Kesko intents to sell some of the store sites it owns to a joint venture to be set up instead of a real estate investment trust planned earlier

Helsinki, Finland, 2014-11-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kesko continues the preparation of a real estate arrangement. The intention is to sell some of the store sites it owns to a joint venture to be set up instead of a real estate investment trust planned earlier. The arrangement is expected to be implemented during the first part of 2015.

Kesko’s objective is to set up a limited liability company (joint venture) to own and manage mainly Kesko-owned store sites and shopping centres with Kesko as one of its significant investors. If the joint venture is set up, Kesko Group would continue operating on the store sites under long-term leases signed in connection with their sale.

The fair value of store sites planned to be sold to the joint venture from Finland and Sweden has been specified at a maximum of around €670 million. Previously, a portfolio of store sites in Finland, Sweden and also Russia with a maximum total fair value of around €750-950 million was examined.

Investors and finance providers have shown interest in the joint venture. Launching the joint venture depends, in addition to investor interest, on whether it is possible for Kesko to achieve such terms and conditions in the arrangement that are economically justifiable for it, taking the Group’s strong financial position into account.

The arrangement is expected to be implemented during the first part of 2015, while it was earlier expected to be launched in the course of 2014.

If implemented, the sale of store sites is estimated to generate a significant non-recurring profit, the amount of which will be specified as the examination progresses.

The preparations to set up a real estate investment trust were announced in a stock exchange release on 29 November 2013.

Further information is available from Arja Talma, Senior Vice President, Store Sites and Investments, tel. +358 105 322 205 and Jarkko Karjalainen, Investment Director, tel.+358 105 322 694.

Kesko Corporation

Merja Haverinen
Vice President, Group Communications

DISTRIBUTION
NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd
Main news media
www.kesko.fi

John Lewis plc priced the issue of £300,000,000 4.25% bonds due 2034 in the wholesale institutional bond markets

LONDON, 2014-11-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — John Lewis plc announces that it has today priced the issue of £300,000,000 4.25% bonds due 2034 (the “Bonds”) in the wholesale institutional bond markets.

The bonds are expected to be issued on 4 December and to be listed on the Official List and admitted to trading on the regulated market of the London Stock Exchange. They are issued in minimum denominations of £100,000 and have principally been sold to professional institutional investors. The joint bookrunners of the issue were Barclays, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, J. P. Morgan, Lloyds Bank and The Royal Bank of Scotland. Rothschild provided independent advice to John Lewis.

The proceeds of the issue will be used to prepay previously-agreed deficit-reduction contributions to the John Lewis Pension Fund.

The prospectus relating to the Bonds will be published on the website of the Regulatory News Service operated by the London Stock Exchange on or around 2 December 2014.

This announcement does not constitute an offer or invitation to sell, or any solicitation of any offer to subscribe for or purchase any securities, and nothing contained herein shall form the basis of any contract or commitment whatsoever.

This announcement is only being distributed to and is only directed at (i) persons who are outside the United Kingdom or (ii) to investment professionals falling within Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (the “Order”) or (iii) high net worth entities, and other persons to whom it may lawfully be communicated (all such persons together being referred to as “relevant persons”). Any investment activity to which this communication may relate is only available to, and any invitation, offer, or agreement to engage in such investment activity will be engaged in only with, relevant persons. Any person who is not a relevant person should not act or rely on this document or any of its contents.

Neither this announcement nor any copy of it may be taken or transmitted into, or distributed, directly or indirectly in, the United States of America, its territories or possessions. This announcement is not a public offer of securities for sale in the United States. The bonds have not been and will not be registered under the US Securities Act of 1933 and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration under the Securities Act. John Lewis plc does not intend to register any portion of the bonds under the applicable securities laws of the United States or conduct a public offering of the bonds in the United States. Any failure to comply with these restrictions may constitute a violation of U.S. securities laws. The distribution of this announcement in other jurisdictions may also be restricted by law, and persons into whose possession this announcement comes should inform themselves about, and observe, any such restrictions.

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, 332 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:

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

“Magnit” announces the opening of its 181st hypermarket and 76th “Magnit Family” store

Krasnodar, Russia, 2014-11-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — PJSC “Magnit”, Russia’s largest retailer (the “Company”; MICEX and LSE: MGNT), is pleased to announce the opening of a new hypermarket and a “Magnit Family” store. Please be informed that today the Company has opened its 181st hypermarket and 76th “Magnit Family” store.

The 181st hypermarket (small format) is located at 37, Metallurgov prospect, Volgograd, Southern federal region, Russia. Assortment of the hypermarket consists of more than 7,600 SKUs, out of which about 70% are food items. There are 15 cash desks installed in the sales area. The outlet is owned by the
Company. The hypermarket is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 11 pm. The 76th “Magnit Family” store is located at 160, Maxima Gorkogo street (“Econom” shopping center), Donetsk, Rostov oblast, Southern federal region, Russia. Assortment of the store consists of about 6,900 SKUs, out of which about 91% are food items. There are 13 cash desks installed in the sales area. The outlet is leased by the Company. The hypermarket is open 7 days a week from 8 am to 10 pm.

For further information, please contact:
Timothy Post Director, Investor Relations
Email: post@magnit.ru
Office: +7-861-277-4554 x 17600
Mobile: +7-961-511-7678
Direct Line: +7-861-277-4562

Dina Svishcheva Deputy Director, Investor Relations
Email: Chistyak@magnit.ru
Office: +7-861-277-45-54 x 15101
Mobile: +7-961-511-0202
Direct Line: +7-861-277-4562

Company description:
Magnit is Russia’s largest food retailer. Founded in 1994, the company is headquartered in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar. As of September 30, 2014, Magnit operated 25 distribution centers and over 9,020 stores (7,891 convenience, 243 hypermarkets, and 886 drogerie stores) in approximately 2,000 cities and towns throughout 7 federal regions of the Russian Federation. In accordance with the reviewed IFRS consolidated financial statements for 1H 2014, Magnit had revenues of $9,979 million USD and an EBITDA of $1,045 million USD. Magnit’s local shares are traded on the Moscow Stock Exchange (MICEX: MGNT) and its GDRs on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: MGNT) and it has a credit rating from Standard & Poor’s of BB. Measured by market capitalization, Magnit is one of the largest retailers in
Europe

Russia’s largest retailer “Magnit” announces the opening of the 1000th drogerie store

Krasnodar, Russia, 2014-11-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — PJSC “Magnit”, Russia’s largest retailer (the “Company”; MICEX and LSE: MGNT) announces the opening of the 1000th drogerie store.

Please be informed that today the Company opened its 1000th drogerie store located at 18/1 Pavshikh Bortsov street, Mishkino village, Kurgan oblast. This is the first “Magnit Cosmetic” store in this location. The total space of the store is 209 sq. m. and its selling space is 170 sq. m. The outlet is leased by the Company. Population of Mishkino stands at over 8000 people. In this village Magnit already operates its food convenience store.

For further information, please contact:
Timothy Post Director, Investor Relations
Email: post@magnit.ru
Office: +7-861-277-4554 x 17600
Mobile: +7-961-511-7678
Direct Line: +7-861-277-4562

Dina Svishcheva Deputy Director, Investor Relations
Email: Chistyak@magnit.ru
Office: +7-861-277-45-54 x 15101
Mobile: +7-961-511-0202
Direct Line: +7-861-277-4562

Company description:
Magnit is Russia’s largest food retailer. Founded in 1994, the company is headquartered in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar. As of September 30, 2014, Magnit operated 25 distribution centers and over 9,020 stores (7,891 convenience, 243 hypermarkets, and 886 drogerie stores) in approximately 2,000 cities and towns throughout 7 federal regions of the Russian Federation.

In accordance with the reviewed IFRS consolidated financial statements for 1H 2014, Magnit had revenues of $9,979 million USD and an EBITDA of $1,045 million USD. Magnit’s local shares are traded on the Moscow Stock Exchange (MICEX: MGNT) and its GDRs on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: MGNT) and it has a credit rating from Standard & Poor’s of BB. Measured by market capitalization, Magnit is one of the largest retailers in Europe.

PHILIPPINES: SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc., brings the country’s first ever tournament of tennis giants at the Mall of Asia Arena on November 28 to 30

Pasay City, Philippines, 2014-11-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The countdown begins as SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc., the lifestyle and entertainment solutions arm of SM Prime Holdings, Inc., is set to bring the country’s first ever tournament of tennis giants at the Mall of Asia Arena on November 28 to 30.

Hot on the heels of the Davis Cup, the International Premiere Tennis League (IPTL), a brainchild of multiple Grand Slam winner Mahesh Bhupathi, was created to fulfill the increasing demand for top-level tennis in Asia. It is the first city-based professional league in the world played across four countries including the Philippines, India, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

The league will feature 21 Grand Slam Champions and 14 current/former World Number Ones, with the winning team walking away with a top prize of USD 1 million. The inaugural edition will be held in the cities of Manila, Singapore, New Delhi and Dubai between 28th November and 13th December 2014.

“The Philippines was a very obvious choice because you have amazing facilities, and this is a nation that loves sports. There’s also a big drive and appeal for superstars and the last professional tournament here was more than 25 years ago,” Eric Gottschalk, Chief Operating Officer at IPTL said.

Criteria in the selection of the countries included in the IPTL play were the availability of fully equipped indoor venues that could hold a minimum capacity of 10,000, the entertainment factor and the capabilities to market this new format sporting event. Matches include Men’s singles; Women’s singles; Mixed doubles; Men’s doubles and Legend singles.

Representing the Philippines through the Manila Mavericks team in 24 matches are tennis stars Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova, Carlos Moya, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Kirsten Flipkens, Daniel Nestor, and Treat Huey. Other country teams are the UAE Royales, the India Aces and the Singapore Slammers.

Huey is a Filipino tennis player who has brought pride to the Philippines by winning three Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour doubles titles and the 2012 Citi Open doubles title. Huey reached his career-high doubles ranking of World No. 20 just this March 2014.

The Manila Mavericks will go head-to-head against tennis greats Serena Williams, Ana Ivanovic, Gael Monfils, Fabrice Santoro, and Goran Ivanisevic.

“Serena Williams is extremely excited to play in the team and play with the legends.  Sharapova has never been to the Philippines. They all love the formats,” Gottschalk said.

The schedule for the tour: Manila, Philippines (28-30 November); Singapore (2-4 December); New Delhi, India (6-8 December) and Dubai, UAE (11-14 December 2014).

For tickets and inquiries, visit www.smtickets.com or call 470-222.

About SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc.
SM Lifestyle Entertainment Incorporated or SMLEI is the lifestyle and entertainment solutions company of SM Prime Holdings Inc. that offers the best in movies, events, leisure and technology. Starting with SM Cinema, the largest cinema exhibitor in the country, as its sole marque, the company grew into 12 major brands. Currently tucked under its belt are brands such as SM Cinema, Director’s Club Cinema, IMAX Theatre, WM Cinemas, SM Skating Rink, SM Bowling and Leisure Center, Exploreum, Snack Time, e-PLUS Tap to Pay, e-PLUS Digital, Mall of Asia Arena, and SM Tickets.  SMLEI aims to promote bonding activities among Filipino families and friends, through entertainment and leisure facilities, while advocating the ease of use and personalized service created to complement the Filipino lifestyle.

For further information, please contact:

Stephanie Henares
PR Manager, SM Lifestyle Entertainment
stephanie.henares@smsupermalls.com

 

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IPTL’s Eric Gottschalk

IPTL’s Eric Gottschalk

Target Corporation kicked off the holiday season with strong early start to Black Friday weekend

Crowds Line Up at Stores Coast-to-Coast; Online Sales Break Records

MINNEAPOLIS, 2014-11-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) kicked off the holiday season with a strong early start to Black Friday weekend, as guests across the U.S. shopped early deals and turned out for the 6 p.m. store openings. In addition, the company’s free shipping offer on Target.com continues to drive record breaking online sales.

“Guests nationwide turned out online and in stores to take advantage of Target’s Black Friday deals,” said Brian Cornell, Target’s Chairman of the Board and CEO, who greeted holiday shoppers at a store in New York on Thanksgiving. “We have great deals on top gifts and a shopping experience that can’t be beat. I’m encouraged by the early results and am confident guests will love the deals they’ll find throughout the weekend and the holiday season.”

For the first time, Target offered a pre-sale of select Black Friday deals to all guests in stores and online on Wednesday, Nov. 26. By 9 a.m., online sales had already exceeded total sales from the same day last year. Top online items were the iPad Air 2, Beats by Dre Solo HD headphones and the Intex Pure Spa Inflatable Hot Tub. In stores, demand was high with the iPad Air 2, Beats by Dre Solo HD headphones and the iPad Mini as top sellers.

Target.com and Mobile

Online, Target doorbusters were available starting early in the morning on Thanksgiving. The number of orders and sales increased more than 40 percent over last year, making it the retailer’s biggest online sales day ever. The most growth in traffic and sales came from mobile. Top-selling items included the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini, Nikon L330 camera, Beats by Dre Solo HD headphones, the Dyson DC50 Allergy vacuum and the Sony Playstation 4 Bundle.

Target Stores

Across the country, families began gathering hours before the 6 p.m. opening in lines of hundreds and sometimes thousands of people. To engage with guests, Target handed out more than half a million Christmas crackers, a symbol that is synonymous with the holidays in many parts of the world. Just as the Christmas cracker is featured in Target’s Black Friday advertising to reveal top deals, guests waiting in line received Christmas crackers filled with coupons and $575,000 in gift cards.

Throughout the evening, Target encouraged guests to share their selfies using the hashtag #salefie on Instagram and Twitter for a chance to win up to $10,000. The company saw an enthusiastic response with thousands of guests sharing their #salefies.

Top-selling items in store were in electronics and housewares, including:

  • Element 40” TV, Xbox One, iPads and Nikon L330 Camera. In the first hour of stores opening, Target sold 1,800 TVs per minute and 2,000 video games per minute.
  • Keurig K40 Brewer, Dyson DC50 Allergy vacuum and KitchenAid Classic Plus Stand Mixer.

Continued Black Friday Events

To commemorate the start of the holiday shopping season, Cornell will join other executives and store leaders to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. The group will have two special guests: the young star of Target’s holiday TV commercials and Bullseye, Target’s bull terrier mascot.

Black Friday savings will continue through the weekend with several additional offers. For the first time, from 6 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 28, guests can purchase up to $300 in Target GiftCards at 10 percent off in stores and at Target.com. Cartwheel, Target’s mobile savings app, will feature exclusive deals, with 30 offers at least 25 percent off through Saturday, Nov. 29.  Some of the top deals include 40 percent off CorningWare 6 Piece Bakeware Set, 30 percent off Fieldcrest bath towels and rugs, and up to 50 percent off popular grocery and seasonal items like Ghiradelli holiday gifts. Finally, Saturday-only deals will be available in Target stores and at Target.com, including 40 percent off Philips string lights and BOGO free all single-roll wrapping paper. As always, all REDCard holders will enjoy an additional 5 percent off purchases.

Cyber Week

More than 100,000 items will be on sale on Target.com from Sunday, Nov. 30 through Saturday, Dec. 6 for Cyber Week, including weeklong deals and hot daily offers. In addition, all Target.com orders will continue to ship for free through Saturday, Dec. 20. Top Cyber Week deals include:

About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,934 stores – 1,801 in the United States and 133 in Canada – and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit to communities, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom. For a behind-the-scenes look at Target, visit ABullseyeView.com or follow@TargetNews on Twitter. For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom.

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Target Corporation kicked off the holiday season with strong early start to Black Friday weekend

Target Corporation kicked off the holiday season with strong early start to Black Friday weekend

Loraine Woodhouse to join the Board of John Lewis Partnership plc on 1 December 2014 as Acting Group Finance Director

LONDON, 2014-11-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The John Lewis Partnership announces that Loraine Woodhouse is to join the Board of John Lewis Partnership plc on 1 December 2014 as Acting Group Finance Director.

The Partnership announced on 17 November 2014 that Helen Weir, the Partnership’s Finance Director, had tendered her resignation with a six month notice period. Helen will step down from the Board on 1 December 2014 and commence gardening leave on 30 January 2015. In the meantime, Helen will conclude and handover various projects related to her role, ensuring a smooth transition.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: ‘I would like to thank Helen for the valuable contribution she has made during her time in the Partnership.’

Loraine Woodhouse joined the Partnership in August 2013 after leaving her previous role as Finance Director of fashion retailer Hobbs.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership said: ‘I am delighted that Loraine has agreed to join the Board on an interim basis. Loraine has been leading our Group Finance Team and is perfectly placed to lead a seamless transition.’

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, 332 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
Neil Spring, Group Senior External Communications Manager
Telephone: 020 7592 6292

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

Argos predicts UK mobile shopping frenzy this year with more visits than ever to its website and apps on ‘Cyber Monday’

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-11-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — As one of the biggest shopping weekends of 2014 approaches, leading online retailer Argos is predicting a UK mobile shopping frenzy this year with more visits than ever to its website and apps on ‘Cyber Monday’ coming from shoppers using smartphones and tablets.

With Christmas shopping kick-starting on ‘Black Friday’ 28 November, as customers seek bargains galore from the abundance of special deals this year, Argos is expecting online traffic to reach a peak on ‘Cyber Monday’ 1 December 2014.  It is predicting more than five million visits to its websites and apps on the day, more than half of which will come from customers using mobile devices, at a rate of around 3,000 visits per minute as customers increasingly want to shop while on-the-go.

On Cyber Monday last year (2 December 2013) Argos saw over 3.6 million visits across argos.co.uk, its mobile site and apps.  Online visits peaked between 11am-12pm, and again in the evening between 9pm-10pm.

This year an increasing number of shoppers are turning to Argos’ mobile apps to Check & Reserve orders where items can be reserved for immediate collection from store.

In line with this, the number of Argos app downloads – currently at around 10 million– is expected to increase over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

In the spirit of its new advertising campaign, Argos is encouraging customers to GET SET for Black Friday with a special countdown clock on argos.co.uk to help build excitement for the great offers and outstanding deals they can expect all weekend across technology, toys, TV ranges and more.

David Robinson, Chief Operating Officer at Argos, said: “Customer shopping habits are changing fast and more and more are wanting the convenience of shopping on-the-go or in front of the TV in the evening.   Making mobile shopping easy has been our priority this year, and we’ve just launched our first ever Argos Collect Store at Cannon Street Underground Station for busy commuters to collect their orders on-the-go. We’ve also brought gift inspiration into the 21st century with some great new Christmas apps for smartphones and tablets.”

Argos’ 11 enormous distribution centres covering a total of 5.4 million square feet of floor space will have 6,100 warehouse workers and 1,000 delivery drivers helping to dispatch millions of gifts over Cyber Monday and beyond, including high-demand products such as wearable technology, video games, DisneyFrozentoys, Lego, hair care like the BaByliss Curl Secret, and Beats headphones, out to stores and homes on a fleet of 975 lorries and vans.

David Robinson continued: “The race to get top gifts such as smart watches, DisneyFrozentoys and video games into customers’ hands quickly will be more intense than ever and our huge distribution operation is already gearing up.  For the first time ever, 150 of our larger stores will act as mini distribution centres by supplying products to smaller stores nearby, so customers can get fast access to 20,000 products within hours wherever they are.”

According to the Adobe Digital Index, shoppers are expected to spend around £281 million this Cyber Monday, contributing to a 14 per cent growth of online Christmas sales year-on-year.

Argos.co.uk and its mobile site and apps received around 738 million visits in the last financial year making Argos the UK’s largest high street retailer online.  43 per cent of all Argos sales are online, with sales through mobile devices now representing 22 per cent of total sales[1].

 -ENDS-

Notes to Editors:

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

[1] Home Retail Group half year results, 22 October 2014.

This year, children can create their own digital Wishlist for Santa using the new Argos Wishlist app. Aimed at three to seven year-olds, the app enables children to choose their top gifts on a phone or tablet with help from animated characters. The Argos Gift Finder app offers tailored gifting suggestions for friends and family. Both apps are available for free from the App Store and Google Play store.

Argos has also added a fun twist to Christmas shopping this year by creating its very own Facebook game ‘Friend or Fraud’ where users invite their friends to guess what is on their wish list. Customers with smartphones can also use the Argos app to access videos, games and competitions from Argos’ traditional paper gift guide, available in store now.

One of Argos’ biggest distribution centres, Barton in Burton upon Trent, has 650,000 sq ft of floor space – equivalent to eight Wembley-sized football pitches – and typically dispatches 44 million items every year.  This Christmas Barton’s 900-strong team of workers are expecting to dispatch over 300,000 items and by the end of the year will have sent out enough iPads to create 22 million gigabytes of memory – that’s enough to store roughly 4.4 billion songs and is half the capacity of the new Titan super computer in America.

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.

ARGOS MEDIA CONTACTS

See our media contacts

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Argos predicts UK mobile shopping frenzy this year with more visits than ever to its website and apps on ‘Cyber Monday’

Argos predicts UK mobile shopping frenzy this year with more visits than ever to its website and apps on ‘Cyber Monday’