Russia’s largest food retailer “Magnit” announces the opening of the new “Magnit Family” stores

Krasnodar, 2014-12-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — PJSC “Magnit”, Russia’s largest food retailer (the “Company”; MICEX and LSE: MGNT), is pleased to announce the opening of the new “Magnit Family” stores.

Please be informed that today the Company has opened its 81st and 82nd “Magnit Family” stores.

The 81st “Magnit Family” store is located at 90, Neftyanikov street, Otradny, Samara oblast, Volga federal region. Assortment of the store consists of more than 6,800 SKUs, out of which about 86% are food items. There are 13 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 10 pm.

The 82nd “Magnit Family” store is located at 1B, Vysokovoltnaya street (“Noviy rynok” shopping center), Skopin, Ryazan oblast, Central federal region. Assortment of the store consists of more than 4,500 SKUs, out of which about 77% 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 9 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.

Equity One, Inc. closes $600 million unsecured revolving credit facility which replaces its existing $575 million facility

North Miami Beach, FL, 2014-12-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Equity One, Inc. (NYSE: EQY), an owner, developer, and operator of shopping centers, announced today that it has closed a $600 million unsecured revolving credit facility which replaces its existing $575 million facility. The new facility, which matures on December 31, 2018, with options to extend the maturity date for two six month periods, can be upsized to $900 million through an accordion feature. Borrowings under the new facility will bear interest at the annual rate of LIBOR plus 105 basis points subject to a pricing grid for changes in the company’s credit ratings, which compares to pricing under the prior facility of LIBOR plus 125 basis points. Further, the annual facility fee will decline from 25 basis points to 20 basis points.

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC and PNC Capital Markets LLC acted as joint lead arrangers and joint book runners for the facility, with Wells Fargo Bank, National Association acting as Administrative Agent and PNC Bank, National Association acting as Syndication Agent. U.S. Bank National Association, SunTrust Bank, Branch Banking & Trust Company, TD Bank, N.A. and Citizens Bank, N.A. acted as co-documentation agents. Other lenders participating in the facility are Barclays Bank PLC, Citibank, N.A., Deutsche Bank AG New York Branch, Israel Discount Bank of New York and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

The company also announced that it has modified its existing $250 million unsecured term loan facility that matures in February 2019. The amended facility will bear interest at the annual rate of LIBOR plus 115 basis points subject to a pricing grid for changes in the company’s credit ratings as compared to the previously applicable rate of LIBOR plus 170 basis points. The maturity date and principal amount outstanding remain unchanged and the existing interest rate swap agreements that convert the term loan’s LIBOR rate to a fixed rate remain in place. As a result, the effective fixed interest rate on the $250 million principal amount has been reduced from 3.17% to 2.62% per annum based on the company’s current credit ratings. PNC Capital Markets LLC and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc. acted as joint lead arrangers and joint book runners for the term loan, with PNC Bank, National Association acting as Administrative Agent and SunTrust Bank acting as Syndication Agent. Other lenders participating in the term loan are TD Bank, N.A. and Branch Banking & Trust Company.

“We are very pleased with this new credit facility and the reduced cost of our term loan. These enhanced credit facilities are aligned with our strategic plan to have a well-positioned balance sheet and access to low cost capital,” said Mark Langer, the company’s Chief Financial Officer. “We appreciate the support provided by our bank group and the trust and confidence they have placed in our company.”

ABOUT EQUITY ONE, INC.
As of September 30, 2014, our consolidated shopping center portfolio comprised 126 properties, including 107 retail properties and four non-retail properties totaling approximately 13.8 million square feet of gross leasable area, or GLA, nine development or redevelopment properties with approximately 1.6 million square feet of GLA upon completion, and six land parcels. As of September 30, 2014, our consolidated shopping center occupancy was 94.4% and included national, regional and local tenants. Additionally, we had joint venture interests in 18 retail properties and two office buildings totaling approximately 3.2 million square feet of GLA. For more information, please access the Equity One website at www.equityone.net.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain matters discussed by Equity One in this press release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “might,” “would,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “could,” “should,” “believe,” “intend,” “project,” “forecast,” “target,” “plan,” or “continue” or the negative of these words or other variations or comparable terminology. Although Equity One believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that these expectations will be achieved. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include volatility in the capital markets and changes in borrowing rates; changes in macro-economic conditions and the demand for retail space in the states in which Equity One owns properties; the continuing financial success of Equity One’s current and prospective tenants; the risks that Equity One may not be able to proceed with or obtain necessary approvals for development or redevelopment projects or that it may take more time to complete such projects or incur costs greater than anticipated; the availability of properties for acquisition; the timing, extent and ultimate proceeds realized from asset dispositions; the extent to which continuing supply constraints occur in geographic markets where Equity One owns properties; the success of its efforts to lease up vacant space; changes in key personnel; the effects of natural and other disasters; the ability of Equity One to successfully integrate the operations and systems of acquired companies and properties; changes in Equity One’s credit ratings; and other risks, which are described in Equity One’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For additional information:
Mark Langer, EVP and Chief Financial Officer
Equity One, Inc.
1600 NE Miami Gardens Drive
North Miami Beach, FL 33179
305-947-1664

IKEA progresses on the construction of its future St. Louis store

ST. LOUIS, MO, 2014-12-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced that steel framing has progressed far enough that installation of the iconic blue composite panels has begun on its future St. Louis store. Installation of the blue panels is a construction milestone that ensures the store will open Fall 2015, and reflects the unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide.

The 380,000 square-foot future IKEA St. Louis store, with 1,300 parking spaces, is being built on 21 acres along Interstate-64 at Vandeventer Avenue, and will open Fall 2015 in the City’s Cortex Innovation District. Until then, customers can shop at the closest IKEA stores: Chicago-area IKEA Bolingbrook and IKEA Schaumburg; the Kansas City-area store in Merriam, KS; or online at IKEA-USA.com.

“With the IKEA St. Louis’ structure significantly formed and blue paneling now going up, we definitely are on track for a grand opening next fall,” said Rob Olson, IKEA U.S. CFO. “We hope to be enclosed fully within several months, and cannot wait to begin transforming the building’s interior to look like an IKEA store as well. We know there are many customers in the area who are excited for us to open, including more than 101,000 who currently are driving great distances to shop at our stores.”

IKEA St. Louis will feature nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 450-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, play areas throughout the store and preferred parking. In addition to 500 jobs expected during construction, 300 coworkers will join the IKEA family when the store opens. IKEA St. Louis also will provide annual sales and property tax revenue for local governments and schools.

In the spring, opportunities will be available for candidates interested in working at this employer of choice in home furnishings sales, interior decoration, customer service, safety and security, cashiers, maintenance, goods flow, receiving, warehouse and stock replenishment. Also, setting itself apart, IKEA St. Louis will offer nearly 70 food service opportunities in its Restaurant, Swedish Food Market, Café Bistro and coworker cafeteria. Department management positions will be available in early 2015. IKEA is working closely with the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment(SLATE). Interested candidates can be notified when jobs are posted by contacting SLATE and requesting to be updated on opportunities as they develop.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 360 IKEA stores in 46 countries, including 40 in the U.S. IKEA has been ranked in FORTUNE’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, Working Mother magazine’s annual list of “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” and Training magazine’s annual “Top 100.” IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA or IKEAUSA on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest.

###

Whole Foods Market recognized in 2014 for team member happiness, sustainability, and highest quality standards in the industry

AUSTIN, Texas, 2014-12-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) is thrilled to have been recognized throughout the year by leading organizations and industry groups for its quality standards, team member happiness and customer satisfaction.  From its animal welfare and sustainability standards to the exceptional achievements of its team members, Whole Foods Market is a mission-driven company that continues to push the boundaries of excellence for all food retailers.

The following is a list of top awards and accolades Whole Foods Market team members, and the business as a whole, earned in 2014:

Workplace:
• January – For the 17th consecutive year, Whole Foods Market made FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list.
• August— Based in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market was named one of the “Top 10 Coolest Companies to Work for in Austin” by ‘a’ Magazine.
• November —Voted on by Whole Foods Market team members, the company ranked among the “20 Great Workplaces in Retail” by Great Rated! and FORTUNE.
• December— Whole Foods Market ranked No. 10 on the Baltimore Sun’s list of “Top 10 Large-sized Workplaces in Baltimore.”
• December— Whole Foods Market was included on “The Oklahoman Top Workplaces in 2014” list.

Innovation:
• June— Cathy Strange, Whole Foods Market’s global cheese buyer, was the first American to be awarded the prestigious “Coltellino d’ oro” by the Consortium of Parmigiano Reggiano.
• August—Strange also received the French Order of Agricultural Merit Award, presented by Christophe Malvezin, agricultural counselor for the French Embassy.
• September— Whole Foods Market Global Vice President of Quality Standards Margaret Wittenberg was named by FORTUNE and Food & Wine as one of the “Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink.”
• November— Women Impacting Storebrand Excellence and Store Brands Magazine named Dani Little, R.D., and Engine 2 program director at Whole Foods Market, one of “2014’s Top Women in Store Brands.”

Values:
• February— Whole Foods Market ranked first in the food and drug store industry, and No. 20 overall, on FORTUNE’s ”Most Admired Companies” list.
• April— According to a Harris Poll Reputation Quotient™ Study, Whole Foods Market ranked No. 8 for most reputable companies, based on Americans’ sentiment.
• April— Consumer Reports named Whole Foods the top supermarket with the best food in America.
• September— Based on a lab42 study of consumers’ perceptions of social responsibility, Whole Foods Market was recognized on a list of the “5 Most Socially Responsible Brands.”
• December— Whole Foods Market ranked No. 12 on Forbes’ “America’s 25 Most Inspiring Companies” list, based on a Performance Inspired survey.

Sustainability:
• March—Whole Foods Market’s first store in the city of Detroit was named by the Association for Retail Environment as the most “Sustainable Project of the Year.”
• April— Whole Foods Market ranked second on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of Top 30 Retailers with the largest green power usage within the Green Power Partnership.
• May— Greenpeace named Whole Foods Market the top retailer for seafood sustainability in its 2014 Carting Away the Ocean’s (CATO) VIII report.
• September— The company was named “Best of the Best” by the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill partnership.
• November— In the Sustainability Leadership Award category of the Sustainable Beauty Awards, Whole Foods Market was voted runner-up, by Organic Monitor.
• December— Whole Foods Market was named by Organic Beauty Talk as the “Best Accessible Store to Buy Green Beauty.”

Other Recognitions:
• April— At the 6th Annual Shorty Industry Awards, Whole Foods Market was named “Best Brand on Pinterest.”
• April— The “Turkish Delights” tour from Whole Journeys, Whole Foods Market’s travel company, was named one of National Geographic’s “50 Tours of a Lifetime.”
• April— The Daily Meal ranked Whole Foods Market second on its list of “America’s Best Supermarkets.”
• May —Whole Foods Market ranked among Forbes’ “World’s Biggest Public Companies.”

###

Russian food retailer X5 Retail Group N.V. announces winners of the Nutcracker International Television Contest for Young Musicians

Moscow, 2014-12-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — X5 Retail Group N.V., (“X5” or the “Company”), a leading Russian food retailer (LSE ticker: “FIVE”), announced today the winners of the Nutcracker International Television Contest for Young Musicians (the “Contest”). The Company acted as a general partner of the 15th running of the Contest, which took place in Moscow from 2 December to 9 December, 2014. The final round of the contest took place on 9 December at the P. I. Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and was broadcast live by the contest organizer, RussianKultura TV channel (VGTRK) and by Radio Russia Kultura.
http://tvkultura.ru/video/show/brand_id/58498/episode_id/1151578/video_id/1110504

This year young musicians (up to 14 years old) from Russia, Germany, Thailand, Australia, Egypt, Ukraine, Belorussia, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Kazakhstan were divided into groups by specialization: “wind and percussion instruments”, “strings” and “piano” and went through three rounds of competition.

The final round included nine contestants from Russia (Novosibirsk, Shuya, Voronezh, Moscow, and Barnaul), Armenia and Belorussia. The finalists’ performances were accompanied by the Moscow State Philharmonic Academic Symphony Orchestra conducted by the artistic director and head manager of the Saint Petersburg State Theater “Music Hall” Fabio Mastrangelo. The masters of ceremonies for the final round of the contest were Fyokla Tolstaya and Evgeniy Kungurov.

The finalists’ performances were evaluated by a distinguished panel of ten musical experts including People’s Artist of Russia, Daniil Kramer; artistic director of the Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Singing Center and president of the M. L. Rostropovich Foundation, Olga Rostropovich; honorary conductor of the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, Ignat Solzhenitsyn; and, well-known violinist and People’s Artist of USSR, Liana Isakadze.

The Golden Nutcracker awards went to the young pianist from Belorussia, Vladislav Khandogiy, to the violinist from Voronezh, Georgiy Ibatulin and to the saxophone player from Shuya, Georgiy Djishkariani. X5 also presented all nine finalists and participants of the Contest with valuable prizes as well as providing “Candies of Kindness” for the audience.

The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, has designated 2014 to be the Year of Culture. This year Х5 also became a strategic partner of the annual Living Classics International Contest for young elocutionists, where more than two million students from all over the world compete in reciting classical works of literature.

As a socially conscious company, Х5 implements charity projects together with the Lifeline Foundation for helping critically ill children; it also attaches great importance to supporting gifted children and promoting cultural and moral values. Taking into account the scale of X5’s business ventures, the Company is able to draw the attention of the widest possible audience to such projects.

For additional information please contact:
Denis Kuznetsov
Senior Public Relations Manager
+7-495 502-9783 ext. 11376
Denis.Kuznetsov@x5.ru

Vladimir Rusanov
Director of Public Relations
+7 (495) 662-8888 ext. 11357
Vladimir.Rusanov@x5.ru

Information:
X5 Retail Group N.V. (stock ticker at the London Stock Exchange — FIVE, Moody’s rating — B2, S&P rating — B+) is one of the leading grocery retailers in Russia. The Company manages stores of several retail chains: economy class groceries under the Pyaterochka brand, supermarkets under the Perekrestok brand, hypermarkets under the Carousel brand, Express Retail stores under various brands as well as the E5.RU online store.

By September 30, 2014, the Company had under its management 5,005 stores occupying the leading positions in retail in Moscow and Saint Petersburg and having a significant presence in the European part of Russia. The Company’s chain of stores includes 4,342 Pyaterochka stores, 389 Perekryostok supermarkets, 81 Carousel hypermarket and 193 Express stores. The company also manages 31 distribution center within the territory of Russian Federation and 1,528 cargo vehicles of its own.

In 2013 the Company revenues amounted to 534,560 million rubles, the EBITDA index reached 38,350 million rubles, and the net profit, 10,984 million rubles. Based on nine months of 2014 the revenues of X5 amounted to 452,285 million rubles, the EBITDA index reached 32,365 million rubles, and the net profit, 9,869 million rubles.

The shareholders of X5 are: Alpha Group — 47.86%, founders of Pyaterochka — 14.43%, X5 directors — 0.03%, treasury shares — 0.04%, public floats — 37.64%.

Meijer donates up to $10,000 that will benefit three diaper banks in the Midwest through the Huggies Every Little Bottom program

Retailer’s donation will benefit three diaper banks in the Midwest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2014-12-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — For the second consecutive year, Meijer will donate up to $10,000 and Huggies will donate 150,000 diapers – enough to diaper up to 25,000 babies for a day – to the National Diaper Bank Network this holiday season through the Huggies Every Little Bottom program to help ensure babies throughout the Midwest have an adequate supply of diapers.

“Buying diapers can be burdensome for some of our customers, especially during the holidays,” said Lynn Hempe, group vice president of softlines for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. “We’re pleased to support the HuggiesEvery Little Bottom program once again this season to help ease that stress so babies have the diapers they need.”

According to a study in the journal Pediatrics, one in three moms nationwide struggle with diapering their child. Women who are in need of diapers for their children reported more difficulty with stress management and depression – all which can negatively impact a child’s health and development. The Huggies Every Little Bottom program aims to raise awareness of diaper need, and has donated more than 130 million diapers to babies in need since 2010.

Meijer will donate $1 for every package of Huggies diapers sold, up to $10,000, to the National Diaper Bank Network. Huggies will donate up to 50,000 diapers to three diaper banks in the retailer’s five-state footprint, up to 150,000 diapers total:

  • Mid-Michigan Diaper Bank in Lansing, Mich.
  • Nestlings Diaper Bank in Holland, Mich.
  • St. Bernadette Diaper Bank in Prospect, Kentucky

The program will encompass all pack sizes of Huggies diapers, and will run through Jan. 3.

“We are honored to be continuing our partnership with Meijer to support families in need and bring awareness to diaper need for the second year in a row,” said Aric Melzl, brand director for Huggies and board member of the National Diaper Bank Network. “The holidays are the perfect time to think about others and give back, so this is an easy way for Huggies to help provide diapers for babies in need.”

“Meijer is renowned for its loyalty to the families and communities it serves,” said Joanne Goldblum, National Diaper Bank Network executive director and founder. “The partnership with Huggies further elevates awareness of diaper need as a serious, yet often hidden, consequence of poverty. The dollars generated will help keep more babies clean, dry and healthy.”

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

About Kimberly-Clark
Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Every day, nearly a quarter of the world’s population trust K-C brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the No.1 or No. 2 share position in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the company’s 142-year history of innovation, visit www.kimberly-clark.com or follow us on Facebookand Twitter.

About the National Diaper Bank Network
The National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) is a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that every child in the U.S. has enough diapers to be clean, dry & healthy. Founded in 2011, the network raises awareness of diaper need, and supports the development and expansion of diaper banks in communities throughout the country. More information on NDBN and diaper need is available at www.nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org, and on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact: Christina Fecher, 616-735-7968, christina.fecher@meijer.com

###

Meijer donates up to $10,000 that will benefit three diaper banks in the Midwest through the Huggies Every Little Bottom program

Meijer donates up to $10,000 that will benefit three diaper banks in the Midwest through the Huggies Every Little Bottom program

H&M announces that Olivia Wilde will be the face of H&M’s latest Conscious Exclusive campaign

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 2014-12-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — H&M is proud to announce that Olivia Wilde, actress and humanitarian, will be the face of H&M’s latest Conscious Exclusive campaign. Olivia, well known for her commitment to sustainability and her engagement for environmental causes will appear in the campaign wearing pieces from the collection. Conscious Exclusive will be available in around 200 H&M stores worldwide on April 16, as well as online.

“Sustainability is one of my biggest passions. I’m proud to be the face of H&M Conscious Exclusive, a collection which shows the stylishness of
sustainability,” says Olivia Wilde.

There’s a global influence to this year’s Conscious Exclusive collection, with inspiration from African, Asian and Indian cultures in both cut and detail. Dresses are a focus, along with hand-drawn prints created especially for the collection.

“I love the look of this year’s Conscious Exclusive collection. The pieces are full of character with the most beautiful prints, all made from more sustainable materials,” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s head of design for new development.

Each garment and accessory is made of materials such as organic silk, organic cotton, organic linen, Tencel®, recycled polyester and conscious leather. The collection is the latest stage in H&M’s long-term commitment to more sustainable fashion. For more information on H&M Conscious, visit hm.com

Kristina Stenvinkel
Informationschef
Telefon: 08-796 39 08
E-post: stenvinkel@hm.com

###

H&M announces that Olivia Wilde will be the face of H&M’s latest Conscious Exclusive campaign

H&M announces that Olivia Wilde will be the face of H&M’s latest Conscious Exclusive campaign

Homebase reveals that Sussex and Surrey are the most lit-up regions in the UK

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-12-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Residents in the South East are the nation’s biggest lovers of Christmas lights, says home enhancement retailer Homebase.

Gone are the days of just decorating the tree with a few strings of lights, as Homebase has found that Sussex and Surrey are the most lit-up regions in the UK, with locals purchasing over 62,000 sets of Christmas lights between them.

Looking at the national picture, all of the top 5 lit-up areas are in the South East, with South London, Kent and Essex following closely behind Surrey and Sussex, and having collectively bought almost 160,000 sets of Christmas lights.

Lindsay O’Neill, Christmas Decoration Buyer for Homebase, said: “With only two weeks to go until the big day, Brits are preparing their homes and many are adopting traditions from America and going all-out on Christmas decorations. Last year we sold almost 650,000 Christmas lights, the most popular being a set of 80 bright white multi-functional LED fairy lights.

“We are expecting another popular year for lighting with around 280,000 sets sold last week alone.

“Whether they choose simple, traditional white lights or something fun and novelty, many of our customers are spreading the festive cheer to the outside of their homes. With our collection ranging from a basic string of LED lights at £1.79 to a reindeer silhouette at £44.99, whether you want simple and understated decorations, or you’d like to make a statement, you can get the look you are after.”

For more information on Homebase’s great range of Christmas lights go to www.homebase.co.uk

ENDS

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.

###

Carrefour launches “Clic Solidaire” operation to help local associations organise food donations in the long term

Belgium, 2014-12-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Between 17 November and 31 December, Carrefour Belgium has pledged to give its support to local associations. The “Clic Solidaire” (Give with a Click) operation helps local associations to organise food donations in the long term.

The “Clic Solidaire” operation
Carrefour hypermarkets work with local associations on a daily basis so that unsold stock can be distributed to the most needy in the neighbourhood. To do this as effectively as possible, these associations also need equipment, refrigeration facilities, vehicles etc. As a means of encouraging them, Carrefour hypermarkets and the Carrefour Foundation have launched the “Clic Solidaire” operation.

Essentially, working in partnership with a local association of its choice (that has some relationship with food banks), Carrefour hypermarkets submit a project to provide equipment as part of an initiative to get food aid to the most needy. Customers will then be able to go to www.clicsolidaire.be between 17 November and 31 December 2014 and vote for their favourite project.

Each of these projects will receive a donation. The project that gets the highest number of votes will receive €30,000, the next nine projects will each receive €10,000, and all the others will receive €2000.

###

Carrefour launches "Clic Solidaire” operation to help local associations organise food donations in the long term

Carrefour launches “Clic Solidaire” operation to help local associations organise food donations in the long term

Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson to retire after the close of the second step of the Alliance Boots transaction

  • Upon transaction close, Chairman James Skinner to become Executive Chairman of Walgreens Boots Alliance and Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman of Alliance Boots, to serve as Acting CEO, pending board search for successor
  • William Foote will serve as the lead independent director of the Walgreens Boots Alliance board of directors

DEERFIELD, Ill., 2014-12-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) today announced that Greg Wasson, president and chief executive officer, has informed the company’s board of directors that he will retire shortly after the close of the second step of the Alliance Boots transaction, on which shareholders are scheduled to vote on Dec. 29, 2014. Following the transaction close and Wasson’s retirement, Walgreens Chairman James Skinner will become Walgreens Boots Alliance’s executive chairman, and Stefano Pessina, executive chairman of Alliance Boots and a member of the Walgreens board of directors, will serve as its acting CEO, pending a board search for a successor. In addition, William Foote will serve as the lead independent director of the Walgreens Boots Alliance board of directors.

“When I became CEO six years ago, I had three goals – to transform the front end of Walgreens drugstores, to advance the role that community pharmacy plays in health care and to find the right partner to take Walgreens global,” Wasson said. “With the creation of Walgreens Boots Alliance, it is now time for new leadership to move that vision forward building on the global platform we have created, executing on the company’s many opportunities and creating long-term sustainable value for our customers and shareholders. I could not be more proud of our company or more grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with so many incredible people since joining Walgreens over 35 years ago, and I am committed to doing my best to achieve the smoothest possible leadership transition.”

Said Skinner, “Greg Wasson has been an excellent, visionary CEO, and the personification of Walgreens best qualities since he joined the company 35 years ago. On becoming CEO in 2009, at a challenging time for all retailers, Greg led the company through a remarkable transformation, including establishing Walgreens as a vital partner in the delivery of modern community health care to U.S. consumers and taking the company global with Alliance Boots. During his tenure, he helped the company deliver total shareholder returns exceeding the S&P 500 and generating more free cash flow over six years than in the previous 98 years combined. The company is positioned for a great future. On behalf of the board, I thank Greg for all he has done for Walgreens, for his commitment to seeing us through the Alliance Boots close and for his dedication to always putting the company first.”

Pessina said, “The completion of the merger between Walgreens and Alliance Boots and the establishment of the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise, are a fitting tribute to Greg’s exceptional leadership and legacy at Walgreens. Through his strategic vision, Greg has done more than transform an iconic company – he has truly helped to change an entire industry for generations to come. I look forward to working with James Skinner and all the leaders of the future enterprise when we launch the combined group.”

Wasson joined Walgreens in 1980 as a pharmacy intern while still at Purdue University’s School of Pharmacy. Over several years, he moved from managing pharmacies in Houston to become regional vice president of store operations. From there he took on various executive roles in the Walgreens Health Initiatives division, leading to his promotion to chief operating officer and ultimately to chief executive officer. On becoming CEO, Wasson focused immediately on tackling retail pharmacy’s challenges, from the severe economic recession, to the rapid commoditization of retail consumer sales and pharmacy services, to rising drug prices and mounting reimbursement pressures. He launched “Walgreens Plan to Win,” a blueprint designed to revive and reinvent Walgreens for the new era. “Plan to Win” transitioned the company from a program of rapid organic store openings to a strategy leveraging core businesses to improve the customer experience and return the company to strong double-digit earnings growth and top-tier shareholder returns. The company crystallized around three strategic growth drivers: creating a Well Experience, advancing the role of community pharmacy in health care and establishing the most efficient global platform. In 2010, he led the acquisition of Duane Reade and, in 2012, identified the opportunity to begin the process of the strategic partnership with Alliance Boots.

In addition to Walgreens, Wasson is on the boards of Alliance Boots GmbH, AmerisourceBergen and Verizon.

About Walgreens
As the nation’s largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2014 sales of $76 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to be America’s most loved pharmacy-led health, wellbeing and beauty enterprise. Each day, in communities across America, more than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with online and mobile services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,229 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens digital business includes Walgreens.com, drugstore.com, Beauty.com, SkinStore.com and VisionDirect.com. Walgreens also manages more than 400 Healthcare Clinic and provider practice locations around the country.

Forward-Looking Statements

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: Statements in this release that are not historical are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “expect,” “likely,” “outlook,” “forecast,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “can,” “will,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “goal,” “target,” “continue,” “sustain,” “synergy,” “on track,” “believe,” “seek,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “may,” “possible,” “assume,” and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those described in Item 1A (Risk Factors) of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as amended, which is incorporated herein by reference, and in other documents that we file or furnish with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated or anticipated by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Except to the extent required by law, Walgreens does not undertake, and expressly disclaims, any duty or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement after the date of this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise.

Important Information for Investors and Shareholders

In connection with the proposed transactions between Walgreens and Alliance Boots GmbH, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (“WBA”) has filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-4 and two amendments thereto, as well as a definitive prospectus of WBA and a definitive proxy statement of Walgreens in connection with the proposed transactions. The registration statement, as amended, was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on November 24, 2014, and the definitive proxy statement/prospectus was mailed to Walgreens’ shareholders on or about November 24, 2014. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF WALGREENS ARE URGED TO READ THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS (INCLUDING ALL AMENDMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTS THERETO) AND OTHER DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE TRANSACTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN OR WILL BE FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTIONS. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the registration statement and the definitive proxy statement/prospectus and other documents filed with the SEC by Walgreens or WBA through the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov. Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Walgreens or WBA will be available free of charge on Walgreens’ internet website atwww.walgreens.com under the heading “Investor Relations” and then under the heading “SEC Filings” or by contacting Walgreens’ Investor Relations Department at (847) 315-2361.

Participants in the Solicitation

Walgreens, Alliance Boots GmbH, WBA and their respective directors, executive officers and certain other members of management and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the holders of Walgreens common stock in respect of the proposed transactions. You can find information about Walgreens’ directors and executive officers in Walgreens’ Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended August 31, 2014, as amended. Additional information regarding the persons who are, under the rules of the SEC, participants in the solicitation of proxies in favor of the proposed transactions is set forth in the definitive proxy statement/prospectus. You can obtain free copies of these documents, which are filed with the SEC, from Walgreens using the contact information above.

Contact(s)

Walgreens
Michael Polzin
847-315-2920
http://news.walgreens.com
@WalgreensNews
facebook.com/Walgreens