Toys“R”Us annual nationwide fundraising campaign to benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation raised $6.4 million and collected 220,000 toys

Additionally, Shaquille O’Neal (a.k.a. Shaq-A-Claus) Rallied Toys“R”Us Customers to #PlayItForward Across the Country, Delivering More Than 220,000 Toys to Kids in Need this Holiday Season

Wayne, NJ, 2015-1-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us® today announced that its annual nationwide fundraising campaign to benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was its most successful to date, raising $6.4 million and collecting more than 220,000 toys, helping bring holiday joy to kids in need across the U.S. During the 2014 campaign, customers helped make Christmas a little merrier by donating new, unwrapped toys at Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® stores nationwide through monetary contributions made in stores and online at Toysrus.com/ToysforTots.

“The record-breaking success of this year’s campaign illustrates the true generosity of our customers and the passion our employees have for making kids’ holiday dreams a reality through our partnership with Toys for Tots,” said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman, Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund. “We are once again honored to assist the organization in creating a magical experience for some of the 14.7 million children living in poverty in the U.S who may have otherwise gone without a toy to open on Christmas morning.”

As part of this year’s campaign, NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal (a.k.a Shaq-A-Claus) and Toys“R”Us encouraged customers to participate in the #PlayItForward Challenge by taking and sharing the ultimate “un-selfie” – a photo of themselves donating a toy to Toys for Tots at Toys“R”Us stores. For each selfie shared using the dedicated hashtag, Toys“R”Us donated a toy (or the equivalent cash value) to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. As a result, hundreds of big-hearted kids and families participated by posting their #PlayItForward selfies across social media, helping provide even more children with toys on Christmas.

And, on #GivingTuesday, a global event and social media movement dedicated to giving back that took place on Tuesday, December 2, Toys“R”Us donated two toys to Toys for Tots for every donation selfie posted on social media using #PlayItForward.

“For the past six years, I have been proud to partner with Toys“R”Us and inspired by the millions of helpers who have joined us in our efforts to bring joy to families in need during the holidays through Toys for Tots,” said Shaquille O’Neal. “This year, I came with a mission to #PlayItForward and raise even more funds and toys for kids in need, and I am thrilled to officially declare, mission accomplished! I want to send a Shaq-mongous thank you to everyone who participated in the Challenge – with your help, we were able to make the holidays a little brighter for so many.”

Additionally, hundreds of online shoppers purchased and donated toys from The Great Big Shaq-A-Claus Wish List, which were shipped directly to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to be distributed to children this holiday season.

As the largest retail partner in the history of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Toys“R”Us has now raised over $41.9 million and collected more than 4 million toys since the partnership began in 2004. To kick off this year’s campaign, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, a public charity affiliated with Toys“R”Us, Inc., provided a $225,000 grant to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. The Shaq-A-Claus #PlayItForward Challenge was also supported by the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund.

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.

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Media Contacts:
Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Nicole Hayes
973-617-4371
Nicole.Hayes@toysrus.com

Jessica Offerjost
973-617-4766
Jessica.Offerjost@toysrus.com

Whole Foods Market announces the opening of its eighth Manhattan store on the Upper East Side at East 87th Street on February 18th

New York, NY, 2015-1-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) is excited to announce the opening of its eighth Manhattan store on the Upper East Side at East 87th Street (1551 3rd Avenue) on Wednesday, February 18th. The 39,000 square foot grocery store will be a community destination, offering Upper East Side residents a full range of high-quality natural and organic foods. Opening day will start with the company’s traditional bread breaking ceremony followed by an array of sampling opportunities and giveaways.

For additional information and exciting announcements about Whole Foods Market East 87th Street, please visit the store’s social media channels:

Facebook – facebook.com/wholefoodsnyc

Twitter and Instagram– @WholeFoodsNYC

 

Customers can also choose to shop at Whole Foods Market online through Instacart, with delivery in as little as one hour.

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About Whole Foods Market®
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com, NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company’s motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 78,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 17 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2013, the company had sales of $12.9 billion and currently has more than 380 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

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Earn AIR MILES reward miles at Sobeys, Sobeys Urban Fresh and Foodland stores in Ontario

Sobeys first national grocer to offer AIR MILES Reward Program across Canada 

STELLARTON, NS, 2015-1-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sobeys and LoyaltyOne, Co., owner and operator of the AIR MILES® Reward Program, are expanding their relationship in the province of Ontario. Beginning March 27, 2015, shoppers will be able to earn AIR MILES reward miles at Sobeys, Sobeys Urban Fresh and Foodland stores in Ontario. The expansion also includes the launch of the AIR MILES program’s instant redemption feature, AIR MILES Cash, for in-store savings at the check-out.

With the launch of the AIR MILES Reward Program in Ontario, Sobeys will become the loyalty program’s first Canadian grocery Sponsor to issue reward miles across Canada.

This expansion follows the September 2014 launch of the AIR MILES Reward Program in Sobeys Western Canadian banners including Sobeys, IGA, Thrifty Foods and Edgemont Market, and Sobeys Liquor, while continuing the partnership with Safeway and Safeway Wine and Spirits stores. AIR MILES Cash launched in Safeway and Safeway Wine and Spirit stores in November 2014. In Quebec, IGA, IGA extra, Marché Bonichoix, Les Marchés Tradition and Rachelle-Béry continue to offer the AIR MILES reward program.

Customers also continue to collect reward miles at Sobeys, Foodland and Lawtons Drugs in Atlantic Canada.

“Our customers have responded very positively to the AIR MILES Program in other provinces, and we are looking forward to adding the same value to our customers’ shopping experience in Ontario,” says Marc Poulin, president and chief executive officer, Sobeys Inc. “For the first time, we will have a national rewards program and we are delighted to partner with LoyaltyOne across Canada to provide a more rewarding experience in our stores.”

The Ontario Club Sobeys loyalty program and BMO Club Sobeys MasterCard will transition to the AIR MILES Reward Program in 2015.

The cross-Canada relationship provides Sobeys customers and AIR MILES Collectors the opportunity to earn even more AIR MILES reward miles for their everyday purchases at locations in all 10 provinces.

Collectors can redeem their reward miles for more than 1,200 rewards options, including travel and merchandise in addition to the Program’s instant redemption feature, AIR MILES Cash, which will be available at all Sobeys, Sobeys Urban Fresh and Foodland stores where AIR MILES reward miles are issued.“The expansion of our partnership with Sobeys over the past year, from Atlantic Canada and Quebec to Western Canada and now Ontario, has provided for even more customers to engage with the Program and benefit from its value,” says Andy Wright, president, AIR MILES Reward Program. “We are thrilled to grow and strengthen our long-standing partnership with Sobeys, one of Canada’s leading national grocers.”

Sobeys has been a valued Sponsor in the AIR MILES Reward Program for more than 15 years. Collectors can get more information on nearby Sponsors by visiting www.airmiles.ca.

About Sobeys Inc.
Proudly Canadian, with headquarters in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Sobeys has been serving the food shopping needs of Canadians for 107 years. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX:EMP.A), Sobeys owns or franchises more than 1,500 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, and Lawton’s Drug Stores as well as more than 350 retail fuel locations. Sobeys and its franchise affiliates employ more than 125,000 people.

The company’s purpose is to help Canadians Eat Better, Feel Better and Do Better. More information on Sobeys Inc. can be found at www.sobeyscorporate.com.

About LoyaltyOne Co.
LoyaltyOne is a global leader in the design and implementation of coalition loyalty programs, customer analytics and loyalty services for Fortune 1000 clients around the world. LoyaltyOne’s unparalleled track record delivering sustained business performance improvement for clients stems from its unique combination of hands-on practitioner experience and continuous thought leadership. LoyaltyOne has over 20 years history leveraging data-driven insights to develop and operate some of the world’s most effective loyalty programs and customer-centric solutions. These include the AIR MILES Reward Program, North America’s premier coalition loyalty program; a majority stake in European-based BrandLoyalty, one of the largest and most successful campaign-driven loyalty marketers outside of the Americas; and a working partnership with Latin America’s leading coalition program, dotz. LoyaltyOne is also the owner of COLLOQUY, a group dedicated to research, publishing and education for the global loyalty industry. LoyaltyOne is an Alliance Data company. For more information, visit www.loyalty.com.

About the AIR MILES Reward Program
Founded in 1992, the AIR MILES Reward Program is Canada’s premier coalition loyalty program with more than 10 million active Collector accounts, representing approximately two-thirds of all Canadian households. The AIR MILES Reward Program allows Collectors to earn reward miles simply by doing their everyday shopping at more than 240 leading brand-name Sponsors, representing thousands of retail and service locations across Canada and leading global brands online. The AIR MILES Reward Program also allows Collectors to indulge in more than 1,200 leisure, entertainment, merchandise, travel and a range of accredited, environmentally-friendly lifestyle rewards. With AIR MILES Cash, Collectors can also have the flexibility to instantly redeem their AIR MILES reward miles in-store towards many every day and high value purchases like gas, grocery, drug store items and home improvement purchases at participating Sponsors.

For More Information, Contact:
Sobeys Inc.: 902-752-8371, ext. 8455, cynthia.thompson@sobeys.com
AIR MILES Reward Program Media Office: 416-552-2352, mediaoffice@loyalty.com

Target Corporation declares quarterly dividend of 52 cents per common share

MINNEAPOLIS, 2015-1-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — The board of directors of Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) has declared a quarterly dividend of 52 cents per common share. The dividend is payable March 10, 2015 to shareholders of record at the close of business February 18, 2015. The 1st quarter dividend will be the company’s 190th consecutive dividend paid since October 1967 when the company became publicly held.

About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,934 stores – 1,801 in the United States and 133 in Canada – and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit to communities, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom. For a behind-the-scenes look at Target, visit ABullseyeView.com or follow @TargetNews on Twitter.

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Target Corporation to discontinue operating stores in Canada through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Target Canada Co.

Target Canada takes steps to ensure a fair and orderly exit, seeks Court approval to begin liquidation process under the CCAA Company provides update on fourth quarter performance in the U.S.

MINNEAPOLIS, 2015-1-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) (the “Company”) announces that it plans to discontinue operating stores in Canada through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Target Canada Co. (“Target Canada”). As a part of that process, this morning Target Canada filed an application for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (the “CCAA”) with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) in Toronto (the “Court”).

“When I joined Target, I promised our team and shareholders that I would take a hard look at our business and operations in an effort to improve our performance and transform our company. After a thorough review of our Canadian performance and careful consideration of the implications of all options, we were unable to find a realistic scenario that would get Target Canada to profitability until at least 2021. Personally, this was a very difficult decision, but it was the right decision for our company. With the full support of Target Corporation’s Board of Directors, we have determined that it is in the best interest of our business and our shareholders to exit the Canadian market and focus on driving growth and building further momentum in our U.S. business,” said Brian Cornell, Target Corporation Chairman and CEO.

Target Canada currently has 133 stores across the country and employs approximately 17,600 people. To ensure fair treatment of Target Canada employees, Target Corporation is seeking the Court’s approval to voluntarily make cash contributions of C$70 million (approximately US$59 million) into an Employee Trust. Upon approval by the Court, the proposed trust would provide that nearly all Target Canada-based employees receive a minimum of 16 weeks of compensation, including wages and benefits coverage for employees who are not required for the full wind-down period. Target Canada stores will remain open during the liquidation process.

As part of its application, Target Canada is seeking the appointment of Alvarez & Marsal Canada as Monitor in the CCAA proceedings to oversee the liquidation and wind-down process for Target Canada and its subsidiaries. Subject to Court approval, Target Corporation has committed to provide a US$175 million debtor-in-possession credit facility to finance Target Canada’s operations during the CCAA proceedings. Target Canada is also seeking Court approval to engage Lazard to advise Target Canada in connection with the sale of its real estate assets.

“The Target Canada team has worked tirelessly to improve the fundamentals, fix operations and build a deeper relationship with our guests. We hoped that these efforts in Canada would lead to a successful holiday season, but we did not see the required step-change in our holiday performance,” said Cornell. “There is no doubt that the next several weeks will be difficult, but we will make every effort to handle our exit in an appropriate and orderly way.”

As a result of the CCAA filing, Target Corporation has determined that Target Canada and its subsidiaries will be deconsolidated from Target Corporation’s financial statements as of the date of the filing.  Target Corporation expects to report approximately $5.4 billion of pre-tax losses on discontinued operations in the fourth quarter of 2014, driven primarily by the write-down of the Corporation’s investment in Target Canada, along with costs associated with exit or disposal activities and quarter-to-date Canadian Segment operating losses prior to today’s filing. Target Corporation expects to report approximately $275 million of pre-tax losses on discontinued operations in fiscal 2015.

Target Corporation’s cash costs to discontinue Canadian operations are expected to be $500 million to $600 million, most of which will occur in the Company’s 2015 fiscal year or later. The Company has sufficient resources to fund these expected costs, including cash on hand and ongoing cash generation by its U.S. business.

Target Corporation expects this decision will increase its earnings in fiscal 2015 and beyond, and increase its cash flow in fiscal 2016 and beyond.

As a result of the decision announced today, Target Corporation will operate as a single segment that includes all U.S. operations. Beginning with the Company’s fourth quarter 2014 financial results, Target will report adjusted earnings per share reflecting operating results from its U.S. operations, excluding discontinued Canadian operations, the impact of the reduction of the beneficial interest asset recognized in connection with the 2013 sale of the Company’s U.S. consumer credit card portfolio, net expenses related to the 2013 data breach, and the resolution of certain tax matters.

Target Corporation plans to provide additional information on the financial implications of this announcement in a Form 8-K to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission later today.

Update on expected fourth quarter U.S. performance

Based on performance through November and December, Target Corporation now expects to report fourth quarter 2014 U.S. comparable sales of approximately 3 percent, better than prior guidance of approximately 2 percent, driven primarily by increased traffic and stronger-than-expected digital sales. The Company expects to report fourth quarter adjusted EPS, reflecting results from continuing operations, of $1.43 to $1.47, about 6 cents ahead of expectations for U.S. Segment performance at the beginning of the quarter.

The Company is not able to provide an estimate of its expected fourth quarter 2014 GAAP EPS. However, GAAP results are expected to include:

  • Losses related to liquidation of Target Canada, as described above, net of taxes
  • Net expenses related to the 2013 data breach, which are not expected to be material
  • Impact of the reduction of the beneficial interest asset recognized in connection with the 2013 sale of the Company’s credit card portfolio, which is expected to reduce GAAP EPS by approximately 2 cents

Cornell and John Mulligan, Target Corporation’s Chief Financial Officer, will host a call with investors today, approximately two hours after the conclusion of the Court hearing of the CCAA application. Target Corporation will issue a press release following the Court hearing and post details for the call on target.com/investors under “Upcoming Events and Presentations.”

Miscellaneous

Statements in this release regarding expected earnings and cash flow and other financial impacts of exiting the Company’s Canadian operations, and fourth quarter 2014 sales and adjusted earnings guidance are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements speak only as of the date they are made and are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially. The most important risks and uncertainties include those relating to the consequences of discontinuing Canadian operations and the risks described in Item 1A of the Company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 1, 2014, as updated in the Company’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended November 1, 2014.

The adjusted earnings per share expectation for fourth quarter 2014 excludes the items identified above.  The Company’s measure of adjusted earnings per share is not in accordance with, or an alternative for, generally accepted accounting principles in the United States.  The most comparable GAAP measure is diluted earnings per share.  Management believes adjusted EPS is useful in providing period-to-period comparisons of the results of the Company’s U.S. operations.  Adjusted EPS should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for an analysis of the Company’s results as reported under GAAP.  Other companies may calculate adjusted EPS differently than the Company does, limiting the usefulness of the measure for comparisons with other companies.

About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,934 stores – 1,801 in the United States and 133 in Canada – and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit to communities, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom. For a behind-the-scenes look at Target, visit ABullseyeView.com or follow @TargetNews on Twitter.

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Dustee Jenkins
p: (612) 696-3400

John Hulbert, Investors
p: (612) 761-6627

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We strive to return all media inquiries within one business day