Homebase unveiled brand new campaign that brings to life the magic of transforming your home at Christmas

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Homebase has unveiled a brand new campaign that brings to life the magic of transforming your home at Christmas.

The new 30 second Homebase ad, written by Leo Burnett and produced by Hogarth Worldwide, shows a family changing their uninspired dining room table and living room by revealing brand new, on-trend Christmas decorations and homewares, with everything from Christmas trees and lights, tableware and soft furnishings.

And if cute animals are the way to customers’ hearts, then Homebase has Christmas in the bag with the addition of man’s best friend to its new brand campaign. ‘Harriet the dog’ also features in her very own spin-off ad, exclusively created for social media, which depicts how even the smallest of spaces can be magically transformed.

Jo Kenrick, Homebase Marketing Director said: “Christmas is all about spending time with friends and family – and we know that people love to go all out with finishing touches at this festive time of year.

“Hosting doesn’t need to be stressful and planning is key. Make sure you not only think about turning your home into a festive grotto, but remember to tackle the little jobs, such as freshening up the spare bedroom, which will make your guests feel comfortable too.”

The TV campaign also includes re-worked music by Professor Bobo and Bosko Slim (it is the same music but with a bit of Christmas sparkle). The campaign breaks on TV tonight (Wednesday 19 November). The ‘Harriet the dog’ spin-off can be seen first on the Homebase’s YouTube page. Follow Harriet’s adventures @Harrietwoofs.



Note to Editors:

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

Follow us @Homebase_PR.


About Homebase
Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer with around 60 million transactions a year, 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 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.


Sainsbury’s Blanc de Blancs NV voted the best supermarket Champagne in the annual Which? Champagne and sparkling wine taste test

We are proud to announce that our own brand Blanc de Blancs NV Champagne has been voted the best supermarket Champagne in the annual Which? Champagne and sparkling wine taste test.

LONDON, 2014-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tasted by a panel of experts, Sainsbury’s Blanc de Blancs was described as  having ‘tantalising biscuit and brioche-like aromas’; being ‘savoury and rich with tones of ‘honey on buttered toast’; and ‘well made with a stylish balance of acidity and sweetness’.

With the highest score awarded of 80%, Sainsbury’s own brand Champagne, priced at £22.50, was awarded higher points than any other retailer, including Tesco, Waitrose and M&S, as well as expensive well-known brands such as Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne (£38), Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Yellow Label Champagne NV (£37) and Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne (£33).

Sainsbury’s Blanc de Blancs NV was created by Sandrine Logette-Jardin, winemaker at Duval Leroy, one of the few Champagne houses to remain family owned.  Sainsbury’s was the first supermarket to introduce its own brand Champagne and has a relationship with Duval-Leroy that has lasted for more than 30 years.

“We pride ourselves on the quality of our Champagne and we know our customers appreciate the superb range of own brand Champagne that is available in our stores” said Judith Batchelar, Director of Sainsbury’s Brand.  “This result is testimony to the value of working closely with expert suppliers to ensure we are delivering the very best to our customers – and that’s never more important than at Christmas time.  I’ll certainly be sharing a bottle or two with family and friends in celebration.”

Sainsbury’s Blanc de Blancs is not only a Which?  ‘Best Buy’ bubbly, but also the best priced, making it the top choice for Christmas fizz this year.


Sainsbury’s Blanc de Blancs NV voted the best supermarket Champagne in the annual Which? Champagne and sparkling wine taste test

Sainsbury’s Blanc de Blancs NV voted the best supermarket Champagne in the annual Which? Champagne and sparkling wine taste test

NRF’s Thanksgiving Weekend Expectations survey: 140.1 million unique shoppers, similar to last year’s preliminary survey results of 140.3 million

WASHINGTON, 2014-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Americans are readying for the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend by making sure they have a menu for their family gathering and a complete shopping list for their weekend shopping activities. According to NRF’s Thanksgiving Weekend Expectations survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, which provides a preliminary look at shopping expectations over Thanksgiving weekend, six in 10 (61.1%) say they will or may shop either Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, which equates to more than 140.1 million unique shoppers.* Expectations are similar to last year’s preliminary survey results of 140.3 million.

Specifically, 67.6 million holiday shoppers (29.5%) say they will shop, down slightly from 69.4 million who planned to do so last year, and 72.5 million (31.6%) say they will wait and see if the deals are worth it before they decide, up 2 percent over last year’s 71 million “maybe” shoppers.

“Consumers today want more than just the discounts they’ve been showered with since the start of the recession; they want exclusive offerings and a good reason to spend their discretionary budgets,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “We could witness a sea change this holiday season as consumers’ reliance on extremely deep discounts over the biggest shopping weekend of the year shifts to more of a ‘wait- and-see’ mentality around what retailers will be offering on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. We are positive retailers have a few tricks up their sleeve that will draw their customers to their stores and websites, deciding the deals are worth it after all.”

When it comes to preliminary expectations for when people will shop, of the 61.1 percent who will or may shop in stores and online over the weekend, 18.3 percent (25.6 million) say they will check out retailers’ Thanksgiving Day deals and shop Thursday, down from the preliminary 23.5 percent last year; 74 percent of those who plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day say they shopped on Thanksgiving Day last year.

Additionally, more than two-thirds (68.2%) will shop on Black Friday (95.5 million), two in five (42.9%) will shop on Saturday (60 million) and one in five (21.6%) will shop on Sunday (30.3 million.)

For the first time NRF asked shoppers about their intentions to shop on Small Business Saturday. The survey found of those shopping on Saturday, nearly three-quarters (72.7%) say they will or may specifically shop for Small Business Saturday.

“More than just a shopping day, Small Business Saturday highlights the millions of entrepreneurs and visionaries who help make retail the dynamic and community-focused industry that it is,” continued Shay.

Much talk has surfaced in the last few years over the number of young adults who shop on Thanksgiving, and this year millennials are indicating they are once again anxious to take advantage of what retailers have to offer. According to the survey nearly eight in 10 (79.6%) 18-24 year olds will or may shop over the weekend, the highest of any age group. Specifically, nearly one-quarter (22.6%) will shop on Thanksgiving Day, down slightly from 27.8 percent last year and 79.9 percent will shop on Black Friday, up from 71.5 percent who planned to do so last year. Nearly three-quarters (73.2%) of 18-24 year olds say they shopped on Thanksgiving last year.

“For younger shoppers, shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday is as much a social experience as it is a buying mission,” said Prosper’s Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “While these shoppers may not have the biggest holiday budgets or the longest shopping lists, they still enjoy the ‘tradition’ of heading out with friends and family on two of retail’s most exciting shopping days.”

NRF Black Friday Spending Results and Weekend Contact Information
NRF will release the results of its Thanksgiving weekend survey by 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, November 30 and will hold a special media briefing with President and CEO Matthew Shay the same day at 2 p.m. ET. Information will include what time people started shopping on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, how much they spent, how many people say they shopped for Small Business Saturday and the percentage spent online in total over the weekend. NRF will also release information about the number of people who plan to shop online on Cyber Monday.

NRF offices will be closed Friday, November 28, but members of the communications department will be available from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on the office line. To request a print or broadcast interview with a NRF spokesperson at any time, please use the below contact information:

Treacy Reynolds (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.) or ReynoldsT@nrf.com or press@nrf.com

About the Survey
The NRF 2014 holiday spending survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the winter holidays. The survey polled 6,593 consumers and was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics from November 3-10, 2014. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3 percentage points.

Prosper Insights and Analytics delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, Prosper represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues.www.ProsperDiscovery.com

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. www.nrf.com.

* Preliminary research is not comparable to weekend results released the Sunday after the weekend.

Kathy Grannis

Treacy Reynolds
(202) 783-7971
(855) NRF-Press

Download complete survey results
View sample charts in Retail Insight Center


IKEA US received score of 90 on the 2015 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation

Recognition Honors Diverse IKEA US Co-worker Population

Conshohocken, PA, 2014-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA US is pleased to announce today it has received a score of 90 on the 2015 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. This national benchmark survey reports on corporate policies and practices relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality.

The CEI IKEA ranking clearly demonstrates and measures the success of the IKEA Group’s values based on the principle that every co-worker can expect fair treatment and equal employment opportunities without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, age or sexual orientation.

Here are some highlights of IKEA programs which benefit the LGBT community:

  • Starting in 1995, IKEA extends benefits coverage to spouses and domestic partners. These benefits include: health/medical, dental, vision, dependent coverage, COBRA, FMLA, bereavement, relocation/travel assistance, adoption benefits, employee discount, employee-assistance/work-life program
  • In 2010, IKEA further extends benefits to domestic partners for supplemental life insurance.
  • IKEA provides pre-tax benefits for same sex married couples. IKEA recognizes a license or certificate of marriage from any state or country which recognizes same sex marriages, no matter where they may live in the US.
  • IKEA iWay (Supplier Code of Conduct) states suppliers shall not discriminate with regard to workers based on race, religion, gender, marital or maternal status, age, political affiliation, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or any other basis.
  • IKEA has been active in media with LGBT ad messaging since 1993 when it ran a TV ad featuring a gay couple. In 2006, a TV ad featured a multi-cultural, two-dad family. In 2008, the “IKEA Muse” tells a lady to go out and meet the partner of her choice (male or female). And in 2014, the IKEA Home Tour broadcast showed a revamp of the space of a gay couple in the Bronx.

“IKEA is a company where diversity and inclusion are part of our everyday business. Every co-worker is valued and respected; and we meet our customers, develop our co-workers, and cooperate with our business partners with these values. We are very pleased we received the Corporate Equality Index score of 90. This shows our commitment to integrating diversity and inclusion into all of our business practices,” commented Jacqueline DeChamps, Head of IKEA US Human Resources.

“The Corporate Equality Index is the gold standard of LGBT inclusion in the workplace, and when companies take part it shows they are making a real commitment to treating their LGBT employees with equality and respect. No one should have to worry about being treated fairly on the job, especially on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and the CEI shows that, year after year, more and more companies are creating truly welcoming workplaces for all,” commented HRC President Chad Griffin. The 2015 CEI rated a total of 972 businesses in the report, which evaluates LGBT- related policies and practices including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBT community. For more information on the 2015 Corporate Equality Index, go to www.hrc.org/cei.

Contact: Mona A Liss, IKEA Corporate Public Relations Director
mona.liss@ikea.com; 610.834.0180, ext. 5852

About IKEA Group
The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. There are currently 315 IKEA Group stores in 27 countries. Additionally, there are 40 IKEA stores run by franchises. There are 40 IKEA stores in the US. In FY 14, IKEA Group had 716 million visitors to the stores and 1.5 billion visitors to IKEA.com. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, please visit www.IKEA.com, facebook.com/IKEAUSA, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA, http://pinterest.com/IKEAUSA/, www.youtube.com/IKEAUSA, www.theshare-space.com, www.theshare-space.com/en/Blog

About Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Marks & Spencer announces details of its five point action plan to tackle the industry-wide challenge of reducing levels of Campylobacter in whole chickens

  • Five point action plan rolling out across M&S supply chain
  • M&S plan implemented since September already seeing step change in results

LONDON, 2014-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) today announces details of its five point action plan to tackle the industry-wide challenge of reducing levels of Campylobacter in whole chickens.

The measures, which have been in place for the majority of M&S chickens sold since the end of September, include even clearer front-of-pack labelling and double bagging whole chickens so they can be placed straight into the oven without the need to unwrap and handle the chicken. Action is also underway on M&S farms with bonuses paid to farmers who produce Campylobacter free farms and innovative new safety technology in place on the production line.

Steve Rowe, Executive Director of Food at Marks & Spencer, said: “We take safety extremely seriously and have introduced innovative measures that ensure the highest standards and make it easy for our customers. The plan is working and we are committed to playing a leading role in the efforts to reduce levels of Campylobacter in the poultry industry.”

Steve Wearne, Director of Policy at the Food Standards Agency, said: “I am very pleased to see this impressive initiative by M&S and 2 Sisters. Campylobacter is a serious issue and there is no single solution to the problem. I believe the best way to drive down Campylobacter levels is by adopting the sort of integrated approach along the food chain demonstrated by M&S and 2 Sisters. I look forward to seeing the impact of these interventions in the future results of our ongoing survey into levels of Campylobacter in chicken on retail sale.”

Ranjit Singh, Chief Executive of 2 Sisters Food Group, said: “We are delighted to be leading the way in partnership with Marks & Spencer on campylobacter reduction.”

The M&S five point action plan has been implemented with 2 Sisters Food Group (M&S’ biggest supplier of whole chickens) since the end of September and will be rolled out to the remainder of the M&S supply chain by the end of the year.

– Ends –

For further information, please contact:
Marks & Spencer
M&S press office – 0208 718 1919

2 Sisters Food Group
Nick Murray, Head of Communications
M: 07876 577282
Email: nick.murray@2sfg.com

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. announces the appointment of Ross W. (Bill) McCanless as general counsel, secretary and chief compliance officer

MOORESVILLE, N.C., 2014-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) announced today that Ross W. (Bill) McCanless will be joining the company as general counsel, secretary and chief compliance officer, effective January 12, 2015. McCanless will replace Gaither M. Keener, who announced plans to retire from the company following 30 years of service.

McCanless is returning to Lowe’s top legal role, a position he held from 2003 to 2006, after serving as chief legal officer, general counsel and secretary for Extended Stay America, Inc. and ESH Hospitality, Inc.—two NYSE-listed companies that own more than 650 extended stay hotels in the U.S. and Canada. In his new role, McCanless will be responsible for directing all legal matters for Lowe’s and its subsidiaries as well as advising the chairman and board of directors on corporate governance matters.

“We are pleased to welcome Bill back to Lowe’s,” said Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “His combined legal and retail executive management experience is a great asset, and he already knows our company and culture well, having worked previously with many on our leadership team. We look forward to his return.”

McCanless Background

In addition to his previous legal experience, McCanless served in a number of executive management positions with Delhaize/Food Lion, including SVP, general counsel, secretary and chief administrative officer. He served as Delhaize America’s president and CEO (from 1999 until 2002) as well as CEO of the Food Lion subsidiary during the same tenure.  Prior to joining Food Lion, he spent seven years in private law practice in Salisbury, N.C.McCanless has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and earned his juris doctor degree from Wake Forest University School of Law.  He presently serves on the board of directors for Kewaunee Scientific Corporation.

Keener Background

Gaither Keener began his career at Lowe’s in 1985 as corporate counsel after serving as a member of a private law firm for which Lowe’s was a client. He served as chief legal officer, chief compliance officer and secretary since 2006. Keener has served on the board of directors of the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation since 2005. He served inthe United States Marine Corps, has a bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina University, and a juris doctor degree from Wake Forest University Law School.

“Gaither will surely be missed. We have benefited from both his legal expertise and creative solutions as he advised the company and our board of directors over the years,” Niblock added.  “We wish him the best in his well-earned retirement.”

About Lowe’s
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 100 home improvement company serving approximately 15 million customers a week in the United States, Canada andMexico. With fiscal year 2013 sales of $53.4 billion, Lowe’s has more than 1,835 home improvement and hardware stores and 260,000 employees. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com.


If you’re a journalist working on a story about Lowe’s:704-758-2917PublicRelations@lowes.com

For customer inquiries:1-800-445-6937

Carrefour received the approval of the Competition Authority to acquire Dia France

Boulogne-Billancourt, 2014-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Carrefour has received the approval of the Competition Authority to acquire Dia France. This decision marks a positive step in the completion of the purchase of Dia France’s activities.

This acquisition will allow Carrefour to continue its multiformat expansion in its domestic market. This approval is the result of a constructive dialogue with the Competition Authority.

Under the agreement, Carrefour will acquire more than 800 stores and must then separate from 56 stores. The transaction should be completed in the coming weeks.

About Carrefour
The Carrefour Group is the leading retailer in Europe and the second-largest retailer in the world, employing nearly 365,000 people. With more than 10,600 stores in more than 30 countries, it generated revenues of €100.2 billion under banners in 2013.

As a multi-local, multi-format, and multi-channel retailer, Carrefour is a partner for daily life. Every day, it welcomes more than 10 million customers around the world, offering them a wide range of products and services at fair prices.

For more information: www.carrefour.com
Group Communications Tél : +33 (0) 1 41 04 26 17
Investor relations Tél : +33 (0) 1 41 04 26 00


Gap Inc. announces the promotion of two successful current executives to become global brand presidents for Gap and Banana Republic

Global brand presidents named: Andi Owen to lead Banana Republic and Jeff Kirwan to take over Gap

SAN FRANCISCO, 2014-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — With an eye towards 2015, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today announced the promotion of two successful current executives, with 35 years of combined company experience between them, to become global brand presidents for Gap and Banana Republic.

The moves were orchestrated by Art Peck as he prepares to take on the role of chief executive officer of Gap Inc. in February, with the full support of current chairman and chief executive officer Glenn Murphy.

“We’ll start 2015 with a management team comprised of both established executives and the next generation of brand leaders ready for the next generation of customers,” said Peck.  “We’ve provided a transition period that allows our teams to deliver a successful holiday, while gearing up for a future where great product, showcased seamlessly across physical and digital experiences, consistently delights our customers.”

Jeff Kirwan, 48, who has reported to Murphy for the past three years as president of greater China for Gap Inc., will become Global President for Gap brand in December following a brief transition period.  Kirwan succeeds Stephen Sunnucks, who will leave the company on December 19, after steering the growth of its namesake brand to almost 50 countries over the past decade.

Under Kirwan’s leadership in China, Gap has deployed an aggressive e-commerce strategy, coupled with opening 100 stores in the region in just four years.  Over the past decade with Gap Inc., Kirwan has succeeded in roles of increasing responsibility at Gap and Old Navy, with an expertise in driving growth, retail operations, and brand development.

Andi Owen, 49, who currently leads the Gap Outlet division, will become Global President for Banana Republic, effective January 5.  She succeeds Jack Calhoun, who will depart from the company on February 1 after working with Owen during the transition.  Calhoun, who led the brand for eight years, is credited with pioneering innovative concepts while creating an impressive global economic model for Banana Republic.

Over nearly 25 years with the company, Owen has thrived in many leadership roles within merchandising, online, and stores.  She has spent 19 years working within Banana Republic, rising from management positions in the field to successfully leading the Banana Republic Factory Store business before taking on her current assignment as EVP of Global Gap Outlet.

“These are important changes within the company, and I’ve been impressed with both Jeff and Andi’s development during our work together these past eight years.  We’ve prepared leaders, with experience across all aspects of the global business, who are ready and eager for the challenges and the opportunities ahead,” said Gap Inc. Chairman and CEO Glenn Murphy.

Murphy added, “Over the past decade, both Steve and Jack helped make Gap Inc. a much stronger and more global company. We appreciate their hard work and passion for our brands, people, and customers.”

Owen and Kirwan will report to Peck in 2015.

“Over the past decade, I’ve worked with Jeff and Andi and seen them in action.  They each bring the creativity, tenacity, and exceptional leadership qualities necessary for these roles, and, importantly, they have consistently delivered results for our brands and company,” Peck added.

Webcast and Conference Call Information

The company will host a conference call with investors and analysts to discuss the company’s third quarter 2014 results and leadership announcement starting at approximately 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time today.  Katrina O’Connell, vice president of Corporate Finance and Investor Relations at Gap Inc., will host the call and be joined by Sabrina Simmons, Gap Inc. chief financial officer, Glenn Murphy, Gap Inc. chairman and chief executive officer and Art Peck, president of Gap Inc. Growth, Innovation & Digital division.

The conference call can be accessed by calling 1-855-5000-GPS or 1-855-500-0477 (participant passcode:1609362). International callers may dial 913-643-0954. The webcast can be accessed at www.gapinc.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, over 400 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.