Meijer gave 213 unsuspecting customers their entire shopping cart filled with gifts and groceries as a holiday gift

Retailer collects customer reactions in video of the fun-filled events

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2014-12-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Meijer made the holidays very merry for 213 unsuspecting customers recently when those shoppers received a big surprise upon checkout – their entire shopping cart filled with gifts and groceries given to them as a holiday gift by the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer.

During the Very Merry Meijer event, one customer at each of the retailer’s 213 stores across the Midwest was randomly selected on Dec. 13 to receive their purchases free – an unprecedented gesture in its 80-year history.

“The holidays are a time for kindness and joy, and the Very Merry Meijer event was a perfect opportunity for us to share the spirit of the season with those we hold dear: our customers,” Co-Chairman Hank Meijer said. “Our family has always believed that our customers don’t need us, but that we need them. That philosophy still guides us today. We are very thankful for our customers, and wanted to find a special way to wish them a very Merry Christmas.”

The Very Merry Meijer event resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in “gifts” to Meijer customers – with shopping carts ranging from $350 to upwards of $1,200 in value – along with a mixture of emotions that spurred tears, laughter and even speechlessness from very happy customers. For some, the surprise brought hope in the true meaning of Christmas; for others it provided tremendous relief during a time that can be quite stressful.

Meijer released a video today that showcases how the retailer surprised its customers during the busiest holiday season of the year. In most cases, the store director revealed the gift upon checkout, but Hank Meijer, his brother and Co-Chairman Doug Meijer, and Meijer President J.K. Symancyk also helped spread holiday cheer.

“As a retailer, we work hard all year long to provide value to our customers through the quality products we sell, the experience we provide and the many ways we offer savings,” Symancyk said. “The Very Merry Meijer event was our fun way of making the season bright for our customers. That is what the holidays are all about – simple acts of kindness.”

The Very Merry Meijer event resulted in some very happy customers, but it also made an impact on the Meijer team members who were involved in the surprise.

“We know the holidays can be a stressful time of year for many reasons. But, this is also the time of year that is full of joy and laughter,” Doug Meijer said. “The Meijer team members and I who played Santa may have been more excited before, during and after our surprises than the recipients. That’s how much fun we had spreading Christmas cheer.”

To view the Very Merry Meijer video, please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lVm16t2qQY

To view the Very Merry Meijer Fact Sheet that provides a breakdown of shopping cart items, please visit:http://newsroom.meijer.com/Media/Default/images/Meijer%20Fact%20Sheet%20-%20Very%20Merry%20Meijer.pdf

Editor’s Note: To follow the Very Merry Meijer conversation in the social space, please look for the hashtag #MerryMeijer.

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.

 

Contact: Frank Guglielmi, 616-791-3814, frank.guglielmi@meijer.com

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Meijer gave 213 unsuspecting customers their entire shopping cart filled with gifts and groceries as a holiday gift

Meijer gave 213 unsuspecting customers their entire shopping cart filled with gifts and groceries as a holiday gift

Meijer , holiday gift,Very Merry Meijer ,J.K. Symancyk

Rite Aid Corporation reported $6.7 billion revenues for its fiscal third quarter ended November 29, 2014

• Third Quarter Net Income of $104.8 Million and Net Income per Diluted Share of $0.10, Compared to Prior Year’s Third Quarter Net Income of $71.5 Million and Net Income per Diluted Share of $0.04

• Third Quarter Adjusted EBITDA of $332.8 Million Compared to Adjusted EBITDA of $282.3 Million in Prior Third Quarter

• Rite Aid Raises Fiscal 2015 Outlook

CAMP HILL, Pa., 2014-12-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) today reported operating results for its fiscal third quarter ended November 29, 2014. The company reported revenues of $6.7 billion, net income of $104.8 million or $0.10 per diluted share, and Adjusted EBITDA of $332.8 million, or 5.0 percent of revenues.

“We are pleased with our results for the third quarter, said Rite Aid Chairman and CEO John Standley.  “Our focus on expanding our health and wellness offering and delivering a higher level of care to the communities we serve drove our strong same-store sales, prescription count and gross profit. Based upon our strong third-quarter results, we have raised our guidance for the year.”

Third Quarter Summary

Revenues for the quarter were $6.7 billion versus revenues of $6.4 billion in the prior year’s third quarter. Revenues increased 5.3 percent primarily as a result of an increase in same store sales.

Same store sales for the quarter increased 5.4 percent over the prior year, consisting of a 1.6 percent increase in front-end sales and a 7.2 percent increase in pharmacy sales. Pharmacy sales included an approximate 228 basis point negative impact from new generic introductions. The number of prescriptions filled in same stores increased 4.5 percent over the prior year period. Prescription sales accounted for 69.8 percent of total drugstore sales, and third party prescription revenue was 97.6 percent of pharmacy sales.

Net income was $104.8 million or $0.10 per diluted share compared to last year’s third quarter net income of $71.5 million or $0.04 per diluted share. The improvement in net income resulted primarily from an increase in Adjusted EBITDA and a lower LIFO charge, partially offset by a higher loss on debt retirement related to the redemption of the company’s 10.25% senior secured notes.

Adjusted EBITDA (which is reconciled to net income on the attached table) was $332.8 million or 5.0 percent of revenues for the third quarter compared to $282.3 million or 4.4 percent of revenues for the like period last year. Adjusted EBITDA improved due to an increase in front-end and pharmacy gross profit, partially offset by an increase in selling, general and administrative expenses related to our higher level of sales.   The improved pharmacy gross profit was driven by the increase in pharmacy prescription revenues and a reduction in generic drug costs, driven by the company’s transition to its new drug purchasing and delivery arrangement with McKesson, partially offset by lower reimbursement rates.

In the third quarter, the company relocated 3 stores, remodeled 103 stores and expanded 1 store, bringing the total number of wellness stores chainwide to 1,529. The company also acquired 6 stores and closed 6 stores, resulting in a total store count of 4,572 at the end of the third quarter.

Rite Aid Raises Fiscal 2015 Guidance

Based upon third quarter results, the company is raising its guidance. Adjusted EBITDA (which is reconciled to net income on the attached table) is expected to be between $1.275 billion and $1.305 billion. Net income is expected to be between $315.0 million and $370.0 million and income per diluted share between $0.31 and $0.37. Sales are expected to be between $26.25 billion and $26.4 billion and same store sales to range from an increase of 3.75 percent to an increase of 4.25 percent over Fiscal 2014. Capital expenditures are expected to be approximately $525 million.

Conference Call Broadcast

Rite Aid will hold an analyst call at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time today with remarks by Rite Aid’s management team. The call will be simulcast via the internet and can be accessed through the websites www.riteaid.com in the conference call section of investor information and www.StreetEvents.com. Slides related to materials discussed on the call will be available on both sites. A playback of the call will be available on both sites starting at 12 p.m. Eastern Time today. A playback of the call will also be available by telephone beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern Time today until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Dec. 20, 2014. The playback number is 1-855-859-2056 from within the U.S. and Canada or 1-404-537-3406 from outside the U.S. and Canada with the eight-digit reservation number 38826492.

Rite Aid is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with 4,572 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through Rite Aid’s website at www.riteaid.com.

Statements, including guidance, 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 “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” and “will” 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, our high level of indebtedness and our ability to make interest and principal payments on our debt and satisfy the other covenants contained in our debt agreements, general economic, market and competitive conditions, our ability to improve the operating performance of our stores in accordance with our long term strategy, the impact of private and public third-party payers continued reduction in prescription drug reimbursements and efforts to encourage mail order, our ability to manage expenses and our investments in working capital, outcomes of legal and regulatory matters and changes in legislation or regulations, including healthcare reform. These and other risks, assumptions and uncertainties are described in Item 1A (Risk Factors) of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other documents that we file or furnish with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which you are encouraged to read. 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. Rite Aid expressly disclaims any current intention to update publicly any forward-looking statement after the distribution of this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise.

See the attached table for a reconciliation of a non-GAAP financial measure, Adjusted EBITDA to net income, the most comparable GAAP financial measure. We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income excluding the impact of income taxes (and any corresponding adjustments to tax indemnification asset), interest expense, depreciation and amortization, LIFO adjustments, charges or credits for facility closing and impairment, inventory write-downs related to store closings, debt retirements and other items (including stock-based compensation expense, sale of assets and investments and revenue deferrals related to our customer loyalty program).

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                                                                       Click Here for 3rd Quarter Results Detail

 

Contact:

Investors: Matt Schroeder 717-214-8867 or investor@riteaid.com

Media: Susan Henderson 717-730-7766

Rite Aid stores nationwide to help customers complete their last-minute shopping lists with extended shopping hours, gift options, holiday treats and home decorations

Most Rite Aid Stores Offer Extended Shopping Hours From 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Through Dec. 23

Camp Hill, Pa., 2014-12-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rite Aid stores nationwide are helping customers complete their last-minute shopping lists at each of its 4,600 convenient locations with great gift options, tasty holiday treats and unique home decorations. According to National Retail Federation’s 2014 Holiday Consumer Spending Survey, the average person celebrating this holiday will spend $804.42.

“Our extended hours and wide selection of gifts, toys, gift cards and holiday essentials makes Rite Aid an ideal stop for last-minute Santas,” said Tony Montini, Rite Aid executive vice president of merchandising. “Whether you’re shopping for gifts or putting the finishing touches on your tree or home.

Holiday Treats and Sweets
Searching for a sweet gift or stocking stuffer? Rite Aid has an assortment of candy and premium chocolates from Lindt, Russell Stover, Godiva and Ghirardelli. Shelves are stocked with holiday classics ranging from candy canes to chocolate covered cherries, HERSHEY’S KISSES and festive M&M’s. For the sweet tooth in the family, wrap up a 1 pound candy bar from Reese’s, Snickers or York brands. Don’t forget about the ever-popular Holiday popcorn tins. Packed with different flavors, shoppers can choose from 16 distinct designs including Coca-Cola, Disney and various holiday scenes. In addition to hot deals on Planter’s Peanut Holiday 3-packs, customers will find a special holiday blend of the popular Royal Dansk Butter Cookies, a baking center display complete with recipes for special treats and mug gift sets from Transformers, My Little Pony, Star Wars and Starbucks.

Toys Galore
Rite Aid’s very own line of toys, Kids Stuff, offers great value and an assortment of gifts for kids. For little boys, radio-controlled cars and helicopters, a mini-foosball table or drum set. For the princess in the family, Rite Aid carries gifts including Sofia the First Color N Style activity kit, Frozen inspired games and plush puppy carriers. Add a plush friend to any little one’s present, picking from favorite characters like Olaf, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony, Rudolph and Dora.

Electronic Craze
Be sure to check out Rite Aid’s great deals on Craig tablets, netbooks and a 19-inch flatscreen television, and the new Midland wearable camera, which allows the user to capture all of the action from an incredible point of view. And back by popular demand, the Atari and Sega systems, which are packed with new games. Customers will also save on the 36-inch Tower Speaker and a wide selection of ear buds.

Celebrity Beauty Gift Sets
With 100 options to choose from, customers will find fantastic savings on celebrity and designer fragrance gift sets from favorites such as One Direction, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Beyonce and Nautica. Shoppers will also find great value in Rite Aid’s exclusive “Wet n Wild” 8-piece nail enamel set and a broad selection of bath sets including Dove, Caress and Axe. Give a unique gift to someone special like a massaging neck pillow or jewelry tree.

Deck the Halls
From hot prices on gift wrap, gift bags and boxed cards to great deals on light sets, trees and ornaments, Rite Aid has everything shoppers need to decorate their home and prepare for the holidays. Light up the street with an outdoor inflatable Christmas character and inside, our popular 5-foot tall animated, singing and storytelling Santa. Turn the house into a Winter Wonderland with holiday décor items including village collection pieces, snowmen, bears, wall art and live poinsettias available at select stores.

Gift That Keeps On Giving
With over 200 to choose from, Rite Aid has the perfect gift card for that hard-to-buy for person on your list. Popular for this year will include Rite Aid, iTunes, Google Play, Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Home Depot and Old Navy, along with the American Express and Visa gift cards.

Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with nearly 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fiscal 2014 annual revenues of $25.5 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at www.riteaid.com.

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Contact:

Media: Kristin Kellum 717-975-5713

 

NRF’s Holiday Consumer Spending Survey: the average holiday shopper completed 52.9 percent of their shopping as of December 10, up from 49.9 percent last year

WASHINGTON, 2014-12-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — For millions of Americans the rush to find the perfect gift started early this year, and according to the National Retail Federation’s latest Holiday Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average holiday shopper has completed 52.9 percent of their shopping as of December 10, up from 49.9 percent last year.

“This year we witnessed ‘a tale of two holiday shoppers’ with many jumping on retailers’ early, hard-to-pass-up in-store and online promotions, and others waiting until the last minute to wrap up their lists,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “In the final stretch, retailers will continue to look for creative ways to attract those with shopping left to do by offering exclusive Super Saturday promotions, extending their in-store holiday hours and promoting deals on expedited shipping. We are optimistic the holiday season will end on a high note for retailers.”

For the first time, NRF asked those who had completed less than half (50%) of their shopping why they have chosen to wait until December to wrap up their shopping. The survey found that nearly half (46.8%) said they waited this year because they were still trying to decide what to buy, nearly three in 10 (28.4%) said they are waiting for input from their family and friends, and another 28.4 percent say they have waited because they had other financial priorities before December; one in five (21.7%) admit to being a procrastinator and 23.4 percent said they are waiting for the best deals on holiday merchandise.

When it comes to where people will do the remainder of their shopping, the survey found nearly half (49.1%) of holiday shoppers will shop online; two in five (44.3%) will shop at department stores, 30.1 percent will head to discount stores, 22 percent will visit clothing stores and 19.3 percent will shop at electronics stores.

Top Trends in 2014 Holiday Shopping from NRF on Slideshare

NRF also asked holiday shoppers about their use of price matching this holiday season. According to the survey, 15.6 percent said they have requested a price match from a retailer. However, broken out by age it is clear that young adults have taken advantage of this service: nearly three in 10 (27.9%) 18-24 year olds say they have requested a price match from a retailer this holiday season; one in five (21.8%) 25-34 year olds and 18 percent of 35 – 44 year olds have also asked for a price match.

Christmas Day activities run the gamut for holiday celebrants, however, most say they will spend the day visiting with family and friends (66.2%). Another 59.6 percent say they will open gifts on Christmas Day, and 48.8 percent will cook a holiday meal. When not opening gifts or visiting with friends and family, one in five (22.2%) will browse the web and just 7.4 percent plan to actually shop online on Christmas Day.

While there’s plenty of shopping left to do, nearly one-third (32.8%) plan to buy their last holiday gift before Thursday, December 18; 14.5 percent will look to Super Saturday (Saturday, December 20) to purchase their last gift, and 9.1% will wait until the very last minute and buy their last gift on Christmas Eve. Additionally, more men than women will wait until Christmas Eve to purchase the last gift (10.5% versus 7.9% respectively).

“Though millions of eager consumers jumped on early holiday promotions, there is still plenty of shopping left to do,” said Prosper’s Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “Hurried last-minute shoppers will look for gift cards, clothing items, toys and other popular gifts from a variety of retailers, likely even hoping to win big with expedited shipping deals and extremely low prices online and in stores.”

About the Survey
The NRF 2014 holiday consumer spending survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the winter holidays. The survey polled 6,165 consumers and was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics December 2-10, 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. nrf.com

Kathy Grannis
(202) 783-7971
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

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UK’s foremost investigator of labour exploitation GLA to deliver bespoke training for the Sainsbury’s product suppliers

LONDON, 2014-12-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — The GLA has teamed up with Sainsbury’s in a ground-breaking partnership between the UK’s foremost investigator of labour exploitation and the supermarket to deliver bespoke training for its product suppliers.

The training focuses on assisting Sainsbury’s suppliers in identifying whether hidden exploitative practices exist at the farms, pack houses, processing plants and factories throughout the global supply-chain.

This first of its kind training pilots this week with GLA officers providing a package that has been developed to meet the specific requirements of the Sainsbury’s product suppliers.

GLA Chief Executive Paul Broadbent said:

“We are delighted to have forged this industry leading agreement and to work alongside Sainsbury’s in this way.

“There is a real commitment and desire on both sides to identify any practice that subjects workers to exploitation.

“Such activity, by its very nature, is kept hidden by its perpetrators as far as possible and is difficult to detect but there are indicators to look out for and these are what we will be teaching Sainsbury’s product suppliers to spot.

“By raising awareness through training, Sainsbury’s is showing a determination to identify any issues of concern. I applaud them for this and will continue to work alongside them to tackle it.”

This new training arrangement builds upon the GLA’s Supplier/Retail Protocol that was launched in October 2013 by Home Secretary Theresa May.

The protocol was a commitment from major retailers and suppliers to share information and intelligence with the authority about suspicions and wrongdoings with confidence.

It is a key part of the GLA’s ongoing programme to raise awareness of worker exploitation within the specified regulated sector of agriculture, horticulture, shellfish gathering and all associated processing and packaging.

Judith Batchelar, Director of Sainsbury’s Brand adds:

“We’re proud to have carried out the first pilot training for our suppliers in partnership with GLA, we hope this takes us a step further in tackling hidden labour exploitation.

“Modern slavery within global supply chains is a serious issue and it is a priority of ours to work with our suppliers to address it.”

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UK’s foremost investigator of labour exploitation GLA to deliver bespoke training for the Sainsbury’s product suppliers

UK’s foremost investigator of labour exploitation GLA to deliver bespoke training for the Sainsbury’s product suppliers

Argos commissioned Leeds Beckett University report unveiled the new ways people are shopping in modern-day Britain

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-12-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — A new independent report has unveiled the new ways that 49 million[1] people are shopping in modern-day Britain.

Eight different shopping ‘tribes’ have been revealed in the How We Shop Report[2], commissioned by Argos through Opinion Matters in partnership with Leeds Beckett University, identifying the different tactics and traits we exhibit when hitting the high streets and surfing the web in the run up to Christmas.

The most popular shopping group is ‘Secret Shoppers’ (one third of shoppers) who shop alone and are least likely to be influenced by other people’s opinions, followed by ‘Advos’ (one in five of shoppers) who are loyal to their brands and prefer to click and collect so that they can get their product immediately.

The group most likely to be shopping right up until Christmas Eve are ‘Radar Shoppers’ (seven per cent of shoppers), who will hit the stores at the last minute because their purchasing is impulsive and unplanned.

‘Shopping Einsteins’ (eight per cent of all shoppers) tend to wait for the flash sales, with roughly eight million of them expected to shop in bed or on the toilet to research and grab bargains before anybody else, while ‘Digital Magpies’ (7.7%) use technology and are most likely to shop at work.

Despite all of the modern day gadgets one in ten shoppers – otherwise known as ‘ReTrads’ (one in ten of all shoppers) still prefer to go into a shop for face-to-face advice and interaction before buying a product. Nine out of ten ‘Peacocks’ (one in forty shoppers) who love to shout about their purchases on social media will be hitting the high street this Christmas.

Finally, ‘Cruisers’ (ten per cent of shoppers) have the most time on their hands and like the social side of hitting the high street and retail parks for all of their shopping, while the ‘Quick Clickers’ are time-pressed and will leave a website if there are too many clicks to purchase.

The report, where Opinion Matters surveyed 2,057 UK consumers, also reveals that the high street is still a key shopping destination, with only nine per cent of shoppers saying they will spend their whole budget online. Roughly 2.8 million shoppers will be looking to grab last minute bargains by mixing and matching the ways they shop, such as reserving items on their smartphone on the way into town to collect in store.

Almost a fifth of shoppers will be using a tablet device to get their Christmas stockings sorted, while men are more likely than women to go surfing the web for Santa’s gifts. The average shopper is set to spend around £365 this Christmas.

Stephen Vowles, Argos Marketing Director, said: “The acceleration of technology and its impact on our lifestyles means the way we shop is changing, as these new ‘shopping typologies’ show.  Argos has been the heartbeat of British retail for over 40 years, and as ever, we’re geared up to serve customers in the way that best suits them, whether they’re a ‘ReTrad’ or a ‘Digital Magpie’ and whether they’re shopping from the sofa, on the bus or on-the-move.

“With Christmas a week away, whether you’re a ‘Radar Shopper’ or simply someone who’s forgotten a crucial gift, it’s not too late.  With Argos, you can check stock availability at your local store using our app and reserve products, for free, for instant collection right up to Christmas Eve.  There’s no better present to yourself than having the peace of mind that you can get your hands on those last minute gifts on your local high street.”

Customers can use Argos’ Check & Reserve service for free, instant pick up from store on Argos’ website and apps.  Argos customers can also order large items for home delivery before Christmas Day up until 20 December, and for small items up until 6pm on 22 December.

To download the full How We Shop Report, please visit www.issuu.com/howweshopreport.

[1] UK Adult population, 2011 Census.

[2] The research for Argos’ How We Shop Report was carried out by Opinion Matters between 27 November and 5 December 2014, resulting in 2,057 responses from UK consumers.

-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.

The different tribes are:

Secret Shoppers

Accounting for just over a third of all shopping types, secret shoppers are typified by their preference to shop alone, rather than with partners or in groups. They are the group least likely to be influenced by social media reviews, spending on average £319 on gifts.

Shopping Einsteins

Quite comfortable combining commuting with shopping and often wait for ‘flash sales’ before they swoop and are the group most likely to use tablets or even Smart TVs for shopping. Shopping Einsteins are also most likely to shop from the bed, the bath and beyond and four out of ten will research retail social channels before making a purchase, and will spend an average of £406 on gifts.

Digital Magpies

Priding themselves on securing the best deals and securing the very latest gadgets and technology, unsurprisingly digital magpies are the group most likely to be using hi-tech smart phones to do their Christmas shopping. They are twice as likely to shop whilst at work compared to the average shopper, and are highly influenced by online forums and reviews. Expected to spend £455 on gifts this year.

Quick Clickers

Mostly students aged 18-30. Time-pressed – travel for business and/or to sleep less than 6 hours on average per night each week. Buy between 7pm and before 9am (outside store opening hours) with the intent to purchase in the same internet session. Favour ‘Fast Track’ services and PayPal which makes the buying of goods as quick as possible – ‘click, basket, buy’. Will not buy if check out process is too long and involved. Often leave themselves logged in to websites to speed up the shopping process. Will leave website if there are too many clicks to purchase.

Radar Shoppers

Much of their shopping is unplanned until it’s on their radar, and adopt an ad-hoc and impulsive approach to shopping. Highly influenced by what they see on TV radar shoppers are, perhaps by virtue of their lack of planning, the highest spenders, expecting to spend £457 each on gift.

ReTrads

This group prefers one on one interaction with shop assistants in-store, and tend to only shop online for convenience. They are also well prepared for Christmas as the group least likely to need to do ‘last-minute’ this year. Whilst displaying some traditionalist views and behaviour they are still very comfortable shopping online. ReTrads represent one in ten of all shoppers and will be spending around £309 each.

Cruisers

Cruisers enjoy the social element of hitting the stores and relish taking their time over decisions. They are twice as likely, compared to other groups, to do their research and buying all in-store and are also more likely to be found at multi-store out of town retail parks this Christmas. On average,

Cruisers will be spending £371 each this Christmas.

Advos

Almost one in five of all shoppers, Advos strike the most equal balance between online and offline and become very loyal to their preferred retailers. They are the biggest advocates of click and collect – some 16% tend to shop in this way.  Advos will be spending more than average this Christmas, with total gift buying forecast at £404 each on average.

Peacocks

Accounting for one in forty shoppers, Peacocks pride themselves in shopping with brands that

treat them well. They have a tendency to tell as many people as possible about their purchases and experiences. Almost nine out of ten Peacocks will be hitting the high-street this Christmas –

spending £308 each on average.

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.

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Walmart survey with 2,200 customers found that more than one-third plan to shop for last-minute gifts on Super Saturday

New customer survey finds customers hope to finish their shopping on Super Saturday

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2014-12-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Still haven’t checked everything off your Christmas gift list? Well, you’re not alone. The world’s largest retailer conducted in-person interviews with more than 2,200 customers in Walmart stores across the U.S. on Saturday, Dec. 13 and found more than one-third plan to shop for last-minute gifts on Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas.

To ensure last-minute shoppers get the gifts they want at a great price, Walmart stores will continue to receive many of the season’s hottest toys, electronics and home goods until Dec. 24. The retailer is also helping its customers get in and out quickly by creating designated areas near the front of its stores with popular last-minute gifts such as stocking stuffers, gift sets and gift cards. Customers can also choose to order from tens of thousands of items on Walmart.com by Dec. 23 and receive free same-day pickup in stores on Dec. 24.

“Over the past few years, we’ve noticed a trend in customers waiting until the last minute to finish their shopping,” said Scott McCall, senior vice president of merchandising for Walmart U.S. “While many customers start their Christmas shopping in November, the majority don’t put their lists away until Dec. 24. Our stores are ready to help customers get everything they need from top toys and electronics to stocking stuffers, cookies for Santa and the easiest present to give: the gift card.”

Notable findings from Walmart’s holiday shopping survey include:

Procrastination a Top Excuse for Last-Minute Shopping
-Last-minute shoppers cited being busy with other holiday season activities (40%) or pure procrastination (36%) as the top reasons they wait to finish their shopping.

-Cities with the highest percentage of last-minute shoppers include: Sioux City, Iowa (47%), Indianapolis (34%), Albuquerque, N.M. (33%), San Antonio (31%) and Fayetteville,    N.C. (23%).

Sin City Shoppers Among Those Betting on Super Saturday
-Nationwide, 42 percent of customers conduct the majority of their Christmas shopping in December, with 36 percent planning to shop on Super Saturday.

-Las Vegas (76%) had the highest percentage of respondents saying they plan to shop on Super Saturday. This was followed by Phoenix (62%), Kansas City, Mo. (62%),   Columbus, Ohio (62%) and Houston (59%).

Shopping Carts Will be Full of Groceries and Toys
-Top purchases for last-minute holiday shopping trips include gifts like toys and electronics (23%), groceries for holiday meals (22%), stocking stuffers (21%), holiday-party   items (17%) and alcohol (17%).

-Of those planning to shop the Saturday before Christmas, 68 percent of shoppers in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Sacramento, Calif., planned to purchase big gift items like toys   and electronics – almost three times the national average of 23 percent.

Customers Won’t Let Their Children Go Without Frozen
-What toys are hot this year? Respondents said their children want the following: Anything “Frozen” or Elsa-related, Legos and gaming systems like PlayStation 4 and Xbox.

Spouses are the Hardest Person to Shop for
-Spouse (28%) are the most difficult to shop for, followed by children (26%), extended family (26%) and friends or co-workers (19%).

-More than half of respondents from Albuquerque, N.M. (52%) said their children were the hardest people to shop for, twice the national average of 26 percent.

Last-Minute Deals and Stocking Stuffers
Walmart stores will have a stocking stuffer display with more than 30 top gifts under $10, including Barbie, Transformers, My Little Pony, Legos, card games and more. The retailer has added hundreds of new Rollbacks and special buys on the season’s hottest toys, electronics and home goods. A few Rollbacks in place while supplies last, include:

  • Vizio 42” Class Smart LED HDTV – $348 ($50 savings)
  • Holiday Barbie – $31 ($4 savings)
  • Air Hogs RC Zero Gravity Laser Racer – $29.88 ($5 savings)
  • Razor E150 24V Electric Scooter – $117 ($20 savings)
  • Shark Bagless Cyclonic Hand Vac – $34 ($4.87 savings)
  • Canon PowerShot ELPH135 Camera Bundle – $79 ($20 savings)
  • Nikon Coolpix L830 Camera – $199 ($30 savings)
  • NutriBullet Pro 900 – $129 with a $10 Walmart Gift Card ($30 value)

To make shopping easy and convenient for customers, the retailer’s new Checkout Promise is in full effect, with more registers open than ever before during the times when customers are shopping most. Additionally, customers can shop tens of thousands of items on Walmart.com and receive free same-day pickup in Walmart stores.

The Gift of Choice – A Walmart Gift Card
Walmart confirmed that gift cards are more popular than ever and no longer perceived as a thoughtless gift. The retailer heard from its customers that they like giving gift cards because it offers their family and friends options. To help customers provide an extra special touch by personalizing the gift card, Walmart carries a range of card holders, and is also for the first time providing dozens of fun, DIY ideas for presenting gift cards on its Pinterest page and on Walmart.com.

The retailer sells more than 50 different types of gift cards in its stores and online at www.walmart.com/giftcards. In addition to the Walmart Gift Card, the top five brands sold at Walmart include: Apple iTunes, Darden Restaurants, Starbucks, Xbox and Applebee’s. Walmart eGift Cards can be sent anytime – even on Christmas morning – and is usually received by the recipient within hours. Walmart eGift Cards can be redeemed in-stores and online.

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Editor’s Note:
Walmart commissioned a survey with customers while they waited in line to take pictures with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 13 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the following markets: Albuquerque, N.M.; Austin, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; Colorado Springs, Colo. Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; El Paso, Texas; Fayetteville, N.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; Houston, Texas; Indianapolis, Ind.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Kansas City, Kan.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Omaha, Neb.; Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas; Sioux City, Iowa; Springfield, Mo.; Virginia Beach; Va.; Wichita; Kan.; Winston Salem; N.C. The cross-sectional survey polled 2,269 customers ages 18 – 65 years old, of which, 41 percent were male and 59 percent were female.

About Walmart 
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere — in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 250 million customers and members visit our 11,202 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2014 sales of over $473 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visitinghttp://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.

 

Brazilian investment company Península takes 10% stake in Carrefour subsidiary in Brazil

Boulogne-Billancourt, France, 2014-12-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Carrefour group announces today that the Brazilian investment company Península, chaired by Abilio Diniz, is taking a 10% stake in its subsidiary in Brazil.

This transaction is a significant first step in the plan, previously announced by Carrefour group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Georges Plassat, to bring outside investors into the capital of its Brazilian subsidiary in order to strengthen its local ties and support its growth. Through this transaction, Carrefour Brazil will benefit from the widely-recognized local retail experience of its new shareholder in order to continue the development of its multi-format model.

This opening of the capital of the Brazilian subsidiary could also include a listing on the Brazilian stock exchange in the future.

With sales of more than 34 billion Reais in 2013, Brazil is Carrefour’s second-largestt market. At the helm of the Brazilian subsidiary since 2013, Charles Desmartis is rolling out Carrefour’s development plan in the country. It includes the renovation and expansion of the store network (under the Carrefour, Carrefour Bairro and Atacadão banners) and the development of new convenience formats under the Express and Supeco banners. Carrefour is also working on the relaunch of its e-commerce activities in the second half of 2015 and the development of the real estate adjacent to some of its stores.

Península, through its Península II Fundo de Investimento em Participações fund, is investing an amount of 1.8 billion Reais (€525 million) to take a 10% stake in Carrefour’s Brazilian subsidiary, valuing the company at 20.4 billion Reais. In addition, Península holds options allowing it to raise its stake to a maximum level of 16% within the next five years. The closing of the transaction is immediate.

Georges Plassat, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Carrefour group, declared: “I am delighted to welcome Península to the capital of Carrefour Brazil. Abilio Diniz will bring us his unrivalled knowledge of Brazil’s retail market and business landscape. As we prepare to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our presence in the country in 2015, Abilio Diniz is the best partner to support our growth. The agreement we have reached is a clear demonstration of our long-term commitment to Brazil, our second-biggest market.”

Abilio Diniz, Chairman Península, declared: “We are thrilled to become a significant partner of Carrefour in Brazil. It is an excellent investment opportunity for Península, as Carrefour is acknowledged as a reference in global retail and it boasts a high-quality team in Brazil. As a member of the Board of Directors and of the Strategy and Human Resources committees of Carrefour’s Brazilian subsidiary, I will contribute, through my knowledge and passion for retail, to supporting its expansion plans and consolidating its presence in the country. I have a longstanding relationship of trust with Carrefour, going back to my meeting with its founder, Marcel Fournier. I have known Georges Plassat for more than 20 years and admire his leadership and action in Carrefour’s turnaround.”

About Carrefour Brazil
Carrefour is preparing to commemorate in 2015 its 40 years of presence in Brazil and is recognized as a pioneer in the retail market. Carrefour is present in all regions of the country through its Carrefour hypermarkets, Carrefour Bairro supermarkets, Carrefour Express proximity stores and Atacadão and Supeco banners, totalling 256 stores. Carrefour Brazil has also developed credit solutions for its clients that it offers through its financial services division. Additionally, Carrefour reaches Brazilian consumers through its 68 petrol stations and 122 pharmacies. Brazil is Carrefour’s second-largest market after France, with 2013 sales of over 34 billion Reais and 72,000 employees today.

About Carrefour Group
The Carrefour Group is the leading retailer in Europe and the second-largest retailer in the world, employing 365,000 people. With more than 10,600 stores in more than 30 countries (at September 30, 2014), 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.

For more information: www.carrefour.com, @GroupeCarrefour on Twitter
About Península Participações Península is the investment vehicle of Abilio Diniz and his family. It is a professionally managed company that manages assets of over R$ 10 billion. Peninsula’s key areas of focus are: global financial assets, direct investments in public and private companies and real estate investments.

Península’s direct investment mandate focuses on investing in businesses where it can actively support entrepreneurship and excellence in management, leverage its competencies, capabilities and connections and create exceptional contribution to its stakeholders. Its core investment industries are retail, consumer products and education.

Contacts
CARREFOUR GROUP – Group Communication Tel: +33 (0)1 41 04 26 17
CARREFOUR GROUP – Investor Relations Tel: +33 (0)1 41 04 26 00
CARREFOUR BRAZIL- Communication Tel: +55 11 3514-0705 / +55 11 3514-0722
BRUNSWICK GROUP Tel: +55 11 307667620
PENÍNSULA (France) – Arnaud Monnin Tel: + 33 1 44 50 51 77 / Cel: + 33 6 24 76 83 40
PENÍNSULA (France) – Danilo Rocha Tel: + 33 1 44 50 03 83 / Cel: + 33 6 46 47 09 79
PENÍNSULA (Brazil) – Simone Iwasso Tel: + 55 11 3147 7900 / Cel: + 55 11 97261-1738
PENÍNSULA (Brazil) – Alessandra Paz Tel: + 55 11 3702-5159 / Cel: + 55 11 99926 -9354

Customers at 400 Tesco stores will have dedicated bag packers working every day from now until Christmas Eve

• Customers to receive the best possible service this Christmas as Tesco steps up customer service efforts

• From today 400 Tesco stores will have teams of 6-9 bag packers

• All large stores will also have a dedicated greeter at the store entrance

Cheshunt, England, 2014-12-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Customers at 400 Tesco stores will have dedicated bag packers working every day from now until Christmas Eve. The role isn’t just about bag packing, it’s part of Tesco’s work to really deliver for customers this Christmas. From running and grabbing a forgotten product for a customer to pushing the trolley to the car – Tesco bag packers will be on hand for whatever customers’ need. Greeters will also ensure customers are welcomed to the store when embarking upon their festive shops.

Tony Hoggett, UK Retail Director for Tesco said,

‘Providing great service to our customers every day is really important to us, but it’s even more important at Christmas. We all know how stressful the Christmas shop can be, but we also know it can be a lot of fun with the right colleague on hand, which is why we’ve invested in having bag packers and greeters.”

Senay Hasan, Customer Assistant at Tesco Surrey Quays said,

‘I’m really looking forward to helping customers with their Christmas shop in the next couple of weeks. We’ll all be donning our Christmas jumpers and hope to bring lots of festive cheer’.

Notes

This is part of Tesco’s continuing efforts to improve service. Further details on service initiatives –

·         6000 new colleagues have joined Tesco since October

·         “Feet on the floor” has seen office colleagues help out in stores – this has totalled over 180,000 hours

·         Tesco’s Customer Service Centre have recruited over 850 seasonal workers to ensure queries can be responded to as quickly as possible

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01992 644645

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

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Customers at 400 Tesco stores will have dedicated bag packers working every day from now until Christmas Eve

Customers at 400 Tesco stores will have dedicated bag packers working every day from now until Christmas Eve

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz discussed racial tension in America with partners who work in the Starbucks Support Center

SEATTLE, 2014-12-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — One week ago today Starbucks chairman, president and ceo Howard Schultz held an impromptu meeting in the company’s Seattle headquarters that many partners (employees) said was “the most emotional, powerful discussion” they’ve ever been a part of.

Although all-company meetings, called Partner Open Forums, are regular occurrences for partners who work in the Starbucks Support Center, the topic of last week’s conversation was uncommon in a corporate setting – racial tension in America.

“Like many of you these past weeks, I have watched with a heavy heart as tragic events and unrest have unfolded across America, from Ferguson, Missouri to New York City to Oakland, California,” Schultz said in a letter distributed to all U.S. partners. “Despite the raw emotion around the events and their underlying racial issues, we at Starbucks should be willing to talk about them internally. Not to point fingers or to place blame, and not because we have answers, but because staying silent is not who we are.”

Partners were not silent.

For more than an hour, Starbucks employees representing various ages, races and ethnicities passed a microphone and shared personal experiences.

“The current state of racism in our country is almost like humidity at times. You can’t see it, but you feel it,” said one partner.

“I’m very touched, moved, and inspired by this conversation,” said a new partner, fighting back tears. “This is the forum to say I may not agree with you. I may not understand you. You may not agree or understand me, but I have value, you have value, your perspective matters and we will hash this out in a safe space.”

Schultz intends to continue the conversations across the country through a series of partner-only forums beginning in January. The meetings will be held in  Oakland, St. Louis and New York City.

“We do not claim to have solutions to our country’s complicated social issues. However, doing what is right for society and doing what is right for business cannot be mutually exclusive endeavors,” Schultz said. “While it is always safer to stand on the sidelines, that is not leadership.”

In announcing the internal partner forums, Schultz echoed statements he made to the Starbucks investor community earlier this month –  the rules of engagement for a public company have changed and companies now must do more for their people and the communities they serve.

Starbucks launched several initiatives in 2014 to create pathways of opportunity for its partners and communities:

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan empowers thousands of U.S. partners to complete a bachelor’s degree with full tuition reimbursement through Arizona State University’s top-ranked online degree program. ASU pioneered a new education model focused on inclusivity and degree completion.

Starbucks and the mayors of five cities held town hall events in their neighborhood Starbucks stores. The Solutions City™ meetings, which continue next year, will work to identify and tackle civic challenges on three key issues: providing access to education, supporting veterans, and empowering youth

Starbucks, the Schultz Family Foundation and YouthBuild USA expanded the Retail Excellence Training Program. This national program gives young people who are disconnected from education and employment the opportunity to learn customer service skills – based on the same training Starbucks store partners receive – through classroom and on-the-job experience in retail or café settings.

“I’ve always believed that core to our success has been our commitment to achieve the balance between our social conscience and responsible commerce,” Schultz added.

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

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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz discussed racial tension in America with partners who work in the Starbucks Support Center

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz discussed racial tension in America with partners who work in the Starbucks Support Center

Starbucks customers who pay using a Starbucks Card or their Starbucks® mobile app this season have a chance to win one of 482,000 instant prizes

SEATTLE, 2014-12-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — This season, customers who pay using a Starbucks Card (registration not required) or their Starbucks® mobile app, can enter the Starbucks® It’s a Wonderful Card Ultimate Giveaway* for a chance to win one of 482,000 instant prizes, and 10 customers in the U.S. will win the ultimate prize of Starbucks for Life, which is one free food or beverage item from participating stores every day for the next 30 years.

Here are just a few things you could do with Starbucks for Life**

Starbucks customers who pay using a Starbucks Card or their Starbucks® mobile app this season have a chance to win one of 482,000 instant prizes

*Winner will receive a daily credit for 30 years for one (1) free food or beverage item redeemable at participating Starbucks stores in the U.S. Starbucks Evenings menu items are excluded. Winner must present a registered Starbucks Card. Credits are non-transferable and expire within 24 hours. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C.) 18 AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Participating stores only. Promotion ends 1/5/15. For Official Rules, how to enter without purchase, prizes and odds, visit www.starbucks.com/win. Sponsor: Starbucks Corporation, 2401 Utah Ave. S. Seattle, WA 98134.

**Examples here reflect a winner using their registered card on a daily basis for 30 years.

About Starbucks
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores, online at www.starbucks.com, or the Starbucks Newsroom.

For more information on this news release, contact us.