Argos gives its Rotherham stores at Howard Street and Parkgate Retail Park a ‘digital makeover’

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-11-3— /EPR Retail News/ — Local residents in Rotherham can now take advantage of the speed and convenience of online shopping on their local high street and retail park, thanks to Argos which has given both of its local stores a ‘digital makeover’.

The stores, located on Howard Street and Parkgate Retail Park, were selected from more than 700 Argos stores across the UK, and embrace online shopping while retaining the convenience of physical stores.

Research commissioned by Argos found that almost half of shoppers in Rotherham believe that one of the biggest benefits of online shopping is greater choice. However, 65 per cent revealed that they still shop on the high street for its immediacy and the ability to see products in the flesh. Nationally, around 95 per cent of the population live within 10 miles of an Argos store.1

The revamped ‘paperless’ stores have a fresh and contemporary look, with tables of tablets replacing Argos’ traditional laminated catalogues, paper slips and pencils. Customers can use the tablets to browse for products to add to their digital shopping trolley, and access lots of extra product information, including extended ranges, videos, photography and customer reviews.

South Yorkshire shoppers can benefit from new services such as the ability to browse and pay for goods online at home or on the move for speedy collection from a special Fast Track collection point in store.

Store staff have undergone special training to provide more help to customers on the shop floor using technology. New digital display screens and complimentary WiFi complete the digital transformation.

Argos has been committed to serving customers in Rotherham for 30 years, having opened the Parkgate store in 1993 and the Howard Street store in 2005.  It employs 44 workers in the Rotherham area.

James McClean, Argos Area Manager for Rotherham, said: “We are really proud to be giving shoppers in Rotherham the opportunity to shop digitally and give them access to the things they want quickly and easily.

“We’ve had some great feedback from customers about the new look of the store, customers love the new tablets and digital screens.”

Staff in the Rotherham Parkgate store will also be wearing a brand new uniform to reflect the growing role of technology in the store environment.

Predominantly a black polo shirt and soft shell jacket with a white logo, supported by red and grey secondary colours, the new outfit has specially-designed features that make it fit for purpose for the fast-paced, changing nature of retail. Staff across the store, including store managers, will sport the new look to reinforce a team approach when serving customers.

The new uniform features include:

  • Loops on the side of the polo shirt and battery pack holder on trousers to accommodate the technology headsets team members wear to pick and put away stock in the stock room.
  • Pen pockets on the trousers so staff are ready to make notes easily when serving customers, answering the phone and in the stock room.
  • Lighter fabric to ventilate the body in a fast-paced tech environment.

The new uniforms come as part of Argos’ new advertising campaign – ‘GET SET GO ARGOS’ – which uses energy, colour and excitement to highlight the top brands and great new services customers can experience at Argos this year.

The new digital stores equip Argos for the online revolution, as shoppers increasingly browse and buy online via PCs, tablets and other mobile devices, while still wanting the immediacy of a local store to pick up their purchases. Around 44 per cent of Argos’ total sales now start online. Sales from mobile phones and tablets represent 18 per cent of the total sales. 2

 

 

-ENDS-

 

Notes to Editors:

1Research conducted on behalf of Argos by Opinion Matters in July 2014.

2Home Retail Group Annual Report 2014

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.

 

Woodland Trust starts tree planting at Scotland’s First World War Centenary Wood with the support of Sainsbury’s

LONDON, 2014-11-3— /EPR Retail News/ — Woodland Trust starts tree planting today at Scotland’s First World War Centenary Wood with the support of Sainsbury’s. Located in Dreghorn Woods in the Pentland Hills, the first tree will be planted by Margaret Murison a Woodland Trust supporter to commemorate her relatives that fell in the First World War.

  • Sainsbury’s to support First World War Centenary Woods
  • Dreghorn Woods in the Pentland Hills is one of four Centenary Woods
  • Local woman picked to plant first commemorative tree for fallen relative

Margaret Murison will plant an oak tree to mark her grandfather and great-uncle who fell on the same day at the Battle of Ypres. 400 school children will also be getting involved to plant trees in the wood, alongside Sainsbury’s colleagues.

Sainsbury’s is marking its ten year partnership with the Woodland Trust by supporting the charity’s commemorative First World War Centenary Woods project. Customers who buy Sainsbury’s Woodland free range eggs, chicken and turkey will not only be buying higher welfare produce – they will be helping to create four lasting memorial woodlands for those affected by the Great War across the UK.

Over the next two years a total of 50,000 native trees will be planted at Dreghorn Woods on the MOD training estate in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh, including 10,000 which will be planted by schoolchildren and members of the public during special planting days.

Margaret Murison from West Calder said: “My grandfather William Balmer and his brother John enlisted on the same day; their numbers in the 2nd Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders are consecutive. Both died at the Battle of Ypres on April 11 1917, a date I always remember and always mark.

“Since my mother died I’m the closest family member to them now, and I feel even closer because of this Woodland Trust project. Planting trees in memory of these fallen heroes is a wonderful idea. I’ve always wanted to go and see my grandfather’s grave, but there’s not a very high chance of doing that now.

“This is something positive I can do which gives his memory standing. It’s something that’s growing, something that’s living, something that’s fresh and lovely.”

Carol Evans, director of the Woodland Trust Scotland said: “The Centenary Woods are a tribute to everyone who helped with the war effort.

“We’re immensely proud to be planting millions of trees with the support of our lead partner Sainsbury’s as well as many individuals and organisations to remember that sacrifice and to create new woods for people and wildlife to enjoy.”

Marc Watson, Sainsbury’s Edinburgh Longstone store manager added: “It’s an honour to be part of the first tree planting at the Scottish Centenary Wood. Sainsbury’s has been supporting the charity for 10 years and we’re proud to continue this partnership with the support of Woodland Trust’s centenary project.”

###

Photo credit Marc Watson

Photo credit Marc Watson

Sainsbury’s celebrates 20 years supporting The Royal British Legion by doing more than ever to raise funds during this year’s Poppy Appeal

LONDON, 2014-11-3— /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s is celebrating 20 years supporting The Royal British Legion by doing more than ever to raise funds during this year’s Poppy Appeal. The retailer hopes to raise more than ever by increasing its support across merchandise, in-store donation, and for the first time ever, a TV advert with striking animations to drive donations and raise awareness of the national cause.

  • First TV advert to support The Royal British Legion showcasing Sainsbury’s exclusive merchandise and unique Poppy Recycling
  • Retailer aims to make more than ever for the charity
  • Sainsbury’s is amongst longest standing partners of The Royal British Legion

Customers can support The Royal British Legion in various ways through Sainsbury’s from donating to a poppy collector, buying exclusive merchandise – including a tote bag by British designer Amanda Wakeley, rounding up their shopping bill at the till or making a £1 donation through online shopping.

To further support The Royal British Legion and the iconic poppy pin, Sainsbury’s is the only place offering poppy recycling after Armistice Day. Launched last year, the scheme enables the charity to save vital funds by reusing or recycling the poppies donated.

Funds donated by Sainsbury’s customers and colleagues from last year alone amounted to over £4.5m and were used to support vital services provided to ex-service personnel and their families by The Royal British Legion, such as its Breaks Service, which provides adventure breaks for children and teenagers who can often feel isolated or to enabling a bereaved family to spend some time together.

Sarah Ellis, Head of CR&S at Sainsbury’s, said: “We are always delighted to welcome poppy collectors into our stores and this year customers and colleagues are more involved than ever. Whether you choose to wear a poppy, round up your bill or buy an Amanda Wakeley tote bag you’ll know it all goes to help a great cause which is particularly pertinent during the centenary of First World War.”

Charles Byrne, Head of Fundraising at The Royal British Legion, said: “Sainsbury’s has been a corporate partner of the Legion for over 20 years, and this support has helped us provide vital care to the British Armed Forces past and present, and their loved ones. We’re thrilled with the high level of support from Sainsbury’s this year and are extremely grateful for our growing relationship.

Notes to Editors

All profits from the exclusive range of poppy products on sale will be donated to The Royal British Legion. This will include two jute bags designed by British fashion designer, Amanda Wakeley, sold exclusively at Sainsbury’s.

Customers will also be able to ‘round up’ their bill at checkout to the nearest pound and donate the difference to The Royal British Legion.

Walmart unwraps its first round of 2014 holiday offerings

’Tis the Season for 20,000 Rollbacks, Free Shipping, 24-Hour Cyber Event and Savings Catcher with a Holiday Twist

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2014-11-3— /EPR Retail News/ — Dear Santa’s elves, it’s time to start saving. Walmart is unwrapping its first round of 2014 holiday offerings, including the low prices it’s known for and its broadest assortment ever on the items customers need for gift-giving, decorating, family gatherings and every occasion in between.

On Nov. 1, the retailer will offer more than 20,000 Rollbacks on items including groceries and popular brands such as Disney “Frozen,” Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Samsung, and Dell. Just two days later, Walmart is bringing back its popular 24-hour holiday cyber savings event. All season long, customers can take advantage of free shipping on millions of items* from Walmart.com.

“Helping families deliver an amazing Christmas doesn’t start on Black Friday, it starts now,” said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. “As soon as they put away their Halloween costumes, our customers start prepping for Thanksgiving, buying Christmas trees and shopping for gifts. They want the best deals now and we’re here for them today, next week and throughout the season. Our strategy is simple: lead with low prices, offer the best brands, make shopping easier than ever and bring the holiday joy that only Walmart can deliver.”

Walmart has expanded its digital shelves to include 7 million items – one million more than last holiday season. Deals typically reserved for Black Friday and Cyber Monday start on Walmart.com shortly after midnight Pacific Time on Monday, Nov. 3. They include:

  • Sony 48” LED HDTV for $348, was $448
  • Nintendo 2DS Handheld Video Game System for $79, was $129
  • Barbie Dreamhouse for $120, was $148.82 and
  • Nextbook 7.85” tablet with 8GB memory for $49, was $99

The retailer will also offer hundreds of weekly online specials on electronics, apparel, home and toys. Same-day pickup in Walmart stores is available while supplies last at no additional charge. In addition, free shipping to customers’ homes is available for orders totaling $50 or more. Customers can also choose free shipping to Walmart’s more than 4,300 stores.*

“We are taking care of our customers today and all season long no matter how they shop – whether in our stores, online or on their mobile devices,” said Fernando Madeira, president and chief executive officer, Walmart.com U.S. “More than 65 percent of Walmart customers have smartphones and they look to us to provide a flexible shopping experience when, how and where they want.”

Saving Catcher Expansion and New Mobile Feature
Timed for Thanksgiving meal planning, Walmart is expanding Savings Catcher to bring even more savings to the kitchen. Beginning Nov. 2, holiday turkey and ham will be eligible for Savings Catcher, giving families confidence that they’re getting a great price on these holiday meal essentials.**

In addition, Walmart has rolled out another new feature within its mobile app. With “Search My Store,” customers can search for nearly any item carried in a Walmart store and see the item’s availability at that store, its aisle location, ratings and reviews.

“Search My Store” is currently available on Android devices and expands to iPhones by mid-November.

Holiday Inspiration and Convenience
Walmart is also offering new tools and resources to help customers shop the season, including:

  • Wish List: Starting Nov. 7, children and parents can build a Toy Wish List for Santa by adding their favorite toys directly from Walmart’s digital Toy Book. Wish lists can be shared on Facebook and in email with friends and family.
  • Holiday Hub: New this year, Walmart is sharing how-to videos, product demos, seasonal recipes and other tips across multiple platforms where customers seek holiday inspiration, including Pinterest, YouTube and Walmart.com.
  • Layaway: Customers taking advantage of Walmart’s holiday layaway with no opening fee can stretch dollars further by paying at their own pace through Dec. 15.
  • Ad Match: Walmart’s great prices are backed by its Ad Match Guarantee. Stores will match the price of any local competitor’s printed ad for an identical product.***

Holiday Savings and Easy Shopping Start Now
Key events this weekend that bring value to Walmart customers include:

Date The Offer Where to Get it
Nov. 1 Rollbacks on more than 20,000 items, including

big electronic brands at low prices:

  • Xbox One for $349, previously $399
  • Samsung 46” HDTV for $528, was $578
  • Dell Inspiron Touch (15.6” Inspiron 15 LaptopPC) for $479, was $549

Hottest licenses for kids, like:

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 11” Action Figure for $15.88, was $19.97
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle High Flyin Blimp for $24.76, was $29.97
  • Frozen Light-up Dress for $28.88, was $34.97

Toys to put a smile on kids’ faces Christmas morning:

    • Hasbro Nerf Rebelle Secrets and Spies Agent
  • Bow Blaster for $19.88, was $29.96
  • 16 Schwinn bikes – Cosmo and Twilight for $69, was $78.87
  • LEGO Lego Movie Spaceship for $80, was $99.97
Walmart stores nationwide and Walmart.com
Hundreds of online specials, including:

  • RCA 9-inch Tablet with 8GB memory for $69, was $89
  • Sceptre 50-inch LED HDTV for $349, was $379
Walmart.com
Free shipping on the top 100 gifts****, guaranteed to be delivered by Christmas Eve. Walmart.com with delivery to any Walmart store or Neighborhood Market. The gifts are available for free home delivery in the

contiguous U.S.

Starting Nov. 2 Savings Catcher expansion covering holiday

turkey and ham.

Walmart Supercenters and

Neighborhood Markets

Nov. 3 Shortly after midnight Pacific Time: 24-hour holiday cyber savings event featuring 15 Black Friday and Cyber Monday-like deals, eligible for same-day pickup in stores.

  • Element 40” LED HDTV for $199, was $298
  • NutriNinja Pro Blender for $65, was $99
  • Crayola Paint Maker for $12, was $18.88
Walmart.com with same-day

pickup at Walmart stores

Special offers timed to the hottest gaming release of the year: “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.” On Nov. 3 and Nov. 4, customers can get 50 percent more trade in value when they trade in a game and purchase “Call of Duty: Advance Warfare.”

For customers looking for a new gaming console, we’ll give them double trade in value when they trade in a game and purchase a PlayStation 4 system.

Walmart is the only retailer with an in-game exclusive – an exoskeleton.  Customers can access this exclusive when they purchase Mountain Dew or Diet Mountain Dew 24-packs and specially-marked Doritos products.

Select Walmart Supercenters

and stores that carry general merchandise like electronics, apparel and toys

Walmart will be announcing additional great deals and special savings events throughout the season.

Editor’s Notes:
*Free shipping includes Site-to-Store, which allows customers to order online and pick up in a local store for free; and free shipping to customers’ homes for orders totaling $50 or more. Some limitations apply. Visit Walmart.com for details.
** Savings Catcher does not apply to competitors’ offers for turkey or ham that require a minimum dollar purchase to receive the featured price, or that limit the number available per customer.
*** Restrictions apply. Not applicable to Walmart.com.
****Top 100 Gifts curated by Walmart merchants and featured on Walmart.com, available Nov. 1.

About Walmart 
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our 11,053 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2014 sales of over $473 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visitinghttp://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.

###

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and co-author Rajiv Chandrasekaran released new book highlighting the post-military careers of veterans

SEATTLE, 2014-11-3— /EPR Retail News/ — Three days after learning her husband was killed in Afghanistan, August Cabrera had to tell their two young sons daddy wasn’t coming home.

Army Lt. Col. David Cabrera was shuttling between bases on the outskirts of Kabul when a van packed with explosives pulled up next to his vehicle. A suicide bomber set off a blast that killed more than 20 people, including Cabrera and three other U.S. service members.

Holding the little hands of seven-year-old Max and five-year-old Roanin, August said, “Guys, I have something I need to tell you. There’s been an accident. Daddy’s been killed. He’s not coming home.”

More heart-breaking talks followed, including a conversation about what should be engraved on their father’s tombstone in Arlington National Cemetery. Max immediately knew what to inscribe. At the bottom of the smooth, stark white stone – below the name David E. Cabrera, LTC Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, Nov 26 1969, October 29, 2011 – the family added three words: Soldier of Kindness.

“I have such a high degree of respect for Max and the Cabrera family,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and ceo. “Military families and service members demonstrate courage, conviction and valor and their stories need to be told.”

Schultz and co-author Rajiv Chandrasekaran are telling Max’s story and nine others in “For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice.” The book highlights the post-military careers of veterans serving their communities in extraordinary ways, and offers compelling accounts of valor displayed by service members in Iraq and Afghanistan – battlefields that are familiar to Chandrasekaran.

Learning from men and women in uniform

Now a senior correspondent and associate editor of The Washington Post, Rajiv Chandrasekaran was the newspaper’s bureau chief in Baghdad in 2003 and 2004 and a war correspondent in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2011.

“I’ve walked many miles shoulder-to-shoulder with our men and women in uniform. I’ve been on many patrols, been shot at, had things explode near me,” he said. “What I hadn’t done much of is connect with our veteran population in a personal way.”

That changed for Chandrasekaran when he began digging into a landmark survey from The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation that explored the views and experiences of U.S. military members who served in Iraq or Afghanistan in the period after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The majority of post 9/11 veterans surveyed said while they appreciate gestures of support from the American public, they feel disconnected from civilian life. Many reported their physical and mental health was worse than before they deployed and they had challenges transitioning from military service to civilian jobs back home.

“This gave me a deeper appreciation for the range of veteran experiences from those who are struggling with mental and physical wounds and employment challenges, to those who are thriving and doing remarkable things in their communities,” Chandrasekaran said. “These are experiences and stories the broader population does not know.”

Part of the “disconnect” is that while an estimated 2.6 million military members have served since 9/11, that’s less than one percent of the country’s population. Most Americans do not personally know someone who wears a uniform in service to the country today, said Chandrasekaran. Schultz didn’t either until he began a journey well over a year ago to understand active duty service members and veterans.

“I would see men and woman in uniform at a public event and would be a respectful as possible, but it wasn’t until visiting West Point that I was overwhelmed by the young people there and the fact that our military men and women give so much to this country,” he said. “I feel like we haven’t given them their due.”

A passion to learn more about the needs of active duty service members and veterans as they transition to civilian jobs took Schultz to military bases around the country. It also led to many discussions with Robert M. Gates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and current Starbucks board member.

One year ago, Schultz set Starbucks on a path to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2018. In addition to technical and logistical skills, veterans and reservists bring a “high level of character” to any organization, according to Col. Daniel Walrath, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

“They thrive in complex situations defined by ambiguity, uncertainty, and unexpected situations that they have not been trained for,” said Col. Walrath. “Being surrounded by those conditions, our military men and women are able to come up with creative solutions and then organize and lead people to success.”

Schultz and his wife Sheri have also pledged extensive support to help veterans make successful transitions to civilian life through the Schultz Family Foundation’s Onward Veterans initiative. Earlier this year the foundation announced a financial commitment to help America’s veterans overcome the challenges of returning to civilian life and maximize their skills for businesses and communities.

As Schultz became more immersed in veterans issues, he met Chandrasekaran. Together, they decided to write a book to bridge the gap between civilians and veterans in our society.

Saying more than ‘thank you for your service’

Although the co-authors approached “For Love of Country” from different backgrounds, though their common goal was to give Americans a deep understanding of the men and women who went off to fight for their country and what they’re doing now that they’re back home.

“We hope readers will take a moment to pause and think about the brave men and women in their midst who stood up to serve so the rest of us could go on with our lives,” said Chandrasekaran. “Instead of being detached from those who protect us today, perhaps in a small way this book will stimulate conversations around the country.”

Chandrasekaran said it’s clear from talking with hundreds of service men and women that veterans don’t want pity or charity, but there is more we can do beyond saying “thank you for your service” when we see someone in uniform at an airport, or applauding politely when they’re recognized at sporting events.

“Each of us – individuals and businesses – have a responsibility to honor them, hire them and have conversations with them,” Schultz added. “We’re not entitled to their service.”

“For Love of Country” will be available in participating U.S. Starbucks stores and store.starbucks.com starting Nov. 4, as well other retailers where books are sold. The authors will donate proceeds from the sale of this book to Onward Veterans, a donor-advised fund of the Schultz Family Foundation that supports veteran service organizations that enable veterans and their families to make successful transitions to civilian life.

In addition:

Debut of Starbucks Veterans Card in stores.  For each Starbucks Veterans Card purchased from November 4 through 11, Starbucks will donate $5 to Onward Veterans.

On Veterans Day, November 11, participating Starbucks locations in the U.S. will offer a free tall (12 fl. oz.) brewed coffee to veterans, active duty service members and military spouses.

Starbucks, HBO and Chase present THE CONCERT FOR VALOR – a first-of-its-kind live concert to honor the courage and sacrifice of America’s veterans and their families on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The star-studded concert on HBO will be free for all to view or attend in person on Veterans Day, November 11, beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT.

Media downloads of videos, audio, photos and fact sheets available here

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

###

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and co-author Rajiv Chandrasekaran released new book highlighting the post-military careers of veterans

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and co-author Rajiv Chandrasekaran released new book highlighting the post-military careers of veterans

Starbucks® red holiday cups return this holidays

SEATTLE, 2014-11-3— /EPR Retail News/ — The anticipation begins in October, when the cups’ arrival begins to generate buzz on social media and websites count down the minutes and seconds until their return. Once they arrive, Starbucks® red holiday cups begin to dot city streets and shopping malls, and customers tweet and share photos of their first Peppermint Mochas and Caramel Brulée Lattes on social newsfeeds.

How did a coffee cup become a cultural icon?

In 1997, when Starbucks had 1,400 stores and was just beginning to expand into Japan and Singapore, the first two countries outside the United States and Canada, the Starbucks Creative team tried a new design for its cups to generate excitement during the holiday season. The theme for holiday was “Give in to the Rhythm,” and the red festive cups punctuated the jewel-toned palate of deep reds, greens, blues and yellows and a jazzy Santa with a profile that evoked the Starbucks siren.

Now, 17 holiday seasons later, Starbucks holiday comes to life with hand-painted graphics and type. Whimsical brushstrokes in bold colors ignite the spirit of the season, and visually showcase the inner spark that shines brightest during the holidays.

Marisa Crane is one of the many Starbucks artists who contributed to the hand-rendered art on the cups, packaging and merchandise.

“To give each element in the design its own unique personality, we all fanned out to our cubicles and painted starbursts, trees and other elements that we later collaged together,” Crane said.

The idea for the theme of this year’s holiday, “Let there be bright,” came from Stephanie Vandenack, a writer on Starbucks Creative team and copy manager for holiday.

“The big idea is that when we all come together, we are stronger and brighter,” Vandenack said. “You can see that notion expressed in the vitality and movement in the holiday cup design. It captures the brilliance of the holidays.”

Vandenack said she’s excited to see her words on pieces this holiday.

“When you are working on a project, it’s usually on a flat piece of paper, you don’t really have a sense of the size or the shape,” she said. “It’s amazing to see something in stores that you wrote, and to realize that it’s all over the world.”

Read about Starbucks Red Cup Contest on Instagram

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

###

Starbucks® red holiday cups return this holidays

Starbucks® red holiday cups return this holidays

 

 

Starbucks launches Starbucks® India Estates Blend Coffee to celebrate its second anniversary in India

SEATTLE, 2014-11-3— /EPR Retail News/ — A Starbucks® coffee that was created in 2013 to celebrate coffee grown on India’s southern mountains is now be available in more than a dozen countries to celebrate the company’s second anniversary in India.

Starbucks opened its first India store in 2012 and currently operates more than 50 stores across the country in Mumbai, Delhi National Capital Region (NCR), Pune, Bangalore and Chennai through its joint venture with Tata Starbucks Limited.

Although India is known as one of the largest tea-producing regions in the world, the country also has a rich coffee-growing heritage that dates back centuries. Coffee farmers in the mountainous region of southern India produce quality arabica coffee beans. Starbucks® India Estates Blend captures the rich heritage of Indian coffee.

“India Estates Blend demonstrates Starbucks ability to establish deep relationships with coffee farmers in order to bring unfamiliar coffees to our customers,” said Patty Romaine-Moody, a Starbucks® coffee quality specialist who helped create this whole-bean blend of Indian coffees.

The search for exceptional coffee beans led to southern India where coffee trees grow in fertile red soil on gently sloping land. The resulting blend is a balanced, medium-bodied coffee with herbal and chocolate flavor notes.

“The aspiration of this blend is to be able to share it with customers around the globe,” said Catherine Varca, a Starbucks product manager.

Starbucks® India Estates Blend is available in the U.S. through Starbucks.com.  Customers in China, Korea, Japan and 10 other markets throughout the China-Asia Pacific region will also be able to purchase Starbucks® India Estates Blend.

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

###

Starbucks launches Starbucks® India Estates Blend Coffee to celebrate its second anniversary in India

Starbucks launches Starbucks® India Estates Blend Coffee to celebrate its second anniversary in India

A unique beer brewed by Marston’s to help raise funds for wounded Servicemen to go on sale exclusively at Tesco

Cheshunt, England, 2014-11-3— /EPR Retail News/ — A unique beer created by three injured veterans to help raise funds for wounded Servicemen is to go on sale across the UK this week.

The beer, which will raise funds for the Help for Heroes charity, has been brewed by Marston’s and will be exclusively sold by Tesco.

The beer came about after a chance meeting between Bryn Parry, co-founder of Help for Heroes and Tesco ale buyer Chiara Nesbitt last year which led to the involvement of Marston’s.

Chiara Nesbitt explains: “When I heard that the charity was struggling to get a fundraising beer off the ground I was amazed. After Bryn told me the type of ale Help for Heroes was looking to create I promised him that the beer would be sitting on Tesco shelves within a year.

“Help for Heroes beer has a very modern, zesty taste and is aimed at the growing number of drinkers who are switching from lager to ale.

“Blonde beer has become really popular in the last few years as a result of that trend and as Marston’s have recently created similar brews we knew they would be perfect to help.

“We are putting the beer on sale in 250 stores and really hope that shoppers get behind our wounded heroes.”

The idea behind the brew came from ex-Servicemen Pete Dunning, Dan ‘Baz’ Whittingham and Simon Brown who were all injured in action whilst serving for the British Forces.

All three are members of the Help for Heroes’ Band of Brothers which offers lifelong support to Service men and women.

Pete, Baz and Simon worked on the recipe with Marston’s brewer Genevieve Upton and believe they have come up with a recipe that will win over ale drinkers as well as the growing number of traditional lager fans who are now switching to lighter brews but with more flavour.

Bryn said: “We were beginning to think that this beer would never see the light of day but now after getting help from Tesco and Marston’s we’re hoping it may now even go on to become a top seller.

“We wanted a modern tasting ale and Pete, Baz and Simon all had a definite idea of how they wanted the beer to taste but Genevieve was brilliant in capturing that for them.

“We hope members of the public, when they are doing their weekly shop, will think about the wounded and pop a couple of bottles into their shopping basket.”

The label for Help for Heroes beer, which has a strength of 4.2%ABV, bears the slogan, “Created by Heroes; Brewed by Marston’s; Enjoyed by Everyone.”

Richard Westwood, Managing Director of Marston’s Beer Company said: “We are enormously proud to be associated with Help for Heroes. Everyone involved in this project has been bowled over by the fantastic work that they do with injured servicemen. We hope that the beer will raise awareness for the work done by the charity as well as raising some money.”

It will go on sale in 250 Tesco stores across the UK, priced at £1.97. Five pence from the sale of each bottle will go to Help for Heroes  which supports injured members of the Armed Forces and their families.

 

Notes to editors:

ABOUT HELP FOR HEROES
Help for Heroes offers comprehensive support to those who have suffered life-changing injuries and illnesses while serving our country. This support is provided through grants direct to our Heroes and their families, grants to other charities and through four Help for Heroes Recovery Centres across the UK. A study in September 2014 by Help for Heroes and the Royal College of Psychiatrists found that 75,000 men and women may need long term support following our involvement in the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on

01992 644645
We are a team of over 500,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to providing the most compelling offer to our customers.

SM Investments Corporation presented at the recent by-invitation only Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore

Teresita Sy-Coson, Vice-Chairperson of SM Investments Corporation Reiterates the Case for Investing in the Philippines

Pasay City, Philippines, 2014-11-3— /EPR Retail News/ — Proudly bearing the Philippine flag last October 29, 2014 in Singapore at the recent by-invitation only Forbes Global CEO Conference, SM Investments Corporation Vice Chairperson Teresita Sy-Coson made a case for investments in the Philippines and reiterated why the timing to be in the country is now more than ever.

Together with four other speakers in a panel, Ms. Coson helped provide insights on the proposition of wealth creation and what is in the horizon for tomorrow’s growth specifically for the Philippines. The other speakers were (Ms) Chew Gek Khim (Executive Chairman of The Straits Trading Company, Ltd. – Singapore), Yoshihiko Miyauchi (Senior Chairman, ORIX Corporation – Japan), Steven Pan (Executive Chairman, Regent Hotels and Resorts – Taiwan) and Gary Rieschel (Managing Partner, Qiming Venture Partners – Shanghai, PRC).

While the speakers expressed varying views about where to look for growth, manage returns, and how to manage risks and disruption to a thriving business economy, all were united in the perceived potential for Asia.

“We have been unnoticed and undervalued for quite some time; yet, in the last five years, our GDP has been growing at an average of 5%. With our current President, we have had an improvement in governance. Our population is young (between the ages of 21 to 35) with a huge earning capacity and a large number of overseas Filipino workers that consistently send remittances to their families. This in turn helps our economy,” Ms. Coson stressed.

“The Philippines is unique and it needs to be looked at with a long term view longer than a 2-to 3-year window. Given that we are a strong service-oriented economy, the BPO industry is a natural fit. As a domestic investor, I am very optimistic. There is a lot of liquidity for our size in the Philippines. If you look back at the country’s economic history, we have had steady growth,” she added.

Mr. Rieschel and Mr. Miyauchi agreed and mentioned the undervalued potential in the Philippines. They emphasized the country’s growth opportunities in their own discourse at the panel.

Moderator, Rich Karlgaard, Publisher of Forbes Magazine led the panel discussion on “Profit for Tomorrow’s Growth” and dissected the various innovative and opportunistic investments, and wealth strategies while also asking about the effects of technology and geo-political tensions in Asia.

# # #
About SM Investments Corporation
SM Investments Corporation (SM) is one of the leading conglomerates in the Philippines with highly synergistic businesses in retail, banking and property development. SM has evolved into one of the highly respected companies in the country owing to its progressive approach in business and its comprehensive sustainability programs for its host communities through SM Foundation and SM Cares.

SM’s retail operations enjoy a strong brand franchise consisting of The SM Store and its food retail chains namely SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket, Savemore and WalterMart stores. SM’s property arm, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. is among the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia with interests in mall, residential, commercial and tourism development. SM’s interests in banking are in BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO), the country’s largest and in China Banking Corporation (China Bank), the fifth largest. Combined, these two banks have a network of over 1,000 branches nationwide.

All told, in just 56 years, SM has become one of the largest market capitalized companies listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange, a testament to its ability to deliver steady high earnings and asset growth, sound financial management that creates value for all its stakeholders.
For further information, please contact:

Ms. Therese Necio-Ortega
Vice President for Corporate Communications
SM Investments Corporation
Email: therese.necio@sminvestments.com
Tel.No. (632) 857-0224

###

Ms. Coson, Vice-Chairperson of SM Investments Corporation (far left) at the Forbes CEO panel

Ms. Coson, Vice-Chairperson of SM Investments Corporation (far left) at the Forbes CEO panel

SM Investments Corporation cited as the Region’s Best Borrower in the Philippines based on research poll by Hong Kong magazine Finance Asia

Pasay City, Philippines, 2014-11-3— /EPR Retail News/ — SM Investments Corporation (SM) was cited as the Region’s Best Borrower in the Philippines based on a research poll by Hong Kong magazine Finance Asia.

The award was presented during the 2014 FinanceAsia Fixed Income Poll Awards dinner on October 29 in Singapore.

“We are pleased to accept this award which affirms SM’s initiatives towards promoting vibrancy in the capital markets. We are grateful to our investors for their confidence and support,” Jose T. Sio, Chief Finance Officer of SM said.

Last June, SM issued a USD350 million 10-year senior unsecured bond at a fixed rate of 4.875% per annum, a landmark transaction marking the longest-dated USD bond issued by SM and the company’s fourth USD bond issuance since 2009.

SM also raised PHP15 billion in May 2014 from a public offer of peso-denominated retail bonds with maturity of seven and ten years. The SM bonds are rated PRS Aaa by Philippine Rating Services Corporation, the highest rating assigned by the credit rating firm.

# # #

About SM Investments Corporation
SM Investments Corporation (SM) is one of the leading conglomerates in the Philippines with highly synergistic businesses in retail, banking and property development. SM has evolved into one of the highly respected companies in the country owing to its progressive approach in business and its comprehensive sustainability programs for its host communities through SM Foundation and SM Cares.

SM’s retail operations enjoy a strong brand franchise consisting of The SM Store and its food retail chains namely SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket, Savemore and WalterMart stores. SM’s property arm, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. is among the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia with interests in mall, residential, commercial and tourism development. SM’s interests in banking are in BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO), the country’s largest and in China Banking Corporation (China Bank), the fifth largest. Combined, these two banks have a network of over 1,000 branches nationwide.

All told, in just 56 years, SM has become one of the largest market capitalized companies listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange, a testament to its ability to deliver steady high earnings and asset growth, sound financial management that creates value for all its stakeholders.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Corazon P. Guidote
Senior Vice President for Investor Relations SM Investments Corporation
E-mail: cora.guidote@sminvestments.com
Tel. No. 857-0117

###

Receiving the award on behalf of SM is SM Senior Vice President for Finance Franklin Gomez.

Receiving the award on behalf of SM is SM Senior Vice President for Finance Franklin Gomez.

Harris Teeter customers can help fight hunger during Smart Chicken’s annual Smart Giving Holiday Challenge

Harris Teeter and Smart Chicken® fight hunger with Smart Giving 

Matthews, N.C., 2014-11-3— /EPR Retail News/ — November 30, Harris Teeter customers can help fight hunger during Smart Chicken’s annual Smart Giving Holiday Challenge.

Over the last eight years, Smart Chicken and Harris Teeter have donated over 200,000 pounds of chicken to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina in Charlotte, N.C. through Smart Giving. In 2013, the Food Bank received 32,810 pounds of protein from Smart Chicken as part of the Smart Giving Holiday Challenge, and in 2014, Smart Chicken will once again donate 10 percent of Smart Chicken volume purchased at Harris Teeter locations to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. The program launches November 1, 2014 and ends November 30, 2014.

Smart Chicken has a wide range of fresh chicken products. Smart Chicken was the first poultry company in the U.S. to use air-chill technology, and offers products that are both Certified Organic and Certified Humane.

Smart Chicken prides themselves on producing poultry that is the safest, highest quality, and best tasting chicken in the United States.

For further information on Smart Chicken and Smart Giving please click here.

###

Harris Teeter customers can help fight hunger during Smart Chicken’s annual Smart Giving Holiday Challenge

Harris Teeter customers can help fight hunger during Smart Chicken’s annual Smart Giving Holiday Challenge

Harris Teeter welcomes shoppers to its Towne Centre at Laurel store on Nov. 11, 2014

Matthews, N.C., 2014-11-3— /EPR Retail News/ — Harris Teeter is proud to welcome shoppers to its Towne Centre at Laurel store on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014.  The company is celebrating its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. followed by a sampling event featuring Harris Teeter brand products.

Harris Teeter was co-founded in 1960 by North Carolina grocers W.T. Harris and Willis Teeter. There were 15 stores in operation; Harris Teeter currently operates over 230 stores.  Town Centre at Laurel will be the Company’s 12th in Maryland.

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

Your Towne Centre at Laurel Harris Teeter will be open 6 a.m. – midnight, and the Harris Teeter pharmacy will be open seven days per week, as well.

Fast Facts:

 Store Address  Towne Centre at Laurel
14702 Baltimore Avenue
Laurel, M.D., 20707
 Grand Opening Date  Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014
 Grand Opening Time  5:30 p.m., ribbon cutting followed by sampling event
 Store Hours  6 a.m. –  midnight
 Pharmacy Hours  9 a.m.–9 p.m. M-F; 9 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat.; noon–6 p.m. Sun
 Square Footage 48,000
 Check-Out Lanes   Eight checkouts, four express checkouts

 

Features and Departments:

Full-service Butchers Market with Rancher Beef, HT Reserve Angus Beef and HT Naturals Natural Beef • Full-service Fishermans Market • Shrimp Party Trays • Farmers Market Produce • Full-Service Floral and Custom Floral Arrangements • Produce Party Trays • Gift Basket Program • Full-service Fresh Foods Market Deli/Bakery • Sushi • Self-Serve Olives • Salad Bar • International Cheeses • Custom Cakes and Ice Cream Cakes • Hot Asian Bar • Sub Shop and Made-to-Order Sandwich Program • Artisan Breads • Italian Meat Selection • Fresh Made Salads • Fresh Made Pizza • Party Trays • Boar’s Head Meats & Cheeses • Slicing Meats & Cheeses • Starbucks • Organic, Natural and Specialty Foods • Expanded Hispanic and Asian Foods • Specialty Foods • Pharmacy • Free Blood Pressure Testing • Private, Professional Consultations • Cosmetics • Double Coupons • Club 60 Discount • Carryout Service • USCAN • Western Union • Coinstar • Express Lane Online Shopping • Red Box DVD Rental Kiosk • Sit-down eating area