NRF joined with other organizations in filing amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in the Nestle Dreyer case

NRF Joins Other Business Organizations in Support of Nestle Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Inc.

WASHINGTON, 2015-1-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation joined with other business organizations today in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in the Nestle Dreyer case. The case before the court challenges the National Labor Relations Board’s use of the Specialty Healthcare rule to determine what properly constitutes an appropriate bargaining unit.

“The National Labor Relations Board continues to operate in its own world in an all-out effort to assist its allies in Big Labor,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “Through its manufactured manipulation of long-standing labor law to advance the cause of ‘micro-unions’, the NLRB is endangering the employer-employee relationship and fracturing Americans’ workplace.”

The brief was filed along with the Coalition for a Democratic Workforce, International Foodservice Distributors Association, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors,National Council of Chain Restaurants, National Federation of Independent Business, Society for Human Resource Management and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It contends that the court should invalidate the NLRB’s judgment against Nestle Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Inc. because it fails to consider workplace realities and extends preferential treatment to a specific group of employees.

“The NLRB is allowing unions to fashion unreasonably small and specific bargaining units in an effort to ensure successful attempts to unionize workers,” French said. “These ‘micro-unions’ of specific employees within a given business are wholly impractical in the modern American economy and only give rise to segmented divisions of employees, disjointed benefits and income and reduced customer service.”

The issue at hand is the NLRB conclusion that the ice cream manufacturer violated national labor law due to its failure to recognize and negotiate with organized maintenance employees. The company contends that a bargaining unit must be compromised of both its manufacturing and production employees from its manufacturing plant. NLRB applied theSpecialty Healthcare rule in its determination.

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

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

BRC-KPMG Retail Sales December 2014: UK retail sales declined by 0.4% vs December 2013

LONDON, 2015-1-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — UK retail sales declined by 0.4%, on a like-for-like basis from December 2013, when they had increased 0.4% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 1.0%, against a 1.8% rise in December 2013. This is the slowest December growth since December 2008.

Adjusted for the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index, total growth was 2.6% (rounded), matching the December 2013 level, which was the highest since December 2009.

In December total Food sales grew for the first time since April. Over the last three months, Food showed a decline of 0.3%. The Non-Food performance was helped by the cyber-week and the end-of-season sales, particularly fashion.

Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 7.0% in December versus a year earlier, when it had grown 19.2%. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 17.0%, up from 16.0% in December 2013.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “The figures for December show that the British public were in a shopping mood with total sales up one per cent on the same period last year. The Black Friday feeling continued into early December as customers bagged great deals on their Christmas gifts. The Boxing Day and End of Season sales also contributed to December’s positive performance.

“It’s also worth noting that this has been the best month for food sales since Easter with many of us opting increasingly for premium ranges for our festive fare.

“It’s clear that targeted discounting has worked for the UK’s retailers – prices have been cut just enough to encourage customers through the doors but not so much that sales growth has been completely choked off. In one of the most fiercely competitive retail environments in recent years, retailers will be encouraged by the fact their strategy for December appears to have paid off.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “Extensive discounting disrupted the timing and rhythm of Christmas spending. Between Black Friday and Boxing Day retailers and consumers engaged in a three week dance, each waiting for the other to take the lead and as a result sales suffered.

“It’s now clear that Black Friday did pull festive sales forward into November, and this created a challenging lull in spending with consumers waiting for future bargains. This situation did not reverse until the week of Christmas. The launch of Boxing Day sales mixed with new season full price stock saw some phenomenal spending, with fashion retailers achieving double digit growth.

“The grocers had rather a commendable Christmas, given the persistent price deflation that has dogged the sector throughout the year. Food sales reached a respectable level in December and the three month average has climbed to -0.3 per cent, from a low in September of -1.7 per cent.

“This difficult stop/start sales environment has been undoubtedly challenging, but most retailers have managed to achieve a flat, but respectable, sales performance this Christmas: time will tell on margins.

“2015 is likely to bring more of the same, and the big four grocers have already signalled they will cut prices to secure sales. Non-food retailers will fare better, but whilst consumer confidence remains fragile, these too are vulnerable to shocks, be they political or economic.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP.
020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk

BRC-KPMG Online Retail Sales December 2014: Sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 7.0% in December versus a year earlier

LONDON, 2015-1-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 7.0% in December versus a year earlier. In December 2013, online sales rose by 19.2% over the previous year. In December, online sales represented 17.0% of total Non-Food sales, against 16.0% in December 2013.

Health & Beauty and Household Appliances were the fastest growing categories online in December. The month started strongly with Cyberweek and ended strongly in the sales week but sales were soft in between, reaching a low the week before Christmas.

Online sales contributed 1.2 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales in December. The 3-month average contribution of online to Non-Food growth exceeded that of stores for the fourth consecutive month.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “Despite Black Friday having dragged some of our pre-Christmas internet spending into November, sales online remained strong with December showing a seven per cent increase on the same period last year. This is especially good considering December 2013 saw the second highest growth ever recorded by our monitor.

“All product categories saw an increase in online purchases this month, showing that consumers’ burgeoning appetite to buy things on their computers, tablets and mobiles isn’t restricted to a single type of product. The numbers also show that all of the growth in non-food sales in December came from digital channels. However, in the same period we saw bricks-and-mortar stores holding their ground, which is a testament to how the UK’s retailers have finessed their multi-channel offer – with the huge expansion in Click and Collect underpinning this.

“Although the busiest weeks for online shopping were predictably the week following Black Friday – ‘Cyberweek’ – and the Boxing Day sales, the popularity of click and collect meant shoppers continued to buy online throughout December. This data is sure to spur retailers on to continue to perfect their multi-channel offering in 2015.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “The parcel backlogs caused by the aftermath of Black Friday forced some retailers to renege on their delivery guarantees and this impacted shoppers’ confidence to buy gifts online in December. Having hit the internet hard in November, as Christmas neared closer some consumers chose to shop in store to make sure they had their gifts in their hand and not in the mail.

“However, even against this challenging backdrop nearly one in five gifts were still bought online, and there is still growth to come from this channel. The main factor constraining online is the retailers themselves: their systems still show signs of strain at peak times and they need to be able to cope from order to delivery.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP.
020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

University of Saskatchewan student Danean Edgar selected for Co-op’s Excellence in Ag program in 2014

Saskatchewan, Canada, 2015-1-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — A career in agriculture presents opportunities in science, marketing and entrepreneurship.

No one knows that more than Danean Edgar, a first year Agribusiness student at the University of Saskatchewan. Edgar was one student selected for Co-op’s Excellence in Ag program in 2014.

“Science in agriculture is vital with the constant demand in research, animals, efficiency and productivity,” wrote Edgar. “These demands include food availability, cutting-edge technology and advancement in research and information.”

Excellence in Ag is helping students establish a career in agriculture. It provides a $20,000 scholarship, summer internships and opportunity for future employment to four students pursuing a post-secondary education in agriculture or business.

The four students selected in 2015 will join the seven students currently participating in the program who were selected in the last two years. One student selected in 2013 has finished her program and is now employed full-time as an agronomist at a Co-op in Alberta.

“Agriculture is a growing sector that is seeing many changes right now,” said Ron Healey, Federated Co-operatives Limited Associate Vice-President, Ag and Home. “This program provides the basis – through academic scholarship and meaningful work experience – for students to play a key role in the future of the industry.”

Edgar maintains a positive outlook, stating the industry’s challenges and demands will drive its success, ensuring agriculture will continue to thrive.

“As a young student entering agriculture, I look forward to the future of this industry as well as the infinite potential it presents in Western Canada.”

To explore this opportunity and experience the growth of the Co-operative Retailing System, please visit your local Co-op ag centre or www.coopag.ca. The deadline for program applications is Jan. 31, 2015.

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University of Saskatchewan student Danean Edgar selected for Co-op’s Excellence in Ag program in 2014

University of Saskatchewan student Danean Edgar selected for Co-op’s Excellence in Ag program in 2014

 

Baskin-Robbins announced it seeks qualified candidates for new or existing ice cream shop in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas

CANTON, MA, 2015-1-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Baskin-Robbins, the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, is seeking entrepreneurs in Southern California who would like the exclusive scoop on how to own their very own Baskin-Robbins franchise. The brand is currently seeking qualified candidates who are interested in owning and operating a new or existing ice cream shop in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas.

Baskin-Robbins is exhibiting at the National Franchise & Business Opportunities Show in San Diego and will host a free seminar on Saturday, Jan. 24 from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in the Veranda Room, which is located on the second floor. Attendees will meet key business development team members from Baskin-Robbins and learn about the benefits of joining the Baskin-Robbins brand. They will also learn about the process to buy and review existing restaurants and new territories available in the San Diego and Los Angeles markets.

To register for the seminar, visit http://franchisingevents.dunkinbrands.com. As a bonus, all registered attendees will receive an email with FREE admission to the National Franchise & Business Opportunities Show in San Diego all weekend (Jan. 24th and 25th).

If interested parties are unable to attend the show or seminar, Baskin-Robbins will be hosting a free online Franchising 101 webinar on Tuesday, Jan. 20th at 12 p.m. PST, as well as a Baskin-Robbins franchising webinar on Thursday, Jan. 22nd at 12 p.m. PST for interested individuals to learn about buying a store for sale in the U.S. Register for either webinar and view more upcoming events at http://franchisingevents.dunkinbrands.com. For additional information about franchising a Baskin-Robbins in Southern California, contact Julie Price at julie.price@dunkinbrands.com or Dick Austin atdick.austin@dunkinbrands.com.

“Owning a Baskin-Robbins shop can be a fun and rewarding new business opportunity,” said Grant Benson, CFE, vice president of global franchising and business development, Dunkin’ Brands. “As our brand continues to grow, we are looking for entrepreneurs in Southern California with a passion for their local communities and strong financial backgrounds to own their very own ice cream shop in the San Diego or Los Angeles markets.”

Baskin-Robbins combines delicious treats with a straightforward operating model. Franchisees enjoy convenient hours of operation, minimal equipment and little product waste. They also benefit from award-winning training programs and comprehensive operating systems designed to help build business.

Baskin-Robbins celebrates its 70th birthday this year as it was founded in 1945 by two ice cream enthusiasts who shared a dream to create an innovative ice cream store that would be a neighborhood gathering place for families. Today, over 300 million people visit Baskin-Robbins each year to sample from the more than 1,200 flavor creations available in its ice cream library, as well as enjoy its full array of frozen treats including ice cream cakes, frozen beverages and sundaes.

About Baskin-Robbins
Named the top ice cream and frozen dessert franchise in the United States by Entrepreneur magazine’s 36th annual Franchise 500® ranking in 2015, Baskin-Robbins is the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops. Baskin-Robbins creates and markets innovative, premium hard scoop ice cream and soft serve, custom ice cream cakes and a full range of beverages, providing quality and value to consumers at more than 7,400 retail shops in over 45 countries. Baskin-Robbins was founded in 1945 by two ice cream enthusiasts whose passion led to the creation of more than 1,200 ice cream flavors and a wide variety of delicious treats. In 2013, more than 13 million ice cream cakes were sold in Baskin-Robbins shops worldwide. Headquartered in Canton, Mass., Baskin-Robbins is part of the Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) family of companies. For further information, visit www.BaskinRobbins.com.

Dunkin’ Brands Group U.S. franchisees opened 422 net new Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins restaurants in U.S. during 2014

  • For the year, Company’s franchisees added total of 422 net new
  • Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Restaurants in U.S.

CANTON, MA, 2015-1-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN), the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, announced today that in 2014 its U.S. franchisees opened a total of 422 net new Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, once again making Dunkin’ Brands one of the fastest growing companies by unit count in the QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) industry.

“This past year was another excellent year for domestic restaurant development for both of our brands and has resulted in Dunkin’ Brands, once again being one of the fastest growing companies by unit count in the QSR industry,” said Nigel Travis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dunkin’ Brands. “All told, Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees opened 405 net new domestic restaurants in 2014, including our much anticipated restaurants in Southern California, and remodeled another nearly 500 locations. Baskin-Robbins franchisees opened 17 net new locations, marking this the brand’s second consecutive year of positive net development. We believe these results are directly attributable to the appeal of our two strong consumer brands and our continued focus on franchisee unit economics. For 2015 in the U.S., we expect to open between 410 and 440 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants and between five to ten net Baskin-Robbins locations. ”

Dunkin’ Donuts U.S.

In 2014, Dunkin’ Donuts opened 405 net new restaurants in new markets such as California, Colorado, and Nevada, with 97% of domestic growth coming from existing franchisees. California continued to be a focus of growth for the brand with five new free-standing restaurants opening in Whittier, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Downey and Modesto, which opened ahead of schedule. The company is on track with its plan to open approximately 250 new restaurants in California over the next several years, with the long-term goal of having 1,000 restaurants in total throughout the state.

Dunkin’ Donuts also signed agreements in 2014 with franchisees to open new future restaurants in markets, including Northern, Central and Southern California; Oklahoma City, OK; Louisville, KY; Phoenix, AZ; Greensboro, NC; and Wichita, KS, among others.

In 2013, Dunkin’ Donuts unveiled new restaurant design options and last year Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees remodeled 482 restaurants with the new image. Dunkin’ Donuts also recently announced the launch of DD Green™ Achievement, a green building program designed to help franchisees build sustainable, energy-efficient restaurants. By the end of 2016, Dunkin’ Donuts plans to have 100 new DD Green restaurants across the U.S.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ 2014 development numbers include approximately 70 new restaurants in airports, colleges and other non-traditional locations. Dunkin’ Donuts currently has over 600 non-traditional locations, including restaurants at college campuses, mass transit stations, travel centers, supermarkets, entertainment centers and military bases.

In 2015, the Company expects its franchisees to add between 410 and 440 net new Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. restaurants and continues to believe that it can achieve the long-term goal of more than 17,000 restaurants in the U.S., more than doubling its current number of domestic locations.

Baskin-Robbins U.S.

In 2014, Baskin-Robbins achieved a second consecutive year of positive net new unit growth in the U.S., opening 17 net new restaurants in markets including Kentucky, California and Louisiana. Baskin-Robbins also signed agreements in 2014 with franchisees to open new future locations in markets, including Fresno, CA; San Francisco, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Tampa, FL, Louisville, KY; and Colorado Springs, CO, among others.

Additionally, recruiting military veterans as franchisees continues to be a focus for Baskin-Robbins. For 2014, the brand launched a special veteran’s incentive program for U.S. veterans seeking to open a domestic Baskin-Robbins location. The new development incentives included more than $25,000 in financial discounts on royalties and initial franchise fees.

In 2015, the Company expects its franchisees and licensees to open five to ten net new Baskin-Robbins restaurants in the U.S.

To learn more about Dunkin’ Brands franchising, visit. www.dunkinbrands.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains projections and other forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Generally, these statements can be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “feel,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “project,” “should,” “would,” and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. These projections and statements reflect management’s current views with respect to future events and financial performance. No assurances can be given, however, that these events will occur or that these projections will be achieved, and actual results could differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risk factors. A discussion of these risk factors is included in the Company’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by applicable law, we do not undertake to publicly update or revise any of these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc.
With more than 18,800 points of distribution in nearly 60 countries worldwide, Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) is one of the world’s leading franchisors of quick service restaurants (QSR) serving hot and cold coffee and baked goods, as well as hard-serve ice cream. At the end of fiscal 2014, Dunkin’ Brands’ nearly 100 percent franchised business model included more than 11,300 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants and more than 7,500 Baskin-Robbins restaurants. Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. is headquartered in Canton, Mass.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Michelle King
michelle.king@dunkinbrands.com

World’s premier obstacle race company Spartan Race and Whole Foods Market announced partnership

Spartan Race ‘Food of the Day’ Fueled by Whole Foods Market

AUSTIN, Texas, 2015-1-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Spartan Race, the world’s premier obstacle race company, announced today that it is partnering with Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket, on its Spartan Race “Food of the Day” platform in early 2015.

Connecting Spartan’s health-focused community with Whole Foods Market’s experts on food selection and preparation, Spartan Race’s “Food of the Day” will arm Spartan social media followers and email subscribers with in-season, wholesome, weekly food recommendations, including cooking tips and recipes from Whole Foods Market.

“All Spartan racers are keenly aware of the importance of healthy food for fueling intense workouts and sustaining a strong mind and body,” said Kenneth Koleyni, Executive Vice President of Strategic Development at Spartan Race. “Knowing that Whole Foods Market not only shares a similar philosophy around promoting healthy eating education but also sells the highest quality natural and organic foods available, we feel that they are the perfect partners to power our ‘Food of the Day’ platform.”

“Whole Foods Market is excited to partner with Spartan Race to provide racers with the freshest, most delicious healthy eating recipes and cooking tips to fuel them with nutritious and nourishing foods and push them across the finish line.” said Whole Foods Market Director of Partnerships, Barry Hirsch.

The Spartan Race’s “Food of the Day” will reach their robust network of email subscribers and 4.3 million Facebook followers. For additional information or to access Spartan Race’s “Food of the Day” powered by Whole Foods Market, please visit Spartan.com and sign up for Spartan Race’s email newsletter and/or follow Spartan Race’s Facebook page.

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World’s premier obstacle race company Spartan Race and Whole Foods Market announced partnership

World’s premier obstacle race company Spartan Race and Whole Foods Market announced partnership

Limited production wines that will be featured in Wine Club by Whole Foods Market now available to order for January through March delivery

Shipment includes six carefully curated wines from across the globe

AUSTIN, Texas, 2015-1-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The latest shipment of six high quality, limited production wines that will be featured in Wine Club by Whole Foods Market is now available to order for January through March delivery. This shipment includes wines from California, Spain, Argentina, South Africa and Italy.

Members receive four shipments of six bottles each a year at the price of $125 per shipment, including shipping costs. Additional shipping charges may apply for shipments to Alaska and Hawaii. Shoppers can also select to receive or gift a one-time shipment and choose their delivery date at wholefoodsmarket.com/wine-club. Ongoing subscribers will receive additional shipments in May, September and November.

The Wine Club by Whole Foods Market makes it easy to try limited production wines or gift subscriptions for one or more months. From old favorites to new, more obscure varieties, each wine is hand-selected by Whole Foods Market’s global wine buyer, Doug Bell, and Master Sommelier and associate global wine buyer, Devon Broglie, in collaboration with wine.com.

Tasting notes for the wines in the winter shipment are below.

• Indigeno Pinot Grigio 2013 (Italy) – Light straw color with a salmon tint, this white has aromas of white flowers, apricots and peach and notes of lavender, honey and pear flavors with a touch of minerality.

• Verse & Chorus Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (California) – Crisp and refreshing, this white from the Carneros region of Napa Valley has aromas of honey and grapefruit, flavors of pear, melon, lemongrass and mango.

• Marques De La Musa Garnacha 2010 (Spain) – This red from the Aragon region has a dense red color and intense aromas of cassis, boysenberry and vanilla and flavors of coffee and spice.

• Dashe Cellars Zinfandel 2013 (California) – This deep purple Sonoma Valley red has aromas of violets and lavender mixed with clove and herbes de Provence and flavors of blackberry, chocolate and coffee.

Criterion Malbec 2012 (Argentina) – Blueberry and blackberry aromas mix with hints of cinnamon and toasted nutmeg. This Mendoza red has generous black fruit flavors, supple tannins and a complex acid and mineral backbone.

Braai Red Blend 2013 (South Africa) – With aromas of dark berries, earth and smoke, this robust red has a vibrant juiciness.

Visit wholefoodsmarket.com/wineclub to learn more or watch a video with Doug and Devon discussing the wines.

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Limited production wines that will be featured in Wine Club by Whole Foods Market now available to order for January through March delivery

Limited production wines that will be featured in Wine Club by Whole Foods Market now available to order for January through March delivery

Rite Aid Corporation announced the completion of an amendment and extension of its existing senior secured credit facility

CAMP HILL, Pa., 2015-1-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) today announced the completion of an amendment and extension of its existing senior secured credit facility, including an increased borrowing capacity of up to $3.0 billion, or up to $3.7 billion when the company repays its 8.00% Senior Secured Notes due 2020 in full (whether at maturity or pursuant to an early redemption) and an extension of the maturity to January 2020. The company expects, at current rates, to save approximately $20.0 million in annual interest expense, based on a $3.0 billion facility, and approximately $50.0 million in annual interest expense, based on a $3.7 billion facility and the redemption of its 8.00% Senior Secured Notes due in 2020.

The company used borrowings under the amended and extended senior secured credit facility to repay and retire all of the $1.147 billion outstanding under its Tranche 7 Senior Secured Term Loan due 2020, along with associated fees and expenses.

The refinancing was led by Wells Fargo Capital Finance acting as syndication agent and a joint lead arranger and joint bookrunning manager; Citicorp North America, Inc. acting as administrative agent and joint lead arranger and joint bookrunning manager; and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, GE Capital Markets, Inc., Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. acting as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunning managers.

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.

Statements in this release that are not historical are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, assumptions and uncertainties that are described in Item 1A (Risk Factors) of the company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other documents that it files or furnishes with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which you are encouraged to read. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated or anticipated by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Rite Aid expressly disclaims any current intention to update publicly any forward-looking statement after the distribution of this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise. Rite Aid cannot assure you if or when it will retire its 8.0% Senior Secured Notes due 2020 prior to their maturity.

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Contact:

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

Media: Susan Henderson 717-730-7766

Wincor Nixdorf and Dutch service provider Jutten Simulation announce partnership over cashiers training at NRF, New York

Paderborn, Germany, 2015-1-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wincor Nixdorf, a global leader in the provision of IT solutions for banks and retailers, is establishing a cooperation with the Dutch service provider Jutten Simulation, a specialist in the development of online training programs for retail employees. The two companies signed their partnership agreement at NRF, the world’s largest retail IT fair in New York.

For retail businesses, a high level of staff turnover and the use of frequently changing temporary and seasonal employees mean significant costs for the training of checkout staff. This situation also applies to the rollout of new checkout solutions. That’s why Jutten Simulation has developed the online training system Cashier Trainer to reduce the costs of staff training in the retail industry in cases like these. The program is oriented to Wincor Nixdorf’s leading TP.net 5.5. point-of-sale (POS) software. TP.net is part of Wincor Nixdorf’s comprehensive, modular TP Application Suite, which addresses the entire range of sales-related processes required by large, international retailers. Retail companies will benefit from the new version – TP.net 5.5 – to connect their sales channels seamlessly and control them efficiently. “The intelligent training concept helps the retail company employees familiarize themselves with the omnichannel applications. They soon learn how to use the customer service functions across organizational boundaries,” says Dr. Michael Schulte, Director Sales & Marketing Retail Software at Wincor Nixdorf. The user-friendly solution thus leads the operator intuitively through the individual work steps and enables checkout staff, in conjunction with the training program from Jutten, to master their new tasks in the shortest possible time.

As an online solution, Cashier Trainer can be used to train cashiers independently of time and place, and without requiring extra support from the retailer’s employees or the IT service provider. The program uses animated 3D simulations to demonstrate and practise the individual steps in the checkout procedure in an easy-to-understand manner. “This enables even new employees to familiarize themselves with the core functions and relevant steps in the TP.net application – on their own and in about three hours,” says Eric Jutten, Managing Director of Jutten Simulation. To date, more than 80,000 checkout employees have been trained using Cashier Trainer. As part of its cooperation with Wincor Nixdorf, the Dutch IT service provider is now expanding the solution to include additional language versions, and with this step, it will be available around the world to train cashiers in the use of TP.net checkout systems.

Wincor Nixdorf to present updates to its Mobile and Kiosk POS, Cash Management and Software at the NRF Conference & Expo in New York

New hardware and software helps retailers streamline activities and deliver a seamless shopping experience to consumers

Paderborn, Germany, 2015-1-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wincor Nixdorf, a global leader in advanced retail and banking IT solutions, today announced updates to four of its products that are used by retailers to automate their point of sale, streamline back office activities, and provide consumers with a seamless omnichannel shopping experience. These hardware and software enhancements are designed to help retailers improve conversion rates and promote cross-selling opportunities that increase the basket size for each order.

The following products will be on display this week in booth # 4217 at the NRF Conference & Expo:

•Mobile POS Updates: Wincor Nixdorf’s new BEETLE/moPOS combines the functionality of a traditional POS terminal with mobility required to serve customers anywhere and at any time. Now available in 8.3” or 10.1” tablets, these POS solutions feature Intel’s latest processor technology; they run Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 or Android 4.4 operating systems; and they enable retailers to run their current Windows-based POS and Merchant Management applications, while also making it easier to implement new App-based solution suites. Hand held POS technology helps employees interact with customers throughout the store, where they can answer questions, discuss inventory status, and present sales promotions before the consumers’ purchasing decisions have been made.

•Kiosk POS Updates: Wincor Nixdorf’s new W1000 Interactive Kiosk has been redesigned for retailers in the hospitality segment. The kiosk’s innovative design has been proven to increase revenue with younger consumers, who feel more comfortable ordering food and purchasing suggested add-ons when they’re offered in a non-personal, automated fashion. At NRF, Wincor Nixdorf will showcase the new design and discuss how the combination of German engineering and personalized hardware design plays a key role in retailer success.

•Cash Management Solution Updates: For automating activities on the back end, Wincor Nixdorf will showcase the latest version of its Cash Management Office Solution, which enables retailers to create a closed loop between all points of sale and the cash office. This automated solution frees employees from routine functions such as sorting and counting cash, and it also provides a real-time awareness of the retailer’s cash situation. The Cash Management Solution is ideal for larger retailers with significant cash takings per shift, such as supermarkets and hypermarkets.

•Software Updates: At NRF, Wincor Nixdorf will discuss the latest version of it TP.net software, which forms the cornerstone of a true omnichannel platform. The latest version 5.5 of the software provides retailers with seamless connectivity for applications across each of their retail channels. It enables retailers to combine rules-based pricing promotions with customer loyalty programs. It features backend intelligence capabilities for the management of store networks. The latest version of the software suite features a new customer relationship management module which provides real-time interaction with consumers on all channels, including social media touch-points. And on the backend, TP.net 5.5 seamlessly organizes cross-channel order processing, item availability checks, and the handling of cash and non-cash payments on any channel. TP.net 5.5 is part of Wincor Nixdorf’s comprehensive, modular TP Application Suite, which addresses the entire range of sales-related processes required by large, international retailers. The TP Application Suite is a set of integrated software applications installed in over 70 countries and on more than 200,000 point of sales systems. Wincor Nixdorf ensures support for its solutions around the world through its closely-meshed delivery and service network.

“Today’s well-informed, and constantly connected consumers pose both an opportunity and a challenge for retailers, and the new hardware and software that we’re showcasing at NRF is designed to help retailers address their IT challenges and serve consumers in a more efficient manner,” said Javier López-Bartolomé, Senior Vice President, Region Americas, and Wincor Nixdorf USA President & CEO. “This week, we’re also looking forward to presenting a number of our customers and partners – companies such as Hershey’s, Waitrose, Kroger, Kiabi, and Retail Pro – who are describing how their using our technology to address their needs.”

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Dollar Tree, Inc. updates regarding the status of the Federal Trade Commission’s review of its pending Family Dollar Stores, Inc. acquisition

  • Expects Agreement with Federal Trade Commission Staff on Number of Divestitures by End of January 2015
  • Expects to Complete Financing for the Merger in February 2015

CHESAPEAKE, VA, 2015-1-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR), the nation’s leading operator of discount variety stores selling everything for $1 or less, today provided the following update regarding the status of the Federal Trade Commission’s (the “FTC”) review of its pending acquisition (the “Pending Merger”) of Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE: FDO) (“Family Dollar”).

FTC’s Review of the Pending Merger

Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have remained actively engaged with the staff of the FTC regarding its review of the Pending Merger. Dollar Tree is pleased with the progress, and now believes that it will need to divest fewer than 300 stores. Dollar Tree has made a divestiture proposal and anticipates reaching an agreement with the FTC staff as to the specific number and locations of stores for divestiture by the end of January.

The staff of the FTC has provided Dollar Tree with a preliminary number of stores – roughly 300 – that appear to raise concern. Dollar Tree expects that a number of stores are likely to be removed from this set due to adjustments to account for the Dollar Tree banner’s $1 pricing model, while a small number of other stores may be added due to the existence of Family Dollar stores that adjust prices partially based on the presence of Dollar Tree.

In parallel, Dollar Tree has identified potential divestiture buyers and expects to present potential buyers to the FTC for approval within a month. Multiple potential buyers will conduct due diligence under non-disclosure agreements over the next several weeks. Dollar Tree expects initial indications of interest in the near future, and will move to secure FTC approval and finalize divestiture agreements with the selected bidder as soon as practical.

Implications of FTC’s Review of Dollar General’s Bid for Family Dollar

Unlike Dollar Tree, Dollar General has not agreed to a “hell-or-high-water” commitment in connection with its unsolicited tender offer for Family Dollar (the “DG Bid”). Based on the concerns that the FTC staff continues to express regarding the Pending Merger, Dollar Tree remains convinced that the FTC will require divestitures far in excess of Dollar General’s wholly inadequate store divestiture commitment:

  • While roughly 150 Family Dollar stores adjust prices due at least in part to the presence of Dollar Tree, about 5,400 Family Dollar stores adjust prices due at least in part to the presence of Dollar General.
  • Fewer than 50 Family Dollar stores are in zones where prices would rise by more than 2% on average under Family Dollar’s pricing rules in the absence of a Dollar Tree. By contrast, more than 3,300 Family Dollar stores are in zones where prices would rise by more than 2% on average under Family Dollar’s pricing rules in the absence of a Dollar General.
  • Competition between Family Dollar and Dollar General exhibits none of the mitigating factors noted with respect to Dollar Tree in our December 5, 2014, press release, such as the significant differences between Dollar Tree’s and Family Dollar’s business models. Family Dollar and Dollar General offer a similar shopping experience with similar products at similar prices to similar customers in similar locations. Dollar Tree is much different.

Dollar Tree’s econometric evidence developed during the course of this matter also supports the conclusion that Dollar General is an extremely close competitor to Family Dollar, far closer than Dollar Tree is.

Dollar General’s December 5, 2014, disclosure in response to these points said that “its documents and data tell a very different story.” We expect that Family Dollar plays a role in Dollar General’s competitive decisions, and Dollar General has never described the role that Family Dollar does play. We expect that prices for at least some of Dollar General’s SKUs may be locally priced and could be affected by the presence or absence of Family Dollar. As highlighted by the FTC staff’s indication of a need for divestitures in connection with the Pending Merger despite Dollar Tree’s fixed price-point model, the FTC staff places weight on Family Dollar’s current pricing strategy, even where the acquiring company has a different strategy. As noted above, Family Dollar’s current pricing strategy accounts for the presence of Dollar General at about 5,400 stores, with prices at 3,300 predicted to rise by more than 2% on average in the absence of competition from Dollar General.

In sum, the DG Bid entails fundamental and significant risks to Family Dollar’s shareholders that are not present in the Pending Merger.

Next Steps for the Pending Merger

Special Meeting of Family Dollar Stockholders, Completion of Financing, and FTC Process

The special meeting of Family Dollar shareholders to vote on the Pending Merger is scheduled for January 22, 2015. Dollar Tree expects to complete the financing for the merger in February 2015.

As noted above, Dollar Tree expects that it will reach a preliminary agreement with the FTC staff on the list of stores to be divested by the end of January. Dollar Tree then expects to finalize divestiture agreements with the selected bidder, to address any concerns of the investigating state attorneys general, and to execute a consent order with the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. To facilitate the FTC’s continued review, and in light of the practicalities associated with the transaction, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have agreed to provide the FTC with four weeks’ notice prior to closing. Dollar Tree expects to initiate this 4-week notice period (which may be terminated early by the FTC) after Dollar Tree executes a consent decree with the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, which should enable the closing of the merger as soon as March 2015.

About Dollar Tree, Inc.
Dollar Tree, Inc., a Fortune 500 Company, operated 5,282 stores in 48 states and five Canadian provinces as of November 1, 2014, with total retail selling square footage of 45.8 million. Our stores operate under the brands of Dollar Tree, Dollar Tree Canada, and Deals. To learn more about Dollar Tree, visit www.DollarTree.com.

Investors/Media Contacts:

Investors:

Randy Guiler
Dollar Tree, Inc.
rguiler@dollartree.com
(757) 321-5284

Media:

Debbie Miller / Nathaniel Garnick
Sard Verbinnen & Co
(212) 687-8080

Important Information for Investors and Stockholders

This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. In connection with the proposed merger between Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, on October 27, 2014, Dollar Tree filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) amendment no. 3 to the registration statement on Form S-4 that included a definitive proxy statement of Family Dollar that also constitutes a prospectus of Dollar Tree. The registration statement has been declared effective by the SEC, and the definitive proxy statement/prospectus is being delivered to stockholders of Family Dollar and was supplemented on November 3, 2014. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF FAMILY DOLLAR ARE URGED TO READ THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS (INCLUDING ALL AMENDMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTS THERETO) AND OTHER DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE MERGER THAT ARE FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED MERGER. Investors and security holders are able to obtain free copies of the registration statement and the definitive proxy statement/prospectus and other documents filed with the SEC by Dollar Tree and Family Dollar through the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov. Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Dollar Tree will be available free of charge on Dollar Tree’s internet website at www.DollarTree.com under the heading “Investor Relations” and then under the heading “Download Library” or by contacting Dollar Tree’s Investor Relations Department at 757-321-5284. Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Family Dollar will be available free of charge on Family Dollar’s internet website at www.FamilyDollar.com under the heading “Investor Relations” and then under the heading “SEC Filings” or by contacting Family Dollar’s Investor Relations Department at 704-708-2858.

Participants in the Solicitation

Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and their respective directors, executive officers and certain other members of management and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the holders of Family Dollar common stock in respect of the proposed merger between Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. Information regarding the persons who may, under the rules of the SEC, be considered participants in the solicitation of proxies in favor of the proposed merger are set forth in the proxy statement/prospectus filed with the SEC. You can also find information about Dollar Tree’s and Family Dollar’s directors and executive officers in Dollar Tree’s proxy statement filed with the SEC on May 12, 2014 and in Family Dollar’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended August 30, 2014, respectively. You can obtain free copies of these documents from Dollar Tree or Family Dollar using the contact information above.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements contained herein are “forward-looking statements” that are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements and information about our current and future prospects and our operations and financial results are based on currently available information. Various risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual future results and financial performance to vary significantly from those anticipated in such statements. The forward looking statements contained herein include assumptions about our operations, such as cost controls and market conditions, and certain plans, activities or events which we expect will or may occur in the future and relate to, among other things, the business combination transaction involving Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, the financing of the proposed transaction, the benefits, results, effects, timing and certainty of the proposed transaction, future financial and operating results, expectations concerning the antitrust review process for the proposed transaction and the combined company’s plans, objectives, expectations (financial or otherwise) and intentions.

Risks and uncertainties related to the proposed merger include, among others: the risk that Family Dollar’s stockholders do not approve the merger; the risk that the merger agreement is terminated as a result of a competing proposal; the risk that regulatory approvals required for the merger are not obtained on the proposed terms and schedule or are obtained subject to conditions that are not anticipated; the risk that the other conditions to the closing of the merger are not satisfied; the risk that the financing required to fund the transaction is not obtained; potential adverse reactions or changes to business or employee relationships, including those resulting from the announcement or completion of the merger; uncertainties as to the timing of the merger; competitive responses to the proposed merger; response by activist stockholders to the merger; costs and difficulties related to the integration of Family Dollar’s business and operations with Dollar Tree’s business and operations; the inability to obtain, or delays in obtaining, the cost savings and synergies contemplated by the merger; uncertainty of the expected financial performance of the combined company following completion of the proposed transaction; the calculations of, and factors that may impact the calculations of, the acquisition price in connection with the proposed transaction and the allocation of such acquisition price to the net assets acquired in accordance with applicable accounting rules and methodologies; unexpected costs, charges or expenses resulting from the merger; litigation relating to the merger; the outcome of pending or potential litigation or governmental investigations; the inability to retain key personnel; and any changes in general economic and/or industry specific conditions. Consequently, all of the forward-looking statements made by Dollar Tree, in this and in other documents or statements are qualified by factors, risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those set forth under the headings titled “A Warning About Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in Dollar Tree’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 1, 2014, Dollar Tree’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended May 3, 2014, August 2, 2014 and November 1, 2014, and other reports filed by Dollar Tree with the SEC, which are available at the SEC’s website http://www.sec.gov.

Please read our “Risk Factors” and other cautionary statements contained in these filings. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Dollar Tree undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, even if experience or future changes make it clear that projected results expressed or implied in such statements will not be realized, except as may be required by law. As a result of these risks and others, actual results could vary significantly from those anticipated herein, and our financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.