BRC-BOND DICKINSON RETAIL EMPLOYMENT MONITOR Q3 2014: The equivalent number of full-time jobs fell by 1.3% in Q3 2014 vs same period last year

The equivalent number of full-time jobs fell by 1.3% in the third quarter of 2014 compared with the same period last year.

LONDON, 2014-10-24— /EPR Retail News/ — In the third quarter of 2014, the number of outlets rose by 2.9%. Non-food retailers contributed marginally to the overall increase, the first time for at least two years, according to our sample.

The average number of full-time equivalent staff per store fell to a record low indicating a drive towards smaller format stores – particularly in food.

Food retailers cut back on the number of hours worked compared with the previous year.

BRC Director General, Helen Dickinson, said: “This is the fifth month in a row where we have seen a decline in the number of hours worked in retail. This quarter’s fall of -1.3% in full-time equivalent jobs is, once again, driven by food retailers reacting to the significant structural changes that are on-going across the industry. Consumers’ preference for convenience top-up shopping, greater competition within the grocery market and the impact of online is changing the grocery store model while operating costs continue to rise. This has meant that food retailers need to maximise the productivity of their existing workforce and deploy them in a smarter, more efficient way. All of this demonstrates how tightly retailers are controlling their costs in a highly competitive marketplace, as they battle to win consumers by keeping prices low.

“However it is also worth remembering that as we approach the vital Christmas period, retailers will likely add a large number of temporary staff to their workforce to help them meet increased seasonal demand. Previously we have seen that a large percentage of these jobs turn into permanent positions.”

Christina Tolvas-Vincent, Head of Retail Employment at business law firm Bond Dickinson, said: “Despite unemployment being at a six-year low, the retail sector, and particularly the grocery sector, is facing some serious challenges from continued pressure on household budgets, food inflation and the change in consumer shopping habits. This has resulted in a year-on-year drop in the number of full time employees and a fifth consecutive fall in the number of hours worked. Even the anticipation of Christmas appears muted this year in terms of recruitment, perhaps due to the weak wage increases reported across the UK.”

“Retailers have always needed to be nimble in order to cope with economic developments, this year they have also needed to adapt to frequent changes to employment laws. As the retail industry employs more than 3 million people in the UK it must keep a finger on the pulse of the law as well as the economy. A lot of the retailers we work with are not just reacting to legislation but actively trying to stay ahead of it by looking after their staff better than their competitors. The attraction and retention of employees can be seen as part of the same equation as attraction and retention of customers.”

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

CBRE Group, Inc. announced that Tim Schroeder has taken leadership role in the Company’s LGBT Network Group

Los Angeles, CA, 2014-10-24— /EPR Retail News/ — CBRE Group, Inc. today announced that Tim Schroeder, a CBRE Managing Director has taken a leadership role in the Company’s LGBT Network Group (LGBTNG). Mr. Schroeder joins Chris Ludeman, Global President of Capital Markets, as a Co-Executive Sponsor of CBRE’s network group dedicated to its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender professionals.

“Tim has done a terrific job leading our McKesson account and I am confident he will bring the same passion and excellence to his expanded role with the LGBTNG,” Lance Wilken, Senior Managing Director for Global Corporate Services, said.

The LGBTNG provides an open-minded support system for conducting business and addressing the personal requirements of CBRE’s LGBT community. The network acts as an advocate for and advisor to LGBT employees, while helping shape CBRE practices and programs to ensure a merit-based business environment. The group was instrumental in identifying and advocating policy changes that have provided greater equality and inclusion within the Company. Founded in 2009, CBRE’s LGBT group was the first such networking group in the commercial real estate services industry.  In 2014, CBRE was the first commercial real estate company to receive a perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index and earn designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality.

“Tim has an outstanding history as a leader within our company and brings a high level of enthusiasm for broadening the positive impacts of the LGBTNG,” Mr. Ludeman said. “I look forward to working with him to serve our LGBT community and guide our continued efforts toward inclusion for all CBRE employees.”

Mr. Schroeder has more than 20 years of experience in the real estate industry including investment management, consulting and commercial development. He has been with CBRE for seven years and currently serves as the Alliance Director for the McKesson Corporation relationship. CBRE is the exclusive provider of facilities management, project management and development, transaction management and lease administration services for McKesson’s 25-million-square foot portfolio.

Additional information about the CBRE LGBTNG can be found at http://www.cbre.us/lgbt

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2013 revenue).  The Company has approximately 44,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through approximately 350 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.

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Whole Foods Market’s travel company Whole Journeys announces the first 12 itineraries for travel in 2015

Whole Foods Market’s travel company offers new roster of active foodie tours

AUSTIN, Texas, 2014-10-24— /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Journeys, Whole Foods Market’s travel company, announces the first 12 itineraries for travel in 2015. From Italian cooking lessons with locals and hiking island paths in Croatia to harvesting grapes in Argentina and tasting artisan goat cheese in Aspen, these trips offer hands-on culinary encounters and a range of activity levels.

Whole Journeys developed two categories for different types of travelers. “Active Foodie” embraces those who enjoy walking, hiking or biking while they explore the distinctive culture and traditions of food in each locale, while the new “Food Forward” category is perfect for travelers who prefer to focus on learning and taking part in the local food traditions.

“Our small team of seasoned local guides and global foodies has created a fantastic roster for 2015 where we can share the stories, rituals and customs of a place through the lens of food,” said Kathy Dragon, executive director of Whole Journeys. “We are passionate about building connections for our guests between the food they eat and the people and places it comes from, creating a more personal tie to our global community.”

Led by local guides, tours range from three to 12 days and accommodate a maximum of 16 guests. The small group size allows for spontaneous experiences and the chance to visit the homes and small businesses of families and food artisans. The prices range from $1,300 for domestic trips to an average of $4,200 for international destinations that offer close encounters with the landscape and personalities in each place. Travelers will stay overnight in unique properties ranging from boutique hotels to family-run farms to mountain huts.

Beginning in February and running throughout 2015, the following destinations are the first available for booking:

India: A Taste of Northern India through Family Recipes (Food Forward) – new in 2015
Italy: Amalfi Coast Odyssey (Active Foodie) – new in 2015
Argentina: Buenos Aires and the Wine Regions (Active Foodie) – new in 2015
Sardinia: Island Secrets of a Long Life (Active Foodie)
Turkey: Turkish Delights (Active Foodie)
Croatia: Coastal Croatia (Active Foodie)
Emilia Romagna: Food Lovers Paradise (Food Forward)
Basque Country: Wine, Coast and Camino (Active Foodie) –  new in 2015
Tuscany: Create the Taste of Tuscany (Food Forward)
The Savory Trails of Tuscany (Active Foodie)
Dolomites: Dolce Vita in the Dolomites (Active Foodie)
Aspen Sampler: 3 Day Hiking and Tasting Tour (Active Foodie)
Recipes and Traditions of Southern France (Food Forward) –  new in 2015

Levels of exertion and food experiences vary, but all itineraries are designed to support local communities, respect the environment and encourage travelers to interact with one another and the destinations’ food producers. Whole Journeys was launched in 2013 and grew from a vision to bring the values, the passion, and the taste of Whole Foods Market beyond the stores. More destinations for the 2015 calendar year will be added in coming months.

Dragon will personally escort many of the departures. As a 20-year veteran of the experiential travel industry, Dragon has guided more than 3,000 active adults on small group tours worldwide, from Provence to Patagonia, Croatia to China and everywhere in between. Prior to leading Whole Journeys, she owned The Dragon’s Path, a travel company focused on cultural walking adventures.

Visit WholeJourneys.com or call 1-888-833-6177 for more information, dates and available itineraries.

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Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. now the exclusive manufacturer of Meijer Brand K-Cup® packs for the Keurig® hot brewing system

New Meijer Brand K-Cup Packs Now Available at Meijer Stores

WATERBURY, Vt., 2014-10-24— /EPR Retail News/ — Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., (Keurig) (NASDAQ: GMCR), a leader in specialty coffee, coffee makers, teas and other beverages with its innovative brewing technology, today announces that it is now the exclusive manufacturer of Meijer Brand K-Cup® packs for the Keurig® hot brewing system. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“As a valued customer for many years, we’re thrilled to expand our relationship with Meijer by welcoming them into the Keurig brand family,” said John Whoriskey, President of U.S. Sales and Marketing at Keurig. “With Meijer’s steadfast dedication to innovation, quality, and value and our expertise for delivering superior products for our Keurig system, we’re excited to provide Meijer shoppers with a fresh cup of Meijer coffee from their Keurig brewer.”

The new Meijer Brand K-Cup® packs are now available exclusively at Meijer stores. Launching with an assortment of coffees, all Meijer K-Cup® packs will be marked with the Keurig Brewed® seal indicating the product has passed rigorous testing, assuring the quality, taste, and integrity consumers expect from the Keurig® brand.

Keurig® hot system brewers use innovative brewing technology to deliver a fresh-brewed, perfect single cup of hot or brewed over ice coffee, tea, cocoa, or fruit brews every time at just the touch of a button. With the launch of the next generation Keurig® 2.0 brewer, consumers are able to brew both a single cup and a carafe of coffee from a Keurig® brand pack. With Keurig 2.0 brewing systems, consumers continue to get the same Keurig quality, simplicity and beverage choice they expect with more than 50 brands and more than 275 beverage varieties currently available, all brewed with Keurig’s new beverage-optimizing brewing technology.

About Meijer
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 213 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As the inventor of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, garden centers and electronics offerings. For more information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/meijer and @twitter.com/meijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

About Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.
As a leader in specialty coffee, coffee makers, teas and other beverages, Keurig Green Mountain (Keurig) (NASDAQ: GMCR), is recognized for its award-winning beverages, innovative brewing technology, and socially responsible business practices. The Company has inspired consumer passion for its products by revolutionizing beverage preparation at home and in the workplace. Keurig supports local and global communities by investing in sustainably-grown coffee and by its active involvement in a variety of social and environmental projects. By helping consumers drink for themselves, we believe we can brew a better world. For more information visit: www.KeurigGreenMountain.com. To purchase Keurig® products visit: www.Keurig.com or www.Keurig.ca.

Keurig routinely posts information that may be of importance to investors in the Investor Relations section of its website,www.KeurigGreenMountain.com, including news releases and its complete financial statements, as filed with the SEC. The Company encourages investors to consult this section of its website regularly for important information and news. Additionally, by subscribing to the Company’s automatic email news release delivery, individuals can receive news directly from Keurig as it is released.

Keurig Green Mountain Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information in this filing constitutes “forward-looking statements.” Forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They often include words such as “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “intends,” “plans,” “seeks” or words of similar meaning, or future or conditional verbs, such as “will,” “should,” “could,” “may,” “aims,” “intends,” or “projects.” However, the absence of these words or similar expressions does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. These statements may relate to: the expected impact of raw material costs and our pricing actions on our results of operations and gross margins, expected trends in net sales and earnings performance and other financial measures, the expected productivity and working capital improvements, the success of introducing and producing new product offerings, the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations, the adequacy of internally generated funds and existing sources of liquidity, such as the availability of bank financing, the expected results of operations of businesses acquired by us, our ability to issue debt or additional equity securities, our expectations regarding purchasing shares of our common stock under the existing authorizations, projections of payment of dividends, and the impact of the inquiry initiated by the SEC and any related litigation or additional governmental inquiry or enforcement proceedings. A forward-looking statement is neither a prediction nor a guarantee of future events or circumstances, and those future events or circumstances may not occur. Management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable as and when made. However, caution should be taken not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements because such statements speak only as of the date when made. We expressly disclaim any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. In addition, forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our Company’s historical experience and our present expectations or projections. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those described in Part II, “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in our Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the thirteen weeks ended June 28, 2014, and Part II “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our fiscal 2013 Annual Report filed on Form 10-K, as amended, and elsewhere in those reports and those described from time to time in our future reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

KGM-US

Contacts: Keurig Green Mountain – (For Media) Kristen Mercure, 802-488-2498, kristen.mercure@keurig.com; (For Investors) Katie Gilroy, 781-418-3345, katie.gilroy@keurig.com

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Gap Inc. to open Old Navy stores in six Middle Eastern countries with franchisees Fawaz A. Alhokair & Co. and Azadea beginning Spring 2015

Franchise-Operated Stores to Open in Spring 2015

SAN FRANCISCO, 2014-10-24— /EPR Retail News/ — Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) announced today it has signed agreements to open Old Navy stores in six Middle Eastern countries with franchisees Fawaz A. Alhokair & Co. and Azadea beginning Spring 2015. The first markets include U.A.E., Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

International growth is a key priority for Gap Inc. and expanding Old Navy to new markets and countries in partnership with two franchise partners is an important step in the company’s strategy. This is the second franchise market expansion for Old Navy. In March of this year, the brand opened its first franchise-operated stores in the Philippines. The brand’s move into the Middle East builds on the success that Gap and Banana Republic have experienced since entering the market in 2007.

“Entering the Middle East is an important milestone in our strategy to share Old Navy with a broader, global customer base,” said Robert Frank, Executive Vice President of Old Navy International. “Given the family-centered culture of the region, we believe Old Navy’s iconic American apparel and focus on fashion, family and value will really resonate with customers.”

Old Navy stores will feature the same energizing store environment that the brand has become known for in the United States and will offer apparel and accessories collections for men’s, women’s, kid’s and baby.

Alhokair

Alhokair is one of the top fashion franchise retailers in Saudi Arabia, managing more than 80 brands, including Gap and Banana Republic across multiple markets.

“We are delighted to be opening Old Navy in Saudi Arabia,” said Simon Marshall, Chief Executive of Alhokair. “The first stores will open in the vibrant shopping districts of Riyadh and Dammam, with several more across the country planned for 2015.”

Azadea

Azadea has a proven track record on successfully delivering seamless brand experiences to customers in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Asia and Europe, including the Gap brand in Lebanon and Cyprus.

“We are proud to announce our partnership with Old Navy and are extremely excited to be introducing this unique concept to the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait,” states Said G. Daher, Chief Executive Officer at Azadea.

The first Old Navy stores will open in Dubai, U.A.E, Kuwait City, Kuwait and Doha, Qatar.

About Old Navy
Old Navy is a global apparel and accessories brand that makes current American fashion essentials accessible to every family. Originated in 1994, the brand is now one of the largest apparel retailers in North America. A division of San Francisco-based Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS), Old Navy brings a fun, energizing shopping environment to its customers in more than 1,000 stores in the U.S., Canada, Japan, China and the Philippines. For more information, please visit www.oldnavy.com.

About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta, and Intermix brands. Fiscal year 2013 net sales were $16.1 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in more than 90 countries worldwide through about 3,200 company-operated stores, almost 400 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.

About Fawaz A. Alhokair & Co.
Fawaz A. Alhokair & Co. (SJSC) is a publicly traded retail conglomerate headquartered in Saudi Arabia. The company partners with over 65 international brands, operates in 17 countries and manages over 2,100 standalone mono-brand stores. The company’s portfolio includes leading global brands, such as Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Zara Home, Uterqüe, Gap Inc., Mango, Topshop, La Senza, The Children’s Place, Marks & Spencer, Tesco F&F, and Grupo Cortefiel. Primary areas of operations include the domestic market of Saudi Arabia, other markets in the Middle East & North Africa, Central Asia and Caucasus regions and the United States. Fawaz A. Alhokair & Co. was registered as a partnership in 1990, incorporated as a joint stock company in 2006 and listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange in 2006. For more information, please visit Fawazalhokairfashion.com.

About Azadea
Azadea Group is a premier fashion and lifestyle retail company that owns and operates more than 50 leading international franchise concepts across the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and Europe.  Since its inception in 1978, the Group has grown a substantial chain of stores representing leading international brand names in fashion and accessories, food and beverage, home furnishing, sporting goods and multimedia. With over 10,000 employees, the company boasts a solid infrastructure overseeing more than 500 stores spread across 16 countries including Algeria, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than those that are purely historical are forward-looking statements. Words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “project,” and similar expressions also identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the following:

  •  opening of Old Navy franchise stores in the Middle East.

Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, without limitation, the following:

  • the risk that changes in global economic conditions or consumer spending patterns could adversely impact our results of operations;
  •  the highly competitive nature of our business in the United States and internationally;
  • the risk that we or our franchisees will be unsuccessful in gauging apparel trends and changing consumer preferences;
  • the risks that importing merchandise from foreign countries, including failure of our vendors to adhere to our Code of Vendor Conduct, could have a negative impact on our reputation or operations;
  • the risk that our franchisees’ operation of franchise stores is not directly within our control and could impair the value of our brands;
  • the risk that we or our franchisees will be unsuccessful in identifying, negotiating, and securing new store locations and renewing, modifying, or terminating leases for existing store locations effectively;
  • the risk that we are subject to data or other security breaches that may result in increased the risk that we are subject to data or other security breaches that may result in increased costs, violations of law, significant legal and financial exposure, and a loss of confidence in our security measures, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and our reputation;
  • the risk that natural disasters, public health crises, political crises, or other catastrophic events could adversely affect our operations and financial results, or those of our franchisees or vendors;
  • the risk that changes in the regulatory or administrative landscape could adversely affect our financial condition, strategies, and results of operations; and
  • the risk that we will not be successful in defending various proceedings, lawsuits, disputes, claims, and audits.

Additional information regarding factors that could cause results to differ can be found in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 1, 2014, as well as the company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

These forward-looking statements are based on information as of October 23, 2014. The company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realize

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UK singer-songwriter Katy B performed at Argos’ digital store on Old Street, London to mark Argos’ new campaign launch ‘GET SET GO ARGOS’

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-10-24— /EPR Retail News/ — Last night saw crowds gather to watch platinum-selling UK singer-songwriter Katy B give an exclusive performance at Argos’ digital store on Old Street, London to mark Argos’ new campaign launch. The special event was broadcast live to millions of fans on YouTube and Argos’ Google+ page.

Fresh from her MOBO nominations, Katy B performed a range of tracks including Perfect Stranger, 5am, Katy On A Mission and Lights On.

The event was part of Argos’ ground-breaking new campaign ‘GET SET GO ARGOS’ which brings to life its ongoing drive to become a digital retail leader for everyone, enabling customers to shop how and when they want through initiatives such as Fast Track collection and free reservation online.

With music playing a key part in Argos’ energetic new campaign, the event aimed to bring music, technology and live social media interactivity together in the dynamic 21st century setting of one of Argos’ digital stores.

Katy B said: “It was too much fun performing last night at the Argos Digital Store! Shout out to the amazing audience and everyone who streamed at home, it’s the first time I’ve ever performed a live gig through YouTube!”

Katy B was joined by up and coming music talent, George Barnett, a regular on online youth broadcast platform SB.TV, with over 50+ million YouTube views. George treated guests and online viewers to a set highlighting his multi-instrumental talent, performing his latest tracks3 Statues, Reflection and Animal Keeper.

The live music spectacle was followed by a UK first, as the digital store audience and online viewers watched and took part in a Google+ Hangout streamed live for the first time through YouTube. The Hangout invited guests and viewers to share their thoughts on emerging British talent and new technologies on the music scene. It was hosted by a panel of music industry experts including, Luke O’Connor – SB.TV Label Manager, Drew Lam – label relations at Spotify and George Barnett.

Stephen Vowles, Marketing Director at Argos, said; “We are really excited about our transformation and we want all customers, new and existing, to realise how much Argos is changing.  To mark this, we wanted to celebrate with a big bang moment, bringing music from headline artist Katy B, together with an opportunity for our customers to interact live through social media, all against the backdrop of one of our technology-led digital stores.”

Argos’ digital concept stores are one of its biggest ever developments – it now has 48 stores across the UK which offer Fast Track 60 second collection for online orders, and tables of iPads for shopping instead of the traditional laminated catalogues, pencils and stock checker machines.

In October 2012, Argos announced a five-year transformation plan to reinvent itself as a digital retail leader: to transform Argos from a catalogue-led business to a digitally-led business.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact the Argos Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email: media.relations@argos.co.uk.

Follow us on Twitter at @argos_PR.

About Argos
Argos is a leading UK digital retailer, offering around 43,000 products through www.argos.co.uk, its growing mobile channels, stores and over the telephone.

Argos continues to be the UK’s largest high street retailer online with around 123m customer transactions a year through its stores and 738 million website and app visits in the 12 months to February 2014.  Customers can take advantage of Argos’ convenient Check & Reserve service available through its network of 734 stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

In the financial year to February 2014, Argos sales were £4.1 billion and it employed some 29,000 people across the business.

Argos is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

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UK singer-songwriter Katy B performed at Argos’ digital store on Old Street, London to mark Argos’ new campaign launch ‘GET SET GO ARGOS’

UK singer-songwriter Katy B performed at Argos’ digital store on Old Street, London to mark Argos’ new campaign launch ‘GET SET GO ARGOS’

Homebase revealed the number of lights in the average British home has doubled in the last decade, despite homes now being smaller than ever

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-10-24— /EPR Retail News/ — The number of lights in the average British home has doubled in the last decade, despite homes now being smaller than ever.

Home enhancement retailer Homebase, has revealed that the number of lights in the home has leapt from just 15 light sources in 2004 to over 30 today – as people add more spotlights, wall lights, pendants and lamps to their homes, making Britain brighter than ever before.

Due to rapidly shrinking living space, people are choosing to accessorise their homes with decorative lighting which is both functional and fashionable, with trend-led lamps doubling up as ornaments.

Pamela Collard, lighting buyer for Homebase, said: “A well-lit room can make a space feel almost double the size, especially when teamed with wall mirrors. People are certainly being smarter with their lighting and noticing what a huge impact lighting can make to how a room both looks and feels.”

Updating lighting is most popular with renters, especially those who want to make their home their own but are unable to make more permanent changes by redecorating or even hanging pictures. Lighting is also the most cost effective way to reinvent a room and renters can take their lighting with them if they move to another property.

Interior Designer, Julia Kendell said: “It’s possible to refresh a room without having to redecorate – all you need to do is change the accessories. Lamps and lighting are perfect for this. I love to have moody lighting, something you can dim right down for the winter months.”

With the clocks changing at the weekend, the sun will set by 6pm next week, leading to an annual increase in sales of light bulbs and lighting at Homebase as people look to lighten up their homes.

Pamela added: “We always see a sharp increase in the number of light fittings and bulbs we sell, and we are expecting to see the same pattern this year. Approximately 25 per cent of Homebase light bulb sales are made in the months of November and December, which equates to around an astonishing 55,400 light bulbs sold per day.”

Homebase recently launched a new range of 200 lighting products, which can be found in stores and on the Homebase website: www.homebase.co.uk

-ENDS-

Note to Editors:

For more information contact the Press Office on:

0845 120 4365 / media.relations@homebase.co.uk

Follow us on Twitter @Homebase_PR

For all the latest news and images visit www.homeretailgroup.com/news-and-media

About Homebase
Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer selling around 38,000 products for the home and garden.  It has 316 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland serving around 60 million transactions a year, and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk. In the financial year to February 2014, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 18,000 people across the business.

Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

Top trends for lighting this winter, from Homebase lighting buyer Pamela Collard

Texture

Following a trend for textured vases and ceramics in home accessories, textured ceramics have emerged in to lighting.The Ceramic pattern table lamp’s traditional shape and colour is perfect for those wanting to make an understated style statement and fulfil the season’s trends.

Shape

The trend for industrial shaped lighting continues, however this year industrial pendants are steering away from metallics and instead emerging more into copper tones with increased introduction of wood and glass materials.

Traditional shapes are also popular, theCollins task tablelampcreates a nostalgic ‘Downton’ look and also a warm light perfect for cozy evenings in.

Pattern

As well as ornamental shapes, there has been an increase in demand for pattern on traditionally shaped lamp shades. The new range includes patterns featuring florals, fauna, musical notes and even owls, as the owl trend continues for yet another season.

Using a traditionally shaped lamp shade which features a unique pattern is a great way to tip toe in to a new trend or express your personality in a new way, without being too daring.

Coordination

Lighting for this year is very coordinated, with people matching their table lamps to their floor lamps or ceiling lighting. For example, theWicker heart floor lampalso comes in miniature as theWicker heart table lamp. To allow further coordination – many of the new shades from Homebase can be used as a shade for either ceiling pendants or table lamps.

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Homebase revealed the number of lights in the average British home has doubled in the last decade, despite homes now being smaller than ever

Homebase revealed the number of lights in the average British home has doubled in the last decade, despite homes now being smaller than ever

 

Argos hosted first UK Google+ Hangout on Air from its digital store

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-10-24— /EPR Retail News/ — Last night (Oct. 22, 2014) saw crowds gather to watch a UK first, as leading digital retail Argos brought music, technology and real-time social media interactivity together by hosting a Google+ Hangout on Air from its digital store on Old Street, London, broadcast to millions through YouTube masthead and Argos’ Google+ page.

This UK media first supports Argos’ recently launched campaign ‘GET SET GO ARGOS’ which brings to life its ongoing drive to become a digital retail leader for everyone, enabling customers to shop how and when they want through initiatives such as Fast Track collection and free reservation online.  All media planning has been handled by Mindshare with creative execution by CHI & Partners.

The digital store’s audience and online viewers watched and took part in the Hangout, hosted by presenter Georgia LA. Guests and viewers were invited to share their thoughts on emerging British talent and new technologies impacting the music scene. It was hosted by a panel of music industry experts including, Luke O’Connor, SB.TV Label Manager, Drew Lam, label relations at Spotify, and up-and-coming music talent George Barnett.

Fresh from her MOBO nominations Katy B also gave an exclusive performance as part of the Hangout, playing a range of tracks includingPerfect Stranger, 5am, Katy On A Mission and Lights On.

Katy B was joined by George Barnett, a regular on online youth broadcast platform SB.TV, with over 300+ million YouTube views. George performed his latest tracks3 Statues, Reflection and Animal Keeper.

Katy B said: “It was too much fun performing last night at the Argos Digital Store! Shout out to the amazing audience and everyone who streamed at home, it’s the first time I’ve ever performed a live gig through YouTube!”

Stephen Vowles, Marketing Director at Argos, said: “We are really excited about our transformation and we want everybody to realise how much Argos is changing with our new campaign.  Music is an important theme in our campaign and we thought what better way to celebrate our transformation than by bringing a headline music artist like Katy B together with the opportunity for live social media interaction in the technology-led setting of one of our digital stores.  Being the first event of this kind streamed through the YouTube masthead, it’s another example of how we are continually innovating and repositioning our business as a digital retail leader.”

Laura Flewitt at Mindshare said: “We knew we needed to deliver a really joined up campaign with digital at its heart and by bringing together Argos’ brand, Google’s technology and Katy B’s talent we think we have a great demonstration of how Argos is inventing the future for retail.”

This week Argos will also launch a new, interactive element to its ‘GET SET GO ARGOS’ campaign – a digital out-of-home game allowing commuters at London Waterloo and Euston Stations to compete for hundreds of Argos prizes. Designed specifically for Motion@Waterloo, the game ‘Bubbles’ will mark the 40m screen’s first outing as a platform for real-time mobile interaction.

‘GET SET GO ARGOS’ is Argos’ biggest ever multi-channel execution spanning out-of-home, digital, social media, print, radio, in-store, uniforms and vehicles.

In October 2012, Argos announced a five-year transformation plan to reinvent itself as a digital retail leader: to transform Argos from a catalogue-led business to a digitally-led business.

 

-ENDS-

 

Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact the Argos Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email: media.relations@argos.co.uk.

Follow us on Twitter at @argos_PR.

 

About Argos
Argos is a leading UK digital retailer, offering around 43,000 products through www.argos.co.uk, its growing mobile channels, stores and over the telephone.

Argos continues to be the UK’s largest high street retailer online with around 123m customer transactions a year through its stores and 738 million website and app visits in the 12 months to February 2014.  Customers can take advantage of Argos’ convenient Check & Reserve service available through its network of 734 stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

In the financial year to February 2014, Argos sales were £4.1 billion and it employed some 29,000 people across the business.

Argos is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

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Argos hosted first UK Google+ Hangout on Air from its digital store

Argos hosted first UK Google+ Hangout on Air from its digital store

Waitrose report shows what Brits eat and drink this year

LONDON, 2014-10-24— /EPR Retail News/ — Waitrose report shows what we’re eating and drinking this year – based on millions of purchases in shops and online.

The Waitrose Food & Drink Report 2014 draws on a year of Waitrose sales and new consumer research, providing a comprehensive view of British behaviour – supported with insight from the retailer’s experts.

Findings include:

  • Our food choices are increasingly influenced by technology and social media – from how we shop and what we cook, to how we communicate about food.  For example this is the first year that Waitrose customer enquiries via social media have overtaken emailed enquiries (p.6)
  • Breakfast tastes are changing, with honey sales overtaking jam for the first time (‘Going Up’ trends barometer)
  • Our taste buds are changing and we’re more familiar with global cuisine than ever before.  We have moved on from old favourites and are now four times as likely to buy a katsu curry kit as we are tikka masala (p.4 and ‘Going Up’trends barometer)
  • We’re more ‘time-poor’ than ever.  We shop little and often and in ways that suit us – regularly in convenience shops, grabbing breakfast on the move (sales up 10%) and looking for foodie shortcuts (p.3)
  • Four in 10 of us say weekends are now more of a food event than they were –gathering family and friends and experimenting with cooking.  And programmes like Great British Bake Off are inspiring people to try what they see more than ever before (p.4 and News bites August).

And to drink:

  • White wine drinkers are just starting to develop from the safe-ground of Sauvignon Blanc to new grapes and countries, with varieties such as Austrian Grüner Veltliner leading the way
  • Drink of the year, Aperol, has seen sales soar by 800% over the year at Waitrose, and sales of coffee liqueur by 15% as espresso martinis make their way out of city bars and into home dinner parties.

The report – the second annual Waitrose look at what we’re eating – also takes a look back at the year’s key events and how they shaped our choices.  For example many of us went out in search of a Tunnock’s Tea Cake (sales up 62%) after they featured in the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, or tried South American wine (sales up 50%) during the World Cup in Brazil.

And this was the year when drinkable ‘gifts for teacher’ really hit home, with sales of Champagne (sales up 26%) and bottle gift bags (sales up 44%) spiking for the end of term in July.

Released today, 22 October, the report uncovers seven key 2014 food trends that have either emerged or fully cemented themselves this year: Time-poor shoppers; Global explorers; Weekend foodies; Flexitarianism; Permanently healthy; Eat it, Tweet it!; and Rustic luxe.

Says Waitrose Managing Director Mark Price:  ‘As an innovative food retailer we’re constantly focused on food and drink trends, so we can create products that continue to be at the cutting edge.

‘We have seen that Britain has become a lot thriftier, probably for the better – shoppers have refused to let go of the shopping habits they adopted during the recession.  But, despite this, three things remain constant: Britons’ culinary curiosity, their love of good food and their desire to eat healthily.

‘We are fast becoming a nation of foodies. Increasing numbers of people have moved from seeing eating as functional to seeing it as an experience to be relished and enjoyed. Today, more than ever before, people see food and cooking as a hobby. All these factors feed into how we eat in 2014.’

Notes to editors:
The Waitrose Food & Drink Report is released on Wednesday 22 October.  All images and graphics are available to use – please contact us for more information or an interview.

Enquiries
For further information please contact:

Waitrose Press Office,
Telephone: 01344 825 080

Carrefour opens its 27th hypermarket in Romania

Targu Jiu city, Romania, 2014-10-24— /EPR Retail News/ — Carrefour Romania opens on October 16th the first Carrefour hypermarket in Targu Jiu city and the 27th in the country.

Located in a new shopping centre in Târgu Jiu (Southeast Romania), the new hypermarket has a sales area of 7500 m², a product selection of around 50,000 items and a car park with space for 1000 cars.

The store employs 230 people – all recruited locally – and is open from 7:30 AM to 10 PM, Monday to Sunday.

Carrefour Targu Jiu benefits from equipment that reduces electricity consumption and carbon dioxide emissions:
•    LED lighting that reduces electricity consumption by 35%.
•    the refrigeration system reduces emissions of carbon dioxide of more than 900 tons per year.
•    the heat generated by the refrigeration system is diverted to storage areas annexed to the stores, eliminating he need of using other energy sources.
•    the storage areas are equipped with intelligent lighting systems that favor natural light to the detriment of artificial during the day.

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Carrefour opens its 27th hypermarket in Romania

Carrefour opens its 27th hypermarket in Romania