Argos officially launched its 2014 Christmas Gift Finder – the world’s first swipe-to-like shopping web app

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-11-17— /EPR Retail News/ — Leading digital retailer Argos has this week officially launched its 2014 Christmas Gift Finder – the world’s first swipe-to-like shopping web app, which has already been nominated for an industry award.¹

The Gift Finder was developed by Convert, a new London-based digital agency set up by the award-winning Cheltenham-based agency Nerv to specialise in innovation for retail and fashion brands. During development, Convert took a mobile-first approach, allowing all interactions to be achieved one handed and on the move, using any smart phone, tablet or desktop browser.

The app uses the proven swipe-to-like interaction which has reinvented online dating to suggest gifts to customers. Each like and dislike contributes to and improves an intelligent collaborative filtering system. Simply, this means each customer who uses the Gift Finder makes it smarter, which is behind the strategy of soft-launching the app.

During its initial soft-launch stage, the Gift Finder saw viral growth of over 300,000 visits, with three quarters of those from mobile devices. The average visitor spent over three minutes looking at gift suggestions and swiping through over 60 of the 6000 available gifts per visit.

Mark Steel, Head of Digital Trading, Marketing & Operations at Argos said: “With almost a quarter² of our total sales now coming from mobile devices, we know shoppers are increasingly purchasing products on-the-go.  We’ve developed a rewarding mobile experience that is visually rich, thumb-friendly and intuitive to make Argos stand out from the crowd in the mobile battleground this year.”

James Dye, co-founder of Convert said: “Within the Argos Gift Finder the customer only discovers relevant, intelligently recommended products, one at a time, which makes for quick and easy decisions. It lets the customer drill down to a “maybe list” very quickly, then save, email the list or go straight on to purchase the items.”

Argos has also added a different twist to gift inspiration this year with the smart social Facebook game ‘Friend or Fraud’, where users log in with their profile to build their own wish list and invite their friends to test how well they know them by guessing their selection by swiping left or right.

Just like the Argos Gift Finder, the game was designed by Convert, and uses an optional filtering system so that each user’s profile information, friend list, email address and birthday are used to recommend relevant, accurate products when building wish lists.

On opening the game users swipe through 20 items they like or dislike to set up their profile before inviting their friends to play. From here, users can invite their friends to play, and a leader board is created ranking how well each friend has done when guessing the wish list.

The game has an additional set of quirky features such as ‘Share or Shop’ which allows users to give gift inspiration by emailing a particular product to a friend or click directly through to argos.co.uk to make a purchase, while the ‘Manage Your Game’ feature enables people to swipe left or right through more product suggestions to make it harder for friends to guess correctly.

The Argos Gift Finder and ‘Friend or Fraud’ Facebook game can be found at www.argos.co.uk/giftfinder.

-ENDS-

¹The Argos Gift Finder has been nominated forRetail Week’s‘Customer Innovation of the Year’ award.

²Sales via mobile devices now represent 22 per cent of total Argos sales. Source: Home Retail Group HY results, 22 October 2014.

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.

About Convert
Convert is an independently owned digital agency working at the nexus of behavioural economics, marketing, code and user experience. We deliver digitally innovative campaigns for retail businesses that focus on growth, data and conversion. Convert is part of the Nerv group, a UK-based agency working with key retail clients like Argos, Topshop, Reiss, Ted Baker, Paddy Power and Superdry. To find out more, visit www.convert.social.

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Argos officially launched its 2014 Christmas Gift Finder - the world’s first swipe-to-like shopping web app 2 Argos officially launched its 2014 Christmas Gift Finder - the world’s first swipe-to-like shopping web app

Waitrose reopened its Salisbury branch with innovative new features designed as response to customers’ changing shopping habits

Multi-million pound investment in new concept ‘Food & Home’ shop

LONDON, 2014-11-17— /EPR Retail News/ — Waitrose has reopened its Salisbury branch with a raft of innovative new features. The shop has been designed as an early response to changing shopping habits, ensuring that future retail space is designed to offer customers experiences and services that they can’t get online.

Multichannel focus
The 55K sq ft selling space, employing 550 Partners (staff), now includes a dedicated collection point for orders including Waitrose.com, John Lewis Click & Collect and Waitrose Entertaining.

The soft-seating area showing Waitrose TV includes the retailer’s first fitting rooms for customers to try on orders before leaving the shop.

The new trial concept is a response to the fact that fashion orders make up 45% of John Lewis Click & Collect orders, and more during price match periods. This year to date total John Lewis orders collected in Waitrose have increased by 75%.

To accommodate increased orders, expected to build to 2000 per week by the second half of the 2015 financial year, Waitrose has built a separate building with a 20 van delivery fleet.

Second Waitrose Cookery School
A 1000 sq ft School, housed inside the shop, will be the retailer’s second Cookery School and the first outside of London.

Capable of tutoring 16 students at a time, the School will offer best-selling courses from the retailer’s Finchley Road (London) Cookery School, including bread-making, knife skills and world street food.  It will also introduce a series of new one-hour mini master classes.

In-store experience and hospitality offer
With people increasingly desiring shopping to be more of an event, Waitrose Salisbury will continue to develop the retailer’s focus on hospitality and experiential concepts.

These include a wine bar serving tapas, wines and local beers, the largest ever Waitrose café and opportunities to ‘graze’ around the shop. The shop will also trial a new-look fruit and vegetable section with market-feel wooden fixtures, seasonal displays and tasting pods.  And TV screens around the shop will change throughout the day with the aim of inspiring customers around the shop.

Says Waitrose Managing Director Mark Price: ‘Food retail is undergoing huge structural change – driven by lifestyle changes and an increased use of technology. It is essential that our shops are at the forefront of our strategic response to these changes, preparing us for the future of retail and retaining our leadership in innovation and customer service in the grocery sector.’

Notes to editors

  • Salisbury first opened in 1997 as one of the largest Waitrose shops and one of the original Food & Home concept branches.
  • It was refurbished and re-opened on Friday 14 November.
  • Other new features at the shop include a juice and smoothie bar, grazing areas at the deli bar and bakery section, a new welcome desk with gift and flower wrapping service, new till systems, customer order tablets.
  • The café (the retailer’s largest, at 150 covers) has indoor and outdoor seating, as well as eating ‘zones’, for example with family seating or high bar with sockets for customers’ phones/devices.
  • Retained features include dry cleaning, petrol filling station, post office, horticulture pod.
  • Waitrose has announced it will be opening a third cookery school in King’s Cross next year as part of its development near the train station. The Finchley Road Waitrose Cookery School opened October 2010, when Waitrose became the first supermarket to launch its own cookery school.

Waitrose – the Nation’s Favourite Supermarket¹ and winner of the BestSupermarket² and Best Food and Grocery Retailer³ awards – currently has 331 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 55 convenience branches, and another 28 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose also exports its products to 50 countries worldwide and has seven shops in the Middle East. (www.waitrose.com)

¹ Conlumino Awards, 2014
² Good Housekeeping Best Supermarket 2014, Which? Best Supermarket 2014
³ Verdict Best Food and Grocery Retailer 2014

Enquiries
For further information please contact:

Jess Hughes
Corporate Communications Manager
Telephone: 01344 824 294
Email: jess.hughes@waitrose.co.uk

Rob Cadwell
Senior Press Officer Corporate
Telephone: 01344 826182
Email: rob.cadwell@waitrose.co.uk

John Lewis Partnership plc announces that its Finance Director Helen Weir has tendered her resignation from the Partnership

LONDON, 2014-11-17— /EPR Retail News/ — John Lewis Partnership plc announces that Helen Weir, Finance Director, has today tendered her resignation from the Partnership in order to take up another role. A process to select Helen’s successor will begin immediately.

Helen is expected to work her six month notice period and her departure date will be announced in due course.

Notes to Editors
The John Lewis Partnership – The John Lewis Partnership operates 43 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, 10 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2), johnlewis.com, 331 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £10bn. It is the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership where all 90,000 staff are Partners in the business.

Enquiries
For further information please contact:

John Lewis Partnership
Andrew Moys, Director of Communications
Telephone: 020 7592 6292

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

Marks and Spencer Group plc announces the appointment of Helen Weir CBE to its Board as Chief Finance Officer

LONDON, 2014-11-17— /EPR Retail News/ — Marks and Spencer Group plc (M&S) announces the appointment of Helen Weir CBE to its Board as Chief Finance Officer. She will take up her appointment on a date to be confirmed.

Helen is currently Chief Financial Officer at the John Lewis Partnership. She joined John Lewis in 2012 from Lloyds Banking Group plc where she was Group Executive Director, Retail having been Group Finance Director at Lloyds from 2004-2008. Prior to this, Helen was Group Finance Director of Kingfisher plc, and Finance Director of B&Q. She spent her early career at Unilever and McKinsey & Co.

Marc Bolland, Chief Executive, M&S, said:
“We are delighted to be appointing Helen as CFO. She is extremely well qualified, and brings a wealth of relevant financial, retail and consumer experience. We look forward to her joining the M&S team.”

Helen Weir said:
“M&S is one of the UK’s great brands. This is an exciting time to be joining the company and I am delighted to be part of the team.”

For further information, please contact:
Corporate Press Office 020 8718 1919
Investor Relations 020 8718 1563

Notes to Editors:

Helen is a Non-Executive Director of SAB Miller.

Previous non-executive appointments include City of London Investment Trust Plc, Royal Mail Holdings, Supervisory Board of Hornbach Holding AG and member of the Accounting Standards Board.

Helen is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and was awarded a CBE for services to Finance in 2008.

Remuneration:

On appointment Helen will receive a basic annual salary of £590,000 and standard benefits commensurate with her position and in line with the M&S Remuneration Policy approved by shareholders in July 2014.

No share awards are being granted in relation to her appointment, however, Helen will receive a one-off payment of £188,500 to compensate for the differential in contractual pension that she is forfeiting to join M&S.

A further award for 2014/15 annual bonus foregone may also be taken into consideration.

– Ends –

The H&M Group reports 14% increase in sales including VAT in local currencies in October 2014 compared to the same month last year

Stockholm, Sweden, 2014-11-17— /EPR Retail News/ — The H&M Group’s sales including VAT increased by 14 percent in local currencies in October 2014 compared to the same month last year.

The total number of stores amounted to 3,437 on 31 October 2014 versus 3,081 on 31 October 2013.

Percentage sales development for the month of November and total revenue in SEK for the fourth quarter (September to November) will be published in a separate press release at 08.00 (CET) on 15 December 2014. The Full-year Report, covering the period 1 December 2013 to 30 November 2014, will be published on 28 January 2015.

Karl-Johan Persson, CEO

Contact person: Nils Vinge, IR Manager          +46-8-796 5250

The information in this press release is that which H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) is required to disclose under Sweden’s Securities Market Act. It was released for publication at 08.00 (CET) on 17 November 2014.

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is quoted on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm. The company’s business concept is to offer fashion and quality at the best price. In addition to H&M, the Group includes the brands COS, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories as well as H&M Home. The H&M Group has more than 3,400 stores in 55 markets.

In 2013, sales including VAT were approximately SEK 150 billion. The number of employees amounts to more than 116,000.
For further information, visit hm.com.

 

AHOLD REPURCHASED 222,898 AHOLD COMMON SHARES FOR €3.03 MILLION BETWEEN NOVEMBER 10 AND NOVEMBER 14, 2014

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-11-17— /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold has repurchased 222,898 Ahold common shares in the period from November 10, 2014 up to and including November 14, 2014.

The shares were repurchased at an average price of €13.6089 per share for a total consideration of €3.03 million. These repurchases were made as part of the €500 million share buyback program announced on February 28, 2013 as increased by €1.5 billion to a total amount of €2 billion announced on June 4, 2013.

The total number of shares repurchased under this program to date is 145,637,344 common shares for a total consideration of €1,888.88 million.

During the share buyback program, Ahold publishes a press release every Monday with a weekly update. Click here to view all the relevant information of these these weekly updates. Separate weekly press releases are available upon request. Please send an email to communications@ahold.com if you would like to receive one or more of these weekly releases.

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Ahold presents update of the company’s online retail strategy to analysts and investors, November 17-18

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-11-17— /EPR Retail News/ — Today and tomorrow, Ahold’s senior management will present an update of the company’s online retail strategy to analysts and investors.

Ahold’s management will announce that the company’s online sales are expected to reach €1.4 billion* by the end of 2014; and the company will present an ambition of €2.5* billion in online sales by the end of 2017.

With trusted consumer brands, leadership in its markets, millions of loyal customers, and its physical store network, Ahold has a strong foundation. In the past 25 years, the company has created a robust set of strengths to serve customers anyhow, anytime, and anywhere. To stay in the forefront of omni-channel retail, Ahold has invested in technology, marketing and online capabilities. Following the acquisition of bol.com in 2012, the company now employs over 1,000 IT experts, based in four technology hubs in the U.S. and the Netherlands.

Commenting on Ahold’s online retail strategy, CEO Dick Boer said: “Our online brands bol.com, Peapod.com and ah.nl have played a pioneering role over the past 25 years. Today, we announce the next stage of our ambition, aiming for a growth in online sales to €2.5* billion by the end of 2017. This growth will be supported by an incremental EBIT investment of €60 million in the period 2015 until 2017. We offer a great omni-channel proposition for our customers, creating a strong platform for continued future growth and long-term value creation.”

Ahold’s online growth strategy has three elements: “more customers,” benefitting from general market growth and driving share growth; “more places,” expanding into new regions; and “more choices,” expanding the offering for customers and partners.

The Online Strategy Event begins at 5.30pm CET at the offices of bol.com in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Presentations from the two-day event will be available to view on the company’s website at www.ahold.com

*Consumer sales

Presentations

Cautionary notice

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

CarMax, Inc. to open more than 50 positions for the company’s new store in Warrensville Heights

Retailer Known for Hiring Outside the Auto Industry Accepting Applications for Fifth Ohio Location

RICHMOND, Virginia, 2014-11-17— /EPR Retail News/ — CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX), the nation’s largest retailer of used cars, is hiring more than 50 positions for the company’s new store in Warrensville Heights. While many retailers are hiring for seasonal positions, CarMax is looking for individuals ready to start a rewarding career with the company.

The new store, which is more than 40,000-square-feet, is located at 4900 Point Parkway and is the fifth CarMax location in Ohio. It is scheduled to open in February 2015. Applications are now being accepted for the new positions on the retailer’s website at www.carmax.com/cleveland. CarMax is a growing company focused on personal and professional development and offers one-of-a-kind career opportunities that sets it apart from other retailers.

Who is CarMax Hiring?

  • CarMax is seeking applicants for full and part-time positions.
  • Available positions include sales, business office, and a variety of service operations positions that include inventory, service advisors, and technicians.
  • Many CarMax associates have worked for other major retailers, such as Target, Lowe’s, Wal-Mart and Macy’s.
  • Technician positions require previous automotive experience, however most positions do not.
  • CarMax is committed to hiring people with strong values of integrity, transparency and respect.

 

How Can Job Seekers Apply?

  • Job seekers should apply online at www.carmax.com/cleveland.
  • To see a video with first-hand accounts from CarMax associates, visit the YouTube page on youtube.com/carmax.
  • CarMax will contact applicants and set up interviews after an initial review of applications.

 

About CarMax
CarMax, a member of the FORTUNE 500 and the S&P 500, and one of the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 10 consecutive years, is the nation’s largest retailer of used vehicles. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, CarMax currently operates 142 superstores in 72 markets. The CarMax consumer offer features low, no-haggle prices, a broad selection of CarMax Quality Certified used vehicles, and superior customer service. During the 12 months ending February 28, 2014, the company retailed 526,929 used cars and sold 342,576 wholesale vehicles at our in-store auctions. For more information, access the CarMax website at www.carmax.com.

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Media Contact
Michelle Ellwood, CarMax Public Relations, (804) 747-0422 ext. 4139
pr@carmax.com
Twitter: @CarMax, Facebook: facebook.com/CarMax

Wincor Nixdorf selected by Travelex to provide payment processing services for its ATMs for another seven years

Contract renewed thanks to Wincor Nixdorf’s excellent service and ability to ensure high availability

Paderborn, Germany, 2014-11-17— /EPR Retail News/ — Wincor Nixdorf, a leading retail and banking IT solutions provider, has been selected by Travelex to provide payment processing services for its ATMs for another seven years and will support Travelex as it undertakes a period of business growth. As Travelex’s strategic payment processing provider, Wincor Nixdorf will continue to provide payment processing for ATMs in the UK, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic and will support business expansion into Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Ireland, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Poland. In addition to these European countries, Travelex’s existing ATMs in Asia Pacific and North America will migrate onto Wincor Nixdorf’s global platform allowing it to simplify its business.

Travelex extended this contract based on Wincor Nixdorf’s excellent performance since the companies started working together in 2010. Over the past four years, Wincor Nixdorf has consistently provided an extremely reliable, capable and credible service which has ensured high ATM availability crucial to Travelex’s business.

Under the terms of this contract, Wincor Nixdorf and Travelex have also agreed to promote Direct Currency Conversion (DCC) services, a platform that allows ATM users to use the exchange rate offered by Travelex to have the transaction converted into their home currency at the time of cash withdrawal.

Dan Gilby, Head of ATMs at Travelex said, “As we grow our business, we need to work with partners that can support our ambitions and ensure continued success and are confident that Wincor Nixdorf was the right choice to help us develop and expand our ATM payment processing capabilities. Since we started working together in 2010, Wincor Nixdorf has continued to deliver on its promises and provides an excellent processing and switching service so I am delighted that we have managed to agree to a seven year contract extension that will support our business expansion and enable us to consolidate our global ATM networks”

Paul Fisher, Managing Director, Services at Wincor Nixdorf added, “I am delighted the Travelex has selected Wincor Nixdorf to support its business for the next seven years as its strategic payment processing provider. We are extremely proud of the service that we have provided since 2010 and we are pleased that this has been recognised with a contract extension. At Wincor Nixdorf, we are committed to continuous improvement, so we will use this opportunity to look at where we can enhance the service that we offer so that we can best support Travelex as its expands its business.”

About Travelex
Travelex is the world’s largest foreign exchange specialist with almost 1,500 stores and 1,250 ATMs across 28 countries, at key airport, seaport, rail and tourist locations. Over 40% of travellers – 1.7 billion passengers a year – pass through airports where Travelex operates including the major gateways at Amsterdam, Beijing, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Sydney & Tokyo. Every hour Travelex provides foreign currency to more than 2,000 customers.

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CBRE Group, Inc. adds CBRE Military to the lineup of networking groups serving its more than 23,000 employees across the U.S.

Los Angeles, CA, 2014-11-17— /EPR Retail News/ — CBRE Group, Inc. has added CBRE Military to the lineup of networking groups serving its more than 23,000 employees across the U.S. The group’s mission is to bridge the gap between military life and the corporate world for current and prospective employees with military experience.

CBRE Military aims to build upon the success of the company’s Junior Military Officer (JMO) program, founded in 2012. Through the JMO program, 540 military experienced candidates have connected with CBRE volunteers who have a similar military background. The job candidates and CBRE volunteers work together to identify potential job placement with CBRE or a client’s business. Now, through CBRE Military, the program scope is broadening to provide networking, development opportunities and mentoring to ensure CBRE employees with military experience are in fulfilling roles that best suit their skill sets and career goals.

Grayson Gill, Chief Operations Officer for Asset Services, and Scott Reppert, Managing Director for GCS, were involved with the JMO program from its inception, and have been named the Co-Executive Sponsors for CBRE Military.

“Our military experienced employees are vital to the success of our business and our operations,” said Mr. Gill. “CBRE Military will work to recruit, develop and retain these employees in a way that sets them up for success in our corporate environment while speaking to their military background.”

Raising CBRE Military to official networking group status further solidifies CBRE’s commitment to provide an environment that welcomes and embraces the talents, needs and interests of military experienced employees. CBRE has received several accolades for its military recruitment and retention efforts:

  • Ranked #53 on Victory Media’s Top 100 Military Friendly® Employers list for 2015
  • Designated as a Military Spouse Friendly Employer® for 2015
  • Named a Top Veteran-Friendly Company by U.S. Veterans Magazine for 2014
  • Recognized as a Most Valuable Employer for Military by Civilianjobs.com for 2014

“We are proud to be recognized as an employer of choice for those who have served or are currently serving in our armed forces, but we know our work is not done,” said Jennifer Ashley, Global Director, Human Resources. “CBRE Military signifies another step toward ensuring we do our very best to meet the needs of our military experienced employees throughout their career.”

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.

For Further Information:

Robert Mcgrath
Director, Sr
T +1 212 9848267
email

Applications for Scholarships for Military Children now available at commissaries worldwide

Applications for new season available Dec. 15

FORT LEE, Va., 2014-11-17— /EPR Retail News/ — As the Scholarships for Military Children Program enters its 15th year, more than 8,000 students have shared nearly $13 million in scholarships. Applications for the 2015-2016 school-year awards become available starting Dec. 15 at commissaries worldwide or on the Scholarships for Military Children website.

As one of last year’s recipients said, the scholarship will help her fulfill her dream of becoming a surgeon. “Receiving your scholarship makes me more determined to attain high academic standards and accomplish my dream,” the student wrote in a letter to the Defense Commissary Agency. “Thank you again for your generosity and believing in me.” Starting last year, each award amount rose to $2,000 from the previous $1,500, and the program awards at least one scholarship at each commissary with qualified applicants.

An applicant must be a dependent, unmarried child, younger than 21 – or 23, if enrolled as a full-time student at a college or university – of a service member on active duty, Reserve or Guard member, retiree or survivor of a military member who died while on active duty, or survivor of a retiree.

Applications must be turned in to a commissary by close of business Feb. 13, 2015. Packages must be hand-delivered or shipped via U.S. Postal Service or other delivery methods, not emailed or faxed.

Applicants should ensure that they and their sponsor are enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database and have a military ID card. The applicant must attend or plan to attend an accredited college or university, full time, in the fall of 2015 or be enrolled in studies designed to transfer to a four-year program.

Applicants who are awarded a full scholarship or receive an appointment to one of the military academies or affiliated preparatory schools are not eligible to receive funds from this program. A full scholarship is usually defined as one that provides for payment of tuition, books, lab fees and other expenses.

Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps service members and their families, administers the program. Scholarship Managers, a national, nonprofit, scholarship management services organization, manages and awards the scholarships.

Commissary partners and the general public donate money to the program; every dollar donated goes directly to funding scholarships. Supporters are recognized at four levels of donations, with Four Star business partners contributing more than $50,000 annually, and One Star donors giving between $2,000 and under $10,000.

For more information, students or sponsors should call Scholarship Managers at 856-616-9311 or email them at militaryscholar@scholarshipmanagers.com.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil