BRC report confirms Britain’s retailers are on course to meet ambitious voluntary targets to reduce the direct environmental impact of their operations

LONDON, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — The latest report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) confirms Britain’s retailers are on course to meet ambitious voluntary targets to reduce the direct environmental impact of their operations. The figures and case studies, which form part of the BRC’s progress report on the industry initiative A Better Retailing Climate (ABRC) show how retailers are working in partnership with suppliers and customers to make significant progress including lowering energy usage in buildings, cutting emissions from refrigeration, diverting waste from landfill and reporting on food waste.

Last year the participants in ABRC, who include Britain’s leading retailers, agreed on a new range of targets to be met by 2020 after meeting original targets. Today’s progress report highlights progress made against those targets to date by retailers such as:

– A 13 per cent reduction in absolute carbon emissions from retail operations against a target of 25 per cent by 2020

– A 34 per cent reduction in carbon emissions resulting from store deliveries against a target of 45 per cent by 2020

Retailers know they need to work with suppliers and consumers to achieve more reductions as the majority of environmental impacts arise from the production and consumption of products.

BRC Director of Food and Sustainability Andrew Opie said: “Retailers continue to lead the way in reducing the impact of the products they sell and adapting to the challenges of climate change. This shows we can meet the ambitious targets to reduce environmental impact by 2020 when we invest in our supply chain and work closely with consumers.”

In an industry first earlier this month the BRC published food waste figures for the retail industry which showed that retailers are responsible for just 1.3 per cent of all food wasted along the food chain, with the majority coming from within the household. Today’s progress report provides concrete examples of supermarket initiatives to help their customers reduce food waste in the home such as consumer campaigns to raise awareness of the impact of food waste, offering tips on storage and making better use of leftovers and trialling innovative packaging solutions to increase the shelf life of a product.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:
1. The progress report can be found at this link: http://bit.ly/1A1c1cO

2. Launched in 2008, A Better Retailing Climate is a voluntary initiative created by a group of leading retailers (representing half of the uk retail market) which sets out collective environmental impact targets, all of which were not only met but exceeded by 2013. a new set of targets were agreed in 2014, all of which are to be met by 2020. Today’s progress report is the latest assessment of progress made by the participants in meeting those targets.
1. Each of the above figures are measured against 2005 levels.
2. For more information on BRC food waste figures, please visit: www.brc.org.uk/brc_news_detail.asp?id=2751&kcat=&kdata=1

For media enquiries please contact:
Laura Blumenthal, Communications Assistant, 020 7854 8924, laura.blumenthal@brc.org.uk

Toys“R”Us® expands its ongoing support of Special Olympics and pledged its continued leadership in advocating for children of all abilities around the world

Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund Provides $1.25 Million Grant in Support of 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles; Company Pledges Additional $500,000 Grant to Aid in Global Growth of Special Olympics Young Athletes™ Program; U.S. Shoppers Can Help Children Enjoy the Thrill of #MyFirstSportsMoment through In-Store Giving Campaign Beginning Saturday, January 31

WAYNE, N.J., 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us® today announced a significant expansion of its ongoing support of Special Olympics and pledged its continued leadership in advocating for children of all abilities around the world. With a $1.25 million commitment from the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, the company will serve as a sponsor of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, which will welcome 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, to Los Angeles, CA from July 25 to August 2. Held every two years, the World Games is the flagship event of the Special Olympics movement and will be the year’s largest sports and humanitarian event. The 2015 World Games marks the first time in 16 years that the Summer World Games have been held in the U.S.

As part of the partnership expansion, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund has also awarded a $500,000 grant to Special Olympics to advance the organization’s ambitious five-year plan to strengthen and expand the Young Athletes Program in the U.S. and across the globe, so kids everywhere can experience the thrill of sports while learning how to hit balls, run bases, take jump shots and more. This inclusive, innovative play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities helps kids ages 2½ to 7, develop critical early cognitive, social and motor skills and introduces them to the world of sports.

In conjunction with today’s announcement, Toys“R”Us also introduced a new initiative designed to ensure children of all abilities can experience their #MyFirstSportsMoment. The company will kick off an in-store and online fundraising campaign beginning Saturday, January 31, during which monetary donations will be collected at all Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us® stores across the U.S. and online at Toysrus.com/SpecialOlympics through Tuesday, March 31. Additionally, the company will celebrate the littlest Special Olympics athletes on its official social media channels, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitt er and Instagram, encouraging consumers to share their #MyFirstSportsMoment memories and experiences. One hundred percent of customer donations received as part of the fundraising campaign will be directed to Special Olympics, and will be used to support the 2015 World Games as well as the expansion of the Young Athletes Program.

“As a company with stores in 37 countries, it is our honor to be part of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, as well as to provide our enthusiastic support in bringing the Young Athletes Program to more children across the globe,” said Antonio Urcelay, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Toys“R”Us, Inc. “The Toys“R”Us family has long been a champion of children with special needs, and we have great respect for the work being done by Special Olympics to create an inclusive world for all.”

“Special Olympics and Toys“R”Us have a tremendous legacy of working together and we’re thrilled to expand our relationship on such a global scale,” said Janet Froetscher, CEO, Special Olympics. “We’re incredibly grateful for the support of Toys“R”Us and for its continued leadership in helping us advocate for children with and without intellectual abilities. The ‘#My First Sports Moment’ initiative will allow us to reach more children to give them the opportunity to experience the transformative power and joy of Special Olympics sports.”

For many years, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, a public charity affiliated with the company, has directed grants to Special Olympics to support the organization’s Young Athletes Program. Most recently, it provided $1 million to become the first Founding Partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games and with an additional $250,000 grant was also Presenting Sponsor of the Law Enforcement Torch Run held in conjunction with those Games.

For more information about #MyFirstSportsMoment, please visit Toysrus.com/SpecialOlympics.

For program videos and still photos visit, please click here.

Charitable Giving at Toys“R”Us

The philanthropic mission of Toys“R”Us, Inc. and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund is to keep children safe and help them in times of need. The Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund contributes millions of dollars annually to various children’s organizations, including those providing disaster relief to victims of large-scale crises, as well as those supporting America’s military families. The Fund also provides grants to leading special needs organizations, furthering the company’s commitment to children of all abilities. In addition to financial and product donations, Toys“R”Us, Inc. hosts in-store and online fundraising campaigns annually that raise millions of dollars for the company’s signature philanthropic partners.

About Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 (LA2015)

With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games – being staged in Los Angeles July 25 – August 2, 2015 – will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. The 2015 Special Olympics World Games, with the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, joy and displays of courage and skill that are hallmarks of all Special Olympics events, will feature 25 Olympic-style sports in venues throughout the Los Angeles region. The Opening Ceremony, to be held July 25, 2015 in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, is expected to attract 80,000 spectators. On April 30, 2014, LA2015 and ESPN announced a global programming deal that will see ESPN bring coverage of World Games to millions of fans around the world. Honorary Chairs of the Games are President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Jerry Brown serving as Honorary Hosts. Current Founding Champions and sponsors include The Coca-Cola Company, Mattel, Deloitte, Toyota, Bank of America, OUE, Kaiser Permanente, Davis Elen Advertising, Microsoft, Toys“R”Us, Google, UPS, AEG, David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw, The Walt Disney Company, Panda Express, and Knights of Columbus. LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee, is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information on the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.LA2015.org and on social with #ReachUpLA on Facebook, Twitterand Instagram.

About the Special Olympics Young Athletes Program

Young Athletes is a unique sport and play program for children with intellectual disabilities. The focus is on fun activities that are important to mental and physical growth. Children ages 2 to 7 enjoy games and activities that develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Young Athletes is an early introduction to sports and to the world of Special Olympics.

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Toys“R”Us Media Contacts:
Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Adrienne O’Hara
973-617-4383
Adrienne.Ohara@toysrus.com

Samantha Xenis
973-617-5306
Samantha.Xenis@toysrus.com

Starbucks and Match offer singles new opportunities to connect at Starbucks

SEATTLE, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) and Match are offering singles new opportunities to connect at Starbucks. With more than 3 million members already listing “coffee and conversation” as one of their interests, starting today, Match members will now be able to use the “Meet at Starbucks” feature to more easily reach out and make that first coffee date. Additionally, on Friday, February 13, in participating Starbucks locations around the world, customers are invited to join the World’s Largest Starbucks Date.

“There’s no better time to celebrate meaningful moments of connection, and encourage new ones, than during Valentine’s Day,” said Sharon Rothstein, Starbucks global chief marketing officer. “For more than 40 years Starbucks has been a place to connect over a great cup of coffee. We’re a place where people come together to share important life moments – big and small. We’ve been witness to first dates, marriage proposals, job interviews, friends and families reunited, communities gathering, and so much more in our stores around the world.”

“Meet at Starbucks” Feature Now Available to Match Members

According to Match, more than one in three singles said that having coffee together is a favorite activity for a first date (1). In the past year, hundreds of thousands of new Match members mentioned “coffee” in their profiles, and in the past few months, hundreds of thousands of members have added a Starbucks badge to show their love for the brand on their profiles.

Now, Match is introducing the first-ever branded product feature that allows members to directly send an invitation to another member to set up that first coffee date. Using the “Meet at Starbucks” feature, members can send an email to someone they might like and can even find a convenient location for their Starbucks date using the Starbucks store locator.

“Together, Starbucks and Match have made it easier than ever to turn that first flirt into a first date,” said Sam Yagan, Chief Executive Officer of The Match Group. “Match is a ubiquitous part of singles’ lives generating more dates than anyone else and more first dates happen at Starbucks than anywhere else.”

The World’s Largest Starbucks Date

In celebration of love and meaningful connections of every kind, Match and Starbucks are inviting people around the world to participate in the World’s Largest Starbucks Date. On Friday, February 13, participating company-operated and select licensed locations in the U.S. and Canada will feature a special pairings menu. In the U.S., the menu will feature a selection of coffee and treat pairings available for $5 (US).

Starbucks US menu pairings include:

Caffé Verona® Coffee Press for Two and a Double Chocolate Chunk Brownie

Tall Flat White and Chocolate Croissant

Grande Raspberry Mocha or Grande White Chocolate Mocha and Heart Cookie

Available from 2pm to close, the special pairings menu will be complemented with in-store experiences designed to facilitate connection and celebrate love, including special in-store music playlists chosen by Starbucks partners (employees), and photo props to document and share your #StarbucksDate.

Additional markets around the globe (2) will be celebrating the World’s Largest Starbucks date with their own unique in-store activations. Customers in participating markets can check with their local stores for details.

(1) For more information on “Singles In America” visit: www.singlesinamerica.com.

(2) Participating markets include USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, India, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

About Starbucks
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with more than 21,000 stores around the globe, Starbucks 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 our stores or online at Starbucks.com and news.starbucks.com

About Match.com
Founded in 1995, Match was the original pioneer of the online dating industry. Today, almost 20 years later, Match operates leading subscription-based online dating properties in 25 countries, eight languages and five continents and is responsible for more dates, relationships and marriages than any other website.  Match.com is an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI) and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.  For more information, visit http://www.match.com.

For more information on this news release, contact us.

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Starbucks and Match offer singles new opportunities to connect at Starbucks

Starbucks and Match offer singles new opportunities to connect at Starbucks

Gap appointed Scott Key as senior vice president and general manager of Customer Experience

NEW YORK, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Gap brand today announced leadership changes designed to intensify the brand’s customer focus, while meeting the global fashion and retailing needs of the business.

As part of its plans to create a consistent, customer-centric experience across all channels globally, the brand has appointed Gap Inc. veteran Scott Key as senior vice president and general manager of Customer Experience. In the role, Key will oversee a newly combined e-commerce and marketing organization, charged with driving a powerful connection across these critical customer touch-points globally.

During his Gap Inc. tenure, Key has served in several senior leadership roles within the Growth, Innovation and Digital division, establishing a track record for innovation while working closely with incoming chief executive officer, Art Peck.  Most recently, he oversaw the company’s Customer Engagement Marketing function.

“Now’s the time to intensify our customer focus and break-through with a truly dynamic and integrated approach to building relationships with our customers,” said Jeff Kirwan, global brand president of Gap. “Scott will help us bring together our marketing and digital expressions so each interaction with our customers is consistent and compelling. It’s a customer-first approach that reflects how people shop today.”

Gap also announced that, in evaluating the right leadership structure for the brand, it would be eliminating the Creative Director role, resulting in Rebekka Bay’s departure from the company, effective immediately. Gap has a strong senior design team in place to ensure a seamless transition and said it would evaluate the long-term leadership approach for the global design team.

“I would personally like to thank Rebekka for her passion and the creative processes she’s brought to the brand,” continued Kirwan.  “She has helped develop a dynamic design team, some of the best creative talent in the industry, and I’m confident that our strong bench of senior designers will see the brand into its next phase.”

Kirwan concluded, “As we look to the future, now is the right time to make these changes and focus the brand on delivering casual, American style and building strong relationships with our customers around the world.”

About Gap
Gap is one of the world’s most iconic apparel and accessories brands and the authority on American casual style.  Founded in San Francisco in 1969, Gap’s collections are designed to build the foundation of modern wardrobes – all things denim, classic white shirts, khakis and must-have trends.  Beginning with the first international store in London in 1987, to the brand’s planned 2015 debut in India, Gap continues to connect with customers online and across the brand’s more than 1,700 company-operated and franchise retail locations around the world. Gap includes Women’s and Men’s apparel and accessories, GapKids, babyGap, GapMaternity, GapBody and GapFit collections.  The brand also serves value-conscious customers with exclusively-designed collections for Gap Outlet and Gap Factory Stores.  Gap is the namesake brand for leading global specialty retailer, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) which includes Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta and Intermix. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com

 

Whole Foods Market launches comprehensive standards for farmed bivalve mollusks

Farmed oysters, mussels, clams and scallops audited by third-parties for pesticide use, water quality, seafloor impacts, protection of coastal environment and more

AUSTIN, Texas, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market is launching  comprehensive standards for farmed bivalve mollusks, which include oysters, mussels, clams and scallops, all of which will now be recognized by the retailer’s Responsibly Farmed logo for easy shopping.

The seal signifies that each mollusk farm has been audited by a third party to ensure the industry-leading standards are being met, including prohibiting pesticides, monitoring water quality, protection of the coastal environment, evaluation of sediments on the seafloor and traceability from farm to store.

“As mollusks are becoming more popular and the seafood market more global, it’s increasingly important that our shoppers have responsibly sourced options they can trust,” said Carrie Brownstein, Whole Foods Market’s global quality standards coordinator for seafood, and the creator of these new standards. “With Whole Foods Market’s farmed and wild-caught seafood standards in place, and third-party audits of farms, we’re doing the homework for our customers. They can rest easy knowing that any seafood choice they make in our stores is a conscious one.”

Nationwide, Whole Foods Market has seen more than a 10 percent increase in oyster sales alone over the past two years, and expects Valentine’s Day to be the biggest oyster sales day of the year. As consumer interest continues to grow, the impact of buying responsibly sourced mollusks and other seafood becomes more important.

The new standards were developed following several years of research and collaboration with top scientists and progressive mollusk farmers. Like all of Whole Foods Market’s standards for farmed seafood, this multi-stakeholder approach ensures that the standards address all the important issues in mollusk production, set a high bar for environmentally responsible aquaculture, and are practical to implement on farms.

One of the most unique sections in Whole Foods Market’s mollusk standards is the requirement to evaluate the health of sediments on the seafloor under the farms to help protect bottom-dwelling animals and the ecosystem. If mollusks are grown too densely or in areas without enough water flow, wastes can build up that ultimately create sulfides, which are toxic to animals that live in the sediments.

These new mollusk standards are the latest addition to a huge selection of seafood options that carry the Responsibly Farmed label at Whole Foods Market. The retailer introduced its industry-leading standards for farmed salmon in 2007, and released aquaculture standards for all finfish and shrimp in 2008.

Of key importance to all Responsibly Farmed seafood standards at Whole Foods Market are traceability and third-party audits. With independent aquaculture auditors evaluating the farms and strict traceability requirements at every step in the supply chain, customers can feel confident that standards are being met and that they are purchasing the seafood they intended to purchase.

Experts

Carrie Brownstein

Seafood Quality Standards Coordinator

Carrie Brownstein develops standards to guide seafood purchasing for the Company’s stores throughout the United States, Canada, and the UK.

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Whole Foods Market launches comprehensive standards for farmed bivalve mollusks

Whole Foods Market launches comprehensive standards for farmed bivalve mollusks

 

Wincor-Nixdorf: Russia’s leading provider of online retail financial services Tinkoff Bank selected IRIS Analytics’ fraud prevention solution

Paderborn, Germany, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tinkoff Bank, Russia’s leading provider of online retail financial services and one of the largest credit card issuers in the country with 4.8 million cards issued, has selected IRIS Analytics’ fraud prevention solution, IRIS, as its central fraud prevention system for all payment channels. This includes acquiring, issuing, e-wallet, and online banking.

IRIS has been provided to Tinkoff Bank by Wincor Nixdorf, key partner of IRIS Analytics for worldwide sales, implementation and post-sales support. The Wincor Nixdorf Russia organisation was quick to see the potential of IRIS in their market, and this is their second new business win with IRIS.

IRIS puts Tinkoff Bank into the unique position of securely detecting fraud patterns that involve multiple payment channels in real-time. These types of fraud attacks typically involve major losses and can only be identified by profiling all payment and non-monetary transactions of account holders and merchants. IRIS contains unique functionality that enables merging transaction histories for any number and type of payment channels.

Anatoli Makeshin, VP for Payment Systems and member of the Management Board at Tinkoff Bank,comments: “Tinkoff Bank is the only fully branchless bank in Russia which operates through a high-tech financial services platform providing us deep reach all over the country. The quality of the client service, be it consumers or merchants, is paramount to us and we invest in technologies that help us ensure the security of our clients’ transactions. IRIS enables us to provide the best possible protection against payment fraud with minimum customer disruption, thus adding significantly to our ability to meet our customers’ needs.”

Constantin von Altrock, Managing Director of IRIS Analytics, adds: “We are delighted to welcome Tinkoff Bank to our Russian user base. Our specialists, closely working together with the TCS team were able to get to live production of the first channel — acquiring — in only eight weeks. This included the implementation of the real-time transaction interface as well as the training of the banks’ fraud experts, who were then able to create their own custom decision model for day one operation.”

Sergey Soldatov, General Manager Banking of Wincor-Nixdorf Russia, concludes: “Fraud in the Russian Federation is the fastest growing in Europe, with a 28% growth rate in 2013. At the same time, the Russian payments market is a high growth market, and I am sure that we will see significantly increased interest in IRIS in the near future. Tinkoff Bank is a thought leader in this area, others will follow.”

Starbucks launches an on-the-job training program for people with cognitive and physical disabilities at its Carson Valley Roasting Plant and Distribution Center

SEATTLE, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — The national unemployment rate for people with disabilities is 11.2 percent – double the jobless rate for the general population, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Recognizing that disparity, Starbucks is launching an on-the-job training program for people with cognitive and physical disabilities at its Carson Valley Roasting Plant and Distribution Center.

The plant in Minden, Nevada employs 210 people who distribute products to Starbucks® stores worldwide. Several of the partners (employees) have completed the Starbucks Inclusion Academy program which helps them gain skills and work experience in manufacturing and distribution.

The Inclusion Academy is the result of a year-long collaboration between Starbucks and the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). Starbucks provides training space at the Carson Valley plant and instructors for on-the-job and soft-skills practice. The State of Nevada refers candidates to the program, funds the instructor’s salary and pays for the time candidates spend training on the floor. Participants receive three hours of classroom instruction and three hours of work each day for the first four weeks. In the final two weeks, candidates complete an internship in the Starbucks facility.

“The program has opened a lot of eyes,” said Todd McCullough, senior operations manager at the Starbucks facility. “Supervisors and partners look past disabilities and realize we all have different abilities in the workplace.”

McCullough said 13 partners with disabilities who work in the plant have had the “highest attendance and best performance” in the building and enhance the work culture.

“Sometimes in a break room you’ll see that groups separate themselves, but I’ve seen that change over the past year,” he said. “It’s very powerful to see how the whole team engages with people with disabilities.”

Distribution partner Shawn Stainbrook, a Special Olympics athlete, has been at the Carson Valley facility for more than a year. Prior to joining Starbucks he worked for a grocery store for 20 years and said he didn’t feel fulfilled.

“Going to work at Starbucks is enjoyable,” said Stainbrook. “Now I have goals and would say to anyone who doesn’t feel good about where they’re at in life, never give up. You never know what’s around the corner.”

One of the first partners hired at the Carson Valley plant would agree with that advice. McCullough said a partner named Ray, who has difficulty communicating, lived with his parents for most of his life. Since getting a job with Starbucks, Ray has been able to move out and live independently.

In addition to improving the lives of several partners, the Starbucks Inclusion Academy is beneficial for business, said Ken Pierson, DETR Business Development Manager.

“Companies, like Starbucks, that give individuals with disabilities an opportunity to work often end up with some of their most loyal employees,” Pierson said. “The investment in training often results in a high retention rate.”

This week 11 Starbucks Inclusion Academy students will receive graduation certificates from Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval at the Carson Valley plant.

“I want to extend my appreciation to Starbucks for its dedication to working with our community to improve Nevada’s workforce and recognizing the importance of hiring people with disabilities,” said Governor Sandoval. “Collaborations with the private sector are vital to our state and we appreciate the opportunity to work with Starbucks on this endeavor.”

“Starbucks is deeply committed to creating pathways to opportunity for our people and the communities they serve,” added John Kelly, Starbucks senior vice president of global responsibility and public policy. “These graduates remind us to do everything we can to develop an inclusive workplace and a diverse network of suppliers.  It’s both the right thing to do and good for business.   We are proud to join Governor Sandoval and DETR to launch the first Starbucks Inclusion Academy in Nevada.”

The Starbucks Newsroom will post photos after a ceremony on Thursday (1/29).

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

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Starbucks launches an on-the-job training program for people with cognitive and physical disabilities at its Carson Valley Roasting Plant and Distribution Center

Starbucks launches an on-the-job training program for people with cognitive and physical disabilities at its Carson Valley Roasting Plant and Distribution Center

Argos and Sainsbury’s team to open 10 new Argos digital stores within existing Sainsbury’s supermarkets

LONDON, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Argos, the UK’s leading general merchandise retailer and Sainsbury’s, the UK’s second largest grocer, have teamed up to open 10 new Argos digital stores within existing Sainsbury’s supermarkets. This will bring extra choice and convenience to Sainsbury’s and Argos’ customers who will have access to the combined ranges in the convenience of a Sainsbury’s supermarket.

These new format Argos digital stores will provide customers with a choice of over 20,000 non-grocery products which they can either buy instantly in store via tablets, or reserve online for easy collection within hours, the same or the following day. An extended range of around 40,000 products can also be ordered in store for home delivery. The Argos digital stores in Sainsbury’s will range in size from around 1,000 to over 5,000 square feet.

The combination of Argos digital stores and Sainsbury’s supermarkets will create a compelling and complementary product offer and provide the convenience that customers are increasingly looking for from their local supermarket. The 10 digital stores will open by summer this year.

Mike Coupe, Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “These 10 Argos stores will complement our supermarket offer, giving customers the opportunity to shop for an extended range of non-food items. They will bring something new and different to our customers, and fit well with our strategy of making our supermarkets more convenient. As well as looking at carefully selected partners, we continue to roll out our ranges of own brand clothing and general merchandise in our supermarkets to give customers even more choice and value.”

John Walden, Chief Executive of Home Retail Group, said: “Our new distribution model allows us to provide customers in any Argos location with a choice of around 20,000 lines within hours, regardless of the size or stocking capacity of the store. This strategic capability has opened up options for a variety of new Argos stores and formats, and the possibility that we can now cost-effectively reach more customers and neighbourhoods with an Argos presence. I look forward to the results of the 10 store programme with Sainsbury’s and to understanding the full potential of this exciting opportunity.”

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Argos and Sainsbury’s team to open 10 new Argos digital stores within existing Sainsbury’s supermarkets

Argos and Sainsbury’s team to open 10 new Argos digital stores within existing Sainsbury’s supermarkets

Strong Sustainability Progress: The IKEA Group’s People & Planet Positive strategy on track and delivering good results

Conshohocken, PA, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — The IKEA Group Sustainability Report for fiscal year (FY14*) 2014, released today, shows its People & Planet Positive strategy is on track and delivering good results. Sustainability performance is announced today alongside strong financial results, which show an increase in total sales to EUR 28.7 billion ($32.1 billion**), a 5.9% increase (adjusted for currency impact) from last year.

Sustainability highlights from FY14:

  • During the year, IKEA Group committed to own a further 87 wind turbines, bringing the total to 224***, and installed 150,000 solar panels, increasing the total to 700,000 and taking the company a step closer to producing more renewable energy than the total energy it uses by 2020. By the end of 2015, we aim to have invested and committed to invest EUR 1.5 billion in renewable energy projects.
  • The sales value of products for a more sustainable life at home passed €1 billion, a 58% increase compared with FY13. These products enable people to save or generate energy, reduce water use, cut waste and live healthier lives.
  • 75% of all lighting products sold were LED or compatible with LED bulbs, which use 85% less energy and last 20 times longer than traditional (incandescent) bulbs. The entire IKEA lighting range will convert to LED by September 2015.
  • €66 million saved through energy efficiency efforts in stores and warehouses since FY10.
  • IKEA Group is one of the world’s largest buyers of FSC-certified wood in the retail sector, and 41% of its wood was FSC certified or recycled in FY14. All wood was sourced from suppliers that meet the IKEA forestry standard.
  • The share of cotton from more sustainable sources used in IKEA products reached 76%, meaning farmers use less chemicals and water, whilst increasing their earnings. IKEA is on track to reach its goal of 100% by the end of August 2015.
  • 47% of managers are women.
  • The IKEA Foundation donated €104 million in 2014 to projects that support millions of children in some of the world’s poorest communities.

“Sustainability is a key driver of innovation and an integral part of our business strategy. We see it as a great opportunity to improve our business. That’s why we’ve set ambitious 100% targets, for example for our LED lighting range, important raw materials and renewable energy. We are determined to grow IKEA while also having a positive impact on people and the planet,” Peter Agnefjäll, President and CEO, IKEA Group.

“Through our People & Planet Positive strategy, we want to make IKEA completely sustainable. I’m proud to say that we’re making good progress in transforming the supply of key materials, with over ¾ of our cotton and 41% of our wood now from more sustainable sources, and we’re investing in renewable energy to bring us closer to our goal of being energy independent. And by making energy- efficient LED affordable and attractive, we’ve enabled millions of people to live a little more sustainably,” Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group.

*FY14 = Financial year 2014 period is September 1, 2013 – August 31, 2014.**Dollar to Euro calculated at $1.12, January 24, 2015. *** This total does not include recent commitments made in FY15 which bring the total to 279.

IKEA US FY14 Highlights

  • IKEA installed additional solar energy systems to more US locations in FY14, with nearly 90% of our buildings outfitted with solar panels. IKEA announced two new stores; Merriam and Miami would open with solar panels. The IKEA Canton, Centennial, and Stoughton stores had their solar energy systems expanded by at least 25%. The IKEA Perryville and West Hampton distribution centers completed phase two of their solar panel installation.
  • The IKEA Merriam store will also have geothermal technology, a heating and cooling system.
  • In April 2014, IKEA US made its first wind farm investment in the US with the purchase of Hoopeston Wind in Hoopeston, IL. When completed, this project will generate enough safe, pollution-free energy to power approximately 30,000 US homes.
  • In the last 18 months, we have dropped the price of our E26 400 lumen bulbs (dimmable and non-dimmable) from $9.99 to $4.49 in order to make LED affordable for the many people; offering the lowest price on the market.
  • For more information on IKEA US community and environment programs,please read here.

For further information, please contact:
Mona Astra Liss, US Corporate PR Director, Mona.Liss@IKEA.com
610.834.0180, ext. 5852
Martina Smedberg, Media relations IKEA Group, Martina.Smedberg@IKEA.com
+46 42 444 77 76

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

The IKEA Sustainability Report FY14 is available at www.IKEA.com on each country site (under About IKEA, People & Planet).

The IKEA Group reports EUR 3.3 billion net income for the financial year 2014

Conshohocken, PA, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — The IKEA Group net income amounted to EUR 3.3 billion ($3.7 billion US)* for the financial year 2014**. Market conditions continued to improve with strong performance in China and North America, and an upward trend in Europe. There were 716 million visits to the IKEA Group stores and more than 1.5 billion visits to IKEA.com

“FY14 was a good year for IKEA. I am happy to see increased growth in all our sales channels; in existing stores, in the opening of new stores and in e-commerce. We reached some important milestones towards becoming energy independent and saw a 58% increase in the sales value of products that enable people to live a more sustainable life at home. Sustainability is an integral part of our business strategy”, says President and CEO Peter Agnefjäll.

Total sales increased by 5.9% (adjusted for currency impact) from last year to EUR 28.7 billion. Together with the rental income from the shopping centre business, total revenue amounted to EUR 29.3 billion (+2.8%). The IKEA Group gained market share in almost all markets and entered a new country – Croatia. The largest markets in terms of sales were Germany, US, France, Russia and the UK.

“We have an ambitious growth agenda and at the same time we’re determined to have a positive impact on people and the planet. Our size gives us a unique opportunity to make a difference and contribute to positive change in society, for instance by making energy-efficient lighting both affordable and attractive for millions of people”, continues Peter Agnefjäll.

Within its own operations, the IKEA Group produced renewable energy equivalent to 42% of the total energy consumed and aims by the end of 2015 to have invested and committed to invest EUR 1.5 billion in renewable energy projects, mainly offsite wind farms and photovoltaic (PV) panels.

In FY14, EUR 200 million were set aside to a new loyalty programme Tack! and the amount for the One IKEA Bonus Program was increased by EUR 98 million, as a thank you to our co-workers.

“A key factor to our strong performance is that we have a long-term view, and we don’t aim to maximise short-term profits. We strive to continuously create better products at lower prices for our customers and to make substantial investments in our future”, says Peter Agnefjäll.

* Dollar to Euro calculated at $1.12, January 24, 2015.
**FY14 = Financial year 2014 period is September 1, 2013 – August 31, 2014.

IKEA US FY14 Highlights

US Sales and Services:

  • US comparable store sales increased by 4.24% in the period September 2013 – August 2014. This builds on growth of 6.7% in FY13 and 8% in FY12. Total sales including e-commerce were up 5.38%.

Expansion:

  • There were 39 US stores in FY14. New stores opened in Miami, FL, August, 2014 and Merriam, KS, September, 2014. Planned store openings: St Louis, MO, Fall 2015; Las Vegas, NV, Summer 2016; Memphis, TN, Fall 2016.
  • Expansion of existing stores includes Stoughton, MA and Canton, MI

Sustainability:

  • IKEA installed additional solar energy systems to more US locations in FY14, with nearly 90% of our buildings outfitted with solar panels. IKEA announced two new stores; Merriam and Miami would open with solar panels. The IKEA Canton, Centennial, and Stoughton stores had their solar energy systems expanded by at least 25%. The IKEA Perryville and West Hampton distribution centers completed phase two of their solar panel installation.
  • The IKEA Merriam store will also have geothermal technology, a heating and cooling system.
  • In April 2014, IKEA US made its first wind farm investment in the US with the purchase of Hoopeston Wind in Hoopeston, IL. When completed, this project will generate enough safe, pollution-free energy to power approximately 30,000 US homes.
  • In the last 18 months, we have dropped the price of our E26 400 lumen bulbs (dimmable and non-dimmable) from $9.99 to $4.49 in order to make LED affordable for the many people; offering the lowest price on the market.
  • For more information on IKEA US community and environment programs, please read here: http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/this-is-ikea/reports-downloads/index.html

People:

  • In June 2014, IKEA Retail US announced that as of January 1, 2015 it will adopt a new minimum wage structure for all hourly IKEA US co-workers based on local living costs. IKEA will utilize the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Living Wage Calculator to determine these new wages. As a result of this change, 50% of IKEA US Retail co-workers saw an increase in their hourly pay rate. 22 US IKEA stores will have an hourly minimum wage of $10.10 or above; 33 retail locations will have an increase in their minimum wage because of this change.

For further information, please contact:
Mona Astra Liss, US Corporate PR Director, Mona.Liss@IKEA.com,
610.834.0180, ext. 5852
Martina Smedberg, Media relations IKEA Group, Martina.Smedberg@IKEA.com
+46 42 444 77 76

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

Study: 53 percent of retailers surveyed expect to implement a unified commerce platform in the next few years

NRF, Ecommerce Europe and Ecommerce Foundation Report Provides Business Case and Blueprint for Success

WASHINGTON, 2015-1-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — As changing consumer shopping habits increasingly require centralized technologies across traditional point-of-sale, e-commerce, call center and mobile touch points, many retailers plan to implement a unified commerce platform to consolidate those key elements historically housed in multiple systems. According to a new study ­– conducted by the National Retail Federation, Ecommerce Europe and Ecommerce Foundation in partnership with Demandware — that surveyed nearly 300 U.S., European and Australian retail business and technology executives, 53 percent expect to implement a unified commerce platform in the next few years, up from approximately 50 percent from the year prior. Additionally, over the next 10 years, 86 percent of retailers surveyed plan to implement a unified commerce platform.

“Many retailers are already in the throes of managing the critical changes necessary to keep up with existing retail infrastructure, architecture and applications, and today’s consumers will continue to shape how retail CIOs adjust their commerce and business platforms for years to come,” said NRF Vice President of Retail Technologies Tom Litchford. “Retail IT executives increasingly want a unified commerce platform to bridge the many digital and traditional touch points that customers access to better serve customers, streamline IT operations and improve the bottom line.”

More than two-thirds say a unified commerce platform could improve margins, brand value and revenue

Retailers surveyed anticipate margins, brand value and revenue will improve by unifying their point-of-sale, ecommerce and other consumer-facing platforms. Specifically, the survey found that:

  • More than half (52 percent) foresee significant improvement to controllable items that directly impact margin, including inventory turn and returns
  • Nearly half (46 percent) expect to see increases in brand value, specifically significant improvements due to positive impact on total customer value and their Net Promoter Score
  • Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) believe significant improvements will occur in average order value, promotional redemption and conversion rates

“The results of this research provide further proof of a shift we are seeing in European retailers’ operations,” said Ecommerce Foundation Director Jorij Abraham. “As brands continue the battle for customer mind-and wallet-share, there is a critical need for seamless, integrated front- and back-end systems. Winning European retailers will recognize the benefits of this technology and organizational transformation as they break free from legacy operations approach and test new concepts, bring digital capabilities into the store and change traditional point-of-sale systems — to better manage their omni-channel commerce strategy and drive the bottom line.”

Additionally, retailers surveyed expect that consolidating historically disparate technologies – including point-of-sale, e-commercer, call center and mobile – into a single commerce platform would drive improvements in IT innovation and efficiency. Specifically, two in five (45 percent) retailers surveyed anticipate significant improvement in their ability to meet business demands faster, and another 35 percent say they foresee IT efficiency improvements including data security, maintenance costs and infrastructure.

Retailers are at various stages of the journey towards a fully-implemented unified commerce platform

The study found that seven in 10 (72 percent) retailers are currently planning the transformation to a single commerce platform, whether conducting initial research or already starting to develop the business.

Specifically, 13 percent identified themselves as in the exploration phase or as gathering information and monitoring single platform trends, while 23 percent are actively discussing the viability of a unified commerce platform but have no formal plan in place yet. More than one-third (36 percent) noted that they are developing a formal plan and seeking budget options, and the remaining 22 percent described themselves as already in the execution or realization phases.

Demandware to host special webinar to discuss research results

Additionally, Demandware will host a webinar on February 24 at 11 a.m. ET to dive further into the research and highlight key findings and examples from retailers regarding their unified platform strategies. During the call NRF’s Tom Litchford, BCBGMAXAZRIA’s Alex Golshan, Ecommerce Foundation’s Jorij Abraham and Demandware’s Rob Garf will discuss current trends among retail CIOs and other top research findings. Visit Demandware’s website to register for the webinar.

About the survey
The National Retail Federation, Ecommerce Europe and Ecommerce Foundation teamed with industry partner Demandware to survey nearly 300 retail business and technology executives in the US, Europe and Australia in October 2014 to quantify the convergence of point-of-sale and ecommerce technology and its impact on digitizing the store.

Ecommerce Europe is the association representing 25,000+ companies that sell products and/or services online to consumers in Europe. Founded by leading national ecommerce associations across the continent, its mission is to advance the interests and influence of European ecommerce through advocacy, communication and networking

The Ecommerce Foundation is a European non-profit, independent foundation. It has been initiated by national ecommerce associations and online and omnichannel selling companies from industries such as retail, travel and finance. Our mission is to facilitate the development of practical knowledge, insights and learnings for which individual institutions, associations and B2C selling companies do not have the (financial) resources and/or capabilities. We do so by combining our forces with those of our stakeholders and (media) partners.

Demandware, the category defining leader of enterprise cloud commerce solutions, empowers the world’s leading retailers to continuously innovate in our complex, consumer-driven world. Demandware’s open cloud platform provides unique benefits including seamless innovation, the LINK ecosystem of integrated best-of-breed partners, and community insight to optimize customer experiences. These advantages enable Demandware customers to lead their markets and grow faster.

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

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

Delhaize Group discloses information for the acquisition of treasury shares in off-exchange transaction

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 2015-1-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Delhaize Group discloses the information with respect to the acquisition of treasury shares required under the article 207 of the Royal Decree of January 30, 2001 implementing the Belgian Companies Code.

Delhaize Group acquired the following number of shares in an off-exchange transaction pursuant to a share buy-back program managed by a credit institution for the purchase of Delhaize Group shares in order to satisfy exercises of stock options granted to management:

Purchase date Number of shares purchased Unit purchase price(EUR)
January 22, 2015 45 041 49.25
January 22, 2015 33 980 50.03

This credit institution makes its decisions to purchase Delhaize Group shares independently of, and without influence by, Delhaize Group with regard to the timing of the purchases.

More information on the company’s share buyback program can be found on the website www.delhaizegroup.com.

» Delhaize Group
Delhaize Group is a Belgian international food retailer present in seven countries on three continents. At the end of 2014, Delhaize Group’s sales network consisted of 3 468 stores. At June 30, 2014, Delhaize Group employed approximately 152 500 people. Delhaize Group’s stock is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (DELB) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEG).

This press release is available in English, French and Dutch. You can also find it on the website http://www.delhaizegroup.com. Questions can be sent to investor@delhaizegroup.com.

» Contacts

Investor Relations: + 32 2 412 2151

Media Relations: + 32 2 412 8669

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS Statements that are included or incorporated by reference in this press release and other written and oral statements made from time to time by Delhaize Group and its representatives, other than statements of historical fact, which address activities, events and developments that Delhaize Group expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified as statements that include phrases such as “guidance,” “outlook,” “projected,” “believe,” “target,” “predict,” “estimate,” “forecast,” “strategy,” “may,” “goal,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “foresee,” “likely,” “will,” “should” or other similar words or phrases. Although such statements are based on current information, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those projected depending upon a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, changes in the general economy or the markets of Delhaize Group, in strategy, in consumer spending, in inflation or currency exchange rates or in legislation or regulation; competitive factors; adverse determination with respect to claims; inability to timely develop, remodel, integrate, open, convert or close stores; and supply or quality control problems with vendors. Additional risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements are described in Delhaize Group’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F and other filings made by Delhaize Group with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which risk factors are incorporated herein by reference. Delhaize Group disclaims any obligation to update developments of these risk factors or to announce publicly any revision to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this release, or to make corrections to reflect future events or developments.

Record $1.69 million raised by 49 Wegmans stores during the fall 2014 Check Out Hunger campaign

ROCHESTER, NY, 2015-1-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — A record $1.69 million was raised by 49 Wegmans stores during the fall 2014 Check Out Hunger campaign, a 7% increase over the fall 2013 campaign.

In 2014 alone, Wegmans stores raised a total of $2.7 million for hunger relief through scanning campaigns. Since these programs began in 1993, Wegmans has raised nearly $25 million for hunger relief.

“We’re grateful to our customers and employees for their continued generosity and caring spirit,” said Linda Lovejoy, Wegmans community relations manager. “As we continue to grow and open new stores, a point of pride is the partnerships we build to support food banks and make a difference in every community we serve.”

Check Out Hunger and Care About Hunger programs allow customers to donate $1, $2 $3, $5 or any other amount at checkout with 100% of the proceeds going to each store’s local food bank.
The food banks that will receive donations are listed below with the amount raised, and in parentheses, the Wegmans stores that raised money for them:

Maryland
Anne Arundel County Food Bank – $12,946 (Crofton)
Frederick Community Action Agency – $9,774 (Frederick)
Harford Community Action Agency – $16,493 (Bel Air)
Howard County Community Action Council – $30,882 (Columbia)
Manna Food Center – $8,083 (Germantown)
Maryland Food Bank – $14,165 (Hunt Valley)

New Jersey
Community Food Bank of New Jersey – $117,078 (Bridgewater and Woodbridge)
Food Bank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties – $113,114 (Ocean and Manalapan)
Food Bank of South Jersey – $78,315 (Cherry Hill and Mt. Laurel)
Mercer Street Friends – $66,440 (Princeton)

New York
Food Link – $694,776 (21 stores in the Greater Rochester area)

Pennsylvania
Bucks County Opportunity Council – $22,444 (Warrington)
Chester County Food Bank – $92,040 (Downingtown and Malvern)
Cluster Outreach Center – $49,806 (Collegeville)
Manna on Main Street – $19,303 (Montgomeryville)
Philabundance – $53,902 (King of Prussia)
Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley & SE PA – $78,213 (Allentown, Bethlehem, and Nazareth)

Virginia
ACTS – $50,710 (Potomac Mills)
Food for Others – $60,863 (Fairfax)
Fredericksburg Area Food Bank – $26,183 (Fredericksburg)
Loudoun Interfaith Relief – $48,045 (Sterling and Leesburg)
SERVE – $30,938 (Lake Manassas)

The fall campaigns ran at various times from September through December. Timing of the annual checkout scanning campaigns varies by region. The remaining Wegmans stores in Buffalo, Syracuse, the Southern Tier, Massachusetts, and parts of Pennsylvania run annual checkout campaigns during the winter months.

In addition to money raised for emergency food services in 2014, Wegmans also donated approximately 15 million pounds of food to local food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens across all of its market areas.

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Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 85-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, founded in 1916, is recognized as an industry leader and innovator. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 17 consecutive years. In 2014, Wegmans ranked #12 on the list.

Contact Information: Jo Natale, vice president of media relations, 585-429-3627

Whole Foods Market now with 20 locations in the Chicago market

First of seven stores to open for business in Chicago area

Chicago, IL, 2015-1-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — The first of seven new Chicagoland Whole Foods Market® (Nasdaq: WFM) stores planned for 2015 opens its doors to the Streeterville neighborhood on Wednesday, January 28, 2015. This new store marks Whole Foods Market’s 20th location in the Chicago market.

“Whole Foods Market loves Chicago and we know that the community has been hungry for this store to open for some time,” said Michael Bashaw, Midwest Regional President, Whole Foods Market. “We took the time to design and build a brand new store for this community that would offer not be just a full-service grocery store, but a place to meet friends and share each others company.  After the community comes to know this store, I believe they’ll feel the wait was worth it!”

Whole Foods Market Streeterville features a variety of new prepared foods and beverage venues as well as classic Whole Foods Market options for shoppers to choose from. These venues include:

• Chicago RAW: Special venue filled with products from Chicago’s own local raw and vegan foods restaurant Chicago RAW.  This new venue will offer a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options for our shoppers who follow raw and vegan diets.
• Red Star Bar: Rotating tap of 12 draft beers including an exclusive Streeterville Pale Ale brewed by Begyle Brewing just for this store.
• Coffee bar by day, wine bar by night: customers can stop in for a cup of espresso from the La Marzocco espresso machine to get their day going in the morning and return after work for a nice glass of wine to wind down the day.
• Focaccia: The Bakery Department will have a rotating menu of classic and seasonal varieties of breakfast, lunch and dinner options for shoppers.
• A newly designed Whole Body Department: An Apothecary setting that includes a self-sufficient vertical garden. A first for Chicago Whole Foods Market locations, this new concept includes cosmetics, DIY ideas, face care, and active living support.
• Traditional favorites include fresh made sushi, oven-fired pizza, gelato station, juice bar, sandwich bar, hot bar, salad bar and ramen station.

To celebrate opening day, Whole Foods Market will host its version of a ribbon cutting called a “Bread-Breaking Ceremony” with Alderman Brendan Reilly, Whole Foods Market Team Members and Streeterville neighbors at 8:45 AM, followed by food samples, entertainment, and gift cards for the first 500 customers.  Doors officially open at 9:00 AM.

Whole Foods Market’s strict Quality Standards for food prohibits artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives. Products on the shelves are evaluated on ingredients, but also ideology, philosophy, proper labeling, and careful evaluation as part of a commitment made to customers to build a business with high standards that flow through all aspects of the company.

Shoppers will be delighted by the bright, colorful and delicious responsibly grown produce. Whole Foods Market’s recently launched Responsibly Grown produce rating system uses well-regarded scientific input to rate produce and flowers as “Good,” “Better” or “Best” by assessing growing practices that impact human health and the environment. This new system continues Whole Foods Market’s commitment to providing healthy, fresh food without the expense to nature.

This level of commitment and transparency extends into other departments as well.
• Meat: All beef, pork, chicken and turkey in the Meat Department comes from farms that have achieved certification in the Global Animal Partnership’s 5-StepTM Animal Welfare Rating Program.
• Seafood: Our seafood counter has the highest quality standards for seafood in the business by working with scientists, fishermen, government agencies and environmental organizations such as the Marine Stewardship Council to gather information about aquaculture and wild-capture fisheries, ensuring customers can make the best environmental choices when purchasing seafood.
• Prepared Foods: With grab-and-go meals made with natural and organic ingredients, these high standards continue in the Prepared Foods Department including each of the ready to eat food venues.

Whole Foods Market’s dedication to quality and service extends beyond the brick and mortar of the store. “Whole Foods Market is committed to the local communities in which we serve. We’ve worked with local organizations long before we open our doors and look forward to continuing supporting the community through the coming years,” adds Bashaw.

Whole Foods Market’s Streeterville store will also empower Team Members and customers to support local causes. In celebration of opening week, the store will hold five “Days of Community Giving,” where one percent of each day’s net sales will go toward a Chicago-based organization including Lookingglass Theater, Greater Chicago Foods Bank Depository, Chicago Parks Foundation, Active Transportation Alliance, and Best Buddies.

Whole Foods Market’s One Dime at a Time program provides an incentive to customers who bring their own bags for shopping and helps develop stronger communities.  At the register, customers will have the option to receive a 10-cent per bag refund as cash back off their receipt or they can choose to donate it to that month’s selected charity organization. Whole Foods Market Streeterville’s first One Dime at a Time recipient will be Lurie’s Children’s Hospital.

Whole Foods will open additional locations near DePaul University, in the West Loop and Edgewater and the Chicago suburbs of Evanston, Willowbrook and Elmhurst later this year. Additionally, Whole Foods Market expects to open two more Illinois locations by the end of 2016 including stores in the Englewood and Hyde Park neighborhoods of Chicago.

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Whole Foods Market now with 20 locations in the Chicago market

Whole Foods Market now with 20 locations in the Chicago market

Rite Aid Corporation to build 900,000 square foot distribution center in Spartanburg, S.C.

  • Rite Aid’s First New Facility in 15 Years Set to Open in 2016
  • Conveniently Located Near I-85 Corridor, Center Will Create Nearly 600 Jobs and Service Approx. 1,000 Rite Aid Stores Across Southeast

CAMP HILL, Pa., 2015-1-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rite Aid Corporation announced today plans to build a 900,000 square foot distribution center in Spartanburg, S.C. The new distribution center will employ nearly 600 people after it becomes fully operational and will support the inventory and fulfillment needs of approximately 1,000 Rite Aid stores in the southeastern United States. The Spartanburg distribution center, a $90 million project, will be Rite Aid’s first new distribution facility in 15 years.

“Rite Aid’s decision to build a new distribution center in Spartanburg County is a tremendous reason to celebrate,” said South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. “This $90 million investment that will create hundreds of jobs in the Upstate will make a real difference in the local community. We welcome Rite Aid to the South Carolina family and look forward to watching them succeed here for many years to come.”

“Spartanburg is an ideal location for our new distribution center,” said John Standley, Rite Aid chairman and CEO. “We thank the state of South Carolina for their cooperation and support during our site selection process and we look forward to breaking ground on our new facility which will help us to further optimize our supply chain and better serve our stores and customers across the Southeast.”

In April 2014, after a comprehensive review of its supply chain and logistics network, Rite Aid announced its plan to consolidate three of its existing distribution centers, located in Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Poca W.Va., into one new facility, as part of its ongoing efforts to improve operating efficiency across the company.

Added South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, “Having such a successful, nationally recognized company, like Rite Aid, select South Carolina for a major distribution operation is a testament to the business-friendly reputation our state has earned. Congratulations to Rite Aid and Spartanburg County on this exciting news.”

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to the project. Additionally, the South Carolina Power Team, in conjunction with Broad River Electric Cooperative, committed a $520,000 grant for infrastructure in support of the project.

Rite Aid is working with Johnson Development Associates, a leading real estate development firm based in Spartanburg, on the project.

Information on employment opportunities at Rite Aid’s new facility in Spartanburg will be made available in the second half of 2015. Currently, Rite Aid employs nearly 1,400 and operates 95 stores in South Carolina.

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.

As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing businesses grow. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as Boeing, Bridgestone, Continental, Monster.com, ZF Group, BMW and Google Inc. and also supports small and existing business, rural development initiatives and community development. Commerce partners with the S.C. Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. South Carolina ranked first in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign investment, according to IBM-Plant Location International reports in both 2012 and 2013. The state won the Gold Shovel Award and the Project of Year Award from Area Development magazine in 2012. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.

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Contact:

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

Media: Ashley Flower 717-975-5718

Rite Aid associates raised $590,524 during its 2014 fundraising campaign for the United Way of the Capital Region

Company Honored as Member of Pillar Society and $500,000 Club Award

Camp Hill, Pa., 2015-1-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rite Aid announced today that associates in its corporate offices located throughout the greater Harrisburg area raised $590,524 during its 2014 fundraising campaign for the United Way of the Capital Region (UWCR). Rite Aid has raised more than $7 million for the UWCR since becoming a supporter in 2002.

On Jan. 15, the UWCR held a reception to celebrate the 2014 campaign’s end and to honor companies who helped the organization raise a record $12 million. At the reception, Rite Aid was one of the 23 companies named to the Pillar Society, which recognizes organizations that contribute at least $100,000 in combined corporate and employee giving. Rite Aid was also one of three companies to receive the $500,000 Club Award for its level of giving.

“Rite Aid is proud to support the United Way of the Capital Region and its efforts towards creating solutions and developing the resources needed to meet our community’s needs,” said Ken Martindale, Rite Aid president and chief operating officer and president of The Rite Aid Foundation. “It is a pleasure working with associates who are dedicated to raising money for organizations, such as the United Way of the Capital Region, whose mission complements our own core value of being a caring neighbor in the communities we serve.”

In addition to its associate giving campaign last October, Rite Aid raised funds through an online silent auction, a creative departmental basket challenge and a series of pancake breakfasts and pizza parties across its corporate offices.

“The United Way of the Capital Region is dedicated towards focusing on the health, education, income and basic needs of those in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties,” said Timothy B. Fatzinger, United Way of the Capital Region president and CEO. “With the generous support from partners such as Rite Aid, we are able to help strengthen and improve the lives of those in our community.”

In addition to its campaign each fall, as a Corporate Cornerstone Company, Rite Aid underwrites a portion of the costs for the production and printing of the United Way of the Capital Region’s campaign materials, which are used by companies conducting associate giving campaigns. Rite Aid associates also participate in the organization’s “Day of Caring” program, the areas’ largest one-day event set aside for volunteer opportunities at local non-profit agencies and are involved in the Bridges Society and the Women’s Leadership Network, two organizations within the United Way of the Capital region focused on volunteerism and philanthropy.

The United Way of the Capital Region’s mission is improve lives in Dauphin, Cumberland and Perry counties by identifying the most pressing community needs, finding solutions to address those needs, and demonstrating how these solutions are making a difference. For more information on The United Way of the Capital Region, visit http://www.uwcr.org.

Rite Aid Corporation 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

Meijer builds four new supercenters in the greater Milwaukee area

First Meijer Supercenters in Grafton and Kenosha expected to open in June, hiring to begin in March

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2015-1-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — More than 2 years after Meijer first publicly confirmed it was considering opening stores in the state of Wisconsin, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer is in the home stretch of   construction of its four new supercenters in the greater Milwaukee area.

“Foundations are set, floors are poured and the walls are up at our four new Wisconsin stores,” Meijer Senior Director of Communications Frank Guglielmi said. “All of us at Meijer are looking forward to bringing the Meijer experience to new customers in Wisconsin this summer.”

The retailer has confirmed that its stores in Grafton and Kenosha will open this June, and its stores in Oak Creek and Wauwatosa will follow in August. Each store will open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by local officials and store team members. Those specific dates will be announced about six weeks prior to the ribbon-cutting event. The Kenosha and Oak Creek Meijer stores will also feature a convenience store and gas station, which will open about 30 days prior to the main store, in May and July respectively.

“By the time we open these great new Wisconsin stores, we will have used 500 miles of wire, 4,000 tons of steel and 16,000 cubic yards of cement to build the four new supercenters,” Guglielmi said. “This will result in state-of-the-art stores that are the best our company has to offer.”

The retailer now has 213 stores throughout the Midwest and has grown steadily by focusing on fresh grocery options, value to customers and community partnership. The new supercenters in Grafton, Kenosha, Oak Creek and Wauwatosa will feature fresh produce, meat and dairy delivered seven days a week, and a bakery that offers fresh bread baked four times daily. As Meijer stores are open 24 hours a day, customers will have access to these offerings around the clock.

In addition to traditional grocery and merchandise offerings, the stores will also feature a pharmacy offering the company’s free prescription program, as well as clinical services and immunizations designed to promote family health.

The retailer has a strong family and corporate tradition of caring by giving more than 6 percent of its net profit to charitable organizations each year, including significant support of hunger relief initiatives in the communities it serves. The retailer offers a food rescue program at each of its 213 stores, and has a signature program called Simply Give that has generated more than $12 million for its food pantry partners throughout the Midwest.

Meijer began establishing relationships with Milwaukee area food banks before the retailer broke ground on its new stores. For example, Meijer donated two semi-trucks and trailers to both Hunger Task Force and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, along with a total of more than 216,000 pounds of food.

“We are very pleased to continue our growth into Wisconsin,” Milwaukee Market Director Chris Hoffmann said. “We are working diligently to put together a great team to help bring the Meijer difference to customers in Milwaukee and the surrounding communities.

Hoffmann said store directors have already been identified. Longtime Meijer team members Polly Emelander and Tom Livernois, who’ve both held numerous leadership positions, have been named as the Oak Creek and Wauwatosa store directors, respectively. Wisconsin native Steve Talbert has been selected as the Grafton store director, and longtime Meijer Store Director Don Mettler has been selected as the Kenosha store director.

Hoffmann also said while initial hiring for leadership positions is underway at each of the four Milwaukee-area stores, the retailer plans to begin the hiring of more than 1,000 new team members in March. The hourly positions will be part- and full-time across a wide array of skill sets, but ideal candidates will possess a desire to develop as part of the Meijer team and provide exceptional customer service. More details on the hiring process will be announced in the coming weeks.

Meijer has plans for additional stores in the greater Milwaukee area and throughout the state, and has stated it plans to open two to three new Wisconsin stores each year for the next four years.

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 the inventor 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 electronics offerings. For more information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/meijer and @twitter.com/meijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

Contact: Frank Guglielmi, 616-826-6747, frank.guglielmi@meijer.com

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Meijer builds four new supercenters in the greater Milwaukee area

Meijer builds four new supercenters in the greater Milwaukee area

Wincor Nixdorf to present omnichannel solutions at EuroCIS 2015 in Düsseldorf

Ensuring efficiency and an exciting shopping experience across all sales channels

Paderborn, Germany, 2015-1-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wincor Nixdorf, a global leader in IT solutions for retail companies and banks, will present at EuroCIS 2015 in Düsseldorf solutions for creating an omnichannel shopping experience as well as for increasing efficiency and decreasing complexity in retail environments. Other focal points of the company’s trade fair presence in Hall 9, Stand C26 will be the mobility of retail customers and store staff, back-office automation, and innovations at the point of sale.

Among Wincor Nixdorf’s new and improved technologies, visitors will find:
•BEETLE /iSCAN Easy Hybrid, an automated checkout solution that can be converted from attended to self-checkout mode at the touch of a button
•Cash office solutions for bank notes and coins that automate the entire cash cycle from the POS to the back office
•Mobile POS solutions that enable the retailer to advise and serve customers or take payment anywhere in the store
•The latest version of Wincor Nixdorf’s TP.net 5.5 software, which controls retail processes and customer communication seamlessly across channels

“The wireless networking of all the different sales channels is one of the biggest challenges facing retail companies today, and one that, to some degree, will decide their market success. Beyond that, retail businesses are facing the need to standardize their central and decentral IT processes in order to increase operational efficiency and reduce operating costs,” says Dr. Bernd Bueker, Vice President Retail DACH at Wincor Nixdorf. “Another factor revolutionizing retail environments is mobile technology, which is having a substantial impact on traditional sales processes.” In addition, today’s consumers want the opportunity in different shopping situations to choose between different checkout options, from traditional staffed checkouts to mobile self-scanning solutions to automated self-scanning.

Visitors can discover Wincor Nixdorf’s retail solutions at its trade fair stand (C26) in Hall 9 and at two presentations to be held at the fair:

Retail goes mobile – the store’s digital transformation
Speaker: Mike Werder
February 24, 2015, 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. in the EuroCIS Forum (Hall 10, D04)

Ready for omnichannel retailing? Creating customer experiences, optimizing store processes
Speaker: Thomas Haas
February 25, 2015, 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in the Multichannel Forum (Hall 9, F59)

Foodstuffs announced it will be re-developing its New World Milford store

North Island, New Zealand, 2015-1-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Foodstuffs has, today, announced it will be re-developing its New World Milford store. As part of a review of the long-term plans for the store, it was determined the best way the brand could continue to serve the Milford community was through the creation of a brand new store.

“New World has been serving the community of Milford on Auckland’s North Shore for 50 years and we constantly review our stores in the communities we serve. Our New World Milford store is one of our oldest in the group and it’s time we gave the Milford community a brand new store” said Doug Cochrane, General Manager Retail, Foodstuffs North Island Ltd.

“We determined a renovation of the old building simply wasn’t the best option,” added Cochrane. “We want to ensure we are able to be here for many years to come, so we have decided that due to the existing store already being in the best location, a rebuild and creation of a new generation New World is the best way forward.”

“We realise this will cause some disruption to our loyal customers as the current store will need to close for an extended period of time,” says New World Milford Owner Operator Sarah Aston. “We think the result will be well worth it in the long-run as the rebuilt store will have 40% more retail space than the current store with a full supermarket offer and a fantastic fresh range. It’ll be much lighter and brighter with more choice and value. Add to this the great service customers enjoy at New World Milford and we are confident the new store will bring a fantastic new shopping experience to the Milford community.”

The last trading day for the current New World Milford store will be Sunday, 15 March 2015 and the new supermarket will be built and opened before Christmas 2015.

During the rebuild New World Milford customers can shop at nearby New World stores including; Browns Bay, Birkenhead, Albany and Devonport. New World Victoria Park is also just minutes away by car over the Harbour Bridge. All of these stores have the same great value prices and Fly Buys.

New World Milford currently employs 29 full-time staff, 17 part-time and 5 casuals. Foodstuffs will be working with staff to redeploy them to surrounding stores, including their new Browns Bay store which is due to open on Tuesday, 17 March 2015.

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MOTOSHOP Technology Tools to add OE repair and diagnostics information for BMW models 1982-2012

Enhancements also include addition of emissions data and an auto login quick access feature for shops

ROANOKE, Va., 2015-1-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — MOTOSHOPSM Technology Tools announced today the addition of OE repair and diagnostics information for BMW models 1982-2012 and emissions data for all vehicle makes and models from 1996-2014 to MotoLOGIC® Repair & Diagnostics, a Web-based tool for automotive technicians. The BMW additions feature OE diagrams with easy-to-use hyperlinks to connectors, location views, and fuses. This recent addition of BMW information and as well as Subaru for model years 1993-2015 raises MotoLOGIC’s coverage to more than 96 percent of cars and light trucks on the road today.

MotoLOGIC is available from MOTOSHOP Technology Tools, a technology solutions portfolio from Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE: AAP), the largest automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America.

“MotoLOGIC’s BMW data is intuitive and easy for shops to navigate when diagnosing and executing repairs,” said Walter Scott, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer for Advance Auto Parts.

Also included in the MotoLOGIC update are vehicle emissions and quick reference guides for all makes and models of vehicles from 1996-2014. The emissions content helps shops meet their legal requirements under state and local laws in areas with emissions testing and regulations that require shops to have reference materials for all emissions components.

Recent customer-focused enhancements include an auto login feature that now allows users quick access by bypassing the entering of credentials when logging into MotoLOGIC from a recognized IP address. Larger organizations including multi-location shops, municipalities and vocational schools can also benefit from this quick access enhancement, as each individual user will no longer need to remember credential information.

To learn more about MotoLOGIC Repair & Diagnostics or other services available from MOTOSHOP Technology Tools, visit www.motoshop.com/motologic.

About MOTOSHOPSM Technology Tools
MOTOSHOP Technology Tools is a comprehensive set of trusted, innovative technologies from Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE: AAP) With offices in Silicon Valley, Ca., MOTOSHOP builds technology solutions to address the full spectrum of automotive shop needs. The MOTOSHOP product line includes MotoREV™ Shop Marketing, MotoLOGIC® Repair & Diagnostics, MotoSHOP™ Shop Management System, and MotoSKILL™ Shop Tech Training, each designed to help automotive industry professionals grow their businesses.

About Advance Auto Parts
Headquartered in Roanoke, Va., Advance Auto Parts, Inc., the largest automotive aftermarket parts provider inNorth America, serves both the professional installer and do-it-yourself customers. As of October 4, 2014 Advanceoperated 5,305 stores, 109 Worldpac branches, and served approximately 1,350 independently-owned Carquestbranded stores in 49 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Canada. Advance employs approximately 75,000Team Members. Additional information about the Company, employment opportunities, customer services, and on-line shopping for parts, accessories and other offerings can be found on the Company’s website at www.AdvanceAutoParts.com.

SM Investment Corporation First EVP Hans Sy becomes one of the 14 People of the Year awardees by Stargate’s PeopleAsia magazine

PASAY CITY, Philippines, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — For advocating sustainable green business practices in the company’s operations, SM Prime Holdings and SM Investment Corporation First Executive Vice President Hans Sy earned the nod as one of the 14 People of the Year awardees given annually by Stargate’s PeopleAsia magazine.

Sy received the accolade from PeopleAsia publisher Babe Romualdez during ceremonies held at the New World Hotel in Makati City.

Being the first Filipino representative for the Private Sector Advisory Group of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, he was recognized for advocating the “importance of disaster resilience and in providing opportunities and assistance to disaster-stricken areas.”

The award-giving body noted SM Group’s past relief efforts in Tacloban City after Typhoon Yolanda and Bohol after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the island province. Sy initiated the donation of 1,000 disaster-resilient houses to affected families in Tacloban City, Cebu City, Iloilo City, and Ormoc City. The project is set to be completed in July 2015.

“Quite frankly, 1,000 units are not enough with the damage I saw. But again, I’m not the type who will get discouraged,” said Sy in an interview with PeopleAsia. “But again, I’m not the type who will be discouraged. I just went on with the project and I believe it has also influenced other companies to do the same.”

In November 2014, Sy hosted the largest solar installation in the Philippines consisting of 5,760 solar panels atop SM City North Edsa’s multi-level car park.

People of the Year is an annual award given out by PeopleAsia magazine to individuals who have “left an indelible mark through their contributions in business, leadership, advocacies and entertainment, among others.”

Sy was featured PeopleAsia’s 15th anniversary issue, released December 2014.

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L-R: Kevin Belmonte, People Asia President and associate publisher;  Hans Sy, President of SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez, Publisher and CEO of PeopleAsia;  and Joanne Rae Ramirez, Editor in Chief of People Asia

L-R: Kevin Belmonte, People Asia President and associate publisher; Hans Sy, President of SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez, Publisher and CEO of PeopleAsia; and Joanne Rae Ramirez, Editor in Chief of People Asia

Price Chopper: The Cooking School @ Market Bistro will offer variety of classes this February

Latham, N.Y., 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — For February, the Cooking School @ Market Bistro will offer a variety of classes that range from basic cooking to more advanced recipes and skill levels, including; ethnic foods, quick meals, appetizers, baking and pastry classes. The registration fee for each class ranges from $20 to $100.

Wednesday, February 4; 6 to 9 pm
Hands On: One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato….
Three great takes on using potatoes as a main ingredient for a tasty meal. Recipes include potato pancakes, gnocchi a la pomodoro, and sweet potato enchiladas. (Registration: $55 per student (wine served))

Thursday, February 5; 6 to 8 pm
Food and Wine Pairing with Heron Hill Winery
Eric Frarey of Heron Hill Winery will serve wines with small tastes prepared by Cooking School Chef Instructor John Winnek. Pairings include fruit and cheese with Eclipse White, scallop fennel orange salad with Dry Riesling, three cheese ravioli with Chardonnay, grilled chipotle beef with Cabernet Franc, and dessert. (Registration: $50 per student (wine served))

Saturday, February 7; 2 to 4 pm
Demonstration: Come Sauté with Me
Chef John demonstrates how to sauté using basic ingredients and techniques. Recipes include: chicken Marsala, chicken picatta, vegetable stir fry, and Bananas Foster. (Registration: $45 per student (wine served))

Wednesday, February 11; 6 to 9 pm
Hands On: Knife Skills
Participants will practice chopping, slicing, and dicing while creating these mouthwatering comfort foods. Recipes include: onion soup with three-cheese crouton, beef stew, and bourbon bread pudding. (Registration: $55 per student (wine served))

Thursday, February 12; 6 to 9 pm
Hands On: Sweets for the Sweet
Participants will make chocolate delights to bring home to their valentine. Recipes include: assorted chocolate truffles and chocolate-dipped strawberries. (Registration: $55 per student (light fare and wine served))

Friday, February 13; 6 to 9 pm
Hands On: Romantic Roman Holiday
Couples cook together to create an authentic Roman meal to share. Recipes include: penne pasta rustica, veal saltimbocca with lemon garlic artichoke hearts, and ricotta cheese tarts. (Registration is per couple: $100 per couple (wine served))

Tuesday, February 17; 6 to 9 pm
Hands On: Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday
Celebrate Fat Tuesday with beads, Zydeco, and traditional New Orleans cuisine. Recipes include: chicken jambalaya, fried catfish, and Bananas Foster. (Registration: $55 per student (wine served))

Thursday, February 19; 5 to 7 pm
Kids Hands On Cooking: Chinese New Year/2015, The Year of the Goat
Parent and child will cook together to make a Meal of Good Fortune to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Recipes include: edamame-shitake dumplings, pork scallion egg rolls, Mandarin chicken lettuce cups, and fortune cookies. (Registration is per pair: $70 per pair)

Friday, February 20; 10:30 am to 12 noon OR 1:30 to 3pm
Taste Buds Hands On: Kids Get Cookin’ Winter Break
The Taste Bud class (geared towards kids ages 5-8; parents are required to stay within Market Bistro for the length of this class) is where kids will make their own individual pizza, a secret shake, and a super snack mix. (Registration: $30 per person)

Saturday, February 21; 11 am to 1 pm OR 3 to 5 pm
Junior Chef Hands On: Baking Class
Do your kids like to help in the kitchen? Sign up for our Drop, Chop, and Shop class: Drop them at The Cooking School, we’ll have them chop while you shop. Culinary students ages 9 and older will learn how to make baked donuts, assorted fruit hand pies, and carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting to take home. (Registration: $35 per person (light fare served))

Wednesday, February 25; 6 to 9 pm
Hands On: Eat To Your Heart’s Delight
February is American Heart Month. Participants will learn tips and recipes to create heart smart meals for your family. Recipes include: Italian chopped salad, pork tenderloin rosa di Parma, sautéed broccolini, and apricot nut couscous. (Registration: $55 per student (wine served))

Friday, February 27; 6 to 9 pm
Hands On: Taste of Spain/Warm Winter Tapas
Participants will make homemade sangria (a red wine punch with fruit and spices) to serve alongside warm, winter tapas, a popular Spanish tradition of appetizers or snacks. Recipes include: Spanish omelette, cheese and spinach empanadas and quince and manchego cheese puffs. (Registration: $55 per student (wine served))

Saturday, February 28; 12 to 4 pm
Hands On: Beginner Cake Decorating
Join guest baker Melinda Gamache as she instructs participants in the basics of cake decorating with treats to take home. (Registration: $55 per student (light fare served))

Pre-registration for all classes is required. Register online at https://www.marketbistro.com/CookingSchool/Class/UpcomingClass or by visiting The Cooking School @ Market Bistro.

Located in the Latham Price Chopper (873 New Loudon Road, Latham, NY 12110), the Cooking School @ Market Bistro is a state-of-the-art kitchen equipped with hands-on cooking stations where attendees can learn to cook or expand cooking expertise. Each station is fully stocked with appliances, knives, and cooking equipment designed to resemble a home kitchen. Both hands-on and demonstration cooking classes are offered, including classes for children. With a wide variety of themes, classes will be taught by a member of Price Chopper’s Cooking School Culinary Team, as well as guests such as local chefs, nutrition experts, and cookbook authors.

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About The Golub Corporation: Based in Schenectady, NY, the Golub Corporation owns and operates 134 Price Chopper and Market 32 grocery stores in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The American owned, family-managed company prides itself on longstanding traditions of innovative food merchandising, leadership in community service, and cooperative employee relations. Golub’s 22,000 teammates collectively own more than 47% of the company’s privately held stock, making it one of the nation’s largest privately held corporations that is predominantly employee-owned. For additional information, visit www.pricechopper.com

Contact:
Maureen Murphy
518.379.1215
maureenmurphy@pricechopper.com

Apple® announced highest-ever revenue & earnings drive 48% increase in EPS for its fiscal 2015 first quarter ended December 27, 2014

  • Highest-ever revenue & earnings drive 48% increase in EPS
  • Growth led by record revenue from iPhone, Mac & App Store

CUPERTINO, California, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 first quarter ended December 27, 2014. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion and record quarterly net profit of $18 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $57.6 billion and net profit of $13.1 billion, or $2.07 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.9 percent compared to 37.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 65 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

The results were fueled by all-time record revenue from iPhone® and Mac® sales as well as record performance of the App Store℠. iPhone unit sales of 74.5 million also set a new record.

“We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Our revenue grew 30 percent over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal.”

“Our exceptional results produced EPS growth of 48 percent over last year, and $33.7 billion in operating cash flow during the quarter, an all-time record,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “We spent over $8 billion on our capital return program, bringing total returns to investors to almost $103 billion, over $57 billion of which occurred in just the last 12 months.”

Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2015 second quarter:

  • revenue between $52 billion and $55 billion
  • gross margin between 38.5 percent and 39.5 percent
  • operating expenses between $5.4 billion and $5.5 billion
  • other income/(expense) of $350 million
  • tax rate of 26.3 percent

Apple’s board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $.47 per share of the Company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on February 12, 2015, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 9, 2015.

Apple will provide live streaming of its Q1 2015 financial results conference call beginning at 2:00 p.m. PST on January 27, 2015 at www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/earningsq115. This webcast will also be available for replay for approximately two weeks thereafter.

This press release contains forward-looking statements including without limitation those about the Company’s estimated revenue, gross margin, operating expenses, other income/(expense), and tax rate. These statements involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ. Risks and uncertainties include without limitation the effect of competitive and economic factors, and the Company’s reaction to those factors, on consumer and business buying decisions with respect to the Company’s products; continued competitive pressures in the marketplace; the ability of the Company to deliver to the marketplace and stimulate customer demand for new programs, products, and technological innovations on a timely basis; the effect that product introductions and transitions, changes in product pricing or mix, and/or increases in component costs could have on the Company’s gross margin; the inventory risk associated with the Company’s need to order or commit to order product components in advance of customer orders; the continued availability on acceptable terms, or at all, of certain components and services essential to the Company’s business currently obtained by the Company from sole or limited sources; the effect that the Company’s dependency on manufacturing and logistics services provided by third parties may have on the quality, quantity or cost of products manufactured or services rendered; risks associated with the Company’s international operations; the Company’s reliance on third-party intellectual property and digital content; the potential impact of a finding that the Company has infringed on the intellectual property rights of others; the Company’s dependency on the performance of distributors, carriers and other resellers of the Company’s products; the effect that product and service quality problems could have on the Company’s sales and operating profits; the continued service and availability of key executives and employees; war, terrorism, public health issues, natural disasters, and other circumstances that could disrupt supply, delivery, or demand of products; and unfavorable results of other legal proceedings. More information on potential factors that could affect the Company’s financial results is included from time to time in the “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections of the Company’s public reports filed with the SEC, including the Company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 27, 2014, and its Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended December 27, 2014 to be filed with the SEC. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or information, which speak as of their respective dates.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

Press Contact:
Kristin Huguet
Apple
khuguet@apple.com
(408) 974-2414

Investor Relations Contacts:
Nancy Paxton
Apple
paxton1@apple.com
(408) 974-5420

Joan Hoover
Apple
hoover1@apple.com
(408) 974-4570

 

Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, iPhone and App Store are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

The U.S. convenience store count increased nearly 1% from the year prior according to 2015 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The U.S. convenience store count increased to 152,794 stores as of December 31, 2014, a nearly 1% increase from the year prior, according to the 2015 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count.

The link between fuels and convenience retailing continues to grow. Overall, 83.5% of convenience stores 127,588 sell motor fuels, a 0.7% increase (930 stores) over 2013.

Convenience stores account for 33.9% of all retail outlets in the United States, according to Nielsen, which is significantly higher than the U.S. total of other retail channels including drug stores (41,799 stores), supermarket/supercenter (41,529 stores) and dollar stores (26,572 stores).

“Our continued growth, even during a sluggish economy, shows that our core offer of convenience resonates more than ever with our customers, whether they visit us for a fuel fill-up, quick snack or drink, or stop by for fill-in groceries or healthy take-out meals,” said NACS Chairman Steve Loehr, vice president of operations support at LaCrosse, Wisconsin-based Kwik Trip.

The convenience retailing industry continues to be dominated by single-store operators, which account for 63.0% of all convenience stores (96,318 stores total) and 83.5% of store growth in 2014.

Among the states, Texas continues to lead in store count with 15,434 stores. The rest of the top 10 states for convenience stores are California (11,403), Florida (9,810), New York (8,247), Georgia (6,766), North Carolina (6,301), Ohio (5,539), Michigan, (4,907), Illinois (4,670) and Pennsylvania (4,604), which nudged Virginia out of the top 10.

The convenience retailing industry has roughly doubled in size over the last three decades. At year-end 1984, the store count was 85,300 stores, at year-end 1994 the store count was 98,200 stores and at year-end 2004 the store count was 138,205 stores.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 151,000 stores across the country, posted $696 billion in total sales in 2013, of which $491 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

RILA’s statement on U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman’s congressional hearings on the U.S. trade policy agenda

Arlington, VA, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) today issued the following statement surrounding U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman’s appearance before the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee to discuss the U.S. trade policy agenda:

“RILA welcomes the continued commitment U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has shown toward our nation’s trade policy agenda,” said Jennifer Safavian, Executive Vice President for Government Affairs at RILA. “Trade is crucial to the retail industry and to breaking down barriers to provide open access to products and markets around the world.Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) could create tremendous new opportunities for generations of American workers, and we call on Congress to take action as soon as possible.”

Since Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s, Congress has authorized every Republican and Democratic President to exercise TPA. The resulting trade agreements have led to the opening of new markets for American companies and workers, and helped ensure a rules-based system for two-way trade. Increasing the access U.S. businesses have to foreign markets is more important than ever, but continued growth is in jeopardy because Congress has not renewed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) since 2007.

Sandy Kennedy, RILA’s President, is a member of President Obama’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations and has been very clear on the importance of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)  legislation and international trade on the retail industry.Read her op-ed from October on the issue: http://bit.ly/1va3eBc .

Facts on Trade and TPA:

Trade Agreements Open Markets For U.S. Businesses Around The World. 95% of the world’s population lives outside the United States – trade agreements break down foreign barriers, helping American companies, farmers, and workers sell more goods and services to global consumers.

Global Trade Has A Proven Record Of Promoting U.S. Economic Growth And Job Creation. U.S. exports helped drive the U.S. economy and its recovery in recent years:

  • More than 1 in 5 American jobs are supported by international trade
  • Exports account for nearly 14 percent of overall U.S. GDP; and since 2004, U.S. exports have grown faster than GDP
  • U.S. businesses exported a record $2.3 trillion worth of products and services in 2013.

TPA Strengthens Congress’ Role In Shaping U.S. Trade Agreements. TPA gives Congress more input into trade agreements by informing the Executive Branch what the key negotiating objectives should be.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

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Allie Brandenburger
Senior Director, Communications
Phone: 703-600-2063
Email: allie.brandenburger@rila.org

The National Retail Federation reiterated support for federal data breach notification standard as congressional panel held a hearing on this issue

Law Should Cover All Entities that Maintain Personal Information

WASHINGTON, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation reiterated its long-standing support for a federal data breach notification standard today as a congressional panel held a hearing on this issue, saying legislation should provide consumers with clear, concise and consistent notice whenever and wherever a data breach occurs.

“A single uniform national standard for notification of consumers affected by a breach of sensitive data would provide simplicity, clarity and certainty to both businesses and consumers alike,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David Frenchsaid. “A federal breach notification law would ensure reasonable and timely notice to consumers while providing clear compliance standards for businesses.”

French’s comments came in a letter to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, which is holding a hearing today on what should go into a notification bill.

For the past decade, NRF has called on Congress to pass a federal data breach notification law that would cover all entities that receive, handle and maintain sensitive personal information. NRF believes a national standard would provide retailers a practical framework to handle consumer notification and must preempt the 47 disparate state data breach notification laws retailers now comply with.

“If Americans are to be adequately protected and informed, any legislation to address these threats must cover all of the types of entities that handle sensitive personal information,” French said. “A federal notice obligation applying to all breached businesses would also create significant incentives across industries to invest in technologies to better protect data and to respond appropriately to breaches whenever and wherever they occur.”

“Regrettably, there are those who are spending time and resources casting blame on the victims of cybercrime, but retailers are actively engaged every day in efforts to protect their customers against those who commit the crimes,” French said commenting on the hearing. “Whether pushing for Chip and PIN credit cards or voluntarily and proactively initiating information-sharing platforms, retailers are less interested in finger pointing and far more interested in collaborating with multi-industry stakeholders and law enforcement to stop these crimes from happening in the first place.”

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

###

Stephen E. Schatz
202-626-8119
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

 

Sigma supports King Island Pharmacy and the local community as the pharmacy burned to the ground over the Australia Day weekend

King Island, Australia, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The spirit of Australian camaraderie was on show over the Australia Day weekend as many quickly responded to the needs of the 1,800 residents of King Island.

The King Island Pharmacy, located in Currie, is the only pharmacy on King Island supporting the local community. An alleged arson attack over the Australia Day weekend saw the pharmacy burn to the ground.

With the need for essential medicines to support the local community, members of Sigma’s Launceston distribution centre jumped into action, with the supervisor John Brophy in particular praised for his actions in responding to the calls for assistance.

John investigated the quickest way to despatch essential medicines, including items requiring refrigeration. He then processed and picked the order and personally delivered it to the airport where he ensured it was loaded onto the plane.

Gary Dunne, Sigma Chief Operating Officer commented “Sigma prides itself on being a partner of choice for our customers, and it is imperative that medicines are delivered to communities irrespective of their location. This is an unfortunate event for the pharmacy and the community of King Island, so I am really proud that John and the team in the Launceston distribution centre quickly responded to do everything possible to support them.”

Divesh Sanghvi, Pharmacy owner commented “This type of event is not something we expect or prepare for, so it is great to know that we can rely on our partner Sigma to help us through should the situation arise. The entire team in the Launceston distribution centre are to be congratulated for acting quickly and doing everything possible to ensure we had essential stock for our patients at King Island.”

The King Island Pharmacy is temporarily operating out of the King Island hospital while investigations continue.

“King Island needs a community pharmacy. We will continue to operate business as usual whilst we go through the process of assessing our long term options to re-build our pharmacy,” said Mr Sanghvi.

For more information please contact:

Gary Woodford
Manager Corporate Affairs
Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited
Mob: 0417 399 204

IKEA plans to open its second Ohio store in Columbus by Summer 2017

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, todayannounced it is submitting plans to the City of Columbus, Ohio for a store that would increasethe Swedish retailer’s presence in the Midwestern United States as its second store in thestate. The application marks the beginning of the governmental approval process. Until thestore opens in Summer 2017, customers can shop at the closest IKEA stores in: WestChester, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; and Canton, MI; or online at IKEA-USA.com.

Located in the Polaris Centers of Commerce development, approximately 15 milesnorth of downtown Columbus, the 354,000-square-foot proposed IKEA store and its 1,200parking spaces would be built on 33 acres at the northeastern corner of Interstate-71 andGemini Place. Store plans reflect the same unique architectural design for which IKEA storesare known worldwide. IKEA also will evaluate potential on-site power generation tocomplement its current U.S. renewable energy presence at nearly 90% of its U.S. locations.

“We look forward to continue growing our Midwestern U.S. presence with IKEAColumbus,” said IKEA U.S. CEO Rob Olson. “This location in such a vibrant retail corridorwould provide our already 155,000 Columbus customers their own store and introduce theunique IKEA shopping experience to other consumers throughout Central Ohio and beyond.”

IKEA Columbus would 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 lingonberriesand 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 the more than 500 jobs that are expected to be createdduring the construction phase, approximately 300 coworkers would join the IKEA family whenthe new store opens. IKEA Columbus also would provide significant annual sales andproperty tax revenue for local governments and schools.

IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be agood business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment.IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovativematerials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goodsfor efficient distribution. U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material;incorporating key measures into buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems,recycled construction materials, warehouse skylights, and water-conserving restrooms; andoperationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale ofincandescent light bulbs, facilitating recycling compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 sellingonly LED bulbs. IKEA U.S. has electric vehicle charging stations at 13 stores, solar arraysatop 90% of its locations, and plans for 104 wind turbines.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good designand function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currentlymore than 360 IKEA stores in 47 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 annuallist 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 benefitchildren and the environment. For more information see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSA,@IKEAUSANews, or IKEAUSA on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Contact: Joseph Roth, Expansion Public Affairs
(610) 834-0180, x 6500

Development of John Lewis Chelmsford part of the Bond Street retail began, set to open autumn 2016

LONDON, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Work on the Bond Street retail development in Chelmsford, which will include a John Lewis flexible format department store,began today with a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the occasion.

Set to open autumn 2016, John Lewis Chelmsford will anchor the second phase of the Bond Street development in Chelmsford City Centre, owned by Aquila. The scheme willinclude 20 retail units, providing a vibrant mix of shops, river fronted restaurants, and a cinema.

John Lewis Chelmsford will offer the full John Lewis product assortment, including fashion, beauty, electronics, home and nursery. The retailer will boost local employment with the creation of around 350 new jobs and John Lewis’s investment in the city stands at around £15m.

The Chairman of Essex County Council, Councillor Norman Hume and the Mayor and Mayoress of Chelmsford City Council, Councillors Bob Villa and Valerie Villa, were among the attendees of today’s groundbreaking ceremony along with the founder of Aquila Tony Chambers and other key stakeholders from the local community who have helped considerably with this project.

Tim Harrison, Director of Store Development at John Lewis, said: ‘It’s fantastic to see work start on the Bond Street development in Chelmsford and what better way to mark the occasion than by bringing key stakeholders from the local community together. We’re excited at the prospect of opening a flexible format department store here,allowing us to create around 350 new jobs in the local area and providing John Lewis customers with greater convenience and ease of access to a broad range of products.

‘The shop’s selling space will total 90,000 sq ft, split over three floors and will include a customer café.John Lewis Chelmsford is the third flexible department store to be announced by the retailer, following Exeter which opened in 2012 and York which opened last year.

For more information on the project, please visit www.bondstreetchelmsford.co.uk

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.

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:
www.johnlewis.com/twitter
www.johnlewis.com/facebook
www.johnlewis.com/youtube.

Enquiries

For further information please contact:

Vikki Speed
Senior Communications Officer, Corporate & Brand, John Lewis
Telephone: 020 7931 4921
Email: vikki.speed@johnlewis.co.uk

K-Group’s Youth Guarantee programme exceeded all expectations reaching almost double its original target of 1000 young people to be employed

During the Youth Guarantee in the K-Group programme, around 1,800 unemployed young adults in its target group gained a foothold in working life when employed by K-Group stores. The success of the programme, launched in August 2013 and terminated at the end of 2014, exceeded all expectations in the K-Group, reaching almost double the original target of one thousand young people.

HELSINKI, FINLAND, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Half of all K-retailer entrepreneurs, that is, nearly 600 retailers employed young people in the target group of the programme across Finland. Most of them were employed by food stores, but many were also recruited to jobs in the K-Group’s home improvement and speciality goods trade and the car and machinery trade.

“The Youth Guarantee works if we are prepared to invest in it. The close and direct cooperation between employers and the Employment and Economic Development Centres was also central to the success. The target of one thousand employed young people set by us for our programme was far exceeded. K-retailers and Kesko with its subsidiaries are strongly committed to providing employment to young people,” says Matti Mettälä, Kesko’s Senior Vice President, Human Resources.

K-Group retailers and stores made use of various employment options during the programme and, in addition to employment contracts, also offered apprenticeships and work experiments.

“Providing employment to young people is a natural part of the K-Group’s responsible operations. It is particularly positive that the number apprenticeships increased significantly in our stores during the programme,” says Mettälä pleased.

“Young people must be given a chance”

“Young people must be given a chance” is the motto of Taina Källi, who runs a K-rauta store in Järvenpää. She is, for instance, engaged in cooperation with the youth and employment unit of the city of Järvenpää.

“One of the girls who started at the checkout later moved to a permanent job at the store cafe. Now she has been studying to be a cook while at work,” says the retailer.

She also praises the support given by the coordinator of the Youth Guarantee in the K-Group programme in questions related to salary support. The assistance has been of key importance when decisions on employing young people have been made. The Youth Guarantee Coordinator will continue to provide help and expertise to Kesko’s supervisors and K-retailers in issues related to the employment of young people.

K-Group stores are an important employer of young people. In all, around 12,000 young people and adults aged under 30 were employed by K-Group stores during the period from August 2013 to December 2014.

Further information:
Executive Vice President Matti Mettälä, Kesko Corporation, tel. +358 10 53 22200
Youth Guarantee Coordinator Johanna Kinnunen, the K-Retailers’ Association, tel. +358 50 342 7860

Kesko (www.kesko.fi) is one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. We are a retail specialist whose chains have about 2,000 stores in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia, and Belarus. Our stores offer quality to the daily lives of consumers.