Member Services: Rahim Budhwani, CEO at Hoover, Alabama-based 6040 LLC;
  • Vice Chairman, International: Frank Gleeson, managing director of Dublin, Ireland-based, Aramark Ireland; and
  • Vice Chairman: Tony Kenney, president, at Enon, Ohio-based Speedway LLC

NACS also named four new members to its Board of Directors:

  • Anthony Bartys, senior vice president and COO of CST Brands Inc. (San Antonio, Texas)
  • Anderson Jones, president and CEO of Sprint Food Stores Inc. (Augusta, Georgia)
  • Kyle McKeen, president and CEO of Alon Brands Inc. (Dallas, Texas)
  • Donald Rhoads, president and CEO of The Convenience Group LLC (Vancouver, Washington)
  • Stephen Christopher Spinks, CEO of The Spinx Company Inc. (Greenville, South Carolina)

On the supplier side, Joe Vonder Haar, managing partner of iSEE Store Innovations Inc., was named 2014-15 chairman of the NACS Supplier Board. In addition, Kevin Martello, vice president of convenience, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, was named chairman-elect.

The 2015 NACS Show will take place October 11-14 in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Highlights from the 2014 NACS Show and information on next year’s event can be found at nacsshow.com.

NACS has held an annual meeting every year since its founding in 1961, but it wasn’t until 1976 that the meeting included a full-scale expo, which was part of the meeting every two or three years. The annual meeting became the annual NACS Show in 1993. The Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) has held its Fall Meeting as part of the NACS Show since in 1995 and PEI has held its annual meeting as part of the NACS Show since in 2002. Today, the NACS Show is rotated between three cities: Chicago, Las Vegas and Atlanta.

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

Gap launches kate spade new york and Jack Spade for GapKids this 2014 Holiday season

Continuing Gap’s trend of like-minded designer collaborations for GapKids and a first foray for the Kate Spade & Company brands into childrenswear

NEW YORK, 2014-10-23— /EPR Retail News/ — Gap is thrilled to launch kate spade new york and Jack Spade for GapKids, a limited-edition girls’ and boys’ apparel and accessories collection for Holiday 2014. This marks kate spade new york and Jack Spade’s first foray into childrenswear as well as the first time the Kate Spade & Company brands will partner together.

Launching in select Gap stores in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Hong Kong and Japan and on gap.com on October 30th, the childrenswear collection, which will be available for two weeks only, embraces child-like imagination with festive and whimsical styles in toddler and kids sizing. The collection blends the playful feminine and colorful twists of kate spade new york and the energetic charm of Jack Spade with GapKids’ iconic American style.

Retaining the DNA of kate spade new york and Jack Spade, inspiration was taken from the collection’s archives. The collection features recreated signature pieces from the past, downsized and in fabrics more suited to children’s play and adventure.

“Collaborating with iconic American brands such as kate spade new york and Jack Spade is a way of bringing style and optimism to the GapKids customer,” said Rebekka Bay, Creative Director and EVP, Gap Global Design. “We really wanted to celebrate the best of all three brands, the casualness of GapKids, the playfulness and prettiness of kate spade new york and the quirkiness of Jack Spade.”

“I couldn’t think of a better partner than Gap to collaborate with on a children’s collection,” said Deborah Lloyd, Chief Creative Officer, Kate Spade & Company. “Their colorful and playful spirit aligns perfectly with ours and they’ve helped us realize our vision of dressing little ones head to toe in kate spade new york and Jack Spade for their next big adventure.”

Focusing on a child’s carefree sense of adventure and excitement, the collection follows a brother and sister imagining their way through a magical journey to grandmother’s house during the holiday season. The idea of packing for a family holiday reunion, celebrating the journey seen from the back seat of the car, the actual celebration and the overnight stay, are themes that can be seen throughout.

Collection favorites include charming dresses, clever graphic sweatshirts, witty winter accessories and stylish tech cases marrying the brands’ aesthetics and allowing kids to be kids. Fit and flare dresses and button down tops for girls are played up with the kate spade new york signature bow print. Sassy sayings such as “Here Comes Trouble”, “Skirt The Rules”, “Pretty Sneaky”, and “Are We There Yet?” can be found on girls’ and boys’ fashion and accessories. Mittens with playful quotation marks, knit hats with antlers and hot dog printed scarves speak to the whimsy of the winter collection. Highlighting the fun and quirky nature of the Kate Spade & Company brands, graphic tech accessories feature hamburgers, notebooks and emojis.

With prices starting from $9.95 up to $130, the collection will be available in select Gap stores and on gap.com starting on October 30th for two weeks only.

About Gap
Gap is a global apparel and accessories brand focused on delivering casual, American style. The brand offers classic, iconic clothing that helps customers express their individuality through its Gap, GapKids, babyGap, GapMaternity and GapBody collections. With an optimistic point of view and belief that everyone can make their creative mark in the world, Gap embodies what it means to be bright. Founded in San Francisco in 1969 by Donald G. Fisher and Doris F. Fisher, the brand has grown from one store to over 1,700 company-operated and franchise retail locations around the world. Gap is the namesake brand for leading global specialty retailer, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) which includes Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta, and Intermix. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.

About kate spade new york
In 1993, Kate Spade designed the utilitarian bag she had been craving for years but couldn’t find anywhere and so began a revolution in the accessories market. Simple silhouettes with clever details and crisp palettes soon established a visual shorthand for the brand that’s recognizable the world over. In 2007, Kate Spade turned the reins over to the design powerhouse, Liz Claiborne Inc. which then became Fifth & Pacific Companies Inc, and now operates under Kate Spade & Company (NYSE: KATE). Deborah Lloyd, formerly of Banana Republic and Burberry took the helm as Chief Creative Officer with an aim to broadening the line while honoring Kate’s rich history. Today you’ll find the brand on the arms of women everywhere with nearly 300 kate spade new york stores worldwide and a thriving e-commerce business.

About Jack Spade
Jack Spade began in 1996 out of a warehouse on Warren Street in New York City. It grew out of the idea that useful items could also be stylish. The first JACK SPADE bag was sold to a hardware store in 1997. Today, Jack Spade has grown to include clothing, small goods and accessories. It remains true to the idea that good design solves a problem with straightforward solutions, using timeless and durable materials. Jack Spade can be found online at www.jackspade.com, in their 13 retail stores in the US, Japan and UK, and in top select stores worldwide.

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Whole Foods Market partners with famed local noodle producer, Sun Noodle

New York, NY, 2014-10-23— /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market is pleased to announce its partnership with famed local noodle producer, Sun Noodle. Known for supplying noodles to some of the most esteemed ramen shops in the nation, including David Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar and Ivan Orkin’s, Ivan Ramen and Slurp Shop. Sun Noodle will be launching two new packaged, MSG-free ramen kits – Shoyu Ramen and Miso Ramen exclusively at Whole Foods Market stores in New York City. Sun Noodle’s classic Kaedama Ramen Noodles will also be available.

Sun Noodle strives to offer the authentic taste of Japanese noodles with the finest ingredients. The collection will feature classic ramen flavors, Shoyu and Miso based broths, both made with no added MSG and meeting Whole Foods Market’s strict quality standards. The products are refrigerated packs of fresh ramen noodles paired with concentrated soy sauce or miso base that can be easily prepared, offering shoppers the opportunity to create restaurant-quality ramen at home with their own choice of meats, vegetables, seasonings and other unique soup ingredients. The noodles are made fresh at Sun Noodle’s local factory in Teterboro, NJ.

“We are excited about our partnership with Whole Foods Market which will make our products readily available to anyone who enjoys Japanese Ramen in New York City,” said Kenshiro Uki, General Manager of Sun Noodle New Jersey. “This will provide a new venue to continue our mission of educating the public about authentic Japanese Ramen in one of the most vibrant cities in United States.”

Founded in 1981 by CEO Hidehito Uki, the Sun Noodle Empire began in small shops in Hawaii, and slowly made its way to mainland United States, and into the kitchens of some of the world’s most distinguished chefs and ramen shops. Sun Noodle has been widely recognized for it’s more recent Ramen Lab, where attendees can take part in educational seminars, courses, tastings, and flights—all revolving around the celebration of ramen. This launch coincides with the forthcoming opening of their first New York City Ramen Lab, located at 70 Kenmare Street.

“At Whole Foods Market, we’re consistently looking for opportunities to bring our customers a high-quality restaurant experience in the comfort of their home,” said Elly Truesdell, Local Forager for Whole Foods Market’s Northeast Region. “In partnering with Sun Noodle, our shoppers will now get to create their own exciting ramen dishes with the very best noodles available in New York City.”

Media Contacts

Wincor Nixdorf commissioned IDC study: In 2017 banks worldwide will invest 16 billion USD in branch transformation and the new technologies it requires

International Management Seminar 2014

Paderborn, Germany, 2014-10-23— /EPR Retail News/ — According to a study carried out on behalf of Wincor Nixdorf by the American company International Data Corporation (IDC), a global leader in IT market research and consulting, in 2017 banks all over the world will invest some 16 billion U.S. dollars in branch transformation and the new technologies it requires. Jens Bohlen, member of the Board of Directors of Wincor Nixdorf AG with responsibility for the company’s global banking business, presented the study’s results at the company’s International Management Seminar, held from October 22 – 24 in Istanbul. He noted that the bank branch continues to be very valuable as a delivery channel, but it must transform itself. Key factors in the success of branch transformation projects, according to the study, are differentiation in branch type within the branch network, an improved customer experience, and the option of carrying out cash and other standard transactions quickly and easily.

“Worldwide demand for automation technology is rising. We want to support banks around the world through software in particular in implementing branch transformation projects, optimizing omnichannel sales and improving the customer experience,” said Wincor Nixdorf’s CEO Eckard Heidloff. It is Wincor Nixdorf’s goal to double its software sales over the medium term to some 600 million euros.

In his remarks, Heidloff also offered a report on the status of the ATM Security Association, which was founded on the basis of an initiative begun by Diebold and Wincor Nixdorf. The association’s goal is to create security standards for the self-service delivery channel, to develop countermeasures for known threats to its security, and to make them available around the world. The formal process of founding the association is now complete, and following a presentation by the founding members in London at the ATMIA Security Conference last week, 70 inquiries and applications for membership were received from banks, manufacturers and component suppliers. Feedback on the initiative was unanimously positive, according to Heidloff.

IDC study: integrating the branch in the digital world
The study maintains that the success or failure of a branch network is dependent on its acceptance by the customer. To ensure its success, not only do the branch, online and mobile channels need to offer perfect service individually, they must also be completely integrated into the digital world, which is where more and more customers spend their time and manage their banking business. This is an enormous challenge, but it also opens up great opportunities: experience shows that customer satisfaction increases when the branch infrastructure is improved.

“The results of the IDC study suggest that an optimally positioned branch network and the use of the latest technology can bring a 25% increase in customer contacts with a simultaneous gain in efficiency of around 30%,” says Bohlen. According to the study, consumers benefit from 24/7 service and banks profit from extensive process automation and thus lower costs.

In the process, innovative self-service technology serves as a bridge to other channels. Customizable screens and intuitive touch interfaces at self-service terminals, for example, ensure fast transactions. Another example is ATMs that can be operated via smart phone: the customer authorizes a withdrawal using a mobile app and receives cash at the ATM without the need for an ec or credit card.

The provision of a wide array of services and consulting even in mini branches or unstaffed self-service points is enabled through modern technologies such as video conference systems integrated in self-service terminals: at the touch of a button, the customer can communicate directly with a bank consultant who specializes in the topic of interest. This technology also enables extended self-service options such as opening an account. Video technology helps bridge distances, making it possible to offer consulting services in rural areas and ensure an extensive presence across all branch types.

Self-service with the human touch
Together with a British bank, Wincor Nixdorf has developed a concept for assisted self-service. The “assisted teller counter” automates a variety of standard transactions such as withdrawals and deposits of banknotes and coins, document printing, and check deposits. A barcode reader and a NFC reader are integrated to simplify the handling of transactions such as bill payment. The system features two large 18.5-inch touchscreens mounted at different heights to enable easier use by people with a wide variety of physical needs. Customers can request assistance simply by pressing a button on the device. Branch staff receive these requests via an iPad and can provide help immediately. “We are the first provider in the world to complete a large-scale installation of a solution like this one, which allows the bank to offer all its standard transactions on self-service systems with a high degree of customer orientation and efficiency,” says Bohlen.

Software ensures ease of operation at the ATM
Customer orientation is also the focus of two software projects presented by Hakan Özçubukcu, General Manager of Wincor Nixdorf Turkey. A joint team composed of both staff from the Turkish financial institution Halkbank and Wincor Nixdorf employees is currently working on a project to optimize the ATM user interface. One of the bank’s requirements is to enlarge the customer panel so that it is easier for older users to read. The bank is also implementing Wincor Nixdorf’s ProFlex software, which allows banks to customize the user interfaces and services of their self-service systems and thus free themselves from the download limitations imposed by their switch operators. One of the pleasant side effects of deploying ProFlex is that communication between the individual ATMs and the central computer is reduced, which in turn cuts the bank’s network costs. Garanti Bank also uses Proflex to integrate its more than 4000 ATMs from different manufacturers into the bank’s omni-channel architecture. “Our software makes it easy for the bank to implement new functions quickly across its entire ATM network,” explained Özçubukcu.

Wincor Nixdorf Portavis’s IT outsourcing contract to be renewed by Sparkasse Bremen

Paderborn, Germany, 2014-10-23— /EPR Retail News/ — Wincor Nixdorf Portavis’s contract as IT outsourcing partner of Sparkasse Bremen is to be renewed for a further five years starting October 1, 2015. The contract has been in place since 2005 and was already renewed in 2011 for a minimum period of four years. Under the contract, Portavis is tasked with the operation and management of the savings bank’s IT infrastructure as well as its customized banking applications and self-service systems. That enables Sparkasse Bremen to optimize its IT processes and substantially lower its operating costs.

The scope of services covers operation of the bank’s computer center, which consists of almost 300 servers with over 40 applications, operation of 430 Wincor Nixdorf self-service devices, 62 Wincor Nixdorf automated teller safes, around 1,850 thin clients and PCs, more than 2,100 telecommunication systems, 730 printers and around 3,400 network ports as well as standard applications. Portavis monitors and manages the entire IT infrastructure, including the self-service systems, coordinates service call-outs and ensures proactive upkeep and maintenance of the associated hardware. In addition, Portavis provides Sparkasse Bremen with an end user help desk that helps users rectify errors independently, and delivers monthly quality reports on the agreed service levels.

Wincor Nixdorf Portavis is a joint venture of Wincor Nixdorf, Hamburg Sparkasse and Sparkasse Bremen.

About Sparkasse Bremen
With total assets of around €11 billion, a workforce of more than 1,500 and over 60 consultation centers, Sparkasse Bremen is the undisputed market leader for retail and corporate clients in the city of Bremen. Founded as an independent savings bank in 1825 by citizens of the northern German city, Sparkasse Bremen is today ranked among the top ten of Germany’s more than 400 savings banks. The bank is a strong partner for SMEs and, with its knowledge of both local industry and foreign trade, can provide companies with the support they need to grow – right from the start-up phase. Its multi-award-winning consultation services for retail clients cover savings, financing and retirement products as well as real estate. Via its exclusive Private Banking arm, the bank also assists companies in establishing foundations and managing the transfer of ownership to the next generation.

METRO GROUP and Groupe Auchan announce international purchasing partnership

  • Joint negotiations with multinational suppliers on global level
  • Combined sourcing of non-food private label products
  • Partnership brings benefits for customers
  • Agreement effective from November 2014

Croix/Düsseldorf, 2014-10-23— /EPR Retail News/ — Within the framework of the changing global retail environment, METRO GROUP and Groupe Auchan today announced their agreement to enter into an international purchasing partnership. This cooperation is clustered in two agreements that will combine the complementary strengths of the retailer Groupe Auchan and the wholesale and food retail divisions of METRO GROUP.

  • In the first place, an international cooperation agreement enabling joint negotiations of additional and on specific international services and conditions for the most important international suppliers of branded consumer products on global level.
  • Secondly, an international sourcing agreement will be put in place enabling joint worldwide purchasing of non-food products that each company will resell individually under its own brand labels or as no-name labels.

Electronic consumer products are excluded from these two agreements.

The agreed partnership combines for the first time the bargaining power of two leading companies, which operate two different business models with an ideal geographical fit.

The partnership is new in the worldwide retail environment, as it is combining the purchasing powers of a predominantly wholesaling company with those of one of the leading retailers. For the partnership, there is no overlap between Groupe Auchan and METRO GROUP in terms of sales activities in the same geographical markets. Groupe Auchan’s core business is in the retail market for sale of daily goods to consumers. METRO GROUP is active in the wholesale sector for business customers and food retail activities in countries where Groupe Auchan is not present. This led the two groups to consider the development of a partnership that will bring business growth and benefits for costumers.

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METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international trading 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.

GROUPE AUCHAN is the world’s 11th largest food retailer. It operates in 16 countries and has 302,000 employees.

It is structured into 5 core businesses: hypermarkets (839 fully-consolidated stores and 154 under management mandates, associated or franchised), supermarkets (818 fully-consolidated stores and 1,928 franchised and associated), retail real estate (Immochan), banking (Oney Banque Accord), e-commerce and other activities. The Group’s vision is to improve the purchasing power and quality of life for the greatest number of customers, with responsible, professional, committed and respected employees.

In 2013, Groupe Auchan reached a consolidated revenue excluding taxes of €48.1 billion, 58% coming from outside France.

More information on www.groupe-auchan.com.

Press contact: François Cathalifaud – Tel. + 33 (0)1 58 65 08 10 – fcathalifaud@auchan.fr
Investor relations: Vincent Schiltz – Tel. + 33 (0)3 20 81 68 54 – v.schiltz@auchan.fr

 

Kingfisher: Castorama France awarded the “Top Employers France” certification for 2014 by the Top Employers Institute, for the fourth consecutive year

LONDON, 2014-10-23— /EPR Retail News/ — Castorama France has been awarded the “Top Employers France” certification for 2014 by the Top Employers Institute, for the fourth consecutive year.

The Top Employers Institute globally certifies excellence in the working conditions that employers create for their people. Castorama France received its certification for demonstrating leading HR practices across the Institute’s five key criteria:

  • Remuneration and recognition
  • Benefits and working conditions
  • Training and professional development
  • Talent management
  • Managerial practices

Isabelle Evrard, Employer Brand Project Manager at Castorama France, said:
“This award confirms the effectiveness of our human resource policies, concerning employee diversity, employees’ roles as contributors to the company, free access to training and the implementation of an inclusive internal communications programme”.

Some of the HR initiatives at Castorama France include:

  • Induction programmes focused on everything from company strategy and job roles to useful contacts and “Tickets Restau” (a French lunch voucher system)
  • Professional development action plans developed between an employee and their manager which are fundamentally linked to the company strategy and personal progression
  • The “Form’Acteur” online training portal which offers all employees the ability to manage their own training relevant to their needs
  • “CastoTV”, created in 2008, is a weekly internal news programme created by and for employees broadcasting news and events from around the business
  • An internal social network app, “Kissbook”, available across Kingfisher via smartphones and a website, which facilities keeping in touch with and sharing knowledge with colleagues across the Group via discussion forums

For more information about the Top Employers Award go to http://www.top-employers.com/en/companyprofiles/FR/castorama/

Castorama France is the leading home improvement retailer in France with 102 stores and 12,600 employees. Its stores are aimed at retail customers and DIYers with an emphasis on making home improvement and DIY easier.