John Lewis Christmas barometer: Record fashion and home sales weeks

This week’s big story: Record fashion and home sales weeks

LONDON, 2014-12-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Both our Fashion and Home directorates had record sales weeks and this was reflected in their year-on-year increases of +2.5% and +0.6% respectively.The Fashion directorate’s record sales week reflected the last minute gifting trend with premium beauty +5% year-on-year alongside strong sales of beauty gift sets +7% year-on-year.

Weekly trading update

With the final few shopping days before Christmas still to come, last week John Lewis achieved sales of £160.6m +6.5% week on week, confirming our expectation that customers are choosing to leave their Christmas shopping right up until the last minute. The year on year comparison at -2.4% reflects the changing shape of Christmas trade with an early peak at the end of November. Online sales had a steady performance at +5.5% year-on-year.

Both our Fashion and Home directorates had record sales weeks and this was reflected in their year-on-year increases of +2.5% and +0.6% respectively. Electricals and Home Technology was -10.8%, a sign of the growing significance of Black Friday on the shape of pre-Christmas trade. Small electrical was up 7% year-on-year with GHD and Nespresso having record weeks growing +44% and +13% year-on-year respectively.

The weekend saw customers’ focus firmly shift to our shops, with branches up and down the country packed with Christmas shoppers and standout year-on-year performances from Chichester +10.6%, Chester +7.6% and Swindon +4.8%. We are giving customers an extra day to order Click & Collect items to any John Lewis shop, by extending the cut off date for orders to Tuesday 23 December for collection in our shops on Christmas Eve. This week, Click & Collect orders were up 30.3% year on year.

The Fashion directorate’s record sales week reflected the last minute gifting trend with premium beauty +5% year-on-year alongside strong sales of beauty gift sets +7% year-on-year. Menswear and sports also achieved record weeks with sports sales +13% including sports technology +90%. Further strong performances came from men’s formalwear +9.2% joined by men’s own brand +6.6%. Childrenswear also saw significant sales of +11% including nightwear +24% with onesies continuing their enduring popularity.

In Home, the record week reflected the strength of our own-brand range, which is selling well right up to Christmas, ahead of discounting when Clearance starts online on Christmas Eve. Impressive growth came right across our own brand home ranges including fitted furniture +11% and bed linen +6% year-on-year. Standout performances included our Aroma Home range of hot water bottles and hand warmers growing +26% year on year.

Andrew Murphy, Retail Director John Lewis, said: ‘Last week we said it’s all to play for and that is still absolutely the case as we have seen a building trend of customers leaving their gift purchases right up until the last minute. The record levels of trade in our fashion and home assortments are hard won in what has been a challenging market. However, busy though‎ our shops have been over the past week, it’s only in these final pre-Christmas days that many customers are finally moving to complete their gift buying and other purchases. Consequently our Partners are standing ready for a very busy final trading day before the festive break.’

Our next trading update will be on Monday 5 January which will give an overall view of the five weeks over the Christmas period up until Saturday 27 December.

All figures quoted are total sales including VAT.

  • £160.6m sterling total
  • +6.5% week on week increase
  • -2.4% year on year decrease
  • +5.5% year on year increase johnlewis.com

Week on week increases are percentage increases in sales value.

What Britain’s buying this week

(year on year % increase)

  • +90% Sports technology
  • +44% GHDs
  • +26% Aroma hot water bottles
  • +13% Nespresso
  • +9.2% Men’s formalwear.

Notes to editors

John Lewis – John Lewis operates 43 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, ten John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. It is part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership where all 30,000 staff are Partners in the business. John Lewis, ‘Multichannel Retailer of the Year 2014’¹ , ‘Best Overall Retailer’² and ‘Best Retailer 2014’³, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 280,000 products, and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

¹ Oracle Retail Week Awards 2014
² Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2014
³ Which? Awards 2014.

Enquiries

For further information please contact:

Email: johnlewis@brands2life.com
Telephone: 0207 592 1200

Walgreens announced the second step of the Alliance Boots transaction expected to close on 31 December 2014

NOTTINGHAM, UK, 2014-12-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Alliance Boots notes that Walgreens has today announced that, subject to shareholder approval, the second step of the Alliance Boots transaction is expected to close on 31 December 2014, ahead of the original goal.

As previously disclosed, Walgreens will hold a special Meeting of shareholders on 29 December in New York City.

Walgreens shareholders will be asked to consider and vote upon the following items, among others:

  • the establishment of Walgreens Boots Alliance as the new publicly-traded holding company of the new combined enterprise, and
  • the issuance of Walgreens Boots Alliance shares

The transaction will fully combine the two companies to form the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

About Alliance Boots
Alliance Boots is a leading international pharmacy-led health and beauty group delivering a range of products and services to customers. Working in close partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists, we are committed to improving health in the local communities we serve and helping our customers and patients to look and feel their best. Our focus is on growing our two core business activities of: pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing and pharmaceutical wholesaling and distribution, while increasingly developing and internationalising our product brands.

Alliance Boots has a presence in more than 26* countries and employs over 120,000* people. We have pharmacy-led health and beauty retail businesses in 10* countries and operate more than 4,550* health and beauty retail stores, of which just under 4,450* have a pharmacy, with a fast growing online presence. In addition, Alliance Boots has around 600* optical practices, of which around 180* operate on a franchise basis, and hearingcare services in around 430* locations. Our pharmaceutical wholesale businesses deliver over 4.3* billion units each year to more than 175,000* pharmacies, doctors, health centres and hospitals from over 340* distribution centres in 19* countries.

In June 2012, Alliance Boots announced that it had entered into a strategic partnership with Walgreen Co. (Walgreens), the largest drugstore chain in the US. In August 2014, Alliance Boots and Walgreens communicated that they plan to merge in the first quarter of calendar 2015 to create the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise, which will be named Walgreens Boots Alliance.

* Figures are approximations as at 31 March 2014, with the addition of Farmacias Ahumada data at the date of its acquisition on 11 August 2014, and include associates and joint ventures.

For further information, please contact:

Media relations:

Yves Romestan/Laura Vergani/Katie Johnson/Julie Longton, Alliance Boots: +44 (0)207 980 8585

James Murgatroyd/Claire Scicluna, Finsbury: +44 (0)207 251 3801

Investor relations:

Gerald Gradwell, Alliance Boots: +44 (0)207 980 8527 (UK)/+1 646 688 1336 (US)

Starbucks employees to organize community service projects during the holidays

SEATTLE, 2014-12-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — The ‘most wonderful time of the year’ can also be the most difficult time of the year for families in need.

Starbucks partners (employees) step in to help by organizing community service projects during the holidays. From collecting and distributing food to families to leading toy drives and packing gift boxes for military service members, the efforts are a reflection of the volunteer work partners worldwide do throughout the year.

“When partners get out of the store and volunteer their time with people in the community, it builds wonderful relationships,” said Bobi Jo Warner, a Starbucks store manager in Canada who has been with the company for 15 years.

Warner and her cousin Tara McCormick, who is also a Starbucks store manager in Edmonton, Alberta, volunteer with Little Warriors. The charitable organization is committed to the awareness, prevention and treatment of children who’ve been sexually abused.

Starbucks partners helped renovate a building at the charity’s Be Brave Ranch which supports children between the ages of eight and 12 through counseling and activities such as music and expressive art therapies.

“The renovation project is so close to my heart and I wanted to be part of it,” said McCormick. “It was one women’s dream to make sure the pain that these children go through doesn’t stop them from living their lives. It’s a healing place, a safe place for the children.”

The motivation to start Little Warriors seven years ago was personal for Glori Meldrum.  Nearly 24 years after being sexually abused, the entrepreneur and owner of an advertising agency founded the long-term treatment center for children.

Meldrum intends to raise $2.5 million in the coming year to fund the specialized counseling which can cost almost $25,000 for each child. Currently, the program supports 70 children and their families.

“This journey is about love and I have seen so many miracles along the way,” Meldrum said. “We are so grateful for all the help the Little Warriors receive from Starbucks partners who volunteer and spend so many hours helping our children and families.”

Starbucks partners, tell us about a volunteer project in your community and send photos to Newstips@starbucks.com

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

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Starbucks employees to organize community service projects during the holidays

Starbucks employees to organize community service projects during the holidays

Starbucks design team chose to feature Mandy Shoger’s hand-crafted pottery with the merchandise curated for the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room

Everything about a Seattle artisan’s work has a hidden meaning.

SEATTLE, 2014-12-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Mandy Shoger’s company, Foxtail Pottery, takes its name from the Foxtail Pine. The hardy tree only grows a few inches per year above an elevation of 10,000 feet in the rugged Sierra Nevada mountain range above.  The signature design she creates on hand-crafted pottery is the chrysanthemum. That flower is considered a symbol of life and rebirth.

“My art has meaning, but it is even more important to me to bring art into the functional moments of our day,” said Shoger. “I enjoy making beautiful dinnerware that people will touch and use every day. Art doesn’t have to live in a gallery or on a display shelf.”

Shoger’s philosophy is echoed by the Starbucks design team who chose to feature her hand-crafted pottery with the merchandise curated for the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room.

Foxtail Pottery joins Seattle’s 5 Lines Pottery and Glassybaby as the first local artisans presenting merchandise commissioned by Starbucks for the new 15,000 square foot Roastery at 1124 Pike Street in Seattle.

The “artist series” will be a rotating collection of mugs, and small bowls, plates and glasses highlighting local designers and brands. The Roastery also offers a whimsical collection of linens, custom letterpress cards, and aprons and leather merchandise from Hardmill, a company founded by two brothers in Seattle.

“As we began planning for the space, we knew the merchandise needed to be unique and special, not unlike our Reserve coffees,” said Jennifer Quotson, vice president, Starbucks Global Brand Creative.

Starbucks designers created a colorful collection of a dozen mugs of different shapes, sizes and textures with the Starbucks Reserve logo – a star over a capital letter R. The Roastery also includes a selection of hard-to-find brewing equipment including: Chemex®, pour-over coffee makers, classic stovetop brewers and kettles, presses, espresso machines, scales and grinders.

In addition to creating a retail experience unlike anything customers have seen from Starbucks before, Quotson wanted to support artists in Seattle.

“We thought about the values of the people we wanted to partner with and the quality of their products,” said Quotson. “There is a synergy between our small-batch coffees and their work in limited runs. There’s passion and playfulness there.”

Shoger’s passion for art began when she was a child. One of her earliest memories is of cutting up colorful pieces of paper and reassembling the shapes to make interesting designs. She was an art major in college, specializing in oil painting. A few years ago she took a neighborhood pottery class and “fell in love.”

“It was like meditation for me,” she said. “Although it required a lot of focus and concentration, I like how calm and centered I felt while using a potter’s wheel.”

Making pottery is also a contrast to her primary job at a Seattle hospital where she’s a technologist in the Interventional Radiology department. Shoger assists doctors who are using technology to guide their tools as they place stents, angioplasties and similar procedures.

Ultimately, she would like to be a fulltime artist and is grateful to Starbucks for the additional exposure her pottery will receive through the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room. At the moment, Shoger is content with the connection she feels with the people who use her mugs and dinnerware.

“Coffee or tea time is such a comforting, nourishing ritual,” she said. “Having a mug made by hand can make that ritual even more special.”

Video by Fran Ramos-Sabugo Rodriguez

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

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Starbucks design team chose to feature Mandy Shoger’s hand-crafted pottery with the merchandise curated for the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room

Starbucks design team chose to feature Mandy Shoger’s hand-crafted pottery with the merchandise curated for the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room

Carrefour France and Cora / Supermarchés Match to cooperate on purchasing

Boulogne-Billancourt, France, 2014-12-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Carrefour France and Cora / Supermarchés Match announce today that they have signed an agreement to cooperate on purchasing. This agreement establishes a long-term partnership, with no equity ties between the two companies, under which both companies maintain their independence while committing to sustainable relationships with their suppliers. The agreement will enhance the competitiveness of their banners for the benefit of consumers.

This partnership covers purchasing negotiations for national and international brands, food products and general merchandise, with the exception of private label products, goods produced by SMEs and fresh produce from the agricultural sector.

Carrefour and Cora / Supermarchés Match will maintain their separate commercial policies, with each banner independently setting its prices and promotional policy.

This partnership becomes effective on January 1, 2015.

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, Carrefour welcomes more than 10 million customers around the world. For more information: www.carrefour.com and @GroupeCarrefour on Twitter

About Cora
Cora France operates 59 hypermarkets mainly in the north and east of France. The company employs 15,100 people and generated revenues of €5 billion in 2013. For more information: www.cora.fr

About Supermarchés Match
Supermarchés Match operates 140 supermarkets in the north and east of France. The company employs 5,300 people and generated revenues of €1.2 billion in 2013. For more information: www.supermarchesmatch.fr

CONTACTS
Carrefour
Group Communication Tel: +33 (0) 1 41 04 26 17
Investor Relations Tel: +33 (0) 1 41 04 26 00

Cora & Supermarchés Match
Nathalie Bernard, Hopscotch Tel: +33 (0)1 58 65 00 08

Carrefour with 3 awards from The LSA Innovation Awards ceremony held on 17 December 2014

Boulogne-Billancourt, France, 2014-12-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — The LSA Innovation Awards ceremony was held on 17 December 2014, as a unique opportunity for companies in the retail and consumer sector to showcase their various initiatives. Three awards were presented to Carrefour in recognition of its teams’ work alongside its partners, demonstrating that innovation is still – more than ever – central to everything that the Group does.

The Tex brand wins an award for its innovative communications campaign
Carrefour was recognised for the original and innovative advertising campaign that it launched for its 2014 spring / summer Tex collection. Carrefour wanted to give its customers a whole new shopping experience, and so the Group developed “My virtual look by Tex”, virtual fitting rooms in 6 stores throughout France in partnership with Clear Channel and a “Shazam ton spot TV pour trouver ton style” – the first Shazam TV campaign with a retail brand.

As Thierry Pelissier, Marketing and Communications Director for Carrefour France, explains,
“This campaign is evidence of our desire to use new technologies to innovate, surprise our customers and provide them with new fun and practical solutions”.

Carrefour products in the spotlight
The jury paid tribute to two designs from the Design Carrefour team.
The first one is a flexible ice-tray complete with a lid made of two different materials. It’s easy to fill, doesn’t run and individual ice cubes can be removed incredibly easily.

And the second is the “Smart Desk” – a folding desk specially designed for small areas. Featuring numerous storage tips, it folds up very easily so it can be stored flat under a bed or behind a wardrobe, meaning guaranteed space savings.

“On behalf of all of Carrefour’s design teams and our partners, we are very honoured to receive these Awards which pay tribute to our project to make design available to as many people as possible. Our aim is to create objects that are essential and clever… that are simple and beautiful while offering the best value for money so as to make our customers’ everyday lives easier”, says Philippe Picaud, Carrefour’s Design Director

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Carrefour with 3 awards from The LSA Innovation Awards ceremony held on 17 December 2014

Carrefour with 3 awards from The LSA Innovation Awards ceremony held on 17 December 2014

PT. Matahari Putra Prima Tbk opened its 105th Hypermart at one of the largest modern shopping centers in Bau-Bau, Indonesia

Lippo Village, Tangerang, Indonesia, 2014-12-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — PT. Matahari Putra Prima Tbk (MPPA), a modern multi-format retailer in Indonesia, which operates Hypermart, Foodmart and Boston Health & Beauty, opened its 105th Hypermart. The new Hypermart is located at Lippo Plaza Buton, one of the largest modern shopping centers in Bau-Bau. This outlet is the first Hypermart located in Bau-Bau and the 2nd outlet in Southeast Sulawesi Province.

The opening ceremony was attended by MPPA management’s team, the regent of Bombana, Southeast Sulawesi, H. Tafdil, the mayor of Bau-bau, A.S Tamrin, and invited guests.

Danny Kojongian, Director of Communications and Public Relations stated, “The opening of Bau-Bau is in line with MPPA expansion strategy to expand into secondary cities. The presence of Hypermart will aide in boosting the economy in Bau-Bau,” he continued.

About PT Matahari Putra Prima Tbk (MPPA)
PT Matahari Putra Prima (MPPA) operates Hypermart, Foodmart and Boston Health & Beauty. Total 2013 Gross Sales amounted to Rp 12.6 Trillion (audited), a growth of 11.1% from 2012. Net Income 2013 amounted to Rp 445 Billion, which grew 85.8% from Rp 239 Billion in 2012. Hypermart has the widest store network among hypermarket operators in more than 60 cities ranging from Tanjung Balai (Medan) to Jayapura (Papua).

MPPA continues to receive both domestic and international acknowledgement with several awards such as: 2013 Retail Asia – Gold Award, 2011-2014 Superbrand Indonesia, 2013 Best of The Best 50 Performing Companies by Forbes Indonesia, Top Brand Awards, 2013 and 2014 Indonesia Most Admired Companies by Warta Ekonomi, 2013 Excellent Service Experience Award and 2013 Customer Satisfaction Award by Roy Morgan.

For further information, please contact :
PT. Matahari Putra Prima, Tbk
Danny Kojongian, Director Communications and Public Relations
Email: danny.kojongian@hypermart.co.id
Fernando Repi, Head of Public Relations
Mobile :081511181187
Email :fernando.repi@hypermart.co.id
Website: www.hypermart.co.id

Kingfisher plc to sell a controlling 70% stake in its B&Q China business to Wumei Holdings Inc for £140 million

LONDON, 2014-12-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kingfisher plc, Europe’s leading home improvement retailer, today announces a binding agreement to sell a controlling 70% stake in its B&Q China business to Wumei Holdings Inc for a total cash consideration of £140 million. The agreement follows Kingfisher’s previous announcement of its plans to look for a strategic partner to help develop its B&Q business in China

The transaction is conditional on MOFCOM (Chinese Ministry of Commerce) approval and, if approved, is expected to close during the first half of next year.

Commenting on the announcement, Véronique Laury, Kingfisher’s Group Chief Executive, said:

“I am delighted to have found a strong retail partner who will help us to release the financial value of our business in China. This will enable us to focus our financial resources and management talent on the large and attractive European home improvement market.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

Kingfisher plc is Europe’s leading home improvement retail group and the third largest in the world, with 1,176 stores in 11 countries in Europe and Asia. Its main retail brands are B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt and Screwfix. Kingfisher also operates the Koçtaş brand, a 50% joint venture in Turkey with the Koç Group.

B&Q China opened its first store in China in 1999 and now has 39 stores in the market, with over 3,000 employees.

Wumei Holdings Inc is one of China’s leading retail chain store operators. It was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Beijing. The retail network comprises around 650 supermarkets and 10 department stores in northern, eastern and western China with a sales area of over 1.4m sqm. It is the controlling shareholder of Hong Kong listed Wumart Stores Inc and Shanghai listed Xinhua Department Store. Its brands include Wumart, Jingbei Shopping Mall, Merrymart, Xinhua Department Store, Zhejiang Gongxiao and Laodafang.

UBS Investment Bank acted as financial adviser to Kingfisher on the transaction andHogan Lovells acted as legal adviser.

 

ENQUIRIES

Sarah Levy, Director of Investor Relations  +44 (0) 20 7644 1032

Nigel Cope, Head of Media Relations +44 (0) 20 7644 1030

Brunswick (London)  +44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Brunswick (China)   +86 (0) 21 6039 6305

Auchan won 2 human resources related awards in China

PARIS, 2014-12-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Auchan China had been selected as a winner of the “100 best Human Resource Management companies of 2014” award and of the “outstanding performance for best E-Learning develoment of 2014” award.

These Awards were sponsored by 51job.Inc, the leading integrated human resources service provider in China.

This is a great honor for Auchan China as well as an approval of its human resource management. Auchan China is one of the only two retailers who won this award (METRO, now a strategic partner of Groupe Auchan,  being the second one).

In fact, this is not the first time that Auchan China received the prize in human resource field. Last year, Auchan China had won the “Best Employer 2013” award sponsored by ZHAOPIN.

All these awards illustrate that our Vision, our values, our culture are well implemented in the company, and that sharing power, knowledge and success are not only words but is also day-to-day implemented by strong actions.

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